Get us in your inbox

L Train Shutdown
Photograph: Shutterstock

L Train Shutdown in NYC: The Complete Guide

Dreading the L train shutdown in 2019? Here’s everything to know about the changes including commuter solutions.

Written by
Rebecca Fontana

We’ve been stressing about the L train shutdown for years—literally; it will be shutting down to repair damage from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy. The line is one of the main connectors between Manhattan and Brooklyn, so yeah, it’s going to be a big deal when it shuts down. After flooding from Hurricane Sandy ruined the tunnels from Manhattan to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New Yorkers have anxiously awaited the service interferences that will seriously disrupt their commutes. But as a very slight consolation, once the new train is finally completed, it’ll rival the Second Avenue subway as one of the best New York attractions when it comes to transportation.

Why is the L train shutting down?

Due to the flooding and havoc wrecked by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the L train is in dire need of repairs in the Canarsie Tunnel.

When does the L train shutdown start?

The L train will shut down for 15 months beginning April 27, 2019. 

Where will the L train shutdown take place?

Here are some of the proposed plans to compensate for the L train shutown. 

Every L train stop in Manhattan will be shut down. L trains will still run in Brooklyn between Bedford Avenue and Canarsie.

What can you take as an alternative to the L train?

There will be increased service on the M, G, J and Z lines. 

There will be increased capacity on the G and C lines, with several stops offering free transfers. 

The M will extend to 96th Street and 2nd Avenue on weekends and overnight. 

From 3rd to 9th Avenues going east and from 3rd to 8th Avenues going west, 14th Street is closing to cars and creating an exclusive busway. It will also add travel lanes and sidewalk expansions.

A two-way bikeway will be added on 13th Street. 

There will be a new pedestrian space on Union Square West from 14th to 15th Streets and 16th to 17th Streets. 

There will be additional bus lanes and restrictions on the Williamsburg Bridge.

There will be direct ferry service from Williamsburg to a new dock in Manhattan. 

L train shutdown