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Express F Train Service to Come to Brooklyn — Or Maybe Not

By Valeria Ricciulli | May 17, 2016 3:13pm
 A councilman said Tuesday the service is coming this summer, but the MTA hasn't OK'd it yet.
A councilman said Tuesday the service is coming this summer, but the MTA hasn't OK'd it yet.
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Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin

BROOKLYN —  Councilman David G. Greenfield announced Tuesday that the F express train will return to Brooklyn this summer — but the MTA has not officially approved it, according to a spokesman.

"It is a recommendation that we move forward with an F express," said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz. "This is a process, we still need to reach out to the communities that will be impacted by the change, and get feedback from our board."

If approved, Ortiz said, the F train will start running express in 2017. He also clarified that the reason why the F train is currently skipping some Jamaica-bound stops is because of track work happening until June 3.

A group of local officials released a statement denouncing the proposal and blasting the MTA for failing to communicate about the changes before making a decision.

“The proposed service change harms more people than it helps, ignores our request for increased service, and pits Brooklyn residents against each other, creating ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ without sufficient information or dialogue," according to the joint statement, from Councilman Brad Lander, Councilman Stephen Levin, State Senator Daniel Squadron, State Senator Jesse Hamilton, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, State Senator Kevin S. Parker and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon. 

"Instead of providing a fair process, the MTA blindsided our communities, announcing the proposal in a newspaper, before providing any information to community stakeholders or the elected officials representing these areas," the statement said.

"F-Express service would benefit riders in Southern Brooklyn, and at the Church Avenue and 7th Avenue stops," the statement continues. "But it would come at the expense of longer commute times for riders at Ft. Hamilton, 15th St, 4th Ave, Smith/9th, Carroll St, and Bergen St., as part of a commute on a line that is already unreliable, overcrowded, and sub-par. Half of the trains that now serve those stations would skip them, causing delays of 5 minutes or more."

Lander also took to Twitter to say that that F train riders at local stops would be negatively affected by express service.

The MTA studied the possibility of implementing the F train express service, and recommended to move forward with the proposal after projects along the Culver Line were scheduled to finish in early Fall 2017.

"Implementing this service will result in a net travel time benefit of 27,000 minutes during the weekday AM peak hour and 13,000 minutes during the PM peak hour," the study reads. "While F riders at local stations would experience longer wait times, this service change will help those riders along the F train in South Brooklyn with the longest commutes."

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said in a statement Tuesday that the proposal "seeks to pit Brooklynite against Brooklynite in a fight for quality transportation," and called for a decision that improves service for local F train riders as well.

The F train will also be running express at night this week, until Friday, due to temporary "Fastrack" repairs between Jay St-MetroTech and Church Avenue.