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Coalition urging MTA to restore “express” F train service

September 16, 2014 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Will the F train ever go express? AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
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A coalition of elected officials have urged the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to restore express F train service in Brooklyn in a letter sent to MTA Chairman Thomas F. Prendengast. The correspondence, which was signed by a bipartisan group of fourteen city, state and federal leaders, noted that “benefits of restoring the F train express service in Brooklyn would be felt throughout the borough with decreased travel time to Manhattan, decreased delays along the entire line and a better quality of life for all subway riders in our communities.”

“The F train should stand for fast service, not failed opportunity,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who signed on to the letter. “We need to reduce crowding on these platforms, which are causing significant safety concerns, and we need to alleviate the burden riders are facing with one of the city’s longest commutes. I look forward to working with this diverse coalition of elected officials and the MTA to fast track this needed enhancement to our borough’s public transportation.”

Joining Adams on the letter were Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, Jerrold Nadler and Michael Grimm; State Senators Martin Golden, Diane Savino and Daniel Squadron; Assemblymembers James Brennan, Steven Cymbrowitz, William Colton and Joan Millman; as well as Councilmembers Stephen Levin, David Greenfield and Mark Treyger. In their letter, the officials specifically ask that the MTA restore limited northbound F express service for morning commuters and southbound F express service for evening commuters.

“The F is a lifeline for communities throughout Brooklyn, in my district and beyond,” said Squadron. “Adding express service – while maintaining current local service – will mean less travel time and fewer delays for people and businesses along the line.”

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The line is consistently ranked as among the most delayed lines in the system, and was specifically targeted for improvements by the MTA in the October 2009 Full-Line Review, led by Squadron and other local leaders.

“I fully support restoring F train express service to southern Brooklyn,” said Assemblymember William Colton. “I have been calling on the MTA to restore F express service for many years, as I believe that our growing population of working families in southwest Brooklyn needs this additional service.

Colton previously drew together a broad community coalition to successfully restore the B64 bus to Coney Island in 2012, and claimed that coalition could serve as a model for restoring express service to the F line.

“I believe that by joining and working together, the diverse communities of southern Brooklyn can finally get F express service restored – for it is long overdue and much-needed. Now we will make our voices loud and clear,” Colton said.

In addition to delays, another concern is overcrowding. Nineteen of the 22 Brooklyn stops along the F train have seen increases in ridership over the last year; on a broader scale, the MTA’s review of 2013 ridership rates showed Brooklyn as having the largest increase in ridership, with  the increase being “driven by strong growth on the Canarsie L, crosstown G and Culver F lines.”

“Despite its population increase, southern Brooklyn has not been given appropriate consideration by the MTA and the lack of express service on the F train reflects that,” said Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz. “It’s time for the MTA to restore express service and give southern Brooklyn riders the same courtesy that other straphangers already have. Shorter rides mean a better quality of life for all.”

“As ridership on the F line continues to grow, it is important that we give riders more options,” said Councilmember Stephen Levin. “Restoring express service on the F line will ease commute times for Brooklyn residents and benefit their quality of life. I am proud to join my fellow elected officials in calling for the restoration of express service on the F line.”

In addition to the officials who authored the letter, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 also supports the proposal.


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