Officials test bus ride ahead of L train shutdown

The L train is going down for repair in April 2019 for 15 months because Superstorm Sandy damaged the Canarsie tunnel in 2012.

So on Monday, New York City Transit President Andy Byford and Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg did a test commute with New York City officials by electric bus from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The goal was for local leaders to ask questions of the MTA and DOT while seeing where more work on the plan needs to be done.

They rode an electric bus along portions of one of the alternative routes being created to help 225,000 commuters who depend on the L train. After the commute from Grand Street and Bushwick Avenue in Williamsburg to Union Square, Byford announced that it was "really good." However, he said during the ride they saw a lot of construction happening, which is to an extent normal.

"But what we cannot have is construction that could and should have been completed," Byford said. "We cannot have people blocking the bus lanes—we saw a bit of evidence of that."

Trottenberg said the DOT is making sure to keep key intersections clear.

"We're also making sure we're providing enough loading zones to the extent commercial activity needs to happen we can accommodate it," she said.

Transit officials are aware that they put the route to the test on a day in August when traffic is lighter. However, they still said that getting over the Williamsburg Bridge was a challenge, which reinforces the need to have HOV lanes and dedicated bus lanes with proper enforcement and supervision.