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City Council Passes Bills to Create Information Center, Establish Point-Person, For L Train Shutdown

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Sept. 13, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

An L train shutdown information center and a representative to receive and investigate related complaints could soon be in place as part of the city’s response to the looming shutdown.

The City Council unanimously passed a package of bills yesterday aimed at easing the effects of the L train shutdown in April, when the Canarsie tunnel connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan will close for 15 months for repairs.

“Understandably, New Yorkers on both sides of the East River are getting more and more anxious about what some are calling the ‘L-pocalypse’,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson, sponsor of some of the bills, said.

One of the bills calls for the Department of Transportation, along with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, to designate at least one community information center in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

These centers would provide information and resources to the public relating to the reconstruction.

Another bill would require the DOT to designate an ombudsman to receive and investigate complaints relating to the shutdown.

The two bills were first introduced in June by Johnson, who said his primary concern is “mitigating the pain” of the shutdown.

“It’s a closure that’s going to have a huge impact for our city, and a huge loss for the entire system,” he said during yesterday’s Council meeting.

The Council also unanimously passed a resolution that calls for the MTA to use electric buses as part of its replacement service during the shutdown, and in its fleet at large.

The resolution, introduced by Council Member Rafael Espinal, aims for a greener bus fleet as opposed to the diesel buses the MTA is likely to purchase for mitigation plans related to the shutdown.

“The MTA currently plans on purchasing 200 diesel fuel buses and place them in some of the neighborhoods that have the worst air quality that the city has to offer,” Espinal said at an an earlier Transportation Committee meeting.

Espinal, while recognizing that the MTA has committed to transitioning into having an all electric fleet, said adding more diesel buses at this time does not make sense..

Details on the information and ombudsman’s office are sparse, with the bill now in the hands of de Blasio.

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