The L train is really fucking crowded, according to a new study by New York City Transit, the Times reports. Since 1998, ridership on the L line has increased three times as much as the rest of the subway system; on weekends, ridership has increased more than 140 percent, compared to more than 50 percent in the subway system in general. Trains during weekday rush hours are filled to 116 percent of its capacity, with some cars as high as 35 percent overcrowded.
In response, the city has pledged to State Senator Daniel Squadron, who requested the study, that it will run an extra Manhattan-bound train between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. during the week, starting in December. In 2012, it will add extra trains on the weekends.
Increased service can’t begin until upgrades to the signal system, under way for over a decade, are finished early next year. Then there will be a “prolonged period of testing and evaluation,” the Times reports. But still—good news! Eventually!
CLARIFICATION: Daniel Squadron’s communications director, Amy Spitalnick, explains:
the MTA said that it was going to wait until after the upgrades (and the “prolonged period of testing and evaluation”) to increase weekend service — meaning at least late 2012, if not later. After reading that, Sen. Squadron called the MTA and asked them to add additional trains as soon as possible, rather than waiting. Currently, the MTA runs 10-12 trains per hour on weekends but has a capacity of up to 17 trains per hour, even before the signal upgrades.
The MTA agreed to Sen. Squadron’s request and will add additional trains to its next schedule, which will take effect in mid-2012.