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MTA weighing Select Bus Service to help stranded L train commuters

The agency will unveil a preliminary plan in the spring

In just a few months time, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will unveil a preliminary plan to address stranded commuters’ needs during the L train shutdown, which is scheduled to get underway in early 2019.

Following that, there will be several more opportunities for commuters to comment on the plan over the course of the summer, and only after that will the agency release its final plan later this year, Streetsblog reported, following a meeting organized by the MTA last week.

On an average weekday there are about 300,000 riders on the L train and a majority of them use the portion that’s going to be closed off for repairs: Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg through 8th Avenue in Manhattan. The MTA suggested in the meeting last week that between 80 to 85 percent of the riders will use a different subway line.

The rest are expected to use buses or a ferry, but as Streetsblog pointed out the rest of the passengers still account for a large number of travelers and will overwhelm the existing bus services. Many transportation advocates have called for a car-free zone on 14th Street. In November last year, the Regional Plan Association released a 28-page report on L train alternatives, and one of the proposals was adding bus lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge.

That’s something the MTA is seriously considering, and agency members mentioned a Select Bus Service route along the bridge (and on 14th Street) last night, according to Streetsblog. That still has some commuters worried about whether dedicated bus lanes will be enforced, and if the sheer volume of traffic on 14th Street will make the commute a nightmare.

There is still time to contribute before the preliminary plan is unveiled—The MTA is hosting meetings on February 23, March 2, and March 9.