Could have been worse: First night of L train slowdown wasn’t too bad

Adam Warner
April 27, 2019 - 10:50 am
L train

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – The first night of slowed-down L train service went pretty well, without the massive crowds many had feared as tunnel work begins under the East River between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The MTA had prepared for the worst on Friday, even adding barriers and security. But the platforms weren't as crowded as anticipated.

"Ten or 20 minutes you wait. It's better than nothing, that's how I see it," one rider told CBS 2. 

Still there were long lines reported at the busiest stops, like Union Square: 

One straphanger shrugged off the latest round of subway work and the inconveniences that come with it.

“I’m used to it. I was born in New York, my whole life. So I’m used to taking the trains. Just gotta go with the punches, roll with the punches,” he told ABC 7.

"I think it's better than shutting it down completely. Yes, it's a little bit of a hassle, but I'll take that over not having any service," one woman said.

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Still, riders aren’t happy about the 20-minute waits to cross the East River – in fact, some just gave up last night and hailed a cab.

MTA managing director Ronnie Hakim says they’re putting extra trains on other lines to cover the L-train’s 20-minute lag.

“On the G, we’re running additional trains so our headways will be every eight minutes, instead of every ten minutes on the weekends. On the M, we’re going to extend the hours of normal weekday service into Manhattan and we’re going to go up to 96th Street and Second Avenue,” she said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told 1010 WINS that the MTA is working under a new plan and that it’s moving faster than expected.

“It’s about half the time and the tunnel never fully closes, so it’s only reduced service. So while it’s still an inconvenience, it’s a lot better than it would have been with a total closure,” the governor said.

“And they right now are ahead of schedule. I’m nervous saying that, because with construction as soon as you say that you wind up late,” he said.

Cuomo says the best case scenario is overnight and weekend closures for just over a year as work continues on the East River Tunnel damaged during Sandy.

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