Straphangers will have their chance to pelt MTA officials with their many questions on the contenious L train tunnel repair work kicking off late April.
The MTA will host four Spring open houses where subway riders can grill MTA officials for updates on how the construction project will unfold after sudden changes announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo cancelled the dreaded shutdown but raised a whole new set of concerns.
Transit officials will host four meetings in the West Village, Williamsburg, and the East Village. The series will kick off on March 7 at Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Bernard at 328 West 14th Street and then at Williamsburg Northside School at 299 North Seventh Street on March 13. The third workshop will take place at Grand Street Campus High School at 850 Grand Street on March 19 and the final meeting will happen at the 14th Street Y at 344 East 14th Street on April 8—some three weeks before tunnel work officially begins.
Transit officials will discuss what’s changing and what’s staying the same, provide one-on-one trip planning for those whose commutes are directly impacted by the work, and the Department of Transportation will layout how the city is handing streets changes for bike, bus, and HOV infrastructure.
In a briefing with reporters and elected officials last week, MTA Managing Director Ronnie Hakim offered a limited update on the alternate service plan for the tunnel work. Trains will run every 20 minutes on nights and weekends while only one tube is open and riders will start seeing fewer trains at 8 p.m.—a tunnel will close for work to begin by 10 p.m.
But the MTA did not have concrete answers for several other major questions—including will there be HOV lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge, a 14th Street busway, station metering at some L train stops, what are the details of the new contract with Judlau, who will be the board’s independent consultant, how much it will all cost, and what will be the repair timeline?
The lack of answers was a reminder that no one was prepared for the abrupt changes made to the years-in-the-making L train shutdown.