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RoadifyDan

What to do About L train over-crowding?

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It's definitely the most underserved subway route in all of NYC. I figured the people here might have some good suggestions on possible solutions? No, de-hipsterfying is not an option...this is practically every AM: 357182731.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1311779628&Signature=t6RqVGqK1nujs1oZkhkr%2F9b1zEY%3D

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The L-line as the most under-served line in the city - is a very debate-able point.

 

Is this the case where it might seem (but also might not be the case) that the grass seems greener on the other side of the transit map?

 

Just wondering.

Mike

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It's definitely the most underserved subway route in all of NYC. I figured the people here might have some good suggestions on possible solutions? No, de-hipsterfying is not an option...this is practically every AM: 357182731.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJF3XCCKACR3QDMOA&Expires=1311779628&Signature=t6RqVGqK1nujs1oZkhkr%2F9b1zEY%3D

 

I would say that the line is underserved to a degree esp. with all of the track work being done all of the time. The problem is that while the service has improved, the growth on the line has skyrocketed to the point that it is becoming very difficult for the (MTA) to keep up. The new fast ferry service put in by the city in Williamsburg was a start because what is needed is other fast alternatives to the subway along the (L) line in the "hipster" areas (i.e. Morgan Ave, Williamsburg, Bushwick, etc.). It is simply too much demand too quickly.

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I would say that the line is underserved to a degree esp. with all of the track work being done all of the time. The problem is that while the service has improved, the growth on the line has skyrocketed to the point that it is becoming very difficult for the (MTA) to keep up. The new fast ferry service put in by the city in Williamsburg was a start because what is needed is other fast alternatives to the subway along the (L) line in the "hipster" areas (i.e. Morgan Ave, Williamsburg, Bushwick, etc.). It is simply too much demand too quickly.

Right - it's only underserved in proportion to the population, and yes this is due to the explosion in popularity of the "hipster" areas that you mentioned.

 

I like the new ferry a lot - tough part is the $4 price tag as compared to the $2.25. After riding it myself, it's totally worth the extra $1.75, but will others share similar P.O.V's? Maybe...Also, since it runs every 20-30 mins as opposed to practically 5 for the L, will people adjust to a more scheduled approach to commuting? Hopefully...

 

Does it make sense for a cross borough bus for these areas?

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The MTA admits:

 

Until CBTC is fully implemented and way-side signals are removed, service frequency during the peak hour cannot be increased on the (L) line and train loads will continue to exceed NYC Transit's loading guidelines from 8:00 to 9:00 A.M.

 

http://mta.info/mta/news/books/pdf/110627_1000_Transit.pdf ; PDF page 125

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Good thing that CBTC should reduce headways to 2.3 minutes from its current capacity of 4, or a 73% increase in trains and to that extent capacity.

 

Haha, yeah, OK. Keep drinking the kool-aid.

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Right - it's only underserved in proportion to the population, and yes this is due to the explosion in popularity of the "hipster" areas that you mentioned.

 

I like the new ferry a lot - tough part is the $4 price tag as compared to the $2.25. After riding it myself, it's totally worth the extra $1.75, but will others share similar P.O.V's? Maybe...Also, since it runs every 20-30 mins as opposed to practically 5 for the L, will people adjust to a more scheduled approach to commuting? Hopefully...

 

Does it make sense for a cross borough bus for these areas?

 

It most certainly will. It is already exceeding expectations in terms of ridership. You have plenty of folks in Northern Williamsburg and those areas that can afford it and quite frankly would prefer to take the ferry rather than the subway. Some areas are also considering running their own transportation (i.e. express bus service to Manhattan, etc.)

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Haha, yeah, OK. Keep drinking the kool-aid.

 

Yeah, the Kool-Aid that the MTA's goal is to get 26tph instead of the current 15. That's just the math.

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It most certainly will. It is already exceeding expectations in terms of ridership. You have plenty of folks in Northern Williamsburg and those areas that can afford it and quite frankly would prefer to take the ferry rather than the subway. Some areas are also considering running their own transportation (i.e. express bus service to Manhattan, etc.)

By "their own transportation" would this mean smaller, privately owned transit companies to serve this area?

