Off track: MTA refuses to release year-old express F study

Ripple F-ect: Riders: MTA must add more trains if it brings back F express
Photo by Tom Callan

Talk about service delays.

Transportation Authority officials are refusing to release a long-awaited — and apparently year-old — study on resurrecting the express F train on the grounds the paper is not done, despite a transit honcho testifying otherwise before Council. Authority vice-president of governmental communications Lois Tendler attested at a March 2 hearing of Council’s transportation committee that the sought-after study was done, then claimed it wasn’t, then said it was likely done last year.

“Yes,” Tendler told Councilman David Greenfield (D–Midwood) when he asked whether the study commissioned five years ago was complete. “I think it was finished. I don’t know. I would have to get back to you. Not years ago, for sure. Probably last spring.”

This paper asked for the study through a Freedom of Information Law request on March 2, but an authority official claimed it was still in the early stages.

“It’s not done,” said information officer Juliet Williams. “It’s in its preliminary stages.”

Presented with Tendler’s testimony from earlier that day, Williams recanted and said the study was awaiting final approval from transit-division president Veronique Hakim.

“It has to be presented to the president and be approved,” she said. “Nothing right now is subject for disclosure.”

The agency hasn’t had a chance to present the study to Hakim since she took over New York City Transit in November, an agency spokesman told JP Updates.

The authority cut express service in the 1970s. Greenfield asked Hakim about the restoration in December. Coney Island pols are also demanding the orange bullet back, citing a resurgent amusement district.

Greenfield said he is frustrated by the transit authority’s obstruction.

“We’ve been working on this for five years, they have the actual report, they promised me it, they finally got it done, they’re holding it, and won’t share it with us,” Greenfield said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.