Service Increase Begins This Week Following Squadron's Push to Add Trains As Ridership Skyrockets
Squadron, MTA, Electeds, Community, Businesses Celebrate Win for Growing North Brooklyn
WILLIAMSBURG -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron, along with Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, State Senator Martin Dilan, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Councilmember Stephen Levin, other elected officials, community and business leaders, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, celebrated increased service on the L train, following Squadron's call to add trains on the line due to skyrocketing ridership.
Ridership on the L train has increased enormously in recent years, growing by 141 percent since 1998, while service has only increased by roughly 50 percent. Major residential growth along the North Brooklyn waterfront, coupled with increasing numbers of riders heading to and from Williamsburg and Manhattan on weekends, have compounded the problem.
Last summer, Squadron called on the MTA to review L train service in response to complaints about increasingly crowded and delayed trains, particularly on weekends when ridership has dramatically increased. In response to Squadron's request, the MTA issued a comprehensive full-line review of L train service and agreed to add additional trains by mid-2012.
The new service began yesterday, adding 7 additional round trip trains on Sundays, 16 additional peak and off-peak round trip trains on weekdays, and 11 additional round trip trains on Saturdays.
"Riders tired of crushing crowds and overflowing trains will now face L trips less likely to feel like hell. As new residents and visitors flock to North Brooklyn, this is a big step toward a subway system that works for its riders every day of the week," said Senator Squadron. "Thank you to the MTA for being so responsive to our calls and working with us to make this improvement a reality, and to my colleagues for their continued advocacy."
“Expanding L Train service will mean more transportation options for commuters and greater convenience for residents of this community and the neighborhoods served by this transit line,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez.
"I am very pleased to see the MTA's efforts to make the L-Train one of the most advanced subway lines in the city have finally paid off for the riders. Northern Brooklyn has seen great residential growth over the last decade and that has put a great strain on the system - felt most noticeably by Brooklyn's westernmost L-Train riders. The addition of 16 trains at peak weekday times, along with additional weekend trains, will certainly go a long way to make this ride more comfortable for thousands of my constituents who ride into Manhattan on a daily basis," said State Senator Martin Dilan, who represents Williamsburg and Bushwick.
"This increase in service is long overdue," said Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D-North Brooklyn). "Straphangers who use the L train have had to endure overcrowding for years because the population of Williamsburg and Greenpoint has steadily increased while the number of trains and frequency of L train service has stagnated. The increase will bring some much needed relief to L train commuters."
“The communities served by the L line are among the fastest growing neighborhoods in the city, and residents, artists, merchants and visitors to those areas of Brooklyn have long had to endure packed trains and service disruptions due to construction," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "I applaud the MTA for stepping up service and hope that it will cut down on the waiting times and overcrowding that riders have had to face every day.”
"The additional train service along the L line is a significant improvement for North Brooklyn's growing neighborhoods. I would like to thank the MTA for acknowledging the overcrowding problem and for taking steps to fix it," said Councilmember Stephen Levin. "While we still have work ahead of us to ensure that Williamsburg and Greenpoint have adequate transportation options, the sixteen extra roundtrip trains on weekdays will make everyone's commute a little more comfortable."
“We’re very happy that our investment in communications-based train control allows us to run more trains on the L line to serve these rapidly-growing Brooklyn neighborhoods,” said Lois Tendler, Vice President of Government and Community Relations at MTA New York City Transit. “This will relieve crowding, improve service and make our L train service even more attractive.”
"Like my neighbors, I am unable to squeeze onto packed rush hour L trains on a nearly daily basis," said Lincoln Restler, State Committeeman for the 50th Assembly District. "This significant increase in L train service will offer essential relief to North Brooklyn residents."
"This increase for the L line is long overdue and could not come at a better time with the demand in ever growing ridership. It not only adds to the quality-of-life for local residents but provides an additional measure of safety on the platforms and for passengers affected by crowding during the high demand rush hours," said Christopher Olechowski, Chair of Brooklyn Community Board No. 1.
"It doesn't get much better or more crucial than this! Huge thanks to State Senator Squadron and his staff for listening, studying, working with the MTA and improving our L train service," said Charley Ryan, founder and proprietor of Brooklyn Bowl.
"EWVIDCO and the Northside Merchants Association are grateful to Senator Squadron and the MTA for their work on this important issue," said Caitlin Dourmashkin, Director of Planning and Community Development at EWVIDCO. "Increased service on the L Line will mean shorter commutes and better transit access for the North Brooklyn community, and the thousands of people who live, work, and play here."
Media Contact: Amy Spitalnick, 212-298-5565