State Senator Daniel Squadron is calling on the MTA to study passenger needs on the F and L trains, with an eye towards improving weekend service. As the New York Times noted in a story published yesterday, some nightlife-centric neighborhoods have seen a huge increase in weekend ridership, but schedules have not kept pace.
In a letter dated July 1 to MTA President Thomas Prendergast, Squadron asked for a review of both the F on the Lower East Side and the L in Williamsburg. The letter reads, in part:
…at some stations on the L and F lines weekend ridership is as high – or higher than – weekday ridership. Yet the trains’ schedules do not account for the higher weekend usage. I would also like to request that the MTA review weekend ridership on the L in Williamsburg and the F in the Lower East Side, with the goal of creating a schedule that is more reflective of ridership patterns. This would not just make the subway more convenient for riders. By drawing weekend visitors to these neighborhoods underground and off of surface transit, it would also improve quality of life in these areas.
Squadron is also asking the MTA to begin a comprehensive review of the L line in Brooklyn. He specifically mentioned the Bedford Avenue station, which becomes more inundated every year — but has gotten progressively worse as more people have moved into those gleaming new residential towers lining the East River.
In 2009, the MTA conducted a similar study of the F Line, at Squadron’s request, and agreed to make a variety of service improvements based on what they learned from that survey.