Many New Yorkers finally got back to their regular commutes after Hurricane Sandy today‐well something like their regular commutes. With the subway system still not at 100 percent some subway stations this morning saw insane lines. Especially on the J/M/Z stops near Williamsburg, where commuting by the L train is already an exercise in impersonating an anchovy. And those crowds have many, including Council Woman Letitia James, wondering why the MTA isn't running an L Train shuttle "bus bridge." The answer? It just isn't that easy! But the MTA swears this will be over soon.
Councilwoman James (and many armchair civil engineers) are wondering today why the MTA isn't running a shuttle bus on the L line—since they run one so frequently the rest of the year. "The shuttle buses were very helpful in helping residents travel during the halted subway service," James pointed out in a statement. "It would be wonderful if the MTA could provide temporary shuttle service along the L and G subway lines until full service is restored. Although the G train does not extend to Manhattan, it is a vital subway line in parts of the 35th District."
And yes, it would be wonderful, but don't bet on it. First off, those shuttle buses don't organize themselves (and don't carry nearly the same number of passengers as a subway train!). Second, an MTA spokesman tells us they are aware of and are working hard to fix this problem fast:
The MTA is very much aware of the difficult commute for our customers who usually take the G and L trains, as well as the crowding at the Marcy Avenue station. Getting the G and L running again is our highest priority, and crews are working around the clock on both. Pumping the water from those flooded tunnels is only the first step; signals must be fixed or replaced and then tested, among other restorations, before we can safely start service again. We know this is an inconvenience for our customers in the affected neighborhoods, and the entire agency is focused on getting those lines running again.
So, while there likely won't be a "bus bridge" from Williamsburg to the Manhattan any time soon, fear not packed commuters. This shouldn't be your reality for much longer.