L (New York City Subway service)

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14 Street – Canarsie Local
L symbol
L map
Northern end Eighth Avenue
Southern end Rockaway Parkway
Stations 24

The L 14th Street – Canarsie Local is a rapid transit service in the B Division of the New York City Subway, providing full-time service along the entire length of the two-tracked BMT Canarsie Line. It is colored light slate gray on route signs, station signs, rolling stock, and the official subway map.

The L service operates between Eighth Avenue in Chelsea, Manhattan, and Rockaway Parkway in Canarsie, Brooklyn. It also briefly enters Queens at Halsey Street, serving the neighborhood of Ridgewood.[1]

It is currently the only New York City Subway service that has communications-based train control (it uses Trainguard MT CBTC); by 2016, however, this is subject to change as the 7 train is also getting CBTC.

History[edit]

Canarsie-bound L train of R143s at Broadway Junction
A R160A L train at the Canarsie – Rockaway Parkway terminal

The L service, being a local train, was originally the LL. From 1928 to 1967, the same service was assigned the BMT number 16.

In 1924, part of the eventual 14th Street – Canarsie Line opened, called the "14th Street – Eastern District Line" (commonly the "14th Street–Eastern Line"), and carried the number 16. This was extended east, and in 1928 it was joined to the existing BMT Canarsie Line east of Broadway Junction. Since that time, the 14th Street–Canarsie Line service has operated as it is today, except for an extension from Sixth Avenue to Eighth Avenue, which opened on May 30, 1931 to connect to the new Eighth Avenue Subway. The Eighth Avenue Terminal was also been built in IND style and has recently been restored in BMT style like Fulton Street and Broad Street. During rush hours, express service ran nonstop between Lorimer Street and Myrtle–Wyckoff Avenues. (Locals usually ran from Eighth Avenue to Myrtle–Wyckoff Avenues or Atlantic Avenue at these times.)[2]

Starting September 23, 1936, express trains ran to Lefferts Boulevard via the connection with the Fulton Street Elevated at Atlantic Avenue. This connection was severed on April 30, 1956; then the service ran to Canarsie – Rockaway Parkway again, but was discontinued on August 23. The R27 to R38's roll signs had both L and LL for express and local service, even though the express never ran thereafter. (Skip-stop was proposed in the 1990s.)

On November 26, 1967, with the opening of the Chrystie Street Connection, the BMT Eastern District lines were given letters; the 16 became the LL. When double letters were dropped on May 5, 1985, the LL became the L, and it still has that designation.

Before the 14th Street – Eastern and Canarsie Lines were connected, the Canarsie part of the line already had a number, 14, running from Lower Manhattan via the Broadway Elevated and called the Canarsie Line. When the 14th Street – Eastern Line was connected in 1928, this was renamed to the Broadway (Brooklyn) Line, but continued to operate to Rockaway Parkway. In 1967, the 14 Canarsie service was given the label JJ (though the 14 itself was designated KK, continuing east from Broadway Junction towards Jamaica). Canarsie service to Lower Manhattan was discontinued in 1968.

Annual ridership for the L service:[3]
1994 . . . 16,968,025
1996 . . . 18,107,243
1998 . . . 21,196,693
2000 . . . 26,155,806
2005 . . . 30,452,319

Headways:

Morning and evening rush hours: 4 minutes
Midday: 6-8 minutes
Overnight: 20 minutes

The 5 busiest stations in 2005:

Ridership on the L train has increased dramatically since 2000. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's $443 million fleet of subway cars on the L service was introduced in 2002, but by 2006 was already too small to handle growing ridership. The Transit Authority had projected that 212 Kawasaki-made R143 subway cars would be enough to accommodate ridership demands for years to come, but ridership has risen higher than expected. Sixty-four new R160A cars made by Alstom have been equipped to run on the L service.

In 2008 L service was increased and some AM rush hour short turns to Myrtle–Wyckoff Avenues were added.

The BMT Canarsie Line tracks have been undergoing an extensive retrofit over to CBTC, a system that will transfer control of the trains to a computer on board, as opposed to the current system, where the trains are manually operated by a human operator. This was then completed in April 2012.[4] While the retrofit has resulted in nearly two years of service changes and station closings, this system will eventually allow trains to run closer together, and enable in-station displays to note the exact time until the next train arrives. The line also used OPTO (one person train operation) beginning in June 2005, but a combination of public outcry due to perceived safety issues, which increased after the July 2005 London tube bombings, heavy lobbying by the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), as well as an arbitration ruling that MTA had breached its contract with TWU caused the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to end OPTO the following September.

In addition, the MTA's successful implementation of train-arrival message boards ("countdown clocks") on the L train have also been the first in the system.[5]

Route[edit]

Service pattern[edit]

The L service uses the following lines with the same service pattern at all times.

Line From To Tracks
BMT Canarsie Line Eighth Avenue Canarsie – Rockaway Parkway all

Stations[edit]

For a more detailed station listing, see BMT Canarsie Line.

Station service legend
Stops all times Stops all times
Stops all times except late nights Stops all times except late nights
Stops weekdays only Stops weekdays only
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Stops rush hours in the peak direction only
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Stops weekdays in the peak direction only
Time period details
L service Stations Handicapped/disabled access Subway transfers Connections
Manhattan
Stops all times Eighth Avenue Handicapped/disabled access A all times C all except late nights E all times (IND Eighth Avenue Line)
Stops all times Sixth Avenue 1 all times 2 all times 3 all except late nights (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line at 14th Street)
F all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. (IND Sixth Avenue Line at 14th Street)
PATH at 14th Street
Stops all times Union Square Handicapped/disabled access 4 all times 5 all except late nights 6 all times <6>weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
N all times Q all times R all except late nights (BMT Broadway Line)
Stops all times Third Avenue
Stops all times First Avenue Northbound M15 Select Bus Service
Brooklyn
Stops all times Bedford Avenue
Stops all times Lorimer Street G all times (IND Crosstown Line at Metropolitan Avenue)
Stops all times Graham Avenue
Stops all times Grand Street
Stops all times Montrose Avenue
Stops all times Morgan Avenue
Stops all times Jefferson Street
Stops all times DeKalb Avenue
Stops all times Myrtle–Wyckoff Avenues Handicapped/disabled access M all times (BMT Myrtle Avenue Line)
Stops all times Halsey Street
Stops all times Wilson Avenue
Stops all times Bushwick Avenue – Aberdeen Street
Stops all times Broadway Junction A all times C all except late nights (IND Fulton Street Line)
J all times Z rush hours, peak direction (BMT Jamaica Line)
Stops all times Atlantic Avenue LIRR Atlantic Branch at East New York
Stops all times Sutter Avenue
Stops all times Livonia Avenue
Stops all times New Lots Avenue B15 bus to JFK Int'l Airport
Stops all times East 105th Street
Stops all times Canarsie – Rockaway Parkway Handicapped/disabled access

References[edit]

External links[edit]