Brooklyn Boro

Survey: Majority of L train riders prefer full shutdown to partial one

May 25, 2016 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Passengers pack themselves into a crowded L train in Brooklyn. AP Photo/William Mathis
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The people have spoken.


A survey of roughly 350 L train riders has revealed that 77 percent of them would prefer a full, 18-month closure of the L line, rather than a partial, three-year closure that would leave one track operating at 20 percent capacity.

The survey, which was conducted by Riders Alliance, a transit advocacy membership organization, was released on Tuesday during a press conference in Union Square.

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For several weeks, Riders Alliance reached out to residents in the 16 zip codes along the L line and asked them which shutdown option they would prefer and what other mitigations the riders would need when the line eventually closes.

Deputy Director of Riders Alliance Nick Sifuentes articulated why his organization and its members are endorsing the 18-month full closure option.

“There’s already overcrowding on the L line,” Sifuentes told the Brooklyn Eagle. “We’ve got 225,000 people taking the train from Brooklyn into Manhattan every day and all of the stations along the way are really crowded in the mornings and during rush hour. The idea that 20 percent capacity is going to be good for anybody, it just doesn’t seem to make sense or add up.

“If there’s a full shutdown, then it’s incredibly clear that the MTA has to have a really aggressive set of alternate transit options for people,” Sifuentes continued. “If they leave it at 20 percent capacity, you can imagine that there’s the argument that says, well the L train is still running, so we don’t have to do as much to make sure the people have other options.”

According to Sifuentes, the participants in his organization’s survey called for an increase in service on the subway lines that run into or parallel to the L. Those lines include the G, 7, J, M, Z, A, C and E trains.

In an article published earlier this month, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz told the Eagle that the MTA plans to improve G train service during the L train shutdown by doubling the length of the line from four to eight cars, increasing service and using more modern cars.

Sifuentes revealed that in addition to calling for dedicated bus and bike lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge, the survey’s participants also asked for increased ferry service across the East River.

In response to the survey results, Ortiz told the Eagle that “the MTA is in the midst of an aggressive community engagement process and we welcome all public input about the pros and cons of the two approaches under consideration.”


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