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Yes, the (L) is packed, but there are excellent alternatives available especially with the (M) now serving Midtown directly (including 14th Street). The (J),(A), and (C) are also reasonable and effective substitutes.

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Good thing that CBTC should reduce headways to 2.3 minutes from its current capacity of 4, or a 73% increase in trains and to that extent capacity.

 

The problem with that way of thinking, (73% increase,), is terminal capacity. At either end of the line you would create bottlenecks at the terminals in the rush hours. Believe it or not the only lines where you could theoretically pull off something akin to that theory would be Brooklyn Bridge on the (6) and the old South Ferry station on the (1). In other words you would need a loop station with no crew change to make it run smoothly. Otherwise you end up with trains stacked up from end to end on a two track line like the (L).

Edited by Trainmaster5

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the L is not underserved. the L has plenty of service compared to some other routes.

 

besides the MTA spends more than enough $$$ on the L anyway, spread the love to some other lines that actually need it...

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By "their own transportation" would this mean smaller, privately owned transit companies to serve this area?

 

Uh huh... Many of the new complexes that are being built are trying to come with this feature because you're going to have all of those old factories being turned into condos with loftstyle living and of course a huge spike in the population as more of them are completed. You're basically talking about blocks upon blocks of industrial space becoming residential and for that the (L) train will not be able to hold up.

 

Like I said the (L) is basically at capacity now and based on the population surge you can make the argument that folks along the (L) are underserved based upon the amount of trains to the amount of passengers, even though the frequencies on that line are excellent. I've taken the (L) over by Morgan Ave (I have friends that live over there) to go back to Manhattan and there are trains running every 15 - 20 minutes at 02:30 in the morning. Not bad at all.

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Yes, the (L) is packed, but there are excellent alternatives available especially with the (M) now serving Midtown directly (including 14th Street). The (J),(A), and (C) are also reasonable and effective substitutes.

 

 

While i agree the (M) should be used more with direct service to Midtown, majority of the 'hipsters' are not going to "Wall Street' or Mid Manhattan CBD.

The majority of so called "Hipsters' install are traveling to either the 14th Street area or the Greenwich Village/Lower East Side area including NYU and Cooper Union.

 

 

As someone that lived for 6 months in late 2004/early '05 right off the Melrose (L) stop it was filled with hipsters. While the (L) weekdays has good service running every 3-5 minutes during the rush, the first poster i think was addressing the lack of alternative service particuarly on weekends during "G/O's.

 

 

Thus I do think that a new bus line running at least between the Northern end of Williamsburg (near the Bedford (L) station)and East Midtown termnating around 34th Street/3rd Ave via the Midtown Tunnel when the fiscal crisis ends should be created.

It similar to a bus line proposed by former (MTA) Chair Sandler proposed running via the Midtown Tunnel between Northern part of Williamsburg and East Midtown.

 

Also a bus similar to the old (B39) via the Williamsburg Bridge running along the (M8) route should also be created. That for another chat though.

 

Point is Roadiedan has a good argument in that another bus route connecting Greenpoint/Willaimsburg and Manhattan whether a revised (B39) or a new route via the Midtown Tunnel or both should be created when funding becomes available.

When the (L) is not running nearby lines mainly the (J) and (M) can become crushloaded and the alternative options especially in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint/Bushwick areas are limited.:P

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The problem with that way of thinking, (73% increase,), is terminal capacity. At either end of the line you would create bottlenecks at the terminals in the rush hours. Believe it or not the only lines where you could theoretically pull off something akin to that theory would be Brooklyn Bridge on the (6) and the old South Ferry station on the (1). In other words you would need a loop station with no crew change to make it run smoothly. Otherwise you end up with trains stacked up from end to end on a two track line like the (L).

 

The CBTC number is lower on the (L) for that exact reason. The Lex can handle 30tph because of the City Hall loop. While it comes close to that in regular service, approaching overall capacity reduces speed and is more prone to the domino effect of one slightly delayed train messing up the line for everyone else. CBTC would make those trips more reliable by automatically calculating ideal train spacing and increasing speed, not upping overall tph numbers. 26tph would be near the Canarsie Line's theoretical capacity. Would I prefer having pocket tracks to hold an extra train at terminals? Of course, but that's not happening.

 

the L is not underserved. the L has plenty of service compared to some other routes.

