FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2016
Nick Sifuentes, firstname.lastname@example.org, 646-600-8329
Riders Alliance Survey Reveals 77% of L Train Riders Want Full Closure Over 18 Months; Riders Call for City, MTA to Take Aggressive Measures on Alternate Transit During Shutdown
Hundreds of L Train Riders Weigh In Calling for Increased Subway and Bus Service, New Bike and Ferry Options During L Train Shutdown
Riders Alliance Sends Request to MTA to Choose 18-Month Shutdown Option
New York – After collecting hundreds of responses from L train commuters, the Riders Alliance announced today that 77% of respondents who live along the L train prefer a full shutdown of the L train through the Canarsie tunnel for eighteen months, as opposed to a three-year partial shutdown that would leave the L running at 20% of capacity. At the same time, the Riders Alliance released a letter to the MTA endorsing the 18-month shutdown option and asking the MTA to consider survey respondents’ preferences for increased public transit during the repair period.
Hundreds of riders weighed in with recommendations for various public transit options to ensure commuters can still get to and from work, school, and home, including:
- Increased service on lines that feed into or run parallel to the L, including the G, the J and Z, and the A and C.
- Dedicated bus lanes along 14th in Manhattan and along the Williamsburg Bridge to compensate for service across the East River
- Expansion of CitiBike and dedicated bike lanes along the Williamsburg Bridge
- Increased ferry service across the river.
Following today’s press conference, the Riders Alliance and the Regional Plan Association are launching a Twitter campaign, using the hashtag #fixtheL, to collect ideas from riders about how the L line and its stations could be improved during the shutdown.
Riders pointed out that a shutdown will have a tremendous impact on neighborhoods already straining under current public transit options. According to MTA data, the L has seen tremendous growth, with ridership tripling since 1990. Currently, over 225,000 riders travel from Brooklyn to Manhattan daily, and an additional 50,000 use the L to travel within Manhattan.
“On a good day, the L train is nearly filled to capacity whenever I leave for work, be it 7:30 or 10:00 in the morning. When there is even a minute delay, the trains are packed, uncomfortable, and slow. An unmanageable number of people commute on the L train. The MTA will have to employ multiple options for transporting commuters, including high-frequency buses on dedicated bus lanes across the Williamsburg bridge and buses from Williamsburg through Queens across the 59th Street bridge as a bare minimum,” said Alexis Saba, Riders Alliance member and L train rider.
The Riders Alliance was joined today by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, the L Train Coalition, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, the Regional Plan Association, and NYPIRG’s Straphangers Campaign. Advocates spoke in favor of robust public transit options during the shutdown.
“The L Train Coalition hopes the MTA seizes the opportunity now to make improvements to the system to the best of their ability, such as opening currently-shuttered exits along related lines and increasing service transfer options,” said Felice Kirby of the L Train Coalition.
“A full closure provides a rare opportunity to transform the L train to accommodate the ridership demands of the future,” said Tom Wright, President, Regional Plan Association. “It would be a shame to carry out much-needed repairs to the tunnels, only to return riders to the same overcrowded, inadequate stations and infrastructure 18 months later. We look forward to working with this coalition, the MTA and DOT on both a robust mitigation strategy during the shutdown and on permanent upgrades to the L train corridor.”
Cate Contino Cowit of NYPIRG’s Straphangers Campaign said: “Today we know two things: that the Canarsie Tubes must be repaired and that riders care deeply about how those repairs will be implemented. Navigating this enormous challenge will require flexibility by the agencies and vigilance by the impacted communities.”
“Whether the L train is shut down fully for eighteen months, or operating at limited capacity for three years, the City will need to fundamentally rethink transportation in the communities losing subway service,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “The Riders Alliance survey demonstrates the strong public demand for investments in protected bike lanes, safer walking corridors and bus priority on 14th street, which will all be essential to keep New Yorkers moving during the shutdown, no matter its duration.”
Elected officials also supported the effort to make sure riders are part of the conversation around the L train closure and alternate transportation options.
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY12) said: “The L Train repairs give us an opportunity to find new ways to move people around the city. For the neighborhoods most impacted, I urge the MTA to work with the City, the community, Riders Alliance, Straphangers Alliance, Transportation Alternatives the Regional Plan Association and others to explore a broad range of solutions, including select bus service, shuttle buses, ferries, dedicated bus lanes and increased subway service. We cannot afford to allow neighborhoods along 14th Street and Northern Brooklyn to become inaccessible during construction.”
“The results of the Riders Alliance survey are precisely why we asked that L Line riders have a seat at the table as plans to repair the Canarsie tunnels take shape. Moving forward, I’m certain the same openness and transparency will guarantee that the best plan and the best ideas on how to provide alternative services during the work will be set in motion,” said Senator Martin Malavé Dilan.
“I would like to first thank the Riders Alliance and the L Train Coalition for their leadership in engaging the community, as well as the Regional Plan Association for providing their insight. Without transportation advocacy groups, riders’ voices would not be heard. The L train and Canarsie Tube closure will severely impact riders and businesses, but we must all work together to ensure the negative impact is lessened as much as possible. I look forward to continuing the discussions with my constituencies over the coming months so their opinions and suggestions can be effectively relayed to the MTA,” said Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D-North Brooklyn).
