Today’s news:

MTA switching tracks; F express on the table

The Brooklyn Paper

City transit officials now say they will consider running express trains on the F-line subway beginning in 2008 — reversing an earlier insistence that the fast ride couldn’t start before necessary trackwork is completed in 2012.

Andrew Inglesby, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, stunned members of the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association on Monday night when he said that if repair work to the elevated track between Fourth Avenue and Smith/Ninth Street was delayed, the agency would go forward with the F express sooner rather than later.

And since delays are inevitable, the possibility of an F express appeared real.

Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens commuters hailed the news, but it’s unclear how such a service expansion would help commuters in those neighborhoods because the MTA has not committed to adding trains to the new express/local mix. The express would whisk commuters from southern Brooklyn past all stations in Brownstone Brooklyn except for Seventh Avenue in Park Slope.

But Carroll Gardens commuter Gary Reilly, who championed the idea of an express on an online petition early this year, was pleased nonetheless.

“The community’s outcry was heard, and now the express is on their priority list,” he said.

“This is good news,” added Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for Transportation Alternative and a Brooklyn resident. “The city is seriously looking to increase subway capacity at a minimum cost, and the fact that they are looking at it now shows serious interest.”

The news comes with a decidedly negative twist, however. If the F express goes forward because the track repairs are delayed, a planned extension of the G train into Park Slope will also be delayed. Plans to extended G service to Seventh Avenue would have created a direct link between Park Slope and Williamsburg.

The F train did run express between Jay Street-Borough Hall and Kings Highway during rush hour through the 1970s, but it was discontinued for track work.

The dormant F express tracks run below the local tracks between Bergen and Carroll streets and alongside the local tracks on the elevated stretch between Carroll Street and Seventh Avenue in Park Slope. South of the Slope, the express tracks follow a separate tunnel to the Church Avenue station.

An F express would presumably make Brooklyn stops at York Street in DUMBO, Jay Street/Borough Hall in Downtown, Seventh Avenue, and Church Avenue in Kensington — and perhaps make other express stops toward Coney Island.

South of Church Avenue there is only one express track, so express service in that area could only run in one direction, much like the 7 train in Queens.

A 2003 study by Community Consulting Services projected that the F express would shave 20 minutes off the commutes of 40,000 people, mostly in southern Brooklyn. That number will grow larger over the next few years as more apartment towers go up further down the F line.

One member of the MTA board pointed out the irony that the F express could only happen if the track work is delayed.

“A delay wouldn’t exactly be unusual [for the MTA],” said the board member, Norman Brown.

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JKM says:
The M.T.A./ New York City Transfer Authority should complete the construction of the "forgotten IND Subway Line" which crosses he IND 8th Avenue Subway Station of "Utica Avenue" going southbound stopping at "Eastern Pkwy", "Faragut Road", "Church Avenue", and further south to the "Kings Plaza" shopping Mall in Brooklyn, N.Y. Northbound, from the Utica Avenue IND 8th Avenue 'A/C" Subway line transfer point under "Stuyvesant Avenue" making stops at "Halsey Street", or "Putnam Avenue", or
"Gates Avenue", or "Lexington Avenue", and stopping at "Broadway/ Mrtyle Avenue" for free transfer to BMT "J"/"Z"/"M" trains. The IND Line continues Northbound to connect to the imcompleted IND "South 5th Street" Subway Station Shell which a free transfer could be made to the IND Crosstown G/GG Train at "Broadway" and Union Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The forgoten IND Subway line runs paralell to the BMT Broadway Line as the IND line runs directly under "South 5th Street" to the East River Tunnel where it connects to the IND 6th Avenue "F" Train Line at "Houston Street and "2nd Avenue with a transfer point to the newly constructed 2nd Avenue Subway, and the 6th Avenue IND "F"/ "V" Line.

Submit this plan to the M.T.A./ New York City Transit Authority.
Oct. 11, 2007, 10:26 pm
Hi from Kensington says:
As a person living off the Church F, I think this is the best idea ever! During rush hour into the city Church is the last stop you can reasonably expect to get a seat, after that your SOL and I've seen the train slowed down due to this over crowding many times.
June 19, 2009, 11:36 am

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