L train to undergo slew of service disruptions this week

Several initiatives will disrupt service on the L train this week. 
Several initiatives will disrupt service on the L train this week.  Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

Get ready for another week of reduced L train service.

The MTA is planning weeknight service shutdowns leading into a full weekend outage. No trains will run on the line between Eighth Avenue in Manhattan and the Brooklyn Broadway Junction stations between 10:45 p.m. and 5 a.m. from Monday, Jan. 28 through Friday, Feb. 1.

L service between the same stations will be shut down for the entire weekend beginning Friday at 10:45 p.m., with trains running again at 5 a.m. on Monday, February 4.

The closures are part of a larger series of planned service disruptions on the line announced back in October to accommodate track replacement work. The maintenance was initially billed as preparation for the L train shutdown that Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who effectively controls the MTA, recently canceled.

“We’re keeping our commitment to perform the track, switch and signal replacement work that was always part of the L Project, started months ago, and will improve reliability on the line both while the tunnel is being rehabilitated as well as far into the future after the project is done,” said MTA spokesman Shams Tarek in a statement. 

The MTA will run two shuttle bus routes to supplement the L during the overnight work and increase M14 service in Manhattan. 

One shuttle route will run between the Broadway Junction and Lorimer Street stations, making stops at each station along the way and connecting to the J and M trains at Marcy Avenue.

A second route will run in a loop connecting the L’s Bedford Avenue and Lorimer Street stations to the nearby J/M’s Marcy Avenue and Hewes Street stations, as well as the G line’s Broadway station.

There will be different alternate bus and subway service for the weekend closure.

Beyond those disruptions, the MTA will pare back service for a few hours each weekday while it trains operators. L trains will run every 12 minutes between Myrtle-Wycoff Avenues and Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway stations between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The MTA is pursuing an alternative rehabilitation plan for the L’s Sandy-damaged Canarsie Tunnel that would keep service running around the clock — albeit with significantly fewer trains running on nights and weekends. It is not yet clear when that work will begin, and some outside experts and board members have questioned whether it is a prudent alternative to a full 15-month closure.

Members on the MTA’s board have also been rankled over getting left out of the decision-making process for the Canarsie Tunnel project. The MTA has said it is confident it will move forward with its alternative rehabilitation plan, when such a change of course would typically be approved by the board because the MTA had already contracted out the work.

“I don’t see how we can make a change without the board . . . to approve this action,” said board member Andrew Saul at a board meeting last week. “For management’s sake, to take this upon themselves without the fiduciaries approving this is a really bad mistake and sets a really bad precedent going forward.”