“As we make critical fixes to our city’s aging infrastructure, we must listen to our communities affected by service shut-downs. Maintenance on the L train is much needed, but will place a strain on nearby neighborhoods—and it is imperative that we work together to ease the burden. We must continue investing in our entire transportation and infrastructure system, and give commuters the transit system they deserve,” said New York City Public Advocate Letitia James.
“During the shutdown of the L train, the MTA must adopt an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to keep residents of Williamsburg, Bushwick, Brownsville, East New York, and Canarsie connected to the rest of our city,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “The MTA has the ability and the responsibility to reduce the disruption that Brooklyn residents and business owners will experience, providing a variety of alternate routes including expanded service on other subway lines, a dedicated lane for buses on the Williamsburg Bridge, and more choices for commuters who want to travel by ferry or bicycle. I urge the MTA to continue its dialogue with stakeholders from every community of Brooklyn that depends on the L train to develop a comprehensive mitigation plan, one that fulfills all of the needs unique to those communities.”
“If there’s no practical way to avoid a full shutdown of the L train, then the state and city must do absolutely everything in their power to keep the New Yorkers who depend on the L train moving,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Robust ferry service with frequency to rival the L train itself, smooth connections, increased service on alternate subway lines, a dedicated ‘L bus’, and the partial or full closure of 14th Street should all be on the table.”
“As the MTA plans this necessary work, surveys like this are incredibly helpful,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “Collecting this type of data is absolutely critical to ensure that this work has as little impact as possible on the countless residents, businesses and visitors who will be impacted. I thank the Riders Alliance, the Regional Plan Association, and the L Train Coalition for their dedication to the millions of people who use our public transportation system every day.”
The Riders Alliance is a grassroots organization of subway and bus riders, pushing for better service at affordable fares and a stronger public investment in mass transit. Visit us at ridersny.org.
Understanding what our communities along the L train need is the key to having a successful long-term conversation with the MTA. Our friends at the Riders Alliance have asked us to distribute this survey…we’d love if you took a moment to fill it out.
“We at the Riders Alliance want to hear from the commuters for whom the L is their lifeline. We hope that, in coordination with the Coalition, we can get a better sense of riders’ preferences, needs, and any creative solutions they’ve considered.”
Come to the meeting tonight to hear the latest news straight from the MTA.
Date: Thursday, May 5
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Marcy Avenue Armory
355 Marcy Ave. Brooklyn
MTA’s L train repair plans include complete tunnel shutdown for 18 months, or 3 years of single-track service
April 21st, 2016
By Ben Kabak, Second Ave. Sagas
Read the full article on the MTA’s website.
Customers who have concerns about upcoming L train work will have a chance to speak their minds. The MTA has announced the first of two public meetings to discuss future reconstruction work on the Canarsie Tunnel, which carries the train under the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan.
The first meeting will be held on Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m. at the Marcy Avenue Armory at 355 Marcy Avenue in Brooklyn. A Manhattan-based public meeting to be held later in May will be announced soon.
This post is for public consumption only and does not reflect the perspective or ideas of the Coalition.
RPA-A-New-L-Train-for-New-Yorkers (download the PDF)
March 21, 2016
The Hon. Thomas Prendergast
Chairman and CEO
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
420 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10017
Dear Chairman Prendergast,
We are the L Train Coalition; a group of commuters, engaged stakeholders, community organizations, businesses, and concerned citizens. Over 300,000 people use the L Train each weekday and it acts as the lifeline to businesses during nights and weekends. Our intent is to maintain an open dialogue with the MTA about future L train disruptions, closures and accessibilities so that the community’s voice is heard before the MTA makes any long-term service-affecting decisions. Since our first Town Hall event at Brooklyn Bowl on January 28th, we’ve learned only the following:
- The MTA hosted a meeting with local elected officials in the beginning of February and disclosed pertinent information that we believe is vital for public understanding of the situation.
- The MTA has developed a plan to engage in regular, detailed community consultation on how to proceed with necessary repairs for the Canarsie Tubes and assured our elected officials that a date would be set for a meeting with the community, preferably no later than March 2016.
- The MTA has identified federal funding for repairs. However, until there is a plan in place and committed contracts, these funds are not secure.
We commend the MTA in expending resources to improve the safety and service for its riders. In order to ensure a process that limits the negative impacts on the communities that the L train serves, the Coalition requests the following:
To have you or a representative attend our meetings and give a detailed presentation on the project including engineering, consulting, and financial aspects of the repairs, including data and photos.
The evaluation of alternative repair options and to disclose the MTA’s current strategy to the public as it becomes known.
This should include:
- The impact of service disruptions and additional transportation modes.
- The sharing of hard data and information about the repair process and the intent of implementation.
- For the MTA to designate an ombudsperson to directly communicate with the Coalition.
- To agree to have an independent engineering firm look at the data and physical condition of the tubes.
- The creation of an advisory committee to work with the MTA during the planning and implementation phases.
We look forward to engaging with the MTA throughout this project. In order for this to be successful, the MTA must have a clear understanding of how its decisions will affect the lives and businesses of everyone who uses the L train. To reach someone at the Coalition, please email email@example.com.
L Train Coalition
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
Union Square Partnership
Cayuga Capital Management LLC
North 4th Place, LLC
2 North 6th Place Property Owner LLC
Andrew Clemens & Benjamin Weiner, Ripco Real Estate Corp.
Over the Eight
Radegast Hall & Beirgarten
Steven Greaves Photography
Sunday in Brooklyn
Rob de Oude
Amy Brenner Joseph
SOHO20 Artists Inc.
Tea del Castillo