Brooklyn Residents, Business Owners Fume Over Possible L Train Shutdown

Brooklyn residents packed a community meeting Thursday morning to voice their opinions about a possible shutdown of the L train between Brooklyn and Manhattan to repair a tube damaged in Sandy.

About 150 Brooklynites told MTA officials that they believe businesses will shutter and people will lose their jobs if the L train is shut down for more than a year to make repairs to the Canarsie Tube, which was damaged heavily during Sandy.

Above all, L train riders are upset because the MTA does not have a clear plan in place for the repairs that need to be made.

"It will massively affect the way people commute to work. I know that business owners are extra concerned about it," one resident said.

The MTA has promised to work with the community to find the best solution and says any shutdown of the rail line won't be for years.

But for some riders, they say the prospect of a shutdown could be crippling. 

One business owner, Nichelina Mavros, said she was reconsidering plans to open a second location of Deppanneur, a bistro on Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg, because of the potential loss of revenue that would come with a shut-down L train.

"There's now way I can sign a lease," she said. "If the L train is shutting down, I won't have any customers."

The L train has become an increasingly vital transit line as popular neighborhoods like Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Bushwick explode in possibility. The line's daily ridership has swelled to more than 300,000 amid the crush of new development.

For many of those riders, the L train is the only convenient option as the nearby G and J/M/Z lines either require multiple transfers or long walks to access.

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