After weeks of community uproar, the MTA has announced that they will offer free shuttle service to replace the shuttered F train in southern Brooklyn on weekends this year.
Beginning on June 16, the buses will run in place of the train, as the agency has halted service between Church Avenue and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue stations on most weekends while they begin signal modernization along the line.
The announcement, which they made on Thursday, comes after weeks of standoff with Brooklynites, as the agency initially said they would not be providing any alternative service to replace the shuttered train service.
The affected weekends are:
- June 16 – June 19
- June 23 – June 26
- June 30 – July 3
- July 7 – July 10
- August 4 – August 7
- August 11 – August 14
- August 18 – August 21
- August 25 – August 28
- September 1 – September 4
- September 8 – September 11
- October 21 – October 23
- November 10 – November 13
- November 17 – November 20
- November 24 – November 27
- December 1 – December 4
- December 8 – December 11
- December 15 – December 18
- December 22 – December 25
- December 29 – January 1
The adjusted route is due to a modernization project seeking to upgrade 70-year old signals from Church Avenue to West 8th Street, which has made it one of the city’s least reliable services, as previously reported by Brooklyn Paper.
“Replacing aging equipment is fundamental to modernizing and improving our infrastructure,” Jamie Torres-Springer, president of construction and development for the MTA said in a statement. “New signal technology will allow us to improve speeds and on-time performance for [F] train customers in Brooklyn.”
The initiative originally raised concerns for southern Brooklyn residents as the line is one of the few transportation options available to them.
Council Member Ari Kagan, who called the cuts “absolutely horrible,” said the free shuttle option will make summer transit easier for the people who live and work in the area.
“This shuttle service along the [F] line between Coney Island- Stillwell Avenue and Church Avenue for the entire period of the construction project will provide the opportunity for riders to reach their destination,” Kagan said in a statement. “I will continue to work with the MTA, elected officials and community partners to make sure the residents of Southern Brooklyn have viable public transportation options.”
Lucy Diaz, chairperson for community board 13, said stations in the area can get overcrowded due to an increase of tourists. A problem that will hopefully be tolerable with the help of a shuttle service.
“As the warmer days approach and ridership increases to the Coney Island area, providing F train shuttle bus service for this community is not only a need, it is a must,” Diaz and Eddie Mark, district manager for community board 13 said in a joint statement. “We hope to build on these accomplishments and support the work of universal inclusion for our community.”