OPINION: For F’s sake, add a Bergen stop
After years and years of advocacy, planning and controversy, the MTA has finally agreed to institute a very part-time express on the F train starting next month. And, as the Brooklyn Eagle has reported, no sooner was this announced than it sparked a conflict between representatives of southern and northern Brooklyn.
While there is a third track between Church Avenue and Kings Highway that could easily accommodate rush-hour express service – and did before the end of the original F-train express in the 1970s — today’s F-train express would only skip stops between Church Avenue and Jay Street-Borough Hall. The only express stop in between would be Seventh Avenue.
Personally, I don’t see how two express trains in the morning and two in the evening would have that much of an effect. According to the latest northbound turntable, the F train leaves Coney Island (or, in some cases, Kings Highway) every 4 to 6 minutes from 7:32 a.m. to 9:10 a.m. That’s at least 18 trains, and the great majority of them would still make all stops.
One of the main problems — perhaps the main problem, in fact — is that one former express stop is missing: Bergen Street. In the old days, pre-1976, there were two platforms in each direction, the express platform below the local platform. The stairways that are now behind closed doors were then open. Manhattan-bound commuters often stood halfway down the stairs waiting for the first train to arrive, and they would then race up or down the stairs, depending on whether the local or the express arrived first.