F train to test commuter patience, again

At least it won’t be crowded.

That’s because the F train won’t be running at all between Jay Street and Church Avenue during intermittent weekends, with shuttle buses replacing subway cars, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said last week.

The buses will begin to rumble the weekend of Feb. 20-22, and continue the next weekend, Feb. 27 to March 1. Additionally, trains won’t run between Jay and Church streets on May 8-10, 15-17 and 22-24 and November 13-15, 20-22. And riders should expect to become accustomed to the closures, as there are more planned in 2011, according to Andrew Inglesby, assistant director of MTA Government and Community Relations. Specific dates are not yet available.

Excluded stops include much of Brownstone Brooklyn, including Bergen Street, Carroll Street, Smith/Ninth Street, Fourth Avenue, Seventh Avenue, 15th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway.

Inglesby told the Park Slope Civic Council last week that repair work to the elevated Culver Viaduct, along which the F travels, is the reason for the station closures. He said the agency is in the midst of bidding out the work for the rehabilitation of the Fourth Avenue, and Smith/Ninth Street stations, respectively. The massive project could be completed by 2013, at which time the MTA said it would begin to consider reinstituting express service along the F train.

Repair work prompted stations along the F to be closed for six weekends last year.

The agency recently completed a full review of the F train, and said much could be done to improve the line, which has seen its ridership skyrocket 15 percent since 2004. The agency has vowed to add new cars, revise its timetable and implement a host of other measures to make the line more efficient.

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