Sandy Update: Even more rush hour service but still no L, GBy
The ride home for millions of workers on Monday night was among the more painful in recent memories. Heading west of the city, New Jersey-bound travelers found hours-long lines at Port Authority as the buses couldn’t handle the masses of folks who usually take New Jersey Transit. Heading southeast out of Manhattan was a challenge too as an accident at Atlantic Avenue snarled IRT service and led to crush conditions on the BMT. With service still far from 100 percent, New Yorkers had to show patience in their travels.
As Tuesday — Election Day — dawns, ever so slowly, things are improving. Today, the A, B, C and Q trains will see even more service. The A will again make stops to 207th St. in Manhattan, and the C will terminate at 168th St. The B train will be revived, running between Bedford Park Boulevard in the Bronx and Kings Highway in Brooklyn, and the Q will terminate as far south as Brighton Beach.
Additionally, Transit is looking for ways to improve 1 train service as well. With switches being called into heavy duty, the agency says it is “studying ways to adjust signals for the 1 train in lower Manhattan that will allow them to turn around faster, improving the frequency of service and reducing crowding.” On Monday morning, trains were very full, and with South Ferry out of commission for the foreseeable future, adjusting service levels is a priority. Now, all that is the good news.
The bad news is that L and G trains — missing on Monday — will not return quite yet. The MTA again stressed tonight that “the top subway priority is now restoring service on the G and L trains through northwest Brooklyn, where alternate service on the J and M trains was extremely crowded.” Earlier in the day, in an interview on WNYC cut short by a call from the governor, MTA Chairman Joe Lhota voiced similar sentiments and promised trains “soon.” “You’ll get the G soon,” he said. “I can’t tell you when, but you’ll get the G real soon.”
Hope and vague timelines aside, the MTA says that the G train has been cleared of water from Newtown Creek. With so much potentially polluted and damaging floodwaters in the tunnel though, crews have to inspect and repair the signal system before trains can run again. The L train tunnel, as the above photo shows, is still under water. Extra B62 buses will run tomorrow until services are restored, but that’s a small consolation for a neighborhood largely cut off from its transit connections.
And so we’ll do it again this morning as things inch slowly toward a new normal, if not an equilibrium, before the long-term repairs kick off. Limited PATH service returns in a few hours, and hopefully, those L and G trains won’t be too far behind.