L train will see more service cuts this fall for station accessibility projects

More slowdowns are coming to the L train. Photo Credit: Todd Maisel

The temporary disruptions are needed for the MTA to complete accessibility projects at two stations.

More slowdowns are coming to the L train.
More slowdowns are coming to the L train. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Nicholas Hunt

Get ready for L train service disruptions on top of L train service disruptions.

With the L train “slowdown” in full effect, the MTA on Wednesday announced further service reductions and changes for a weekend in September as well as several weeks in the fall. The disruptions will allow the MTA to move ahead with accessibility projects at two stations — Union Square and 14th Street-Sixth Avenue. The department announced the news just nine days before the recent round of service changes gets underway.

“These are projects that are separate from the Canarsie tube projects … but they do have significant improvements to mobility,” MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber told members of the press during a briefing Wednesday.

During the second weekend of September, there will be no L train service in Manhattan as well as a significant portion of Brooklyn. L trains will run only from Canarsie to Broadway Junction ‪beginning Friday, Sept. 13 at 10:45 p.m. through Monday‬, Sept. 16 at 5 a.m. Trains that weekend will run every 10 minutes during the day and 20 minutes overnight.

Then, for about three to five weeks in October and November, L trains will cease serving the Eighth Avenue and 14th Street-Sixth Avenue stations in Manhattan during nights and weekends. The L will instead run from Union Square to Canarsie during those off hours. The same slowdown-level of service will be in place — that’s 20-minute waits between Lorimer Street and Union Square and 10-minute waits for the rest of the line in Brooklyn.

The MTA also warned that it might have to bypass Union Square at times to accommodate the work. Officials said the L train tunnel rehabilitation is still moving along on schedule, with the goal of wrapping up in the summer of 2020.

The additional service changes will allow the MTA to work on a project that will bring a new escalator down to the L platform at Union Square.

At the 14th Street-Sixth Avenue station, the MTA will add wheelchair access to the L platform, though full accessibility to the 1/2/3 and F/M platforms will have to wait for funding in the MTA’s next 2020-2024 capital plan.

For L riders, the MTA plans to install two elevators from the street to the station mezzanine and another two elevators from the mezzanine to the platform. Related work is scheduled to occur between December 2020 and December 2022.

An MTA spokesman said the L platform escalator should be operational sometime in 2020. 

Vincent Barone