The L 14th Street–Canarsie Local is a rapid transit service in the B Division of the New York City Subway. Its route emblem, or "bullet", is colored medium gray since it serves the BMT Canarsie Line.
The L operates at all times between Eighth Avenue in Chelsea, Manhattan, and Rockaway Parkway in Canarsie, Brooklyn. It also briefly enters Queens at Halsey Street, serving the neighborhood of Ridgewood. It is the first New York City Subway service to be automated using communications-based train control.
The L commenced its current route and service pattern upon completion of the Canarsie Line in 1928. Express trains formerly ran along the L's trackage in central Brooklyn, running along the BMT Fulton Street Line in eastern Brooklyn, but were discontinued in 1956. Since then, the L has been entirely local.
The L, being a local train, was originally given the LL designation when letters were assigned to the BMT division. From 1928 to 1967, the same service was assigned the BMT number 16.
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 was given the number 16. This was extended east, and in 1928 it was joined to the existing BMT 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 on May 30, 1931 to connect to the new Eighth Avenue Subway. The Eighth Avenue Terminal was originally built in IND style and has been restored to BMT style like Fulton Street and Broad Street. During rush hours, express service ran nonstop between Lorimer Street and Myrtle–Wyckoff Avenues. (Locals usually ran from Eighth Avenue to Myrtle–Wyckoff Avenues or Atlantic Avenue at these times.)
Starting on September 23, 1936, express trains ran to Lefferts Boulevard via the connection with the Fulton Street Elevated at Atlantic Avenue. This connection was severed on April 30, 1956; then the service ran to Canarsie–Rockaway Parkway again, but was discontinued on August 23. The R27 to R38's roll signs had both L and LL for express and local service, even though the express never ran thereafter. Skip-stop was proposed in the 1990s, but was never implemented.
On November 26, 1967, with the opening of the Chrystie Street Connection, the BMT Eastern Division lines were given letters; the 16 became the LL. When double letters were dropped on May 5, 1985, the 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 the Broadway (Brooklyn) Line, but continued to operate to Rockaway Parkway. 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.
Ridership on the L has increased dramatically since 2000, since many neighborhoods along the route have experienced gentrification. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's $443 million fleet of subway cars on the L 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. Therefore, sixty-four new R160A cars manufactured by Alstom have been equipped with CBTC in order to run on the L.
The BMT Canarsie Line tracks underwent an extensive retrofit over to CBTC, a system that controls the trains via a computer on board, as opposed manually operated by a human operator. This was completed in April 2012. While the retrofit has resulted in nearly two years of service changes and station closings, this system will eventually allow trains to run closer together, and enables in-station "countdown clock" displays to note the exact time until the next train arrives. The line also used OPTO (one person train operation) beginning in June 2005, but a combination of public outcry regarding perceived safety issues, which increased after the July 2005 London tube bombings, heavy lobbying by the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), as well as an arbitration ruling that MTA had breached its contract with TWU caused the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to end OPTO the following September. However, the MTA's successful implementation of countdown clocks on the L has been the first in the system.
From April 2019 to at least July 2020, service will be suspended between Eighth Avenue and Bedford Avenue to allow for repairs on the Canarsie Line tunnels under the East River, which were damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The L uses the following lines with the same service pattern at all times.
|BMT Canarsie Line||Eighth Avenue||Canarsie–Rockaway Parkway||all|
For a more detailed station listing, see BMT Canarsie Line.
|Station service legend|
|Stops all times|
|Stops all times except late nights|
|Stops weekdays only|
|Stops rush hours/weekdays in the peak direction only|
|Time period details|
|Station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act|
|↑||Station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act
in the indicated direction only
|Elevator access to mezzanine only|
|Eighth Avenue||A C E (IND Eighth Avenue Line)|
|Sixth Avenue||1 2 3 (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line at 14th Street)
F M (IND Sixth Avenue Line at 14th Street)
|PATH at 14th Street|
|Union Square||4 5 6 <6> (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
N Q R W (BMT Broadway Line)
|First Avenue||Northbound M15 Select Bus Service|
|Lorimer Street||G (IND Crosstown Line at Metropolitan Avenue)|
|Myrtle–Wyckoff Avenues||M (BMT Myrtle Avenue Line)||Some a.m. rush hour trips begin or end their runs to/from Eighth Avenue at this station[a]|
|Wilson Avenue||↑||Station is ADA-accessible in the northbound direction only.|
|Bushwick Avenue–Aberdeen Street|
|Broadway Junction||A C (IND Fulton Street Line)
J M Z (BMT Jamaica Line)
|Atlantic Avenue||LIRR Atlantic Branch at East New York|
|New Lots Avenue||B15 bus to JFK Int'l Airport|
|East 105th Street||Some northbound rush hour trips begin at this station|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to L (New York City Subway service).|