The L train has become one of the main arteries of New York City, as neighborhoods along the first – or last, depending on your point of view – half of the line have become synonymous with hipster culture. But beyond the rapidly gentrifying communities there are working class and middle-to-low income people that rely on the service the L train provides.
The trains aren't suddenly empty when you cross under the East River and stop at Bedford Avenue.
So the three-year option that will only be able to service one-fifth of the current ridership will disproportionately impact those with few other options. Those whose commutes are already upwards of an hour; hose who cannot afford to take an Uber on a day they don't feel like transferring to a shuttle bus and back to the subway.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority has mostly done the right thing so far by having open meetings to allow the public to have input and by being brutally honest about the work, even it it's not what people want to hear. Infrastructure upgrades are an unfortunate reality.
The agency should commit to the 18-month shutdown, get the work done and make sure the help is there for those who need it with plenty of time for residents, visitors and businesses to prepare. The execution here needs to be perfect.