Borough Park

Greenfield wants F train to run express

Council member says local service too slow

December 30, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The sign at the 18th Avenue F train station in Borough Park reads local, but Councilmember David G. Greenfield hopes to change it to express. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas

F should stand for fast, at least when it comes to subway service, according to Councilmember David G. Greenfield, who is calling on the new president of New York City Transit, Veronique Hakim, to help bring express service to the Brooklyn end of the F train line.

Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst) has garnered support from other elected officials, including state Sen. Simcha Felder and Councilmember Mark Treyger, in his effort to convince transit officials to take a look at changing the local F to an express train.

The local F service that is currently in place is too slow, according to Greenfield, who said a commute from Southwest Brooklyn to Midtown can take upwards of an hour.

An F express would be crucial for commuters from Midwood, Borough Park, Bensonhurst and Gravesend and would shorten their rides considerably, Greenfield said.

Greenfield, Felder and Treyger are requesting that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which oversees New York City Transit, turn the F into an express train in Brooklyn.

The F train runs between Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island and 179th Street in Queens via Manhattan.

“Taxpayers in my district deserve fair and equitable access to transportation,” said Greenfield, who pointed out that at one time, the F did run express in Brooklyn. “I receive regular complaints from constituents who want the F express to be restored.”

Felder (D-Borough Park-Midwood) agreed. “I’ve been riding the F train for the last 40 years. Express service once existed on this line, and it’s about time to bring it back. The demand is there; the service should be as well,” he said.

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The F train is riddled with problems, according to Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst). “Constituents frequently report jam-packed platforms, overcrowded subway cars and longer and longer commute times on the F train. The middle track is still there. The time is right to bring back express service to the F line. We matter, too,” Treyger said. 

Greenfield said that despite the agreement that was recently reached between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fund the MTA’s capital programs to the tune of $26.1 billion, riders in South Brooklyn have reason to be unhappy. The plan excluded many projects in South Brooklyn, he said.

One factor in slowing down the F train, according to Greenfield, was the expansion of G train service. In 2012, the G train expanded to Church Avenue, a move that Greenfield said led to delays on F trains, particularly at Church Avenue.

The effort to get the F train put on a fast track is not new. In 2014, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and a bipartisan group of elected officials sent a letter to the MTA requesting that the agency revisit the idea of express service on the F.

“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,” the Brooklyn Eagle quoted Adams as saying at the time.

The letter was also signed by U.S. Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Jerrold Nadler; state Sens. Martin Golden, Diane Savino and Daniel Squadron; Assemblymembers James Brennan, Steven Cymbrowitz and William Colton; and Councilmembers Stephen Levin, Greenfield and Treyger.

The elected officials asked for limited northbound F express service for morning commuters and southbound F express service for evening rush hours.

“Adding express service while maintaining current local service will mean less travel time and fewer delays for people and businesses along the line,” Squadron said last year.

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