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L train shutdown’s extra buses would be boon for Staten Island, pols say

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The vehicles can ‘stop the plague of no-show buses’ that vexes Staten Islanders daily

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Staten Island pols see an opportunity in the snafu that is the aborted L train shutdown: Borough President James Oddo and Congressman Max Rose and are calling for the MTA to reroute 180 articulated buses the agency purchased in preparation for the L train shutdown to Staten Island.

The buses were poised to make inter-borough trips between Brooklyn and Manhattan while repairs were made to the Canarsie Tunnel. In January, Governor Cuomo called off the 15-month shutdown as New Yorkers had been preparing for it, citing a “highly innovative but feasible” fix that will keep trains moving through the tunnel throughout its renovation.

In a leaked memo gleaned by the New York Post, the agency revealed it may scrap the planned bus route, minimizing the necessity for the $150 million in buses.

“If these buses are brought to Staten Island instead, they can … make buses run more frequently, and stop the plague of no-show buses” that affect the borough’s 95,000 daily riders, Rose and Oddo wrote in a joint letter to New York City Transit Authority President Andy Byford.

“Staten Islanders face a commuting nightmare each and every day,” Rose told the Post. “These new buses would make a hell of a difference. So all we’re asking is for the MTA to show Staten Island some love.”

The agency says that the Canarsie Tunnel repair plans are too in flux to commit the vehicles elsewhere just yet.