Brooklyn Boro

Getting to and from Manhattan doesn’t have to be an L of a commute, new study suggests

August 29, 2016 By James Harney Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The “East River Skyway” idea, depicted in this rendering, was publicized earlier this year in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and would connect Williamsburg to Lower Manhattan. Rendering courtesy of Daniel Levy

Ferries, a Tramway and Scooter Shares Are Offered as Alternatives After L Train Service Shuts

For the hundreds of thousands of Northern Brooklynites who fear L-ish commutes to Manhattan once the L train shuts in 2019 for 18 months of repairs, there’s hope, says a new study.

A report issued last week by researchers at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation touts such alternatives as increased ferry service, express buses over the Williamsburg Bridge, ride-share partnerships with companies such as Uber and Lyft, and scooter and/or motorbike shares, like the Scoot program in San Francisco and New York’s own increasingly popular Citi Bike system.

While citing already well-publicized ideas such as bolstering service on such nearby subway lines as the M, R, J, Z, G, E, A, Z and 3 lines, the report also insisted that “New York City policymakers have an opportunity to explore entirely new modes of transportation, including a gondola.”

A gondola, or tramway, concept, dubbed the “East River Skyway,” was publicized earlier this year in the Brooklyn Eagle and would connect Williamsburg to Lower Manhattan.

It’s the brainchild of Daniel Levy, president of the real estate website CityRealty, who envisions that it would have the capacity to transport 200,000 passengers daily in 35-to-40 passenger gondola cars that would move 5,000 passengers an hour in each direction.

“With the news of the L train shutdown, having that additional capacity over the East River in the form of this system would be hugely useful and important to Brooklyn,” Levy told the Eagle.

“The L train’s surrounding Brooklyn communities will absorb the economic impact of this tunnel closure: jobs, commutes, dining and nightlife will be affected,” the report concluded. “To mitigate the economic impacts of the L train shutdown on these neighborhoods, the NYU Rudin Center recommends that policymakers act now to institute alternative service options.”