The Metropolitan Transit Authority announced last week it would add trains to the L subway line due to increased ridership. MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said the specifics of the project were still uncertain but that the MTA hopes to increase service during peak morning hours.
“This project was only devised a few weeks ago, and has to go before the [Board of Directors] before anything is implemented,” Ortiz said.
The L, which is extends from Brooklyn to the west side of Manhattan, is one of the fastest growing lines on the subway system, according to the MTA.
“We constantly monitor ridership,” Ortiz said. “It’s been rising since 1998. As far as ridership increase, there’s nothing like it.”
Mitchell Moss, director of NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, said the L train has spurred population growth all along its path.
“Williamsburg has emerged as a major destination for arts and culture,” Moss said. “Today, Brooklyn is widely regarded as the place for young people to live. All of my graduate student researchers now live in Brooklyn, and it continues to attract new start-up businesses as well.”
Rowen Darrell, a CAS senior who rides the L everyday from Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway to NYU and back, said the upgraded train service is desperately needed.
“There are times when I have to frantically run between doors, trying to get into the train, just squeezing my way in or pushing somebody inside,” Darrell said. “You don’t want to wait for the next train.”
Brooklyn resident Thomas Hill, 32, said the moderate crowd at the Bedford Avenue stop was unusual compared to the usual hordes of people.
“There’s usually tons of people here, lined up,” Hill said.
This is not the first time the MTA has upped train frequency on the L. In June 2012, the MTA announced the addition of 98 weekly round trips on the L line, an increase that cost $1.7 million over the past year. However, Darrell said he has yet to see much improvement.
“The MTA likes to drag out their plans quite a bit,” Darrell said. “Hopefully three years from now, we’ll see another increase in the number of trains. Right now, I’m not too hopeful for the L line.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 9 print edition. Lucas Dos Santos is a contributing writer. Email him at [email protected]