Mark your calendars and set an alert in your phone, straphangers. The L train shutdown begins in 178 days. Service between Brooklyn and Manhattan on the NYC subway line be suspended for 15 months starting Saturday, April 27, 2019, the MTA announced Tuesday.
The last day for service between Eighth Avenue in Manhattan and Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn is Friday, April 26. The L train will still run in Brooklyn between the Bedford Avenue and Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway stations.
“With the L running as a Brooklyn-only service for 15 months starting after the weekend of April 27, we’ve been hard at work with our partners at NYC DOT and other city agencies to make sure that the alternate train, bus, ferry and bicycle networks work together to get people around successfully,” NYC Transit President Andy Byford said in a statement.
The L train shutdown will affect the 225,000 riders who use the NYC subway line to travel between the two boroughs as the Canarasie Tunnel under the East River undergoes extensive reconstruction due to damage from Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
Alternative service options include HOV restrictions on the Williamsburg Bridge, five additional bus routes, a new M14 SBS on 14th Street and an express NY Waterway ferry from Williamsburg to Stuyvesant Cove.
Additionally, several NYC subway stations have been or will be expanded to offset the expected straphanger overflow during the L train shutdown, and Citi Bike will increase coverage in areas that will be impacted most.
City agencies ‘up for enormous challenge’ of L train shutdown
For New Yorkers who would like help planning their alternative routes during the looming L train shutdown, NYCT and DOT will host a series of pop-ups, open houses and mobile information sessions. Dates for those will be posted on mta.info/Ltunnelreconstruction.
“We’re continuing unprecedented efforts at public outreach, responding to local communities and giving as much notice as possible on key dates in this project,” Byford said.
DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg vows the agencies “are up for this enormous challenge,” and Danny Pearlstein of Riders Alliance agreed they are.
“With Sandy now six years behind us, the L train shutdown has been very long in coming.” he told Metro. “Now six months away, the MTA and DOT have both made a tremendous effort to accommodate L riders and residents of surrounding neighborhoods. With innumerable town halls, open houses and public meetings, there’s been plenty of opportunity to learn about their plan.”
However, the city’s mass tranisit “remains in crisis and our streets severely congested,” Pearlstein added. “During the shutdown, it will be imperative that as many transit riders keep riding transit as possible and as few switch to cars. Otherwise, the city will grind to a halt. Once the shutdown begins, it will be incumbent upon the MTA and DOT to fine tune the plan, prioritizing buses and restricting cars where necessary. The alternative is L-pocalypse.”