John Raskin On L Train Shutdown

Alex Silverman/WCBS 880

Advocates Call For 24/7 Bus Service On 14th Street When L Train Shuts Down

April 24, 2018 - 3:18 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A year from now, the L Train’s East River tunnel will close for 15 months of repairs – and hundreds of thousands of commuters will have a big choice to make.

As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, transit advocates want to make sure they pick the bus.

The city is planning as it is to make most of 14th Street car-free to clear it for all of the extra buses. But that is not enough, said John Raskin of the Riders Alliance.

“A key element that the mayor has to decide, is how many hours a day?” Raskin said.

As of now, the city said vaguely that the extra buses would operate at peak times. Transit advocates want to see it 24/7.

“The worst possible outcome here is that those hundreds of thousands of L Train commuters defect public transit, seeking their own private car solution,” said Paul Steely of Transportation Alternatives.

A 24/7 busway would be a new thing for New York. To the transportation activists, crisis breeds opportunity.

“So the solutions that we're proving now could be very relevant to the future of our transit system, the future of our streets,” Raskin said.

The L Train is set to be closed between Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and the terminal at Eighth Avenue and 14th Street for 15 months beginning in April of next year. In addition to the extra buses, a plan is in place calling for bike lanes, and for eliminating 236 parking spots.