Fresh L: MTA drops more details about ‘disruptive service’ during looming repairs to subway

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It’s still going to be a bumpy ride.

State transit officials on Wednesday dropped more details about the service changes and alternative-transportation options straphangers will find once repairs to the beleaguered L train begin in two months.

And the new plan to shore up the line’s superstorm Sandy–ravaged Canarsie Tube — which now calls for night and weekend work to fix one of its two East River–spanning tunnels at a time, leaving the other free for trains to travel the subway’s entire route — will still wreak havoc on commuters, though not as badly, according to the head of the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“We’ll be able to maintain service, but it will be a disruptive service,” Ronnie Hakim told a select group of reporters during a phone call, according to an amNewYork report.

Work on the silver bullet’s East River-spanning Tube is still slated to begin on April 27 as previously planned — but instead of not running subways to Manhattan for 15 months, trains will run the full line every 20 minutes on nights and weekends once the big fix begins, with decreased weeknight service starting as early as 8 pm, two hours before one of the tunnels closes for repairs at 10 pm, according to the reporters on the call.

The L’s First and Third avenue stations in Manhattan, however, may be made “exit only” stops on weekends in order to mitigate overcrowding expected on the line’s platforms.

Trains on nearby subway lines, including the G, M, and 7, will run more frequently to mitigate the slower L service, but officials will no longer add more cars to lengthen G trains as they planned to do during the full shutdown, according to reports. The agency is also weighing a plan to run a bus shuttling straphangers between the Bedford Avenue L stop and the J, M, and Z trains at Marcy Avenue station during the repairs.

And authority chiefs confirmed they will nix the planned High Occupancy Vehicle lane across the Williamsburg Bridge, which would have been reserved for cars carrying three or more passengers during an undetermined rush-hour window.

Officials hope the massive project will wrap within 15 to 20 months once it kicks off, but have yet to announce a final timeline, according to reports.

News of the new details came weeks after the authority gave commuters a little taste of L — for the second time — when it suspended the subway’s weeknight service between Bushwick and Manhattan for eight weeks straight starting Jan. 27. And in addition to the weeknight closures, previously announced mini-shutdowns will stop full L-train service on weekends through March — including on Feb. 15–19, Feb. 22–25, March 1–4, March 8–11, and March 15–18, when no trains will run between Manhattan and Broadway Junction from 10:45 pm on Fridays until 5 am on Mondays. Full L train service will also be suspended on Monday, Feb. 18, President’s Day, as part of the line’s closure that weekend.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 6:18 pm, February 13, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Larry from Lorimer St. says:
Idea: Instead of one train with 8 cars; have 2-8 trains (16 cars-64 cars) moving in the same direction within a minute of each other passing through the bottle neck one lane tunnel.
Feb. 13, 2019, 9:49 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Uber is "disruptive service." The MTA is offering us disrupted service. As in bad.
Feb. 14, 2019, 9:18 am
Brooklynrider from Williamsburg says:
So we’re going to have disruptive service. We may get to the station and find the train not running. Now everyone is late. AND the MTA is only “hopeful” it will be completed in 15-20 months? When the full shutdown was in place we had a guarantee of completion in 15 months. Something is very wrong with this picture. Very wrong.
Feb. 14, 2019, 2:36 pm
Mathematician from Brooklyn says:
Should have let the PROFESSIONALS do what they wanted to do in the first place! And that goes for the Promenade too!
Feb. 14, 2019, 4:13 pm
The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
I guess that #CuomosMTA is not up to no good again towards our everyday lives, everyday.
Feb. 14, 2019, 8:17 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Stop whining kids, you’re not getting your bikeway on 14th street. Now go do your chores.
Feb. 14, 2019, 9:49 pm
Frank from Furter says:
Henry Ford does enough whining for all 5 boroughs.
Feb. 15, 2019, 8:17 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The reason why the MTA chose to do it at those times is mainly because most aren't even using it anyway hence very little will be affected by this, so enough with feeling as if hell broke loose.
Feb. 15, 2019, 12:48 pm

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