 

besides the MTA spends more than enough $$$ on the L anyway, spread the love to some other lines that actually need it...

 

I actually agree; anyone who moves to Williamsburg knows full well that the (L) is insane during rush hour. It's why I take no sympathy from people who move there or the Upper East Side.

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I feel sorry for people who think that they're entitled to personal space on rush hour subway trains. Hipsters need to deal with their overcrowded (L) trains or find an alternative. I don't find overcrowding to be a big issue as one should EXPECT it when riding a heavily used subway system like this.

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One could make a pretty good case the Rockaways being the most underserved (or the Lex for that matter, or the (2) line Northbound). All because one can't fit on a train midway through the route in rush hour doesn't mean its underserved, there are many places in the system where one can't fit into a train.

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One could make a pretty good case the Rockaways being the most underserved (or the Lex for that matter, or the (2) line Northbound). All because one can't fit on a train midway through the route in rush hour doesn't mean its underserved, there are many places in the system where one can't fit into a train.

 

I feel sorry for people who think that they're entitled to personal space on rush hour subway trains. Hipsters need to deal with their overcrowded (L) trains or find an alternative. I don't find overcrowding to be a big issue as one should EXPECT it when riding a heavily used subway system like this.

 

The problem is that the line is basically running at capacity or very close to it. There is just too many people moving there too quickly, so these folks will have no choice but to find alternatives. I don't think anyone is complaining about the train service, but rather what alternatives can be put in place to deal with the overcrowding? There will be more condos and apts opening up soon and simply not enough trains to service everyone even with the trains running just a few minutes apart.

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The problem is that the line is basically running at capacity or very close to it. There is just too many people moving there too quickly, so these folks will have no choice but to find alternatives. I don't think anyone is complaining about the train service, but rather what alternatives can be put in place to deal with the overcrowding? There will be more condos and apts opening up soon and simply not enough trains to service everyone even with the trains running just a few minutes apart.

 

The Lex is packed with one local and two express services and the UES is still growing. The difference is that people who move to the UES know full well and admit that their commutes will suck. You can say all you want that the M15 is an "alternative" but it really isn't. But hey, you think this is bad, try London where you'll be squeezed into a train that many people are taller than or Tokyo with white-gloved men to push you in as the doors are closing.

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26tph would be near the Canarsie Line's theoretical capacity. Would I prefer having pocket tracks to hold an extra train at terminals? Of course, but that's not happening.
They already have a spur track at 8th Ave. and they could get a little more capacity if they connected it to 6th Ave. so some trains could drop out there and go back.

That would alleviate some of the backup that already occurs there.

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The Lex is packed with one local and two express services and the UES is still growing. The difference is that people who move to the UES know full well and admit that their commutes will suck. You can say all you want that the M15 is an "alternative" but it really isn't. But hey, you think this is bad, try London where you'll be squeezed into a train that many people are taller than or Tokyo with white-gloved men to push you in as the doors are closing.

 

Thanks. There are so many other crowded systems out there. New Yorkers should get a life and stop complaining about crowds. People should EXPECT big crowds, especially (4),(5) and (6) riders.

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Thanks. There are so many other crowded systems out there. New Yorkers should get a life and stop complaining about crowds. People should EXPECT big crowds, especially (4),(5) and (6) riders.

 

No one was complaining about overcrowding. It is accepted, but the point was that alternatives are needed in the neighborhood just like on the Upper East Side. You can only run so many trains and only fit so many people into one car.

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They already have a spur track at 8th Ave. and they could get a little more capacity if they connected it to 6th Ave. so some trains could drop out there and go back.

That would alleviate some of the backup that already occurs there.

 

Agreed. That or extend the (L) to a multi-track station with tail tracks somewhere on the West Side that can turn trains quicker and more efficiently than 8th Avenue with its in-station bumper blocks. Every time I take the (L) to or from 8th Avenue, trains are backed up waiting to get into the station. Wasn't CBTC supposed to help reduce all the delays getting into and out of 8th?

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How about this. Rebuild the section of tunnel between Bedford Avenue, and Jefferson Street as an almost straight 4 tracked tunnel that would allow for express service on the Canarsie Line. Besides those curves are sharp and they are only a hassle for the T/O's that operate on the (L).

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