For the first time since the 1970s, express trains will run on the F line in Brooklyn again, albeit in a limited form.
The MTA announced that it will start running four express F trains in Brooklyn during the morning and evening rush hours, starting in September. The trains will run from Jay St-MetroTech to Church Street, with just one stop—at Seventh Avenue—in the middle, skipping several stops in Park Slope and Carroll Gardens along the way. Two Manhattan-bound trains will run between 7 and 7:30 a.m., and two Brooklyn-bound ones will run between 5 and 5:40 p.m.
“We’re adding some limited express service to the F line in Brooklyn because our customers asked, and we listened,” NYCT president Andy Byford said in a statement. “It will benefit thousands of commuters by getting them to their destinations faster instead of sitting waiting as their train makes all local stops.”
According to the MTA, the section of the F line between Broadway-Lafayette and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue is one of the longest stretches of local-only stops in the entire system—there are 26 local stops in a row, leading to long commutes for people who live off of stops in south Brooklyn neighborhoods.
The move comes three years after the MTA last flirted with the idea of express service along the line—an idea that was praised by residents of south Brooklyn, who often get stuck on slow local trains, and denounced by residents of Park Slope, whose stops would be skipped.
Lawmakers who represent residents of neighborhoods who will be affected have already expressed divided views of the plan; the MTA’s release, for example, came with quotes from reps from Borough Park, Bay Ridge, Coney Island, and Sheepshead Bay, who praised the plans.
“I have been calling on New York City Transit (NYCT) to restore F express service for many years, and it is good after these many years of advocacy, that a portion of that service is being restored,” Rep. Jerry Nadler, who represents parts of Borough Park and Bensonhurst, said in a statement. “I believe the many neighborhoods of southern Brooklyn need this additional service, and adding express service—while maintaining local service—will mean less travel time and fewer delays for people and businesses along the entire line.”
But state Sen. Brian Kavanagh, who represents parts of Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, expressed his disappointment with the plan.
“It’s especially troubling given the concerns our community has articulated to the MTA in the past regarding frequent unannounced irregularities in service that have led the F train to skip stops,” Kavanagh said in a statement. “We will be seeking assurances from the MTA that the scheduled reduction in frequency of local trains will not be compounded by routine disruptions in local service at stations on our communities.”