MTA Releases a Few More Details About L Train Repair Plan

Canarsie Tunnel. MTA Photo.

Canarsie Tunnel. MTA Photo.

The MTA is dribbling out more details about the impact on commuters of the looming Canarsie Tunnel repair project.

While the governor canceled the full L Train shutdown, there will still be significant service disruptions when work begins this spring. Service cutbacks will begin at 8 p.m., as workers close one side of the tunnel at a time. As the Daily News reports, overnight service will be infrequent. You’ll only be able to catch a train to or from Brooklyn/Manhattan every 20 minutes or so.

The MTA is planning to step up service on other lines. M trains, for example, will run in the evenings up the 2nd Avenue line. As expected, the city is canceling the previously scheduled HOV3 restrictions on the Williamsburg Bridge, as well as the plan to run 100 shuttle buses an hour over the bridge.

As Streetsblog noted, transportation advocates reacted to the revised plan with dismay. A spokesperson with Transportation Alternatives said, “Mayor de Blasio’s new plan on 14th Street could be summarized in one sentence: ‘City to bus riders: drop dead.” The MTA has abandoned an earlier plan to add a dedicated busway on 14th Street, although it’s looking at increasing the frequency of the 14a bus.

State Sen. Brad Hoylman released the following statement:

Today the MTA confirmed our fears that the new L Train plan will bring little to no alternate service enhancements, the loss of the 14th Street busway, possible exit only stations at 1st and 3rd Avenues, delayed subways, and historic overcrowding. I’m extremely concerned. So far, this is not a plan that will avert a shutdown. It’s an effort to steamroll a quick fix over the public. The MTA has promised to take community input into account as it moves forward. I’m pleased to see that they are planning to expand M14A service, and I hope to see much more done to help riders. I know they will be hearing from many constituents in my district, who are being left without real options.

The tunnel rehab project is likely to start at the end of April. It’s unclear how long the work will continue but MTA officials have suggested the timeframe will be 15-20 months.