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The L 14th Street–Canarsie Local is a service of the New York City Subway, running local along the full length of the BMT Canarsie Line, 24 hours a day. The service is colored gray on station signs and the NYC Subway map, as it represents a service provided on the Canarsie Line. For more information on the service, including history of the line, see the Canarsie Line article.
Annual ridership for the L service:
1994 . . . 16,968,025
1996 . . . 18,107,243
1998 . . . 21,196,693
2000 . . . 26,155,806
2005 . . . 30,452,319
Time between scheduled trains:
Morning and evening rush hours: 4 mins.
Midday: 8 mins.
Overnight: 20 mins.
Five busiest stations in 2005:
Ridership on the L train has increased dramatically since 2000. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's $443 million fleet of subway cars on the L service was introduced in 2002, but by 2006 was already too small to handle growing ridership. The Transit Authority had projected that 212 Kawasaki-made R143 subway cars would be enough to accommodate ridership demands for years to come, but ridership has risen higher than expected.
Due to the L train's route through the heavily gentrified neighborhood of Willamsburg, the train is sometimes known to New Yorkers as the "hipster express".
The L tracks have been undergoing an extensive retrofit that will eventually allow them to utilize CBTC, a system that will transfer control of the trains to a computer on board, as opposed to the current system, where the trains are manually operated by a conductor. While the retrofit has resulted in nearly two years of service changes and station closings (often, there are no trains between Manhattan and Brooklyn after midnight), this system will eventually allow trains to run closer together, and enable in-station displays to note the exact time until the next train arrives. Original plans called for the system to also allow the use of OPTO (one person train operation), but public outcry due to perceived safety issues, which increased after the July 2005 London tube bombings, caused the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to scuttle these plans.
In 1924, part of the eventual 14th Street–Canarsie Line opened, called the "14th Street–Eastern District Line" (commonly the "14th Street–Eastern Line"), and carrying the number 16. This was extended east, and in 1928 it was joined to the existing Canarsie Line east of Broadway Junction. Since that time, the 14th Street–Canarsie Line service has operated as it is today, except for an extension from Sixth Avenue to Eighth Avenue, which opened in 1931 to connect to the new Eighth Avenue Subway.
On November 26, 1967, with the opening of the Chrystie Street Connection, the BMT Eastern District lines were given letters; the 16 became the Template:NYCS LL. When double letters were dropped on May 5, 1986, the Template:NYCS LL became the L, and it still has that designation.
Before the 14th Street–Eastern and Canarsie Lines were connected, the Canarsie part of the line already had a number, 14, running from lower Manhattan via the Broadway Elevated and called the Canarsie Line. When the 14th Street-Eastern Line was connected in 1928, this was renamed to the Broadway (Brooklyn) Line, but continued to operate to Canarsie. In 1967, the 14 Canarsie service was given the label JJ (though the 14 itself was designated KK, continuing east from Broadway Junction towards Jamaica). Canarsie service to lower Manhattan was discontinued in 1968.
Route L uses the following lines with the same service pattern at all times.
|BMT Canarsie Line||Eighth Avenue||Canarsie – Rockaway Parkway||all|
|Station service legend|
|Stops all times|
|Stops all times except late nights|
|Stops weekdays only|
|Stops rush hours in the peak direction only|
|Stops weekdays in the peak direction only|