Bay Ridge

MTA to extend R train shuttle

Golden says riders stand to benefit from changes

June 17, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The commute could get a lot easier for R train riders if the MTA approves a proposal to extend shuttle service to lower Manhattan. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas

Straphangers who ride the R train late at night could be getting a big break. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is poised to implement an extension of late-night R train shuttle service from the 36th Street Station in Brooklyn to Whitehall Street-South Ferry in Manhattan.

The MTA board met on June 20.

The R train shuttle service currently operates in Brooklyn only between the 95th Street Station in Bay Ridge and the 36th Street in Sunset Park. Riders heading into Manhattan have to transfer to a D train or an N train at the 36th Street Station to continue their trip.

In addition, state Sen. Marty Golden said the late-night subway service operates at a 20-minute headway, meaning that the wait time can be lengthy.

“Improved late-night R train service will help many who work night shifts, or who are out enjoying our city,” said Golden (R-C-Bay Ridge-Southwest Brooklyn).

Under the proposal, R train riders would have direct service between Bay Ridge and Lower Manhattan.

The change would also help R train riders seeking to make connections to other subway lines, including: the 1 at White Hall-South Ferry; the 2 and 4 at Court Street; the 2,4 and Q at Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center; the A and F at the Jay Street-MetroTech; the F and G at Fourth Avenue-Ninth Street; and the Q at DeKalb Avenue.

Golden, a member of the MTA Capital Review Board, said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast confirmed to him that the vote would take place.

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Golden said he was pleased with the progress the proposal has made, because riders “stand to benefit from these new and improved service opportunities.”

The MTA board also plans to vote on another proposal, one that would restore weekend service to the X28 express bus. The bus operates between Coney Island and Midtown Manhattan. The bus makes stops in Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge on its way to Manhattan.

The MTA cut weekend service in 2010 when the agency was cutting its budget.

Golden organized a 2013 petition drive calling for the restoration of weekend express bus service on the X28.

Restoration of weekend service would be a boon to riders, Golden said. “It will help to remove the problem many seniors and the disabled face in getting to Manhattan on the weekends, and again the city will be even more accessible on the weekends,” he said.

Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who attended the June 20 MTA hearing, said the proposed changes will greatly benefit the community. “I applaud, endorse and underscore the provisions being considered to extend late night R shuttle service and I am thrilled for my constituents that the x28 weekend express bus service will come to fruition. Seniors, working families and all of us in South Brooklyn will greatly benefit from an additional travel option to and back from Manhattan,” he said.

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