Subway riders who regularly use the Smith–Ninth Street station in Carroll Gardens were depressed by the news that the station would be closed for nine months for repairs, most likely in 2010.
It has long been known that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority intends to rebuild the elevated section of the F and G lines between Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, but it was a surprise last week to learn that the project would involve shutting down that Smith–Ninth Street station for almost a year.
“This pretty much screws me completely,” said Kayleigh Griffin, who works in Carroll Gardens and lives in Queens. “My commute would turn into an hour. I might as well as take my fiancé’s car.”
The MTA says it will provide shuttle bus service to ease the ordeal for straphangers, but would say little else about how it will handle the long-needed repairs to the Culver Viaduct, as the above-ground portion of the line is known in transit circles.
Given the authority’s silence, straphangers — especially Red Hook residents, who already have a long commute just to get to the Smith–Ninth Street station — could do nothing else but expect the worst.
“This is going to slow me down,” said Anna McRae, who commutes to Coney Island from Red Hook. “And I will have to pay double bus fare,” because she will have to make multiple bus transfers.
But Jayleen, a high school student who wouldn’t give her last name, supports the closure, because she has a long list of complaints about the station that she wants the MTA to address.
“This train station is horrible,” she said, pointing to the omnipresent holes in the ceiling. “There are leaks and rats like crazy. I need an umbrella even when it’s not raining.”
But when the time comes to shut the station, local businesses will take an economic hit when commuters head elsewhere for the subway.
“Oh my god! That’s a big problem for me,’ said Luz Maria de Garcia, the owner of F-Line Bagels at the corner of Smith and Ninth streets, across the street from the elevated station. The store survived another scare in 2005 when the MTA took the storeowners to court for wrongful use of the F-line’s distinctive orange logo.