MTA Press Releases

Press Release
October 22, 2018
MTA NYC Transit Announces Additional Subway Service During 2019 L Train Tunnel Reconstruction
More Than 1,000 Roundtrips to be Added Each Week Across a Total of Seven Subway Lines; Additional Service on 7 Line was Previously Announced; M Line to be Extended to 96 St-Second Avenue on Weeknights

MTA New York City Transit today announced new details about the additional subway service that will run during the 15-month-long l tunnel reconstruction project, including more than 1,000 additional roundtrips per week across seven lines to accommodate l riders traveling between Brooklyn and Manhattan. 

“The l tunnel reconstruction project will be the most impactful Superstorm Sandy-repair work we will undertake and as such, we must ensure we have viable, reliable alternatives particularly on the subways where we can accommodate the largest number of riders,” said NYCT President Andy Byford. “We will be adding more than a thousand roundtrips each week and pushing our resources to capacity , which is also why you’re seeing so much preventative maintenance and repair work on all these lines already – we are making these lines as reliable as possible for these new service levels starting in 2019.” 

 NYC Transit expects to accommodate l riders through five of its 11 primary East River crossings, which will result in service additions on subway lines that use those tunnels or bridges as well as the G line, which connects Brooklyn riders to many cross-river lines. Altogether, NYC Transit will add 198 roundtrips each weekday and 94 weekend roundtrips on seven subway lines, pushing fleet, signal and track capacity to existing limits where feasible. This number includes the increased service on the 7 line which was previously announced in September 2018.  In order to help ensure these new levels of service are as reliable as possible, including l service which will run throughout all of Brooklyn during the reconstruction project, extensive preventative maintenance and repair work is happening on all of these lines this year, mostly during nights and weekends when ridership is at its lowest.

The alternate subway service changes during the l tunnel reconstruction project will be implemented in April 2019, along with the enhanced bus and ferry service as developed in close collaboration with NYCDOT and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The subway service changes announced today are as follows:



Subway Line



66 additional roundtrips;

Some peak trips extend to 18 Av;

Some peak trips run between Court Sq-23 St and Bedford-Nostrand Avs


62 additional roundtrips;

Increased peak-hour service;

Overnight service extends to 96 St-2 Av


16 additional roundtrips;

Trains make all stops between Bway Junction and Marcy Av;

Peak-hour skip-stop service between Jamaica Center and Bway Junction only


26 additional roundtrips


12 additional roundtrips


2 additional roundtrips


A maximum of 3 fewer r roundtrips to accommodate more peak-hour m service between Queens and Manhattan;

Queens Blvd line customers will see a net increase in train frequency;

Brooklyn r customers traveling to Manhattan during AM peak hours and Manhattan r customers traveling to Brooklyn during PM peak hours will not be affected


14 additional roundtrips


88 fewer roundtrips;

Service will run at all Brooklyn stations but not in Manhattan



Subway Line



26 additional Saturday roundtrips;

31 additional Sunday roundtrips;

Weekend service extends to 96 St-2 Av


16 additional Saturday roundtrips;

8 additional Sunday roundtrips


2 additional Saturday roundtrips;

6 additional Sunday roundtrips


1 additional Saturday roundtrip;

2 additional Sunday roundtrips


1 additional Saturday roundtrip;

1 additional Sunday roundtrip


90 fewer Saturday roundtrips;

53 fewer Sunday roundtrips;

Service will run at all Brooklyn stations but not in Manhattan



The l 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, which houses the under-river subway tracks for thel line between Manhattan and Brooklyn, was flooded with enough water to fill 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. While short-term repairs enabled NYC Transit to safely restore l service after Sandy, long-term repairs are needed to run l service without major failures.

 NYC Transit began public outreach on the l tunnel reconstruction project in 2016, with more than 100 public workshops, neighborhood town halls and meetings with community boards, elected officials, the New York City Department of Transportation and the New York City Economic Development Corporation to plan the project and proposed service mitigation, and to solicit public feedback on how best to accommodate approximately 225,000 riders who currently take the l train between Manhattan and Brooklyn and the 50,000 riders who take the l in Manhattan.

The result of the extensive public outreach was a comprehensive package of temporary service alternatives that include:

  • Additional subway service on seven lines
  • Five new high-frequency Select Bus Service routes
  • A new peak-hour limited-stop bus route between Canarsie and Crown Heights
  • Increased service on existing bus routes that link l customers to alternative subway routes
  • A new ferry service between Williamsburg in Brooklyn and Stuyvesant Cove at East 20th Street and Avenue C in Manhattan

NYC Transit continues to solicit feedback and plans to make adjustments to the alternate service plans if needed.

In addition to rebuilding the l tunnel, NYC Transit also plans to make improvements at several l stations as well as other stations that will be used by l customers seeking alternative service.

Information on thel Train Tunnel repairs, the alternate service changes and the station improvement projects are available at