WILLIAMSBURG — The MTA is seeking $300 million in federal funding to make improvements on the L train — including increasing the number of trains that can run and improving entrances to the busy Bedford Avenue and First Avenue stations.
Major improvements to the train system's infrastructure would allow the MTA to run two more trains per hour, increasing service by 10 percent and serving 2,200 more people, the authority said.
Funds would also go toward adding two new street stairs on the east side of Bedford Avenue for the subway stop, where average weekday entries have increased by 250 percent since 1998, as well adding entrances to the First Avenue station on Avenue A, according to the MTA.
Currently, the Bedford Avenue station only has two, five-foot wide stairs that lead into the station on Bedford.
The station at First Avenue in Manhattan would also get new entryways at Avenue A with the federal funding, doubling capacity at the station.
Both the Bedford Avenue and First Avenue stations would also get elevators to meet ADA guidelines.
The transit system will be applying for the funding through the Federal Transit Administration's "Core Capacity" grant program, the MTA said in a statement.
Some of the funding for improvements on the line were included in the MTA's 2015-2019 capital program, but the application for the money is expected to take several years.
Construction on the First Avenue station would beging first, and the work is expected to take several years.
Ridership on the L train has dramatically increased, nearly doubling since 1998, according to the MTA. An average of more than 300,000 riders use the L line every weekday.
Since 2007, ridership on the line has increased 27 percent.
More than 49,000 people use the First Avenue and Bedford Avenue stations on an average weekday, and "ridership is expected to continue to rise," as some 10,000 new residential units are zoned for Williamsburg, said NYC transit President Carmen Bianco in a statement,
“We have to increase capacity on the Canarsie Line and improve customer flow at stations to meet this increasing demand," Bianco said, "and securing federal funding for a project of this magnitude will go a long way toward achieving that goal.”