2007-10-25 / Top Stories

Transit Authority To Increase L Train Service In December

Subway riders who rely on the Canarsie L Line should notice more elbow room and more frequent service starting in December. Service is being increased on weekdays and weekends. Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief executive Elliot Sander says the agency is adding 23 new round-trip runs per weekday on the L line, 30 on Saturday and another 34 on Sunday - the most service added to a single line in recent years. An increase of ten more round trips on weekdays is slated for the No. 7 Flushing line.

The changes correspond to unprecedented ridership growth on these lines and address one of the top priorities from the Rider Report Cards on each line. Ridership has jumped by 48-percent on the L since 1998. When asked, riders on both lines who responded to the Rider Report Card rated "adequate room on board at rush hour" as their top priority for improvement.

MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot G. Sander said, "We have responded to this demand and listened to our riders by investing in significant service improvements on both lines, especially during peak periods when trains are the most crowded."

Service on the L line, which runs between Rockaway Parkway in Canarsie and Eighth Avenue and West 14th Street in Manhattan and has been in service on its current route since 1931, is being added to respond to a larger than anticipated growth in ridership on the line. During the weekday morning rush hour, L trains will run approximately 3.5 minutes apart, instead of every four minutes. Manhattan-bound train trips will increase from 15 train trips to 17 train trips, a 13.3-percent increase in service. In addition, two trains are being added to the schedule during the "shoulder hour" between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. During the midday time period, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., L trains will run every six minutes apart instead of every eight minutes. In the evening hours, between 8 p.m. and midnight, L trains will run every five to 10 minutes apart instead of every six to 12 minutes.

"The Canarsie Line has seen a substantial growth in ridership since 1998, but the old signal system prevented us from adding the amount of service necessary to meet demand," said Roberts. "With the addition of more equipment on the line in the form of new R160 cars, and the completion of Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) signal installation, we can finally provide relief for our riders - especially in Williamsburg and Greenpoint where ridership has grown the most."

Like riders on the 7, L riders who responded to the Rider Report Card also asked for more frequent service. On Saturday, midday L service will operate very five minutes apart between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., at all other times service will run every six to 15 minutes apart. On Sunday, L trains will operate very six minutes apart between noon and 9 p.m., and every eight to 12 minutes apart at all other times.

These schedule changes will cost $2.6 million per year, and are scheduled to take effect in mid-December.

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