The L train shutdown—sorry, “slowdown”—may not have been the epic transit disaster that many were expecting, but the next few weeks might be for L riders.
The MTA announced that it will cut overnight service on one of the L’s busiest stretches in Brooklyn—between Lorimer Street and Broadway Junction—on nights and weekends for the rest of the month, and for additional nights and weekends through the end of the year.
On weeknights, trains won’t be running from midnight to 5 a.m., but the disruption will begin at 10 p.m., when trains start running every 20 minutes between Eighth Avenue and Rockaway Parkway. On weekends, trains won’t be running at all in the stretch between Lorimer and Broadway Junction; trains will run every 20 minutes between Eighth Avenue and Lorimer Street, and every 20 minutes between Broadway Junction (on the J platform) and Rockaway Parkway.
Why are these changes happening now? The MTA says it needs access to the tracks in Brooklyn to carry out crucial fixes as part of its larger repairs to the Canarsie Tunnel.
“We’re putting the final touches on a few different pieces of the L Project, all of which require full access to the track or the station platform,” the agency says on its L Train Project website. “This includes connecting the new substations in Brooklyn to power—these are the structures that will allow us to run more L trains once the project is complete.”
According to the MTA, shuttle buses will ferry commuters between Lorimer Street and Broadway Junction, with those vehicles running “almost constantly,” as an MTA spokesperson put it to the New York Daily News.
Service will be affected for the next three weeks; for a couple of weeks in September and October; and in January.