Before the L train shutdown, increased service for passengers fed up with overcrowding

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Before the L train goes offline in a few years so that the MTA can fix Hurricane Sandy-related damages to the Canarsie tubes, the beleagured subway line will up the frequency of its service, Greenpointers reports. The MTA announced today that beginning in June 2017, L train riders in Brooklyn and Manhattan can expect 50 additional round trips throughout the week: 11 new back-and-forths will be added on weekdays, 12 on Saturdays, and 27 on Sundays. 

This is welcome news for the regular passengers of one of the city's most overloaded trains. According to AM New York, the L transports 300,000 people every day; DNAInfo notes that ridership on the L soared more rapidly than any other line in the city, with an average increase of 5,600 straphangers at each stop in 2014. 

No wonder, then, that this train is so frequently overloaded and delayed: Most days, Greenpointers notes, the L is running at more than 100 percent capacity, which means that if you depend on this line, you're probably used to being very up close and personal with your fellow New Yorkers during your commute. 

The increased service should help relieve some of that pressure, although it's possible you may not notice a difference in the severity of crowding for long. The MTA is adding round trips to the L because it will be shutting down eight M train stations next summer while it makes repairs to strengthen that train line, in order to brace for the influx of riders to come with the L train's 2019 closure. 

That's right: first the L train will get displaced M riders, then the M will take on L passengers who need an alternative way to get around. The M train station closures could take up to 10 months; after that, the L train will be shut down between Manhattan and Brooklyn for 18 months. 

The MTA is now weighing how to best handle the latter situation. Per Gothamist, L train alternatives up for debate include more ferry and bus service, and making 14th Street car-free to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists. 

In any case, it's going to be a challenging several years for thousands of Brooklyn residents and business owners—and if you'd rather get out of Dodge than navigate all the changes, we have some suggestions for where you might look to move