Back on track: Brownstone Brooklynites renew fight against express F

What the F: Carroll Gardens resident Erin Lippincott wants the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to rewrite its F express plan so it doesn't screw people living off local stops.
Brooklyn Paper
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Slow your roll!

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority must scrap its planned express F-train service and work with straphangers to come up with a new scheme that also boosts service at local stops, thousands of residents are demanding in a new petition.

“We refuse to accept the MTA’s current proposal as a done deal,” reads the petition, first started by Carroll Gardens resident Erin Lippincott then adopted by Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope), that has amassed 2,700 signatures in just a few days.

“We urge the MTA to not implement F express service until a new plan to improve service on the F line for all riders, at local and express stops, has been thoroughly vetted by the community,” it continues.

Brownstone Brooklynites were incensed when the transit agency released a report in May recommending half of rush-hour trains speed past six stations between Downtown and Kensington during rush hour — blowing past Bergen Street, Carroll Street, Smith–Ninth, Fourth Avenue, 15th Street, and Fort Hamilton Parkway stops — in order to make commutes faster for Southern-Brooklyn straphangers.

But Lippincott says residents’ rage seems to have faded since the scheme was announced — and many locals she’s spoken to weren’t even aware of it at all. So she launched the petition and a dedicated website last week, and has already scored the support of every Council member and state rep from screwed-over stops.

“There was a flurry of activity in mid- to late-May and then it seemed to go radio silent,” she said. “I started asking around and no one knew that this was a proposed cut that the MTA was recommending. This is a really big deal.”

Many pols and riders had supported the idea of an F express in the past — essentially resurrecting a service that ran from 1969 to 1987 — but only if it came with additional local trains so those at skipped stops don’t suffer.

The proposed plan, however, would simply halve service at the local platforms — “inconvenie­ncing” 51 percent of riders on the line and creating bottlenecks at Bergen and Carroll stations, according to the agency’s own study.

Lander claims transit honchos have refused to schedule a meeting with his constituents or even him to discuss the plan — despite saying they would during a Council hearing in May.

“Despite committing to do so in sworn testimony before the City Council, the MTA is now refusing to even schedule a meeting with the public about the proposal … or even with those elected to represent them,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the state-run transit body said it is still open to hearing what people have to say about the F express, and will hold yet-to-be announced meetings before giving the proposal its blessing.

“We have not made a decision,” said Amanda Kwan. “We are committed to discussions with residents, elected officials, and the community boards of areas affected.”

But the cash-strapped agency’s options to appease riders at local stops may be limited — it would need to add more trains, but the study claimed there are none to spare and the line only has room for one or two more an hour, anyway.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Paul from Sheepshead Bay says:
Another example of the arrogance and short sighted attitude of the MTA. "Going Your Way" was the pitch some years ago from this misguided and myopic agency.. Where? We don't know and we don't care. Wasting Your Time, Every Day, that's the true MTA motto. They enjoy doing that!!

The problem here though is that it's only a few people such as Erin Lippincott, ever get up off their plasticene seats on the subway and stand up against this organizations evils. Most of us are tool accepting of the endless delays and deliberate lack of information from this public transit system. If Ten Thousand people or more marched on MTA headquarters, demanding accountability, something could be forced through that would serve all riders.
July 8, 2016, 8:33 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
I remember the express. I lived in South Brooklyn at the time(Brighten Beach). It worked then because you could change at Bergen street to the local because both the express and local stopped at Bergen Street on two levels. So that both the G train and every other F made all the local stops in the nabe, I don;t believe they can reopen the lower level at Bergen St(they have put immovable equipment on the station platform on the lower level,
July 8, 2016, 9:35 am
Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. from BS, BK, NY, US says:
It is the borough civil war that no one along the IND Culver Line will win because of the lack of accountability, convenience, efficiency, reliability, sustainability and transparency by the MTA.
July 8, 2016, 12:56 pm
Gtrainrider from Greenpoint says:
Is anyone else entirely sick of the MTA's go-to excuse of "lack of trainsets?" Any even remotely competent provider of services would have as much as 10% of excess capacity available for service adjustments on-the-fly. We need to push-back every single time they try to use this excuse and remind them that it is THEIR JOB to supply trains. We are and will pay for them - just get the trains in service. I highly suspect they use the lack-of-trains excuse to avoid proper staffing - this is also why they have reduced service frequency despite the rapidly climbing usage of the subway over the past decade.

Regarding the F express service - it should happen. It's a lie that it will only save "3 minutes" and if the expected increase in G service occurs that will compensate for the reduced F line service/capacity in Brownstone areas. Their attention should be focused on making sure that happens rather than (again) trying to stop better service for their neighbors to the south. If you have ALLIES throughout Brooklyn you are far more likely to get your way.
July 9, 2016, 10:44 am
Brent L from The WT says:
The MTA is really the worst
July 9, 2016, 12:20 pm
fisheye says:
Okay, I'll take Gtrainrider's bait. The NYCT rolling stock is about 6,400 cars so a 10% increase would be around 640 cars. Depending on the manufacturer and model, a subway car costs $1.25-1.50 million. Let's say $1.35M, average. 640 X 1,350,000 = $864M. Add in contract management and other overhead and we are talking a billion dollars. Governor Cuomo, whaddaya say? Gtrainrider is tired of the excuses.
July 11, 2016, 10:21 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
tell us about the subway system in cup of coffee , ohio
July 11, 2016, 1:55 pm
Ed from Park Slope says:
So Brad Lander is so unhappy that the F train express may harm more people than it helps so he is in favor of a petition to get the MTA to reverse its decision. Well, Mr. Lander, what about the 99.9% of New Yorkers who will be affected adversely with the nickel bag tax you convinced your colleagues of the City Council to pass? Mr. Lander, you can't complain that the MTA is dictating its decision about the proposed F train express while dictating a nickel regressive tax on all shopping bags on the residents of the city. Simcha Felder introduced legislation which passed in the State Senate to negate "Mr. Lander's Nickel Bag Tax" but Heastie blocked this bill in the Assembly. Hopefully Mr. Heastie will allow a vote in the State Assembly soon.
Mr. Lander: looking forward to voting for your opponent in next year's election.
July 12, 2016, 12:36 pm
Kai B from Greenpoint says:
@Sid, The lower level of Bergen could be reopened (trains run through it as ad-hoc expresses and for planned construction reroutes). However the cost is estimated at somewhere around $100 million so it's not part of the present plan.
July 14, 2016, 7:15 am

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