L train riders rally in Williamsburg to demand more service during construction

Transit riders rallied Wednesday for more options while the L train line is under construction.

Part of the MTA's planned subway repairs include shutting down the L line for an estimated 15 months starting in April 2019.

Crews are expected to rebuild a tunnel damaged by millions of gallons of saltwater during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

That means no train service between the Bedford Avenue stop in Williamsburg and 14th St. and 8th Ave. in Manhattan.

Residents and transit riders called on the MTA and Department of Transportation to ensure that service on the line does not suffer during construction.

Advocates also said they need more specifics.

"We're calling on the DOT and the MTA to announce exactly what to expect when the line closes," said Nick Sifuentes with the Riders Alliance. "We need to know what streets are going to have buses on them, what are the streets going to look like are we going to have bus lanes, are the buses going to be separate from traffic"

The MTA has said it plans to add 200 buses for displaced L train riders during the shutdown, and the agency will be increasing service on the G, J, M, and Z lines.

The advocates continue to push a plan to turn major streets on both side of the East River into so-called "PeopleWays," with bus-and bike-only lanes and reduced access to cars.

As a part of the shutdown, some of the L's stations are slated to be improved.

During the L train outage, the MTA plans to install an elevator at the Bedford Ave. stop, along with another one at the First Avenue stop in Manhattan.

But advocates said the opportunity is there to do even more.

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