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

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

Tangerine, she is folly they claim.

Brownstone Brooklynites living along the tangerine-colored F line will not support a push to reintroduce express service unless the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority increases service along route, say commuters who use stations the train would skip as it jets between Coney Island and Manhattan.

“I would be in favor of the express if there was an increase in trains,” said Erika Chiu, who lives in Carroll Gardens and uses Carroll Street station — which the express would pass by — to get to Manhattan. “If not, it would kind of suck.”

A former transportation authority bookkeeper says the publicly-funded agency doesn’t have the money to add more trains to the line, though, so F riders who don’t live along express stops will be left waiting as the orange bullet whizzes by.

The F express used to quickly shuttle Brooklynites between Coney Island and Manhattan, skipping stops in brownstone Brooklyn except Bergen Street in Cobble Hill and Seventh Avenue in Park Slope, but the authority cut it more than 30 years ago to save money.

Now the transportation authority is considering bringing back the rapid ride to and from the People’s Playground. It completed a study on reviving the service last year but is refusing to release the paper until its president signs off on it.

Supporters of the F express argue it will relieve congestion during peak hours when trains — which run every four to six minutes — are so crowded that many straphangers can’t get on and are forced to wait for other trains to arrive.

Councilman Brad Lander (D–Cobble Hill) said he’s in favor of the F express as long as the transportation authority adds more trains along the line, but a rep refused to comment on whether he would offer his support to speedy service sans more trains, dismissing it as a hypothetical he did not want to get into.

Another Carroll Gardens resident who has worked to bring back the F express said the entire service’s success depends on adding more trains to the line.

“The key to it is you need to increase the level of service to make it work,” said rider and Community Board 6 member Gary Reilly, who catches the subway at Carroll Street and once campaigned for the area’s City Council seat advocating for the F express. “You have to make sure you maintain a level of service and people are not going to see the service suffer.”

A rep for the transportation authority refused to comment on the F express route and if it would add more trains to the service, but said it will have more information on the logistics of the service in the near future.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill