They say when one door closes, another one opens—and in this case, those doors are on the L train. As the MTA prepares to replace damaged viaducts along the M line at the Myrtle Avenue stop in Bushwick, the agency will increase service along the L to offset the effects of construction. According to the MTA, the service change will cost about $1.7 million.
In a letter to New York State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (whose district includes neighborhoods that would be affected by these changes, including Williamsburg), the MTA outlined three key changes to the L schedule, due to begin next spring:
- There will be an additional 11 weekday round trips on the L line between 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday service will add an additional 12 L line round trips between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Sundays will gain an additional 27 round trips on the L line between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
The service changes are being implemented to accommodate the influx of riders that will switch from the L train from the M once repairs are underway. Once that begins, the latter will be plagued by shuttle service, reroutes, and all the other annoyances that come along with construction work.
“These service increases will not only reduce headway times, they will also reduce the number of riders per car allowing for a more comfortable commute,” Lentol said in a statement. “It is clear that these increases speak to the population explosion in North Brooklyn.”
M train repairs are set to last anywhere from six to ten months, forcing dozens of Bushwick residents and business owners along the affected route to relocate during the rehabilitation process.
Beginning in 2019, the L train will confront construction woes of its own as the line prepares for an 18-month shutdown that will allow for Hurricane Sandy-damaged tracks and tunnels to be repaired. Ways of dealing with that massive inconvenience are still in the works.