01.12.16

SCHUMER: WITH MORE THAN 300,000 PASSENGERS EACH DAY, NYC’S L-TRAIN IS PACKED TO CAPACITY; CALLS ON FTA TO PROVIDE FEDERAL FUNDS FOR L-TRAIN INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADES TO IMPROVE SERVICE AND INCREASE CAPACITY

NYC’s L-Train Runs Through Rapidly Growing Neighborhoods Like Williamsburg & Bushwick; Since 1998, the L-Line Has Seen a Passenger Increase of 98 Percent; Trains & Platforms Are Often Bursting at the Seams with Overcrowding 

Schumer Calls on FTA to Include MTA’s Proposed ‘Canarsie Line Power Improvements’ Project in Upcoming DOT Budget Recommendation; $300M MTA Project Would Allow for Two Additional Trains Per Hour, Carrying an Additional 2,200 Passengers Per Hour, & New Entrances/Elevators at the Busiest Stations: 1 Avenue & Bedford Avenue 

Schumer: MTA Project to Improve Service and Expand Capacity for Uber-Crowded L-Line Should Be Fast-Tracked; FTA Must Ensure Improvements Are Funded in Upcoming Budget Request

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to ensure federal funds are budgeted for improvements along the overcrowded L train. The Metropolitan Transportation Administration‘s (MTA) proposed $300M project would increase capacity and reduce overcrowding on the L train, which runs through neighborhoods that have seen some of the largest increases in population in New York City. More than 300,000 customers use the L Train on an average weekday, an increase of 98 percent since 1998. Specifically, weekday entries at the L train’s busiest station, Bedford Avenue, have increased by 250 percent. Schumer explained that the L-line needs more trains in order to accommodate the increase in passengers. The MTA’s proposed project would add three power substations to allow for two additional trains per hour, a ten percent increase in service that could carry an additional 2,200 passengers per hour. Schumer is calling on the FTA to include the MTA’s project in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget recommendation to Department of Transportation Secretary Foxx.

“The growth in neighborhoods from Williamsburg to Bushwick to Canarsie means the L-train is literally bursting at the seams. Sometimes getting on the L-train at rush hour is harder than getting tickets for a Beyonce concert or Hamilton on Broadway. That’s why I am calling on the Federal Transportation Authority to fund the MTA’s plan to increase capacity and improve service on the L line, including adding two new trains an hour and building new entrances at the most jam-packed stations,” said Schumer. “The MTA’s improvement project will increase capacity and reduce overcrowding along the L-train, making for a smoother commute for beleaguered straphangers. The FTA should do everything possible to fast track this essential plan to improve L-train capacity and service.”

The L train’s two-track line spans 10.3 miles between 14th Street/Eighth Avenue in Manhattan and Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway in Brooklyn. The L-train travels through a number of heavily populated Brooklyn neighborhoods such as: Starrett City, Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Bushwick and Williamsburg. In Manhattan, the L-train serves Stuyvesant Town, East Village, Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, several of which are increasingly popular destinations for workers, shoppers, tourists, and more. Schumer said that over the years, the L train has seen a massive influx in passengers. The L-train has experienced a ridership increase of 27% since Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC), a signal system that allowed New York City Transit to run more trains per hour, was installed in 2007.

The MTA’s proposed project will increase capacity and reduce overcrowding on the L train. In addition to the three power substations, the proposed project will add entrances and elevators at the 1 Avenue and Bedford Avenue stations. At more than 49,000 customers on an average weekday, these two stations are the busiest stations along the L-train line. As part of the project, the MTA would install elevators at the two stations to make them fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and add new street-level entrances at both stations to make it easier to enter and exit the stations. Specifically, the MTA would construct two new seven-foot-wide street stairs on the east side of Bedford Avenue, which would be a 138% increase over current street stair capacity at the station. At the 1 Ave station, new fare control areas at Avenue A would double capacity up to the street from each platform. These improvements will help alleviate overcrowding on the stations’ platforms.

The MTA recently submitted the project for inclusion in the President’s FY17 budget. The submission is currently under review by the FTA Administrator who will then submit recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation. Schumer is urging the FTA to include the MTA’s Canarsie Line Power Improvements project in the budget recommendation. The total project cost is estimated to be $300 million, of which MTA is seeking roughly $150 million in federal funding.

A copy of Schumer’s letter to the FTA is below:

Dear Acting Administrator McMillan:

I write to urge you to include the New York Metropolitan Transportation Administration’s (MTA) Canarsie L Train improvements project in your Fiscal Year 2017 budget recommendation to Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Foxx. This critical project would increase capacity and reduce overcrowding on the L Train, which runs through neighborhoods that have seen the largest increases in population in New York City, and add entrances and elevators at the 1 Ave and Bedford Ave stations.

The L Train travels through a number of heavily populated Brooklyn neighborhoods, like Starrett City, Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Bushwick, and Williamsburg, and has grown increasingly overcrowded in recent years. The L also serves Stuyvesant Town, the East Village, Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, several of which are increasingly popular destinations for workers, shoppers, tourists, and more. More than 300,000 customers use the L Train on an average weekday, which is an increase of 98% since 1998. The L Train has experienced a ridership increase of 27% since Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC), a signal system that allowed New York City Transit to run more trains per hour, was installed in 2007. The MTA’s L Train improvement project would include adding three power substations to allow for two additional trains per hour, a ten percent increase in service, which could carry an additional 2,200 passengers per hour.

The L Train improvement project would also add entrances and elevators at the 1 Ave and Bedford Ave stations. The Bedford Ave station is the busiest station on the line, and more than 49,000 customers use the two stations on an average weekday. The MTA would install elevators at the two stations to make them fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and add new street-level entrances at both stations to make it easier to enter and exit the stations. Specifically, the MTA would construct two new seven-foot-wide street stairs on the east side of Bedford Avenue, which would be a 138% increase over current street stair capacity at the station. At the 1 Ave station, new fare control areas at Avenue A would double capacity up to the street from each platform.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. These improvements will increase capacity on a subway line that has experienced marked ridership increases, and is expected to continue seeing increasing demand, and benefit thousands of commuters.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

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