The MTA has heard from L Train riders in Williamsburg and Manhattan. On Thursday, straphangers on the other end of the line got their chance to weigh in on its impending shutdown. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.
The first stop was Williamsburg. Then, it was on to Chelsea.
On Thursday night, it was back to Brooklyn and the L train's eastern end in Canarsie. That's where the MTA, for the third time this month, held a public meeting to prepare riders along the system's fastest-growing line for what awaits them come 2019. That's because of massive repairs set to start in the line's Sandy-damaged East River tunnel, whose critical equipment was heavily damaged by saltwater.
"If 7 million gallons went into that tube, they need to shut that down for 18 months completely and fix it," said one person at the meeting. "It will be an inconvenience, it will impact us, but it will not devastate us."
That would be the option to cut off service for a year and a half between Bedford Avenue and the line's five Manhattan stops while crews repair the tunnel.
A second option would stretch the job across three years but keep the tunnel open with limited service that officials say would lead to more crowding.
"Who wants three years? That's a very long time," said one person at the meeting.
An especially long time for riders in the eastern end of Brooklyn to transfer to the 3 at Junius Street or to multiple lines at Broadway Junction.
"It would probably take at least two hours to get to work on time," said one person at the meeting.
"I'll rely on my own transportation rather than having to do the detour," said another.
Transit officials say that under either scenario, riders south of Broadway Junction may have longer waits between L trains but that service would remain largely the same.
"We've characterized it as near normal service," said Ronnie Hakim, president of New York City Transit.
As part of the leadup to the L repairs, the MTA will next year start structural repairs on the M from Myrtle-Wyckoff to Metropolitan Avenue.
"So yeah, those two back to back, it's going to be heck," said one person at the meeting.
But with the start of the work still two-and-a-half years away, riders have plenty of time to map out alternatives. The MTA, meanwhile, plans more public outreach before settling on its plan within three months.