Skip to content
CityLab
Transportation

Map Your Way to Commuter Freedom in New York

And see where the looming L-train shutdown will hurt the most.
relates to Map Your Way to Commuter Freedom in New York
Sidewalk Labs

Endless train delays and calcifying surface traffic have lately painted the New York City transit experience a deep shade of red. Soon, commuters will unlock a fresh level of hell when the tunnel housing the L train closes for 18 months to address Hurricane Sandy damage. Starting as early as 2019, the shutdown of the tunnel—and all L train stations west of Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn—will directly impact the 250,000 riders who shuttle between Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan every day.

How bad will it be? Wonks by the dozen have offered their two cents on which neighborhoods will be hardest hit, and what to do about it. Sidewalk Labs, the Alphabet subsidiary that builds smart city technology, has partnered with Transportation Alternatives, a New York City transit advocacy group, to map how the coming service block will affect transit trips between any two points in the city. Users can drop pins from start- and end-points and toggle with a range of trip settings—commute time, mode preference, maximum willingness to walk and transfer—and compare how the lack of an L train will screw things up, based on up-to-date GTFS feeds for all MTA bus and subway lines, plus local ferries.