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Audience? Big but not mysterious. The annoying levels of the initial weekend of the L-train decline? Present, but predictable.
Then the first two nights of the plan were designed to avoid the dreaded L-train apocalypse: a partial closure of the subway line carrying 400,000 riders every day of the week. The repair work, which started on Friday, means that fewer trains will run at night and weekends while the line's tunnel tunnel connects Brooklyn and Manhattan undergoing an overhaul to fix damage from Hurricane Sandy in the next 1
The work is expected to stop within 5 o'clock on Monday, but the impact on tomorrow's speed is still an open question.
Despite preconceived assumptions about long swing bars, closed station entrances and dangerously crowded platforms, the L train's first rehab weekend, as well as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, could have hoped.
Crowds grew, but then spread. Friday night hitches were leveled on Saturday. Trains run consistently, usually arriving every 20 minutes, as promised, borrowing preliminary optimism for anxious riders.
"The trains run. It's not that bad," says Melissa Lindstrom, 46, who caught a Brooklyn-bound L-train out of Union Square on Saturday night.
Weighing heavily in MTA's favor, it was almost missed with a complete closure of the transit line – A far more disruptive original plan An 11th-hour proposal by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to close each of the tunnel's pipes one at a time, and to limit the work to nights and weekends, was quickly adopted January 19, 1954.
Grazing and wrestling even gratefully thanked this weekend's most annoyed riders for avoiding the option.
"There is a great inconvenience of course," said Trell Chandler, 25, a Bushwick-based graduate student. closure would have been worse. So this is better. "
" But I'm still annoyed. "
The worst of the downturn has arrived Friday night. Trains fell behind planned arrival times, left the platforms crowded and riders late and angry. The excitement was particularly high in Manhattan, when convicts returned the work day to Brooklyn.
Matthew Ming , 35, trying to get across the river from a crowded Union Square station, which saw rush hour crowds late at night on Friday, arrivals bells did not work, many trains were late or were held at stations to let other trains pass.
Closing the tunnels too, contributing to overload and headaches.
"This is the worst train in the world," said Mr. Ming. "It's always a problem. Now I have to wait 45 minutes. They said the train delays are 20 minutes. They lie. "
Still, MTA officials seemed pleasantly surprised that the late night's opening night went off without a big hitch. Andy Byford, president of the New York City Transit, an arm of the subway and bus authority, said Friday that he was "happy" with the rollout and anticipated issues with schedules and arrival clocks that were to be resolved on Saturday, mostly he was right.
"I am grateful to New Yorkers for their patience and good humor while accustomed to the revised service , "he said on Sunday in a statement.
It was the first weekend of what will be a longer rest break for the L train its regular service. Struggles remain, and they are not all rail-related: During planning transit officers said that they were concerned that tunnel repairs could produce dangerous levels of silicon dust, an airborne mineral that can cause lung cancer. MTA has since said it is certain that the work will not pose a risk, but it has s not rejected all riders' concerns.
How riders should handle the long-term adaptation is still to be seen. The repairs are scheduled to take almost a year and a half, but a M.T.A. worker at the Bedford station said this weekend what many riders were thinking: These things never remain on the form.
Emma G. Fitzsimmons contributed with reporting.