L train riders, your patience, as well as personal space, will be tested for at least another three years. The NY Times reports that an additional 64 train cars that would take advantage of the "high-tech signal system" the MTA spent so much time installing won't be on tracks before January 2010. Which means that you'll have to make do with waiting for now!
Currently, rush hour trains are scheduled to arrive every four minutes (15 trains every hour). The MTA tells the Times that once the new trains are added, trains will arrive every 2 minutes 18 seconds. But for 2007, the MTA will bump up the number of trains to 17 trains an hour - you'll shave your waiting time by 30 seconds. If you can even get on the train that comes in. We found this anecdote depressing and familiar:
“I hate standing on a crowded platform, and I hate the sardine train,” said Traci Tullius, 30, a Williamsburg resident who commutes to work at Yeshiva University in Manhattan, where she teaches art.
Ms. Tullius lives closest to the Graham Avenue stop, but she said that during the morning rush the trains stopping there were so crowded that she has to let several pass before she can board. Instead, she regularly rides her bicycle three stops farther into Brooklyn, to the Morgan Avenue station, which is less heavily used.
“I ride my bike three stops in order to avoid the crunch,” she said. “It’s gross. You have to wait for four trains to go there. It’s insanity.”
How many trains do you typically wait for an L?
Only last year did the MTA admit the L was too crowded. We imagine the MTA will consider improving service to the F and G by 2012 and 2015. And be look out for the report cards where riders get to grade the subways and buses.
Photograph by isaiahlt on Flickr; we like to think the "pray" was added as a cry for better service