‘L-pocalypse’ now: L train to shutter for 15 weekends ahead of April closure

No service: Transit leaders are halting service on the L train for 15 weekends, starting with this one, until April.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

It’s a little taste of L.

Straphangers fretting the looming closure of the L train’s Brooklyn–Manhattan tube will realize their worst fears sooner than expected because city and state transit bigwigs recently announced they will shutter the underwater tunnel for 15 weekends leading up to the so-called “L-pocalypse” — beginning with this one.

Leaders of the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority revealed the series of closures on the agency’s website on Saturday after sharing them with local community boards and electeds earlier this summer, much to the surprise of some commuters who believed they still had months to prepare for the project set to kick off next April.

“F–--,” said Williamsburg resident and frequent L-train rider Rachel, who declined to give her last name. “I literally had no idea it was going to be closed. That’s some bulls---, honestly.”

From 11:30 pm on Friday through 5 am on Monday, the L train will not run between Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenue and Manhattan — a roughly two-day service suspension set to repeat on 14 more weekends that include dates in October, November, February, March, and April, before its East River–spanning Canarsie Tube closes for 15 months of repairs to the superstorm Sandy–damaged infrastructure, according to the transportation authority.

News of the mini-closures came about nine months after city and state officials first dropped plans for how they’ll help shuttle the 225,000 daily L-train commuters between Brooklyn and Manhattan when it shutters for the big fix next year, during which the train will still run between Williamsburg and Canarsie.

The forthcoming 15 weekend service suspensions will allow transit bigwigs to ensure the subway’s tracks and signals are up-to-date before trains start traveling the modified local route next April, according to transportation authority honcho Andy Byford, who oversees the agency’s local arm, the New York City Transit Authority.

“Our crews are working hard on track and signal infrastructure during periods of lower ridership so that while the train tunnel is reconstructed and we run in Brooklyn only next year, it’s the most reliable service we can deliver on the line,” he said in a press release issued with the publication of the mini-closures.

But Byford and other transit brass should have been more forthcoming about the weekend service changes, instead of quietly releasing them on a Saturday one week before they were due to begin, according to another fed-up straphanger.

“I didn’t know it was going to be consecutive weekends. I think everyone should have been aware of that,” said Kaila Gee, who lives in Bushwick and commutes to Williamsburg on the L train daily. “It’s going to be a s---show.”

Following this weekend’s service suspension, the L train will not run between either Myrtle-Wyckoff Avenue or Broadway Junction stations and Manhattan on weekends including Oct. 5–8, 12–15, 19–22, and 26–29; Nov. 9–12 and 16–19; Feb. 1–4, 8–11, 15–18, and 22–25; March 1–4, 8–11, and 15–18; and April 12–15. The transportation authority will run free shuttle buses along the L line, as well as reroute certain subways, to ease commutes during the short-term suspensions, according to the agency.

And when the Canarsie Tube shutters next April, transit leaders will aid straphangers by boosting service on the G, J, M, and Z lines; adding cars to elongate G and C trains; launching a ferry route between Williamsburg and Manhattan; running new bike lanes along Grand Street; and creating a dedicated high-occupancy vehicle lane across the Williamsburg Bridge that will be reserved for cars with three or more passengers during a daily “rush-hour” window from 5 am to 10 pm.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 6:05 pm, August 20, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
You can thank the MTA for caught off guard by the power of mother nature, particularly climate change, specifically superstore Sandy.
Aug. 8, 6:37 am
Moshe Aron Kestenbaum ODA from Williamsburg says:
It’s mother F and nothing to do with Mother Nature , the city lack of infestructure maintanice is directly responsible for the shutdown now of the L train. Blame the Mayor blame the MTA and stop blaming god. God is good man
Aug. 8, 7:12 am
SCR from Realityville says:
The only possible positive,is drop drop in real-estate prices,along the entire L subway-line. Make a double-digit drop,and virtually everyone,save for the speculators and the"flippers";will be quite happy.
Aug. 8, 9:53 am
SCR from Realityville says:
The only possible positive,is drop drop in real-estate prices,along the entire L subway-line. Make a double-digit drop,and virtually everyone,save for the speculators and the"flippers";will be quite happy.
Aug. 8, 9:53 am
SCR from Realityville says:
Editor:Figure out your incoherent system!! My same comments,were posted twice. Thank You!!
Aug. 8, 10:01 am
t from a says:
god isn’t real.
Aug. 8, 4:34 pm
Somebody from Somewhere says:
Great news! Run these freakin rent-rising hipsters outta here! They've overstayed their welcome. GTFO!
Aug. 9, 9:11 am
BunnynSunny from I'ts Always Sunny in Clinton Hill says:
With no subway service, these neighborhoods along the L line will actually become dangerous at night. And the neighborhoods will experience at least a 20% drop in residents.
Aug. 9, 1:11 pm
everyone from everywhere says:
Hahahah, local out of touch idiot thinks williamsburg is still full of hipsters and that the L train only services williamsburg. Get a grip on reality, stupid.
Aug. 9, 4:38 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

MetroPlus Roosevelt Savings Bank Coney Island Hospital Brookdale VillageCareMax

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: