With 400,000 daily weekday riders, the L line is the main transit route for large sections of Williamsburg and Bushwick in Brooklyn.
A full shutdown of L line service will severely impact Brooklyn residents' abilities to get to and from Manhattan on a daily basis.
After the MTA's 18-month plan announcement, Masha Burina, community organizer at Riders Alliance, applauded the decision as the best possible option.
"The MTA made the right call for 300,000 daily L train riders. But even the best option is painful for people who depend on the L train," Burina said. "The MTA and the city have to put together an aggressive, comprehensive plan to serve L train riders from all of the communities that will be hit by this closure."
A lack of information when the MTA first announced the Canarsie Tunnel rehabilitation, however, had caused fear and concern to spread rapidly throughout the communities that would be impacted, especially in Brooklyn. During a community meeting about the shutdown held at the Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg in January 2016, the group asked the MTA's representative to leave when he did not answer questions about the plans being considered or offer more details about the shutdown.
State Sen. Martin Dilan, who represents many of the Brooklyn communities that will be impacted by the shutdown, said he's spoken with business owners and residents to find out their biggest concerns.
"I'm sure many business owners are trying to figure out the economic impact," Dilan said, adding that many have expressed they want the work to be done as soon as possible and in the least disruptive way possible.
Joe Cirone, of real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, called the L and M train shutdowns a "zero-sum game." While the L train shutdown would bring more business to communities along the J, M and Z lines, it could be "devastating" for communities along the L line. In addition, a planned shutdown of the M line ahead of the L could mean a temporary displacement of dozens of residents so that the MTA can repair a section of elevated track.
Meanwhile, the Grand Street Business Improvement District expressed concerns about the negative impact the shutdown would have on the area's small businesses.
"The L train is a vital component to the Grand Street Retail Corridor and the surrounding community in North Brooklyn. We are very concerned about the impending shutdown and its potential negative impacts on our small business community," a representative for the Grand Street BID said. (Credit: Linda Rosier)