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February 24, 2019

L train tunnel repairs will mean longer waits for nighttime straphangers

February 13, 2019
Nighttime L train riders are in for long waits when the line’s tunnel repairs are set to begin in April. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for New York Daily News)

Nighttime L train riders are in for long waits when the line’s tunnel repairs are set to begin in April.

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Service will be cut back starting at 8 p.m. weeknights for construction that will require one side of the L line’s Canarsie tunnel to close.

From 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., the L will run even slower, with trains arriving every 20 minutes both ways between Manhattan and Brooklyn instead of the usual four minutes, MTA officials said Wednesday.

“If the L doesn’t work for you, please find other subway service, because subways continue to be the most efficient way to travel,” said Veronique Hakim, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The MTA is still drafting new travel plans after a full L train shutdown to repair the Canarsie tunnel was called off in January, when Gov. Cuomo proposed an alternate plan to patch up sections along the crumbling line.

Extra trains will run on nearby lines to make up for the cuts in L service.

On weeknights, M trains will run on regular daytime service into Manhattan, up the Second Ave. line between 10 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. On weekends, G trains will run every eight minutes, instead of the usual 10. The No. 7 line will get extra service overnights on weekdays.

And a bus shuttle service will take passengers from the popular Bedford Ave. L station to Metropolitan Ave.-Lorimer St. G and L stops, and the Marcy Ave. station for the J and M lines.

“They may prefer to jump on the bus and see whether the Marcy Ave. J/M service works better for them,” Hakim said.

Meanwhile, the effort to turn 14th St. into a “busway” that limits car traffic has run out of gas — the MTA nixed the idea now that the full L train shutdown is off.

“At this point, I don’t think that’ll be necessary,” Hakim said.

Rider advocacy groups, however, want buses to be a bigger part of the travel alternatives.

“Transit riders who can’t wait for or fit on the next train will give up and take some kind of car to get where they’re going,” said Danny Pearlstein, spokesman for the Riders Alliance.

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