Service changes are coming to one of northern Brooklyn’s busiest bus routes, as transit authorities begin work on new elevators at the Lorimer Street L station.
Starting today, the B48 will be rerouted from Lorimer Street to Union Avenue for about six blocks (from Meeker Avenue to Grand Street), as Lorimer Street will be temporarily turned into a one-way road heading northbound to accommodate the construction.
On the southbound B48 (heading towards Prospect Lefferts Gardens), three stops will be discontinued:
- Lorimer Street at Skillman Avenue
- Lorimer Street at Metropolitan Avenue
- Lorimer Street at Ainslie Street
Those defunct stops will be replaced with three new stops along Union Avenue:
- Union Avenue, midblock between Meeker and Metropolitan Avenues
- Union Avenue on the southwest corner of Ainslie Street, between Ainslie and Powers streets
- Grand Street at the southwest corner of Union Avenue, at the existing Q54/59 stop.
On the northbound B48 (heading toward Greenpoint), five stops will be discontinued:
- Lorimer Street/Grand Street
- Lorimer Street at Powers Street
- Lorimer Street/Devoe Street
- Lorimer Street at Conselyea Street
- Lorimer Street at Jackson Street
Those northbound stops will be replaced with three alternatives:
- Grand Street on the southeast corner between Union Avenue and Lorimer Street, at the existing Q54/59 stop
- Union Avenue at the southeast corner of Ainslie Street, between Ainslie and Lorimer streets
- Union Avenue on the northeast corner between Metropolitan Avenue and Conselyea Street
The detours will be in place until 2023, when the final phases of construction will allow normal vehicular traffic on Lorimer Street.
According to the transit advocacy group Turnaround, approximately 3,406 straphangers rode the B48 per day in 2019, when the most recent data is available.
Work at the station began last year as part of the MTA’s mission to increase the number of subway stations considered fully-accessible under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The Lorimer Street station is one of eight being upgraded using funds from a federal grant, the agency announced in late 2020.
Three new elevators are being installed at Lorimer Street, with two at the connected Metropolitan Avenue G stop. The Grand Street L station, along with the 7th Avenue F and G stop, are also slated to receive new lifts.
Elevators are only one part of the station’s new accessibility measures at the Lorimer Street train depot — the MTA is also installing new braille signs, raised boarding areas, and ADA-compliant sidewalks. Alongside the accessibility improvements, the renovated station will have new staircases, flood protection measures, a new fire alarm, closed-circuit television system, structural upgrades, and new artwork.
“The L train is near and dear to my heart,” said Craig Cipriano, interim president of New York City Transit. “I grew up riding the L train, and I am thrilled about the ADA upgrades that will ensure everyone in the Lorimer Street community can enjoy using the subway.”
L train service between Myrtle Avenue and 8th Avenue in Manhattan was suspended from Jan. 14-17, and is expected to be suspended again from Feb. 25-28 and April 29-May 5 as construction continues. Free shuttle buses will be available to fill gaps in train service.
Approximately 130 of the city’s more than 400 subway stations are accessible under the ADA, with 30 of those accessible stations in Brooklyn. Upgrades to the Bedford Avenue L station, which included brand-new elevators, staircases, and expanded turnstiles, wrapped in Oct. 2020, also marking the official end of the enormous Canarsie Tunnel rehabilitation project.