Alternate Service during L-Pocalypse via Free Williamsburg

As we reported earlier this week, the MTA has taken a glacial approach to coming up with an alternative transit plan for commuters who will be affected when L train service between Manhattan and Brooklyn shuts down for 15 months beginning in April 2019. But, lo and behold! It’s here! The MTA’s transit plan.

The big fix? Busses and bike lanes.

  • The MTA plans to create a dedicated “busway,” and upgrade Select Bus Service along 14th street.
  • While the DOT refuses to designate bus lanes on the Williamsburg Bridge, the outer-deck of the span will be a dedicated HOV3+ lanes at rush hour, catering to busses, trucks and vehicles making right turns.
  • Bike traffic is expected to double, so 13th will feature Manhattan’s first two-way protected crosstown bike lane.
  • There will be new pedestrian space around Union Square, and bike parking on University Place
  • Delancey Street will get a protected bike link to the Williamsburg Bridge.

But, the MTA estimates that 80% of the 225,000 riders who take the L between Manhattan and Brooklyn every day will seek alternate subway routes, and thereby turn to the G and J/M/Z trains (oy!).

  • Commuters can expect increased service on those lines, as well as higher capacity G and C trains.
  • There will also be free MetroCard transfers between the Broadway G and the Lorimer and Hewes JMZ trains.
  • Free transfers will also be available between the 3 train at Junius St. and the L at Livonia Avenue.
  • On the weekend, and overnight, the M will run to 96th Street/2nd Avenue.

Read on for information about new ferry services and street improvements! 

Here in Greenpoint, we’re used to ferry service and the MTA is ready to kick it into high gear.

  • They will be operating a new ferry between North Williamsburg and Stuyvesant Cove, where you can transfer to the M14.
  • Crosswalks by the Nassau G, as well as those along Myrtle Avenue and Broadway will be improved.
  • There will be more bike parking and pedestrian space on Myrtle Avenue and Broadway
  • Grand Street will also get a major face-life as it is expected to be a large scale bus and bike feeder to the Williamsburg Bridge

Join the Conversation


  1. Why don’t they extend the G line into Manhattan? The G is the only train line that doesn’t go to Manhattan. The new L plan in some instances will mean 2 transfers to get to the east side of Manhattan. Also, the M train doesn’t run to Court Square on the weekends.

  2. I know it’ll take a long time & mucho money, but one can dream, right? Seems like the solutions the MTA is coming up with won’t be all that great for a lot of commuters, pariticulary those who live in Greenpoint. Express bus to Manhattan might be a better option. Not looking forward to the L shutdown, for sure. Hope it finishes in the 15 month time frame!

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