Expanded L train service goes into effect
Riders on the notoriously crowded L train expressed relief that Monday morning’s rush hour commute might actually include some breathing room.
The MTA has added 16 more round trips on the L line each weekday, 11 each Saturday and seven each Sunday, at a cost of $1.7 million annually.
“L trips (are now) less likely to feel like hell,” state Sen. Daniel Squadron said in a statement. Squadron represents neighborhoods off the L train and petitioned the MTA to add extra service.
Although the expanded service began yesterday, straphangers were most excited for how it would affect their trip to and from work on weekdays.
“Even at 5:30 in the morning we don’t get a seat,” said Karl Mortelmans, a technical designer for an apparel company. “And if something goes wrong, then it’s just a disaster.”
At the Bedford Avenue stop, sometimes consecutive trains pull in that are too packed to enter, he explained.
Luis Jara, a construction worker traveling from Bedford Avenue to the Myrtle-Wyckoff avenues stop, said in Spanish that the L train is always full. When going to work, he has to push his way in.
“As long as you don’t mind being a sardine, you can always get on,” said Sara Fort, an artist who took the Manhattan-bound train at Halsey Street.
Even weekend trains can be crowded. In fact, the MTA concluded last year that Saturday and Sunday ridership on the L train had increased by 141 percent since 1998, while service had only increased by about 50 percent.
The MTA says L trains now will run every three minutes during the morning rush hour, up from every three-and-a-half minutes.
They will run every six minutes at midday and on Saturday and Sunday evenings, up from every seven-and-a-half to eight-and-a-half minutes.