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Give ’em L! Riders say MTA didn’t promote Canarsie L train meeting enough

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It was a service advisory — from the straphangers.

Canarsians blasted the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for not giving them enough notice about a meeting over the fate of the L train on May 26. The agency pitched its plans for fixing Sandy damage to two tunnels carrying the subway to Manhattan, but many locals said they only found out about the meeting in the media that day.

“What bothered me was I didn’t even know the meeting was happening, I only heard about the meeting at 5 o’clock this morning,” said Joanne Marzario. “They weren’t really advertising the way they could have.”

The authority told the roughly 100 people who came that it has two options for repairing the ailing Canarsie Tubes under the East River — sever the connection entirely for 18 months starting in 2019 or close one tunnel at a time and reduce service along the line for three years. In both scenarios, the L would operate as a local line in Brooklyn, but with only one train around every eight minutes — twice as long as the wait now during the morning rush, and two minutes longer than the evening rush — which an agency presentation described as “near normal service.” They pitched the plans in Williamsburg and Manhattan earlier this month.

But folks at the end of the line are just now getting the news, and many feared the train would shut altogether, another resident said.

“There were all kinds of rumors they’d shut the entire line down, so I want to know the plan,” said Alexis Van Rossum.

Authority bigwigs repeatedly dispelled the notion, and the agency will be making more stops to explain the plan in coming months, its chairman said.

“We apologize for that – but this is not the last time we will be out in the community,” said agency czar Thomas Prendergast.

The authority issued a press release about the meeting on May 23. BrooklynDaily.com ran articles announcing it on May 25 and 26.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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