Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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MTA Adding More L Trains To Ease Brooklyn Crowds

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The number of riders on the L train keeps rising, and the MTA says it's going to give users of that line more of what they want, when they really need it. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

It can be late on a Thursday night or during the Friday morning rush. But riders at the Bedford Avenue stop keep crowding onto the L train, the fastest growing of all the subway lines and one that's about to get a bump in service.

"I think it's probably the right thing to do. Infrastructure has to keep pace with the way that this neighborhood is growing," said one L train rider.


An MTA spokesman tells NY1 the agency is going to run trains more frequently at night and on weekends to meet the booming demand for service during off-peak hours. And riders who contend with crowded platforms and packed trains say it's about time.

"That won't hurt. So if there is more trains, I won't mind," said one L train rider.

"Sometimes I'll wait for one or two trains to pass by before I can get on, at least here at the Bedford stop," said another L train rider.

More than 8.3 million riders used the station in 2012, up from 5.7 million in 2007 and MTA figures show it's now the 38th busiest station in the system. And while night and weekend ridership is up systemwide, it's really booming in a neighborhood where the bars and restaurants bring in more riders.

"You never can sit, sometimes you're crammed in or even if you get a minute before, sometimes you have to wait for the next train. So it's definitely crazy," said one L train rider.

Ridership along the L has been growing steadily for years. And that spike in ridership is especially visible on weekends here at the Bedford Avenue station. But it's not just at that one stop.

"It's amazing. At Bedford and Lorimer, we're seeing ridership to the tune of 103 percent of what it is during the weekdays, so on weekends, you're actually seeing more ridership than you do during the week," said MTA Spokesman Kevin Ortiz.

And as neighborhoods keep growing along the length of the line, so do the number of straphangers on the L. In 2012, all 19 Brooklyn L stations experienced an annual growth in ridership.

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