New York City ‘L’ Train To Shutdown For 18 Months In 2019

NYC residents are gearing up to take yet another L when it comes to the public transit system. This morning (July 25), the MTA announced that the popular L train will be shutdown for repairs beginning in 2019. The repairs stem from damages done during Hurricane Sandy back in 2012. The construction for the tunnel is expected to take 18 months. Officials say this is one of the biggest disruptions in service in the transit system’s history.

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An estimated 225,000 riders take the L train, which runs from Brooklyn to Manhattan, across the east river every day. The displaced riders will have to find a new way to get to their destinations. The authority is weighing options before making an announcement. Possibilities include, adding another subway service to a close-by line, or a new ferry and bus system.

L Train
CREDIT: The New York Times

New York City’s first deputy mayor, Anthony Shorris, released a statement regarding The Canarsie Tunnel’s closing.

“While we recognize the need for the M.T.A. to perform these important repairs and upgrades, we are deeply concerned that it would announce an 18-month shutdown of this critical service without a clear plan or a commitment of resources for mitigating the impact of this closure on hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers,” Mr. Shorris said. “Well before this shutdown occurs, New Yorkers deserve clarity from the M.T.A. on how it intends to minimize inconvenience and keep people moving throughout the duration of the construction.”

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The federal government is expected to finance most of the $800 million dollar improvement plan with Sandy relief funds. It appears the public is on board with the complete shutdown for 18 months, rather than the other option, which was to close a portion of the service at a time. That option was expected to take three years to finish in it’s entirety.

A survey from Riders Alliance, found that 77 percent preferred the year and a half reconstruction.

Check out some reactions from L train straphangers after hearing about a potential shutdown of the line.