L Train Tunnel to Get Hard Look From Amazon Cuomo Tonight

Amazon Cuomo (courtesy of Zak Seward)

Governor ‘Amazon’ Cuomo is set to tour the L train’s Canarsie tunnel on Thursday night ahead of the subway line’s 15-month shutdown between Manhattan and Brooklyn that is scheduled to start in April 2019.

While not exactly an eleventh-hour visit (pun intended), Cuomo will descend into the hurricane-ravaged tunnel flanked by ‘national and international experts’ for a photo-op around midnight.

This means some late night schedule changes on the L train tonight: the overnight schedule will begin at 12 a.m. instead of 1:30 a.m., when trains will run every 20 minutes. Regular service will resume at 1:30 a.m.

Amazon Cuomo called into WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” on Monday to dish on an array of issues facing the Empire State, including the impending L train shutdown. Read Cuomo’s meandering take on his L train visit:

“I am this week going to take a look myself at the L train. And as a project to close the tunnel that carries the L train, it would be highly disruptive for many people, of course. You want to make sure the tunnel is safe, and the train is safe. But this Thursday night, midnight, I’m gonna take a tour to make sure we are doing everything we can and explore every option to reduce any possible disruption.

I did the same thing with the 2nd Avenue subway to make sure that the bureaucracy is being flexible and open and creative. Because these are vital services; you close down the L train, they’re talking about 15 months, it creates a major problem.

The city’s worked very hard, the MTA has worked hard to come up with alternatives. But the functionality of this agency is key, and when it becomes a major situation that I can get involved in directly, like the 2nd Avenue subway…But the MTA day-to-day having the funding, to buy new trains, put in that new signal system, do the construction on time, that is vital. Remebering that the whole system is, has been neglected for decades, it’s a 100 year old system, and the volume is multiple times what it was designed to handle.”

Cuomo has in the past attempted to vaguely disassociate from his MTA control, and is now ready for an L train photo-op four months before the shutdown after receiving many in-person complaints:

“Many New Yorkers have come up to me and said they’re concerned about this. It’s uh, I mean, I can’t tell you the number of people in Brooklyn who have come up and said, looked me right in the eye and said ‘Are you sure that there is nothing else that can be done and there’s no way you can possibly shorten this.’ And I said I will make sure, that, personally, that there is nothing else that can be done and this is the best option, and I want to do that. I’ve done that numerous times.”

But don’t worry, Cuomo will have experts in the photo too:

“I’m going to bring some fresh eyes to the table, I’m going to have national experts, international experts. I want to be able to say to every New Yorker, I know it’s a pain in the neck, There is no other option. The MTA is right. There is no other option. I brought every expert to the table, we looked at everything, there’s nothing else to be done.”

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