Call it the hipster rush hour.
The Bedford Avenue L train station is just as jam-packed with night owls at 1 am as it with the office crowd during the dreaded weekday morning commute, a new study proves.
Carson Qing, a graduate student at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, downloaded Metropolitan Transportation Authority data and determined that just as many people pass through the turnstiles at the bustling Williamsburg station at 1 am every day of the week and all day on Saturday as they do during the “traditional” rush hours, between 8 am and noon and 4 pm and 8 pm on weekdays.
Qing admits the late-night crush needs more research, but he believes the MTA should alter service on the L line — which has seen its ridership double since 2005 — to accommodate the throngs of straphangers if the trend continues.
“They should not treat travel demands on all lines the same,” said Qing. “The L has very unique travel patterns that should be taken into account.”
Straphanger Sir Kay — who lives off the Bedford Avenue stop, where weekend ridership has increased eight-fold since 2005 — agrees. Key gets off work at midnight and said he is often subjected to overcrowded trains in the wee hours.
“If I miss the train, it’s another 15 minutes standing on the platform with a couple hundred other people,” said the 27-year-old.
Trains run at 20-minute intervals on the L train at night, allowing for workers to perform necessary maintenance, according to the MTA.
Agency spokesman Kevin Ortiz said transit experts must conduct more studies before determining if changes are warranted — but he said it’s clear ridership on the L is going to continue to increase.
“Our ops planning department has and will continue to study ridership patterns, but it’s no secret the L is seeing higher ridership — that’s why we added trains in June,” said Ortiz, whose agency recently started running an additional 98 weekly round-trips on the L train, including 16 new jaunts each weekday, 11 out-and-backs on Saturdays, and seven journeys on Sundays.Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@c
©2013 Community News Group
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