Friday, June 08, 2012

MTA NYCT to boost L Line subway service

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Aided by New York's first successful application of Communications Based Train Control (CBTC), New York City Transit's L Line will add service frequency June 9 in response to rapidly growing ridership demand.

MTA NYCT plans to add 16 additional round trips on weekdays, 11 on Saturdays, and seven on Sundays, at a cost of $1.7 million per year. That cost was accounted for by the MTA Board of Directors last fall. Ridership on the L Line, linking Manhattan and revitalized neighborhoods in Brooklyn, has roughly doubled since 1998, but service frequency, though bolstered, has lagged.

"This is not going to be the silver bullet, but this is real good news for L train riders," New York State Sen. Daniel Squadron told local media. "Anyone tired of the crushing crowds and overflowing trains will now have an L train trip less likely to feel like hell."

MTA NYCT's L Line began operating under full CBTC with ATO (automatic train operation) on Feb. 24, 2009.

"Our work to improve signals continues to bear fruit and improve service for our customers," MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said Thursday. "This should ease overcrowding on a line that serves continuously growing populations in Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Canarsie."

MTA NYCT last October began installing CBTC on its No. 7 Line, linking Manhattan with Queens. Both the L and No. 7 lines operate somewhat separately from other subway lines (though each offers transfer opportunities), making them ideal startup projects for testing and developing CBTC. As well, earlier this year MTA NYCT awarded Thales and Siemens a contract to establish a CBTC test track facility in Brooklyn on part of NYCT's F Line.