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L Train Slowdown: First weekend failure is frustrating, but not disastrous



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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

5 to 18 months.

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.

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.


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