Attention Q riders: get ready to play the shuttle bus shuffle.
From now until March 1, the MTA will suspend weekend train service along the Q line in Flatbush and Park Slope — another headache for commuters who have been dealing with construction delays along the Brighton Line for years.
“It’s hassle for us who live out here,” said Karen Yancu, a Flatbush resident, who said she’d rather take the long trek from her home to the 2 and 5 trains at the Newkirk Avenue station instead of waiting in the cold for the shuttle bus the MTA plans to offer stranded straphangers. “Those buses are very inconvenient.”
The city just spent $161.4 million renovating five stations along the Brighton Line — causing many service outages for residents — but now the MTA says it wants to shut down the Q train tracks between Prospect Park station and 57th Street station in Manhattan so they can work on one station: the Atlantic Avenue hub. Work will commence every weekend with the exception of Feb. 4—6.
For Brooklyn riders, that means the Seventh Avenue station along the Q line will be completely shut down. Manhattan-bound riders will have to get off the Q at Prospect Park and take a shuttle bus to the Atlantic Avenue station, where they can get on the N train or a variety of other trains, the MTA says.
Flatbush riders will have to take the shuttle bus to Atlantic, but it will be a bigger hassle for straphangers who live further east — they will have to take the Q, which starts at Stillwell Avenue, to Prospect Park, get on a shuttle bus, only to get on another train at Atlantic Avenue.
Flatbush train users say the impending weekend shutdown is a slap in the face to people who live on the south side of Prospect Park.
“As usual, city services to our area of Brooklyn are sub-par,” said Madeleine Fix-Hansen, who lives near the Parkside Q station. “It’s a major inconvenience and I wish they’d do the work at night.”
Yet the MTA insists it needs the weekends to chip away the old track and put in a new one with concrete that takes 50 hours to set. They won’t have enough tracks to keep the Q train running while the concrete is drying, they said.
“If we tried to run the Q to Atlantic Avenue on the weekends [in question] we would be restricted to one track, which means a train would come every 20-30 minutes,” said Deirdre Parker, a spokeswoman for the MTA. “The line is so busy on weekends that we need to run every 10 minutes. So, we run a train every 10 minutes to Prospect Park, then we run a bus from Prospect Park to Atlantic Avenue with a bus every one to two minutes. [That way] no one has wait 20-30 minutes.”