While Governor Andrew Cuomo's plans to reimagine the L train shutdown are still being debated (and questioned in internal MTA memos), one thing L train riders can count on is limited service from now until mid-March. That's because the MTA is continuing with its previously announced pre-shutdown shutdown, with service outages between Broadway Junction and 8th Avenue.
The L train's Canarsie tunnel under the East River, linking Brooklyn and Manhattan, was flooded and seriously damaged during Hurricane Sandy. To prepare for a shutdown—whatever that may look like—the MTA set aside a number of weekends in all of October and February and most of March to work on the tunnel. Now weeknight overnight service outages are included.
"As part of the revised L Project, we’re still moving forward on the long-term reliability improvement work we had originally planned," the MTA explains. "This includes installing brand new rail in the tunnel and along other critical sections of the L line, and preparing key switches and signals. For you, this means our track will be safer and trains will run faster and smoother, and that we’ll have the right signals to run the one-track operation come April. This work requires full track access because of how the track installation and signal work is implemented, meaning that there will be no L service between 8 Av and Broadway Junction during these weeknights."
Weeknight service will not run between 8th Avenue and Broadway Junction, Jan 28th - March 18th, approximately 10:45 PM to 5 AM, Monday to Friday. The MTA says:
- If you’re traveling between Brooklyn and Manhattan, you can take the A , F, J or M. For Manhattan L stations, you can take the M14 bus. In Brooklyn, we’re running shuttle buses along two routes: 1) -Between Broadway Junction and Lorimer St, connecting with Marcy Av J subway; 2) Loop between Marcy Av J, Hewes St J, Broadway G, Lorimer St-Metropolitan Av G, and Bedford Av.
- These shuttle buses are free and will stop at L subway stations between Bedford Av and Broadway Junction. You can also use the MYmta app for the latest trip-planning information and check out these timetables for estimated last train departures, from key stations:
Last weeknight L train, January 28-March 18 (MTA)
Weekend service will not run between 8th Avenue and Broadway Junction, all February weekends (1st-4th, Feb 8th-11th; Feb 15th-19th with extra day for Presidents’ Day; Feb 22nd-25th) Mar 1st-4th, Mar 8th-11th, Mar 15th-18th, approximately 10:45 PM Friday to 5 AM Monday. The MTA says:
- If you’re travelling between Manhattan and Brooklyn, you can take special weekend M service, A or C trains and free shuttle buses. M trains will operate to and from 96 St Q station in Manhattan. To connect with the A, C and M trains, as well as free shuttle buses for service in Brooklyn, you can use Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs and Broadway Junction stations.
- If you’re traveling in Brooklyn, the L will operate between Broadway Junction and Canarsie Rockaway Pkwy. We’ll also be running three shuttle bus routes making stops at all L stations between Bedford Av and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs: 1) Between Broadway Junction A, C, J and Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs M; 2) Between Myrtle-Wyckoff Avs M and Lorimer St (Metropolitan Av G); 3) Loop bus stopping at Marcy Av JM, Hewes St JM, Broadway G, Lorimer St (Metropolitan Av G) and Bedford Av
- In Manhattan, there will be additional M14A bus service.
Amid questions about what will happen with the new L train un-shutdown, NYC Transit President Andy Byford told Gothamist, "We are still in the very early stages of designing a customer and operational plan to serve the revised L Line project. As the person charged with safe operation of the subway, I own the risk, so I will do whatever is needed to maintain customer service and to provide adequate, reliable operations. As such, I am ruling nothing in or out on the exact nature of that plan—it will be what is required to maintain safe and viable operations—period."