NY MTA Upping Service On L Train To Reduce "Sardine Crush" Of Riders

Monday, June 11, 2012 - 08:11 PM

It's not uncommon for riders during the morning rush to let an overcrowded L train go on without them. (Runs With Scirssors/flickr)

(New York, NY - WNYC) Several New York City subway lines are at or above capacity. Relief is coming for some riders because of technology.

The chronically overcrowded L train, which connects Manhattan to Brooklyn's fastest growing neighborhoods, is now running 98 more times a week. The NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority just finished installing a new radio-based signal system that allows trains on the line to travel closer together and, as a result, more frequently.

Brooklyn Democratic District Leader Lincoln Restler, who joined elected officials at a press conference outside the Bedford Avenue stop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, said it's about time. "The complaint I receive most frequently about quality of life for Williamsburg residents is L train service," he said. "It is terrible. We've been unable to fit onto trains for too long."

Ridership on the L train has grown 141 percent since 1998 because of a population boom in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, the chosen enclaves of NYC's hipster set and more recently, a hub of new condo construction. It's not unusual for riders during the morning rush to let a packed train pass because there's no room to board it.

The NY MTA announced a plan to increase service on the line eight months ago, which led to a squabble with its largest union over why the new schedule would take so long to implement.

Riders will now see 16 more trains on weekdays and 18 more trains over the course of a weekend.

The MTA says, during the morning rush, customers can shave 30 seconds off their wait with trains now arriving every 3 minutes. Non-rush hour weekday riders, as well as Saturday night revelers, can expect a train every six minutes, down from 7 ½ minutes. And Sunday evening straphangers can expect a train every 6 minutes, down from 8 ½ minutes.

State Senator Daniel Squadron said those improvements should lessen claustrophobia on the line. "That means that you're going to spread out that sardine can crush. It'll still be standing room only but it'll at least get us below over-capacity."

The NY MTA said the added service will cost $1.7 million annually.


Comments [4]

Philip McManus from Rockaway Park, Queens

Our leaders in government need to wake up and support faster transportation before we lose jobs and tax revenues.
The disastrous delays and overcrowding to get to the Super Bowl by mass transit is an illustration of the crisis.

We need faster transportation options asap. We need more buses, trains, ferries, carpooling, bikes, HOV lanes, express buses to Manhattan and new buses and trains from the Bronx to Queens to Brooklyn to Staten Island.

Imagine the business and jobs created and the unity for our City.
Imagine if everyone in the City could get to any neighborhood within the City within one hour by public and private transit.

Do you think this would save time and money for everyone?

We need to use every possible roadway, highway, bridge, tunnel, waterway and unused train tracks like the Queens Rockaway Beach Line and TriBoro RX.

I refuse to exclude any transit options to get around. Everyone uses a car once in a while especially when they go shopping.

I'm a proponent of faster transportation and expanding our transit system across the region so people can be more productive at work, home, and their communities.

Thank you to Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, New York Daily News, Congressmen Meeks and Jeffries, State Senator Avella, Queens Community Boards 5 and 14 for their support of faster, better transportation.

Please ask your family and friends and commuters to sign our petitions to support the Reactivation of the Queens Rockaway Beach Line, the New Queens Crosstown, eliminate the toll on the Queens Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge for everyone and expand the Queens Rockaway Ferry:


Philip McManus
Queens Public Transit Committee


Feb. 03 2014 11:36 AM

I am not sure you know what a hipster is.

Jul. 31 2012 02:25 PM

The poor dears moving into NYC from the Mid-West, pushing out Polish and German folks who have raised families there for decades and can no longer afford to. Imagine having to stand on the L train, let alone wait 8.5 mins for the next one to swiftly carry you away to your Broadway musical and/or peticure appointment. My heart goes out the the fragile man-purse wearing hipsters and their crazy Bieber-hair styling ways.

Jun. 12 2012 05:27 PM

"Hipster" comments are inane, vacuous, and SO OVER.

Jun. 11 2012 09:32 PM

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