The subway line needs serious maintenance, and the MTA is talking about shutdowns that could last three years. How will people get to Brooklyn?
When you arrive in the station just as your train is leaving, you chalk it up to karma.
When your train is delayed, you grin and bear it.
When you hear about weekend repairs, maybe you hop a bus to make a connection. But when the train shuts down entirely, you're in uncharted territory.
L train riders are now being forced to contemplate this unknown, as the MTA explores options for repairing damaged subway tunnels.
The MTA says the plans aren't finalized, but options include a shutdown of the L for 18 months in both directions. Another option is to shut down the L tunnels one by one — that would mean very limited service for about three years. Confining the repairs to weekends would take even longer.
Why? Why? WHY?!?
Superstorm Sandy flooded the L train tunnels with 7 million gallons of saltwater.
"Rebuilding the tunnel will be an enormous task with significant implications for many customers," MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg wrote in an email. These repairs are "vital work," Lisberg says, to the "signals, rails, walls, conduits, cables" underground.
The MTA is still planning when the work will be scheduled, how it will be conducted, and what the MTA will be doing to get riders to their regular destinations.
Non L riders might view this as hipster comeuppance, but the spindly line, which supports 400,000 weekday riders, is more or less the only means of transit to and from Manhattan from Bedford to Canarsie. No L would be no fun.
Last week, a group of concerned citizens, including many business owners, convened at the Brooklyn Bowl with elected officials and an MTA representative to consider the fallout of a shutdown, asking why it was really necessary and what could be done if the trains really stopped. Cooler heads did not prevail.
When the MTA official explained that he was there to listen but didn't have new information, the locals kicked him out.