MTA nears completion on expansion of East Village L train station


The MTA on Tuesday wrapped up the bulk of renovations on the First Ave. station on the L line, saving some riders a block’s walk.
The project includes two entrances on Ave. A at E. 14th St., where the East Village meets Stuyvesant Town, which will get two new elevators by summer’s end. Transit officials said the entrances will help reduce crowding as riders return to the subway as the city’s coronavirus restrictions ease.
Before the renovations, roughly 20,000 daily riders were forced to funnel through a pair of entrances on First Ave.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority leaders began to renovate the entrances on either side of E. 14th St. at First Ave. once the new Ave. A entrances opened up, allowing riders to use the stop throughout the construction.
With the work on the entrance on the north side of E. 14th St. complete, riders can enjoy a fully refurbished station.
The 1st Avenue station.
The 1st Avenue station. (Trent Reeves/MTA)
“The L project illustrated how we can get a lot more work done faster while minimizing customer impact,” said MTA chief development officer Janno Lieber. “The upgrades to the First Ave. station, including today’s reopening of the north side entrance, is a great example of this.”

The completion comes just over a month after Gov. Cuomo announced repairs to the L train’s East River tunnel had wrapped. That project required the MTA to run reduced service on the line during nights and weekend.

But there’s still more work to do before L train riders are out of the woods.

The MTA is working to install three new electrical substations that will allow L trains to run more frequently. Currently, there is only enough power to run 20 trains an hour on the line. With new substations, the line could safely run 22 trains per hour, which would reduce crowding during peak periods.

The new substations are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, an MTA spokesman said.

Crews are also reahabbing several other stops on the L line to make them handicap-accessible, including stations in Manhattan at Sixth Ave. and in Brooklyn at Bedford Ave.

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