The L train is not doing great. Riders have been plagued by incredibly irritating service mishaps—this week alone, trains couldn't run into Manhattan during Monday and Tuesday morning rush, and there were massive delays on both lines Monday evening. Weekend and late-night service changes have been making life difficult for people with unorthodox work schedules for weeks now. And though the L might be a hipster punchline, it's also a lifeline for nearly 50,000 people on an average weekday, and both riders and elected officials are petitioning the state to step up funding to get the trains to run right.
According to the Riders Alliance, elected officials like City Council Member Stephen Levin and Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol are calling on Governor Cuomo and the state legislature to fully fund the MTA's $32 billion Capital Program, which is currently $15 billion in the red. The Capital Program funds big projects like the Fulton Center station, the extension of the 7 train to 10th Avenue, and the Second Avenue Subway.
But the bulk of the program is responsible for funding "state of repair work" that keeps service running smoothly: this includes work on switches, replacing rails and buying new subway cars. This stuff isn't as flashy as some of the more newsworthy projects, but the more rail replacements we get, the less the L will be forced to stall thanks to broken, overused track. “Every day the L train is used by tens of thousands of riders as the main mode transportation in and out of Williamsburg. People’s livelihoods are on the line, no pun intended," Lentol said in a statement. "We need to ensure that this line and others around the city are functioning properly on a regular basis so people’s lives are not interrupted."
Obviously, a fully-funded Capital Program will make life easier for more than just L train riders. "As subway ridership continues to grow past 6 million a day, fully funding the MTA's 2015-2019 Capital Program will let us renew, enhance and expand the MTA network," MTA spokesperson Adam Lisberg said in a statement.
So if you don't like seeing this shitshow on the regular, put pressure on your state representatives to stop ignoring the city's crumbling infrastructure before things get even worse. As for now, the Riders Alliance is collecting "Subway Horror Stories" chronicling everyone's miserable commutes, so feel free to share your morning and evening misery with them (or with us!)