L Train Service to be Halted for Years

The L train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan could see suspension for more than a year for repairs and updates. Brooklyn College students that rely on the train service should expect interruptions.

When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City back in 2012, equipment in the underground stations within the MTA system were affected by damages caused by gallons of salt-water floods. Three years later, the MTA is still recovering and daily riders will feel the affect throughout the slow recovery. After Superstorm Sandy, the MTA shut down the Montague tunnel along the R train service for 18 months forcing riders to find alternative options for getting to-and-from their destinations.

Now, Brooklyn College students that live in Manhattan and rely heavily on the L train service would have to find an alternative option for getting to the campus. The MTA plans to halt service between Manhattan and Brooklyn as they repair damages to the Canarsie tubes, the repair timing is said to be 14 months or up to three years.

Daniel, a student majoring in Business Management, currently commutes between Brooklyn and Manhattan in order to get to work. “The L train is my commute to work. Once I get out of class, I take the bus to the L train and get off at 14th Street. Now, when they shut down the service how am I going to get to work?”

While many riders believe that the MTA is making a wrong decision, one student believe the MTA is making a right move. “If riders want a safe tunnel to travel in underground, then a damage tunnel needs to be repaired. No questions asked,” says Jose, a Philosophy student currently living in Bushwick. “The last thing riders want right now is a train stuck in the

Canarsie tube because of signal issues. I bet you that none of those riders would be happy.”

The question that many want answered, how will riders in Brooklyn get to Manhattan? Many of the neighborhoods that the L train service depends on the train line to connect them to Manhattan. Families in low-income areas often work in Manhattan and depend on the transportation line to and from work. Discontinuing service to Manhattan will cause families to find alternative ways, which could be longer in travel, or settle with the option of “shuttle service” that could be provided when repairs begin.

A source close to the MTA says, “To get L train riders where they need to go, the MTA is planning on increasing M train service, adding two cars to G trains, and running a system of shuttle buses.”

Shutting down service can become extremely difficult for commuters, especially for those that need it. In order to provide a fast, safe, and sufficient travel for everyone, the MTA needs to make sure that trains can operate in a safe and reliable underground environment. One of the biggest complaints of the transportation system are slow and delayed trains. Many of these delays within the system happen because of overcrowding, a sick passenger, or signal issues.

The MTA is planning to make a system wide upgrade, introducing the system to the 21st century digital age. Riders want fast and reliable service and the MTA is taking every step to make that dream a reality, and they are doing it fast. In the words of the MTA, “Get in, get done and get out.”

“I don’t like the fact they have to shut down the connection to Manhattan because a lot of people rely on the city for their every-day living, but it is for the better,” says Marissa, a film student. “Many of my friends and I use the L train to go into Williamsburg and Manhattan. The fact that the tunnel needs repair, I do not think it is safe to have a train running through it. We do not know the future and anything can happen. I do not want to experience any extreme events in New York. Fix it and get New Yorkers back to their everyday commute.”

In my opinion, Brooklyn College students can avoid the future disruption of the L train by taking alternative routes such as the 2, 5, and Q trains. The L train service will be a disruption to many and Brooklyn College students should plan-ahead to avoid the pain, headaches, crowded platforms, and packed and long travels. Students residing in Manhattan that rely on the L train for a faster travel should think of an alternative way to-and-from the campus. 

“We are going to put 30 stations all out at once, design and build a whole new station,” says Governor Cuomo. “The MTA is absolutely vital to the daily functioning of New York City, but for too long it has failed to meet the region’s growing size and strength.  This is about doing more than just repair and maintain – this is thinking bigger and better and building the 21st century transit system New Yorkers deserve. We are modernizing the MTA like never before and improving it for years to come.”

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