A recently announced high-end shuttle service is looking to put the “luxury” in “L train shutdown.” (And we always thought the L stood for late!)
As the L-pocalypse draws nigh—the line is slated to stop running between Brooklyn and Manhattan in April 2019—one Brooklyn entrepreneur has announced that she’s starting a shuttle service called "The New L" to ferry commuters from their Brooklyn homes to their Manhattan places of work. It's similar to the Old L except instead of a publicly funded train it's a privately funded van. So, you know, not at all.
“We’ll be launching when the line shuts down and we’ll continue to operate until there’s a suitable solution provided by the MTA,” the company’s founder and president Jaime Getto recently told us. “This is intentionally only meant to run during the shutdown. We’re not looking to expand past then or to service anyone other than Brooklyn residents."
The fancy “New L” shuttles will have Wi-fi, chargers for devices and even—wait for it—a breakfast bar. (Getto says the company hasn't settled on the exact breakfast items that will be offered, but will be partnering with local businesses on the offerings.)
Those interested in taking advantage of the new ride-sharing service, which has already opened a waitlist, will provide the time they’d like to arrive at work, their work address and their home address. They’ll then be assigned to one of a fleet of Mercedes-Benz black Sprinter vans—which can hold up to 12 passengers—that will pick them up from their door and drop them off at a single Manhattan location determined by the routes of the shuttle’s various protein bar-satiated riders. There'll even be some pet-friendly shuttles.
Membership for the shuttle service will cost $155 per month and get you a single, one-way ride every weekday morning. Getto says that approximately one month after launching, she hopes to provide more affordable micro-transit options that will offer rides to Brooklynites' nearest working subway station. That option will be aimed at those who otherwise may have to make a "25-minute walk" to reach a station. Getto also hopes to provide return rides from Manhattan to Brooklyn down the line.
The New L will be running alongside the new transit options laid out by the proprietors of The Old L, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, that include additional service on the M, G, J and Z lines and a dedicated busway on 14th Street. Critics of using more private ride shares, such as this one, to mitigate the L train shutdown warn that the increased traffic may cause congestion resulting in nightmare gridlock and severely affecting the ability of expanded bus service to ferry commuters between the two boroughs.