MTA Press Releases

Press Release
October 3, 2018
IMMEDIATE
MTA Releases New Details About Temporary Ferry Service During L Train Tunnel Reconstruction Starting April 2019
Boards Approve Plans for Boats that Can Accommodate Up to 240 Passengers; Increasing Capacity by 61 Percent

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority today announced increased capacity on the temporary ferry service being provided to l train riders while the  subway line’s tunnel is closed for 15 months for repair and resiliency work related to Superstorm Sandy.  In response to feedback from customers and elected officials, the temporary service will now include 240-passenger vessels that will provide up to 61% more capacity than originally planned.

The plans, which were approved by the MTA board and the NYCEDC’s board last week, will meaningfully enhance the amount of temporary ferry service available during the l Tunnel Reconstruction Project, which starts in April 2019.  NYCEDC, the City entity carrying out the procurement process on behalf of the MTA, has selected NY Waterway to operate the service.  The temporary ferry service will be separate and distinct from NYC Ferry service, which NYCEDC also oversees. Existing NYC Ferry routes will not be altered in any way by this new temporary service that will run express from Williamsburg in Brooklyn to Stuyvesant Cove in Manhattan.

Beginning in April 2019, the temporary ferry service will transport customers between an existing NYC Ferry landing Stuyvesant Cove at East 20th St. and the FDR in Manhattan to a temporary landing located at North 6th St. in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Both landings are ADA accessible. NY Waterway will operate two vessels, with capacity for 240-passengers per trip. That figure represents a 61 percent increase from the previously planned capacity of 149-passenger vessels. In addition to this increase, a third ferry will now be fully staffed and ready for immediate use if there is any interruption in service. This will allow for an hourly capacity of just under 2,000 customers per direction.

MTA New York City Transit planners believe that the capacity planned originally for the service was enough to serve the approximate four percent of l train riders who are expected to be choosing a ferry over alternate subway or bus service, but planners have also committed to responding to local feedback, as well as actual conditions once the temporary services begin.

“We only expect a small portion of our customers to choose a ferry over the subway or bus, but we’re keeping our promise to listen to your feedback and if any aspect of our alternate service plan needs tweaking, then we will do that,” said MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford.  “I want to thank NYCEDC and NYCDOT for our close partnership as we work together to keep New Yorkers moving while we fix and fortify the l train’s under-river tunnel.”

“The closure of thel train tunnel will dramatically alter commuting routines for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.  “Along with increased subway service, alternative buses and better cycling connections, including expanded Citi Bike, MTA and DOT are working cooperatively to provide reliable travel alternatives to the l train across the East River.  Especially for commuters whose trips begin or end relatively close to the Williamsburg waterfront and the East Side, new higher-capacity ferries next year between the two communities will provide an exciting, affordable option.”

The alternate transportation options available during the l tunnel closure, which span a range of modes (subway, bus, ferry, bicycle), are designed to accommodate 100 percent of the current l train customers who will need other options when the l is not running between 8th Av in Manhattan and Bedford Av in Brooklyn.

A trip on this ferry will be priced the same way as a subway or bus trip, with a base fare of $2.75, and free transfers to other MTA NYCT services will be available to and from the ferry such that l train customers will pay a single fare for a single journey.

The ferry will operate every 7-1/2 minutes during peak hours. The full schedule is available below.

Weekday Service

Time Period

Frequency (Minutes)

Early AM (6 – 7 AM)

15

AM Peak (7– 10 AM)

7-1/2

Midday (10 AM – 5 PM)

10

PM Peak (5 – 8 PM)

7-1/2

Evenings (8 PM – Midnight)

10

 

Weekend/Holiday Service

Time Period

Frequency (Minutes)

Early AM (6 – 10 AM)

15

Daytime (10 AM – Midnight)

10

Friday/Saturday Night (Midnight – 2 AM)

15

For more information about the L tunnel reconstruction project, visit http://web.mta.info/sandy/rebuildingCanarsieTunnel.html

ABOUT THE L TUNNEL RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT

The l Train Tunnel – also known as the Canarsie Tunnel – was one of nine underwater tunnels that flooded during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, all of which required extensive rehabilitation and repair. The Tunnel was flooded with more than seven million gallons of salt water – nearly the amount of water held by 11 Olympic-sized swimming pools – and suffered extensive damage to tracks, signals, switches, power cables, signal cables, communication cables, lighting, cable ducts and bench walls throughout a 7,100-foot-long flooded section of both tubes. Bench walls throughout those sections must be rehabilitated to protect the structural integrity of the tubes. The scheduled 15-month closure of thel Train Tunnel’s two tubes begins in April 2019. More information on the L Train Tunnel repairs and the alternate service changes are available on this dedicated  MTA microsite on the project.

ABOUT NYCEDC

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.