LIGHT AT END OF TUNNEL: F Train Express may return
When Aaron Stern, the MTA’s director of management and budget, mentioned at a City Council hearing on Tuesday that the transit agency still plans to examine the idea of adding express service to the F train, many people in the area jumped to conclusions and rejoiced.
However, Kevin Ortiz, an MTA spokesman, stressed that the MTA has only committed to review express service. Furthermore, such a review will have to wait until the repairs on the elevated Culver viaduct over the Gowanus Canal are completed later in the year.
The F train ran express service during the rush hours until 1987, when it was “temporarily” discontinued because of track work. In 2007, Gary Reilly, a Carroll Gardens attorney and candidate for City Council, began an online petition campaign to restore the express. Eventually, Mayor Bloomberg, during his last re-election campaign, promised to review the idea.
For riders below Church Avenue, where an express track runs south to Kings Highway, an express could cut as much as 20 minutes off their daily commutes.
Between Church Avenue and Jay Street-MetroTech, there are two underground bypass/express tracks. One problem, however, is that the platform of one of the former express stops, Bergen Street, is now used for storing heavy equipment and is unlikely to be put back into service.
Thus, according to an MTA representative, a new express train is likely to skip all stops between Seventh Avenue-Park Slope and Jay Street. An express would also skip the heavily used Fourth Avenue stop, where riders can transfer to the R train.