BUSHWICK — A group of city, state and federal politicians, as well as local advocates are demanding the MTA coordinate with other agencies to prepare for the looming L train shutdown.
A letter sent to the governor, the mayor and the MTA Wednesday requests the, "creation of an interagency working group to mitigate the impact of the 18 month closure of the L train Canarsie tubes."
"It is clear that mitigating the impacts of the closure requires bold action within and outside the MTA system," the letter, written by State Senator Daniel Squadron and signed by 32 other state, local and U.S. elected officials reads.
The group would help coordinate efforts between city and state agencies, like the Department of Transportation and the Economic Development Corporation to coordinate alternate service plans like Select Bus Service and dedicated bus lanes.
It should also incorporate small businesses services to help stem economic impact of the shutdown as well as serve as a forum for community members to voice ideas and concerns.
While the MTA has floated possible ideas for alternate service plans like a shuttle service between Bedford Avenue L train stop and the Delancey Street F, J, M Z and more ferry service between Williamsburg and Manhattan, no plans have been set in stone.
While the future for L train riders looks bleak, the present hasn't been a cake walk either. Twice this week riders have been snagged by delays.
"You can't rely on it to be anywhere punctually," said Brian Maci, 38 a Williamsburg resident who's ridden the train for the last ten years. "I check istheltrainf*****.com every day."
The shutdown, which is slated to begin in January of 2019, will eliminate all service between Bedford and Eighth avenues along the L train line for 18 months, while the MTA repairs the Canarsie Tunnel under the East River.
"The MTA is committed to open partnership and community engagement on this project," said spokeswoman Beth DeFalco, who wouldn't say if they planned on setting up a working group along with the city.
Austin Finan, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio said they'd were ready to get involved in planning process which could include, "dedicated street space for buses along the subway route, expanded ferry service or more bike share station."
"We look to the MTA to put forth a clear cut plan well before the start of work, including the resources it will commit to keep New Yorkers moving," Finan said.