MTA To Close R Train Service to Manhattan for One Year

Bay Ridge to lose lone link to other boroughs

The Brooklyn Paper
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Starting on Aug. 2, the Metropolitan Transit Authority will cut off R train service between Bay Ridge and Manhattan for more than a year to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy. But short-term relief is in store for Aug. 5, with a one-month trial of ferry service from 58th Street in Sunset Park.

The MTA announced in June that the Montague Street tunnel — which connects the R line from Brooklyn to Manhattan — is in such bad shape from the storm that it will shut down for 14 months for repairs. The agency said that Sandy’s salt surge corroded the electronics in the tunnel. The two months the tunnel was closed immediately following the storm was not enough to fix all the damage.

“Even after we restored service through the tubes again, signal and other component failures rose dramatical­ly,” said chairman Thomas Prendergast.

During the closure period, commuter trains will terminate at Court Street, where riders heading to downtown Manhattan can switch for free to the 4 or 5 train. On weekends, the R train will run over the Manhattan Bridge into Manhattan, following the N line’s path into Manhattan.

The R is the only train that services Bay Ridge, and Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge) and state Sen. Marty Golden (R-Bay Ridge) have both called for ferry service between the Southern Brooklyn and Manhattan to compensate for the loss.

This week the New York City Economic Development Corporation — the semi-public agency that serves as the city’s liaison to business — has arranged to have the Seastreak ferry that runs from Rockaway to the Financial District make a stop at 58th Street in Brooklyn to pick up Manhattan-bound commuters.

The boat will offer a $2, 15-minute trip to Wall Street for R riders facing a painful switch to the 4 or 5 trains at Court Street during the construction on the tunnel. The first ferry will stop at 58th Street at 6:20 am, and run every hour until 10 am. The boat will stop first at Wall Street, then at East 34th Street. Returning boats will launch from Manhattan from 4 pm until 8 pm.

But the convenience may be short-lived. The ferry service will begin Aug. 5 — three days after the tunnel closes — and last until Labor Day. The city will then assess if ridership is high enough to justify continuing the service — and, if not, it will end. Electeds urged commuters to use the ferry to keep the service from sinking.

