A luxury car-service startup called The New L had 5,000 panicked people sign up in preparation for the L train shutdown. Now, its future is 'TBD.'
- The New L was intended to be a luxury transportation option for Brooklynites during the planned shutdown of the L train.
- In recent months, The New L had roughly 5,000 people sign up for the service, which would cost $155 a month.
- However, on Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the L train would no longer shut down for 15 months as previously planned, leaving the future of The New L in question.
The New L was intended to be a luxury alternative to New York City's plan to get people from Brooklyn to Manhattan during the planned shutdown of the L train.
Brooklynites would pay $155 a month to be shuttled to and from Manhattan in luxury vans complete with chargers, Wi-Fi, and breakfast bars. Roughly 5,000 people had signed up for the service over the last several months, according to the company.Then, four months before the planned shutdown and simultaneous launch of The New L, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed the old L isn't going anywhere.
The New L founder Jaime Getto told Business Insider in an interview on Thursday - hours after Cuomo announced the L train would not shut down for 15 months as previously planned - that she was just as surprised as everyone else by the last-minute change.
"The only thing that wasn't a huge shock is that in all the press conferences leading up to today, over the last six or seven months, have really been lacking in substance on any questions surrounding mitigation plans," Getto said. "The city was never able to provide any suitable alternatives."
The New L had five employees and thousands of sign-ups, and it had made plenty of headlines since its website launched in 2018. But, Getto says, the company never took any outside funding or money from potential customers. Employees did not quit their day jobs, with Getto continuing to work full-time as director of acquisition and retention marketing at recruiting startup Vettery.
Despite the L train shutdown being cancelled, The New L isn't ready to shut down quite yet.
Getto says the company's future is "TBD" as more details about Cuomo's new plan emerge. The New L's website will keep its signup page open, and if Brooklynites remain interested, the company will look into how to best meet people's needs. The New L was always intended to be flexible in structure, in part because Getto says the company anticipated the shutdown could take more or less time than officially planned."The way we've structured the company is, we will be ready to go if our services are needed," Getto says.