After the L train's meltdown on Friday morning, the line went into its regularly scheduled weekend of reduced service for tunnel work, only to return with another round of delays on Monday morning. L train riders were once again greeted by extensive (and ongoing) delays, dangerously packed platforms, and yet more silence from the MTA about the line's terminally broken countdown clocks. Maybe we all just go back to bed and try again tomorrow?
"I had to wait an hour to get on a train," said commuter Jake P, a Williamsburg resident who was trying to get on an L around 8:30 a.m. at Bedford Avenue. "You couldn’t even leave the platform—people were crowding all the way up the stairs. Not only is it physically dangerous, but the mental toll this takes, every week, is exhausting."
Magnifying the exasperation, riders were kept in the dark about when the next train was actually coming—0 minutes, according to the flashing countdown clocks—and about the cause of the delays. "What was infuriating was the MTA saying that there was a train with brakes activated at Bedford," fumed the rider. "I was standing at Bedford for an hour, and there was no train there."
Jake P. said it took him over an hour to finally get on an L train, at 9:40 a.m.
This is a bold faced lie!!! It’s not “some delays”.....it’s EXTENSIVE delays disrupting everyone’s Monday commute. Do better.
— jakey (@jakep211) May 13, 2019
WTF is wrong with the L train today. @MTA . 3 Rockaway trains have passed thru Jefferson, 0 Manhattan bound. Can we fucking NOT on this here gloomy Monday. My emotions are already a wreck from #gameofthrones
— Vanna (@VannaChin) May 13, 2019
The L train (which has CBTC) has me really questioning Andy Byford's promise that modern signals are the solution to most our transit problems. @NYCTSubway no trains and a dangerously crowded platform. pic.twitter.com/bL9uASVGSi
— Eric Butler (@codebutler) May 13, 2019
A spokesperson for the MTA, Shams Tarek, told Gothamist that the chaos was caused by two separate issues this morning—a train that stopped communicating with the signal system at Wilson Avenue; and an emergency brake activation on the Manhattan-bound track between between Lorimer and Bedford Avenue.
Despite some riders' speculation, Tarek told Gothamist that the brake activation was most likely not related to ongoing construction in the L train tunnel, which will limit service on nights and weekends for the next 15 or so months. Still, following the repeated assurances from Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA that the L would work fine during rush hour, recent days have not inspired confidence.
This is the third AM rush in a row with issues on the L Train. The email notification classifies this as “debris on tracks,” so it’s quite possible this is construction-related. https://t.co/HRL0VWfQba
— Chris O'Leary (@ohhleary) May 13, 2019
Some trains did seem to be running again by about 9:30 a.m. After spending close to 30 minutes waiting for a train at Bedford Avenue, Ellie Rountree tells Gothamist she was able to escape the packed platform onto a Manhattan-bound train.
"Made it to Union Square, but the 4/5/6 are having delays?" she reported. "Fml."
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