Ferry service from 58th Street — which took commuters into the city following 9-11 and during the 2005 transit strike — last ran in 2010, when it was discontinued because of lack of funding.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 10:13 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Ouch from my ridge is burning says:
That suckkkkkssss!
Aug. 1, 2013, 4:25 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
You are aware that they need to fix these lines, and it's not so easy when you have a transit system running 24-7. At least in many other cities, they use the time it's not running to fix anything so that nobody will feel inconvenienced by that. Seriously, Borough Hall-Court Street is a major hub, so I really doubt that it will be a problem for R train riders going Manhattan bound especially when they might be switching to them in Manhattan anyway. On a side note, it's us motorists living in the rest of downstate NY rather than the riders living in NYC itself that are providing the bulk of the funding to the MTA just to know who is really footing the bill here.
Aug. 1, 2013, 8:07 pm
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
Good morning, Tal. I hope you don't mind my asking: What is your major malfunction? Thanks for reading.
Aug. 2, 2013, 8:12 am
LABJ from Bay Ridge says:
My question is this. If the tunnel is in such horrible condition (it has been stated that it should probably be rebuilt), how is it that trains have been sent through there for the past 8 - 9 months? Was this shear disregard for the safety of the tens of thousands who rode the R train all of that time? WOW!!! Shame on you MTA.
Aug. 2, 2013, 5:49 pm
MTO from Bay Ridge says:
Tal, you're kidding,right? "who is really footing the bill here ". On a side note You come the city and use our resources that we in nyc pay for. Don't like the tolls , use mass transit and help us grubbers out! Now, wouldn't that be Pleasant.
Aug. 3, 2013, 2:09 pm
Frankie from Dyker Heights says:
MTO, Tal sounds like one of those Southern Republican Politicians who bellyache that they get a $1.50 for every $1.00 they send to Washington.Sandy hits us hard and they refuse to help us. Rep Ayn Rand"the Wig" Paul ,Kentucky, comes to mind. We should take care of ourselves , first, every dollar raised in NY should be used in NY to help rebuild.They don't like Big Gov't ,let them live by their "survival of the fittest mentality .! The Confederation of Welfare States,formerly, the confederate states of America .You know right to work for less states.Unions are evil , you know?We know they are ignorant and self righteous.
Aug. 3, 2013, 2:39 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Frankie, just to let you know, I am a liberal, and I am very much in support of unions, especially TWU Local 100 when Roger Toussaint lead that three day transit strike back in 2005. I even support John Samuelson on fighting for the pensions. In other words, you just got debunked there. Nevertheless, you riders or should I say straphangers hardly pay for your own transit. In reality, the fare hikes are really small potatoes compared to the fare hikes, which are much more constant and don't go up in quarters as fare hikes do. BTW, the MTA is a state agency as it has been since 1965 when the state took over, so I do have a say in what goes on there since my taxes go to them as well. Another thing is that some of the highways I come into the city are state or federally owned, so I am paying taxes to them as well as hence I do contribute after all otherwise it's not a free ride for me. On a side note, to prove more that I am a liberal, I always found congestion pricing to be nothing more than a regressive tax, because those coming into Manhattan for the most part have lower incomes compared to those living in Manhattan, and the demographics have proven that to be true.
Aug. 3, 2013, 9:01 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Just something to add about congestion pricing, some of you are aware that the most vocal opponents to when it was an issue for NYC weren't conservatives, they were liberal. Last time I checked, politicians such as Anthony Weiner, Sheldon Silver, Richard Brodsky, and Lew Fidler are hardly conservative. This shows that where one stands on the issue had nothing to do with the political spectrum. If congestion pricing really wasn't a regressive tax, then explain why most of those living in upper Manhattan, the outer boroughs, and suburbs have lower incomes compared to living within the proposed zone in Manhattan, where it's much higher? Seriously, saying that it will help the MTA feels just like another road we have been down before, because if the revenue being made from the tolls and fares don't seem to be helping them, then I don't see how this would be either, which is why it failed to pass in the first place.
Aug. 4, 2013, 2:18 pm
Frankie from Dyker Heights says:
Tal, so it seems we are some what on the same page.May i say that when you use the term "liberal" you turn off the low information Fox adherents who mistakenly view that label as un- Patriotic anti-American panty waists.Conservative denotes RED,WHITE,and BLUE ,you know,REAL AMERICANS. We know that could'nt be further than the truth! They are not for the working/ middle class but for the banksters and vulture capitalist,steal your pension,depress your wages "JOB CREATORS" in china class.They have already busted UNIONS, AND NOW THEY ARE OUT TO VILIFY PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS IN ORDER TO PRIVATIZE AND PROFIT . DON'T FALL FOR IT , THEY ARE THE LAST LINE OF DEFENSE FOR THE WORKING MAN! EARNED BENEFITS BECOME ENTITLEMENTS AND BLAMED FOR THE DEBT WE ARE IN , THANKS TO THESE NEO-CON ROBBER BARON WAR MONGERS! Remember, if you tax the 1% they will leave NYC. What a joke! Take a look at One57! 96 dollars a month property tax on condo worth 10's of millions! Talk about class warfare and the working guy is clearly losing, thanks to our job creating, lets get rid of regulations,lackey politicians who are having their pockets lined by lobbyists.Senator Bernie Sanders for President, or how about Sen Elizabeth Warren?
