New York's governor just killed a plan to shut down one of the most crowded subway lines in NYC — and people are freaking out

Cadie Thompson/Business InsiderA New York City subway station.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday that New York City’s L train would not shut down for 15 months.
  • The city had planned to close the subway line, which runs between Brooklyn and Manhattan, for 15 months, beginning in April, to repair two tunnels that run beneath the East River.
  • Twitter users expressed divided opinions after reports of the announcement.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday that New York City’s L train would not shut down for 15 months. The New York Times first reported the announcement.


Read more: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo axes plan to shut down the L Train, saves Brooklynites from commuting hell

The city had planned to close the subway line, which runs between Brooklyn and Manhattan, for 15 months, beginning in April, to repair two tunnels that run beneath the East River. The tunnels were seriously damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

The shutdown would have made life difficult for the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on it. The L line serves a number of commuters who don’t have many convenient alternatives.

Using a new technology that has been used in Europe for tunnel construction – but never in the US and never for tunnel reconstruction – a complete closure will not be necessary, Cuomo said. Teams from Columbia and Cornell universities’ engineering schools toured the tunnel and proposed the new methods.

Before the announcement, New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has been scrambling to figure out how to transport the line’s 250,000 daily commuters on buses and connecting subway lines. Experts were projecting crippling congestion on the Williamsburg Bridge and even more packed trains on the few other train lines in the affected north Brooklyn neighbourhoods.

The impending transit emergency caused rents to drop in the neighbourhoods along the L line, many of which are as much as a 45-minute walk away from other trains. Luxury waterfront buildings announced plans for shuttles to Manhattan and other subway lines. Even more audacious hopefuls proposed things like a tram across the river or a floating pontoon bridge.

“This is the shortest, best route to the rebuilding of the tunnel,” Cuomo said.

Twitter users expressed divided opinions after reports of the announcement. Some said they were excited by it, while others suggested the announcement would be most beneficial to landlords.

“The L train is not shutting down? This is major news, especially for us the M trainers. Rejoice y’all!” one Twitter user said.

“Congrats to North Williamsburg and Greenpoint landlords on the reversal of the L train shutdown, it’s always good to see the little guys win one,” another said.

Here’s what people are saying on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/hepkaner/status/1080883023040708609?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

https://twitter.com/thecitywanderer/status/1080864399429173249?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

https://twitter.com/DocZeus/status/1080884448168689664?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

https://twitter.com/noralambert/status/1080884213098967041?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

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