The L's Situation
The L train is one of the most ridden trains in New York. It serves almost 300,000 people a day, or about 100,000,000 people a year. Over the past five years the train has become even more popular, as it provides easy access to popular parts of Brooklyn. On the Weekends, Brooklyn has become a hotspot for tourists and shoppers alike, especially in places like North Williamsburg and Bushwick.
But lately, the L train has been deteriorating in terms of service. Delays are common, and the MTA has even shut down the train on the weekends for track work. Currently, the situation is bad, but it is getting better.
The situation all started in October 2012, when hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey. All over the city, there was flooding and many people lost power. I remember looking down my street and seeing waves coming up about 200 to 300 feet away from the river bank. It was scary. Fortunately, my family got lucky, and we had minimal property damage, but the L train was not as lucky.
The Canarsie Tunnel, that connects the L train route from Brooklyn to Manhattan, received major flood damage, which damaged the structure of the tunnel as well as many of the train tracks and power lines. To this day, the tunnel has a major erosion problem, which could be deadly if ignored. It had to be fixed.
The city originally decided that they would shut down the tunnel starting on April 27, 2019 for a whole year. This idea caused much outcry from the riders of the L, as many people rely on the L to go to work, or school.
People started selling homes and moving away just to avoid the headache that a commute without the L would cause. It was a nightmare.
Then, last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo decided to cancel the so called “L-pocalypse” and put in a new plan to the relief of thousands of residents.
His plan is to put in a new cable system called a racking system, which houses the cables on the walls of the tunnel instead of encasing them in a separate structure called a bench wall. The bench walls will then be encased in fiber reinforced polymer. This fix is said to last up to 40 years, but many people are skeptical, saying it will not be as permanent of a fix as the original plan. But as an everyday L train rider, I am just glad that there won’t be a shutdown.