NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With major repair work on the L train tunnel under the East River beginning next weekend, MTA officials hit the streets to inform riders about the long stretch of service cuts.
“Weeknights yeah and the on weekends as well.”
Brooklyn resident and regular L train rider Amanda Guest had her questions answered face-to-face by an MTA employee this weekend.
She’s not looking forward the long-awaited L train slowdown that begins on April 26.
Initially envisioned as a complete shutdown, the pain of fixing the Canarsie tunnel – badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy – was overhauled by Gov. Cuomo and engineers who say they found a way to do repairs while keeping the line alive for riders.
But there will be service reductions.
Guest told CBS2’s Dave Carlin there is one thing that has her feeling grateful.
“The most important thing to me is the morning commute, which is already crowded, but won’t be affected as far as I can see from this.”
Getting to work in the morning rush should be unchanged. In the evening and on weekends however, service reductions with 10 to 20-minute waits are expected.
New daily delays commuters must endure for as long as 15 months.
Alternative routes are being pushed by MTA leaders who met riders at two L train stops Saturday.
“Look at where the M goes, look at where the G goes, look where the number 7 goes, we’re adding service to those lines,” MTA managing director Ronnie Hakim urged riders.
The MTA says the amount of construction dust and debris is greatly reduced with the new plan.
The MTA said engineers know how to reduce demolition by 93 percent.
That dust levels will be monitored and filtration units used to capture dust particles. So construction can proceed with service reductions instead of the originally planned shutdown.
“I’m definitely looking forward to the construction being over,” Manhattan resident Cook Carter said.
New MTA chairman Patrick Foye handed out brochures on the L train related work at the Lorimer stop in Brooklyn.
He was left on his own to speak for the vacationing Transit Authority president Andy Byford regarding about published reports that he and Gov. Cuomo have a damaged relationship that might prompt Byford’s resignation.
Foye said the reports are not true.
“To suggest an actual rift between Governor Cuomo and Mr. Byford… I don’t believe that’s the case. I think the governor wants to improve the subways, the service that the MTA provides. So does Byford.”
“Everything is fine. The governor and Andy are partners,” Ronnie Hakim added.
Byford released a statement saying he loves his job and will remain for the very long haul.
To keep track of the L train service changes each day, click here.