The Latest L Hell:
You probably thought you had months to prepare for next April’s L train shutdown and then -- BOOM -- the MTA announced that it would suspend service for FIFTEEN WEEKENDS prior to the main event. September will be free from disruption, but start planning your October transportation alternatives -- the beleaguered line will not run between Brooklyn and Manhattan on weekends.
Of course, the MTA has its mitigation promises: shuttle busses, and increased service along other train lines should provide relief for some in the short term. Others seeking longer-term, exclusive-ish solutions can look to The New L -- a carpool subscription that, for the bargain price of $155 a month, sends a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van to your door each rush-hour morning, and gets you where you need to go while you enjoy Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfast. It’s a win-win: You’ll spend those hungover Monday mornings choking down lukewarm microwaved breakfast burritos in close confines with eleven of your new commuter friends, and the craven capitalists behind this endeavor will earn some cash.
Straphangers love to criticize the MTA -- even on the internet, sometimes! -- but ya gotta give credit where credit is due. Together with the Department of Transportation, the MTA plans to launch Select Bus Service on 14th Street between 1st and 10th Avenue in January of next year -- a full three months before April’s L train shutdown. Along with existing 14th Street bus routes, the SBS will accomodate 84,000 daily riders, decrease commute times, and purportedly arrive every two minutes during peak hours.
Has all this talk of stranded weekends, reconstituted eggs, and learning the bus got you thinking about leaving your L-adjacent abode once and for all? Well if you hang in there, maybe you can re-negotiate your lease, rather than break it. According to a recent StreetEasy report, Williamsburg’s housing stock has increased by 25% from last year, almost half of the area’s apartments previously listed on the real estate search site are renting for less than they were two years ago, and some landlords are offering concessions. Maybe you can get them to cover that New L fee.