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The L train shutdown is looming: it's T minus 13 months until the scheduled April 2019 start date. The city and the MTA are planning a variety of measures to soften the blow, including shuttle buses across the Williamsburg Bridge, increased service along adjacent subway lines, and ferry service across the East River. When the plan kicks into action, different transit options will make sense to different people, depending on where they live, where they work, and how they like to travel ("like," of course being a relative term when you'll be packed in like bundled cardboard no matter where you go). In light of this, we wondered, as a thought exercise, whether New Yorkers would prefer their local subway line be replaced by a shuttle bus or a ferry, if given the choice.
Here's what they had to say.
Sun, light the way
“I would definitely prefer a ferry ride if my subway line were out of service. You get the best of both worlds: on nice days, a view of Manhattan from the upper deck (with a chance to get some sun!), and on bad days you can sit inside and get a cup of coffee on the way to work. It’s a better experience than starting and stopping (and starting and stopping) through Midtown congestion. You know how long the ferry will take, whereas on a shuttle, you never know, with traffic, how long it will take. Plus, the tourists taking in the view are usually very friendly.”—Adam D. Citron, NoMad
Landlocked in Queens
“If my train (the 7), which always has problems, were to shut down for a year, I would rather have a shuttle bus replace it. I currently live in Corona, and it would be easier to get to the city on an express shuttle bus then via ferry.”—Darryl Whiting, Queens
Marooned with a view
“If I were to lose the subway I rely on, I’d prefer the ferry. If I have to be inconvenienced, at least I’d be inconvenienced with a nicer view.”—Peter Shankman, Hell’s Kitchen
“While I recognize the shuttle bus is a more effective form of transportation, I would prefer the ferry. I find the experience more peaceful and relaxing, which I often need before walking into a hectic office.”—Noah Waterman, Astoria
Already feeling the L pain
“Wait…isn’t the L train already shut down? It rarely to never comes, so I just assumed it was already shuttered. This is all news to me!”—Karen Bookatz, Williamsburg
The verdict: A pleasant commute aboard a ferry is far better than taking the bus for a majority of these New Yorkers.
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