Searching for the L Train’s ‘Silver Bullet’

One quote from [Senator Dan] Squadron though struck a chord. As he noted that some rush hour trains will likely be below the MTA’s load guidelines, he let slip a key line. “This is not going to be the silver bullet, but this is real good news for L train riders,” he said. “Anyone tired of the crushing crowds and overflowing trains will now have an L train trip less likely to feel like hell.” What exactly does Squadron expect? What kind of silver bullet does he want? The MTA isn’t about to build a parallel line through Williamsburg or third-track the L train, and running trains every 180 seconds should be at least sufficient to ease some of the crowding concerns.

I can’t speak for the Senator, but his comments echo my points from last Friday – there is no silver bullet on the L train. Increased service is great, and an extra train every hour or so actually will make a difference. But no amount of automation or optimization is going to going to overcome a sick passenger on a two-track line. So overcrowding and delays will remain a fact of life, and those “residual delays” tweets will keep coming.