MANHATTAN — With the upcoming L train shutdown expected last 15 months, express bus service being rolled out by the MTA to ease commuter strain along 14th Street will stay in place even after the train is back up and running, officials said this week.
The authority is planning to introduce a Select Bus Service to 14th Street that would operate in addition to the existing local M14A and M14D routes, representatives said at a Community Board 3 Transportation Committee meeting Tuesday. The new bus line will service the L train stops during the closure, and may make additional stops as well, officials said.
A version of that new express line will remain in service once the L train returns, said an MTA official at the meeting, though the specifics have not been worked out.
"We will be continuing a Select Bus Service across 14th Street," said Sarah Wyss, New York City Transit senior director for bus service planning. "It may look slightly different than what's operating during the L train shutdown...some sort of M14 SBS will continue."
The MTA is also considering variations of an "exclusive bus way" that could close off either part or all of 14th Street to private vehicles during the shutdown.
Via MTA and DOT
The SBS line would connect to ferry service at 23rd Street and Avenue C, and commuters would get a free transfer from ferry to bus.
The new express bus is the bare minimum the MTA plans to introduce to the busy corridor as it considers how best to serve the 225,000 straphangers that will be derailed when the Canarsie Tunnel closes in April 2019 for Hurricane Sandy-related repairs — a handful of more extreme options for 14th Street are on the table as well.
The authority may implement turn and curb restrictions to ensure the buses are not impeded by turning or double-parked cars, according to the MTA's presentation.
The changes to 14th Street are just part of the mitigation measures the MTA plans to enact during the shutdown, including a fleet of shuttle buses and an HOV lane across the Williamsburg Bridge — for more details on the plan, click here.
The existing presentation is a draft of the transit agency's mitigation plan — a final version will be produced by the end of the year.