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L Train Service May Get Even Worse Thanks To Sandy Repairs

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Things are bad on the L train, certainly if you judge by the apparent frequency of headlines about the woes experienced by its riders. Now, things might get a lot worse before they can get better, though they'll eventually get even better than they are now, if Sen. Charles Schumer has his way.

Like the R train's Montague Street Tunnel, the L train's Canarsie Tubes were flooded by corrosive salt water during Hurricane Sandy, and are in dire need of repairs. That could mean terminating L train service at Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn for up to three years, Gothamist reports. A similar situation happened with the R train and riders along its route suffered for 13 months, making alternate transportation plans.

The repairs on the Canarsie Tubes would take three years, the report said. The L train does have two tubes running under the East River. So, one option is to keep one tube open while repairing the other, but that would be for limited service (perhaps one-way at times) and would make the entire repair project take even longer. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Schumer has had enough of the non-Sandy-related problems on the L train and wants improvements made, Politico New York reports. The Empire State's senior senator has written to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to ask it to request funding from Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

This $300 million project would improve things on the line by running more trains, for starters. Also, new entrances and elevators would be constructed at Bedford Avenue and First Avenue to alleviate overcrowding. "More than 300,000 customers use the L Train on an average weekday, which is an increase of 98 percent since 1998," Schumer wrote.

All of this has some pushing pie-in-the-sky ideas, such as the East River Skyway, which Curbed NY reported on more than a year ago. The proposal calls for a network of cable cars running along the East River, from the South Street Seaport over to Dumbo, then up to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, South Williamsburg, Williamsburg (where you could cross the river again to a Delancey Street stop), up to Greenpoint Landing, over Newtown Creek to Long Island City, then over half of the river to Roosevelt Island (which already has a tram), finally crossing the other half to end at the United Nations. The first phase (of three) for that project would cost up to $100 million. Don't hold your breath for this to become a reality.
· L Train Service Between Brooklyn & Manhattan May Be Shut Down For Years [Gothamist]
· Schumer asks feds to prioritize the L train [Politico New York]
· This Fanciful Tram Would Ease Brooklyn-Manhattan Commutes [Curbed]
· All L train coverage [Curbed]