Aug. 4, 2013, 4:25 pm
Frankie from Dyker Heights says:
And, NO, I am not a commie , but union made in the U.S.A Patriot. Please , you reagen numbskulls , please read a history book . Try something about the GREAT IRISH GENOCIDE ,also known as the Potato Famine and you will find that it is the same free market laissez fare economics (reaganomics) that led to this tragedy. We know what trickles down and it doesn't smell good!
Aug. 4, 2013, 4:49 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Frankie, the issue here is about the MTA and how they function. It doesn't take a side of the political spectrum to figure that out. That tunnel that goes under the East River where the R train is using had to be renovated sooner or later. I know how many won't like it, but it has to be done. However, I have always been unhappy with the way the MTA is funded, because the majority of it actually come from those who don't use it on a normal basis such as motorists living in the parts of the outer boroughs that don't get a lot of transit or from the suburbs of downstate NY. I feel that those that are using the system more should be the ones paying for it more, which does make sense in a lot of cases. I find it ironic that so many want the best transit system in the world, but don't want to actually pay for it. Overall, I am just tired of being a sacrificial lamb. As for class warfare, those that can live with access to great transportation or even business centers in that matter are the 1%, while the 99% has to live where a car is actually needed to get around if this is just everything that is immediate.
Aug. 4, 2013, 6:14 pm
Frankie from Dyker Heights says:
Oh ,yes,Tal it does take a side of the political spectrum.Those that want our Gov't to invest in our infrastructure with our tax dollars and those that want private sector pirates to head these projects. Think City Time or the new 911 system. Those job creators really did a job on NYC taxpayers and made bundles while leaving us holding the bag.Think,Tal,if we had first class infrastructure,you wouldn't Need a car to commute like some third world country bumpkin. Do you really live in Pleasantville? I have a feeling you don't .
Aug. 4, 2013, 7:40 pm
Frankie from Dyker Heights says:
You know, Tal , i just read your post again and your argument is just plain dumb! Does your house go on fire every day (God forbid) or do you need the services of the police or emt ambulances etc. every day. No, but you pay for it, and not begrudgingly, I hope! You know,just in case you require their response. Are you a ron paul aficianado.Hey, cancel the ambulance, he has no insurance. Down South,in the land of cotton, they let a house burn to the ground because they didn't pay the F.D. annual fee. Serves them right???
Aug. 4, 2013, 8:04 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Frankie, I do live in Pleasantville, which is no lie, and perhaps you don't live in Dyker Heights, so that one is right back at you. Anyway, I am not for privatizing anything that is actually public such as healthcare and social security. I never did support City Time nor was ever for corporate welfare such as the Atlantic Yards, which was also eminent domain abuse as well. As for the MTA, I don't want the agency to be privatized, because I feel that it will do more harm than good. As a matter of fact, privatizing could actually mean less stops rather than more, and that was the case when public transportation was being privatized over in New Zealand, which is why it would be a bad idea. The only reason I drive is mainly because my family lives in area that isn't near any sufficient transportation, and due to the sporadic schedule of Metro North RR and the Bee Line buses, it's better off to be driving when our schedule doesn't work with it. Try looking for the causes to why some of choose driving rather than the effects, and then you will understand why it's done like that. Nevertheless, only NYC would be getting the first class infrastructure on the subways and city buses while those of us living in the suburbs will still have the same transportation despite providing the majority of the funding to the MTA, so we deserve our share as well.
Aug. 4, 2013, 8:11 pm
Frankie from Dyker Heights says:
Tal, ok,you live in Pleasantville, I live in Dyker Heights. Loved the beginning of your post,my views to a tee. So, why did you have to end it with whining?
Aug. 4, 2013, 8:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Frankie, I am just not happy with the way the money is being handled by the MTA. Why are they acting so poor despite the revenues they are collecting from both fares and tolls and calling for more hikes? I don't mind them using private businesses as long as they are getting them through a fair bidding process rather than just handing it over to one firm by it Forest City Ratner on the Atlantic Yards or even how Haliburton got to get a pipeline in Iraq. More importantly, I am not against subsidizing transit, I just want those who are using it more to be paying for it even if that involves a fair hike rather than they way it's being done now. Seriously, I am tired of constant toll hikes when they hardly go to to fix whatever they are being placed on, plus I have seen more roadwork and traffic on the tolled crossings than on the free crossings. The original purpose of the tolls was to pay them off and remove them after that was done, not leave them as a revenue source. Doing such made motorists feel as if they were giving a double tip when they got forced to pay to cross them when their taxes for infrastructure are already paying for it. Overall, if you can afford to live close to almost everything, then you can afford a fare hike. BTW, it was Guliani who is responsible to why the MTA is doing so bad today in management, not the TWU as those looking for scapegoats are saying.
Aug. 5, 2013, 3:29 pm
Marc from Windsor Terrace says:
I thought I'd find a discussion of the closure of the Montague Street tunnel here. Silly me.
Aug. 14, 2013, 7:33 pm

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