Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What Do You Think Of The Proposed Express F Train Service? What Do You Think This Will Mean For Riders In Gowanus, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill?

from  MTA's "Feasibility and Analysis Study of F Express Service in Brooklyn" here 
On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced that it will be running express F train service between the Jay Street-MetroTech and Church Avenue stations (with a stop at 7th Avenue Park Slope) as early as this summer for a limited time. The express service will be fully implemented in the fall of 2017, with half of all F trains running express each way during peak morning and evening rush hours.
No new trains will be added to the line.

Though this may save time for many F train riders, it does cut trains by 50% for those in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill and Gowanus. Indeed, ridership along the Bergen Street, Carroll Street, Smith Street/ 9th Street and 4th Avenue stations has steadily increased over the past few years.
Local resident Rob Underhill doesn't think this will be an improvement for Carroll Gardens subway riders. He told PMFA:
"I can't see how this is going to be better for people at those stops if you have to wait twice as long for a train in the mornings. It gets pretty crowded as it is if one of them is just a couple minutes late."

Second Avenue Saga, a site dedicated to all news pertaining to the New York City transit system, doesn't think this change in F train service will help riders who use the Carroll Street or Smith/9th Street Station.
"F express service would lead to reduced service for some of the F’s busiest Brooklyn stations. Carroll St., Smith-9th Sts., 4th-9th Sts., and 15th St.-Prospect Park, to name a few, would see less frequent F train service, and the ridership from those stations far outpaces the number of riders who would gain a few minutes from the express service. If the MTA can’t rehabilitate the lower level at Bergen St. to permit passenger service — an undertaking that would be quite expensive, according to 2012 comments from one Transit official, another 11,000 riders would see F service slashed. Simply put, based on current load guidelines, the MTA cannot add F express service while maintaining local service frequencies that handle customer demand."

Brooklyn elected officials Council Member Brad Lander, Council Member Stephen Levin, State Senator Daniel Squadron, State Senator Jesse Hamilton, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, State Senator Kevin S. Parker, and Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon issued the following statement yesterday:
“We are extremely dismayed by the utter lack of process on the part of the MTA regarding proposed new F-Express service between Church Avenue and Jay St-MetroTech stops in Brooklyn. The proposed service change harms more people than it helps, ignores our request for increased service, and pits Brooklyn residents against each other, creating ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ without sufficient information or dialogue."

Let us hear from F train riders in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill or Gowanus.
Do you see this as a positive service change or will this just mean more crowded platforms and more wait time in our stations?
Let's discuss.

Access the MTA Feasibility and Analysis Study of F Express service in Brooklyn here


Anonymous said...

Read this in the Wall Street Journal this morning. Already sent emails to Simon, Montgomery, and Lander.

Don't need to tell people who are standing on the Carroll St platform between 7:30 and 8:30 am...this is absurd.

Moreover, the crush of people awaiting to get out of the President St Side of the station at night is already a safety hazard. In the event of a fire, or god-forbid a terrorist incident, literally, 100 people or more could be trapped by merely blocking a single flight of stairs thats no wider than 4 feet. Can't imagine it being worse, but it will be!

My counter proposal would be to run "Short F train Service" Terminate 1/2 the Coney Island Bound F trains in the morning at Church Avenue and turn them back towards Manhattan. This would help more F train riders than it would hurt. Lets see how the politicians supporting Express F Train service react to that proposal!

Anonymous said...

Lander is the worst elected official in the city (maybe even on par with BdB). He's unbelievably loud, and highly ineffective. Why do people keep electing this schmuck? He should get off Twitter and focus on representing his constituents in a meaningful way.

Anonymous said...

This is an abomination. What can be done to fight against this?

Anonymous said...

This is the MTA's slap in the face to F train riders in this area. After years and years of ignoring the pleas for restoration of the express F, their attitude now is: You want express F service? OK, we'll give it to you to keep you quiet, but don't expect any increase in service. We don't have any extra trains, so we'll just cut the local service you have to accommodate express riders who get on at Church and 7th Avenues and whisk them right past you to Jay Strret. I find it hard to believe that the MTA actually thinks this is a viable or acceptable plan, especially in view of the Lightstone project on Bond Street. Perhaps it's their cynical way to put people up in arms about the plan, protest it to the point of cancellation, and then the MTA won't have to do anything.

Eliot said...

This post has ridership data from stops between Bergen and Avenue X:

Hard to figure how saving the relatively few people who ride from Church Ave and beyond 10 minutes on a trip to Manhattan justifies doubling the average wait time for the larger number who live closer in. Not to mention that some of the skipped stops are areas of greatly increasing residential and work density these days.

Andy said...

I don't think this is a very good idea at all. The small amount of time saved by Southern riders doesn't seem to come close to making up for the limited service we'll receive here in CG. Silver lining, I guess I'll get my steps in walking to and from Jay Street-Metrotech.

Jimmy from Brooklyn said...

This isn't a truly well thought idea by the MTA and officials. Carroll is already overcrowded during rush hour transit times, and with the new large residential buildings going up along the Gowanus it is only going to get worse.

Todd Wilson said...

Why not figure out a way to run the G express? Or run an A/C train express over the F line? Or the E? Currently you can't get on the F at Bergen after 8am, only to have half the train empty one stop later. Looks like that time will move up to 7:30am.

Ben U. said...

F riders along the local stops in Carroll Gardens / Gowanus will be able to take the G train locally, then switch. The G should now have improved service because it won't be competing on the same tracks as the F in that area (or at least it won't be competing with as many Fs) which will mean reduced stops and wait times because of train traffic. They can then switch to to the A/C at Hoyt Schermerhorn. True, this solution is imperfect without the restoration of the lower level at Bergen Street to make a G --> F transfer easy, but I think it's at the very least worth trying out for a summer to see how it goes. The people in deeper Brooklyn farther down the F deserve that express service. said...

Totally against. Will be emailing officials to voice opposition.

Anonymous said...

Very many people on the F change for the A at Jay St. Going to Hoyt on the G not only increases the ride but adds 2 flights of stairs to the commute which is not trivial. That is not an acceptable alternative. This is just a poorly thought through idea that is not supported by the statistics. It does not serve the majority so I have to wonder whose friends/family are benefiting. Agree with the above assessment of Lander. He sure does not represent me.

Anonymous said...

I truly think this plan will make commuting to the city much more worse for thosd of us in Carroll Gardens than it already is. And it already is horrible...especially on weekend! UGH The crowds and long waits are awful especially at rush hours. Can we say OFTEN "LATE FOR WORK?" :(

Anonymous said...

If the G went to Jay...I always thought this. Longer trains on the G, too. Would love not to miss the G every time I step down and its stopped 3 cars down the platform..

I just don't see the logic of the express. Will the local trains be less packed because the express people are already inside a train? Now, maybe if the local started at 7th ave.. Now there's a great idea. Or a sky tram from Carroll to Lower Manhattan?? Sky Tram...I want that.

Now, do we really think those Lightstone people will even ride a train? The R seems closer for "them". Maybe they are paying for shuttle service to Jay Street.

Anonymous said...

DOn't understand why the express also bypasses Smith-9th stop where you can switch to the bus to go to "transportation-starved" Red Hook. And then it skips the R-train transfer at 4th Ave to then stop at 7th Ave?
Seems that if Carroll is a local stop, so should 7th Ave be; that the express should favor moving people towards the souther reaches of the line and that would mean a transfer at 4th ave to the R. But any solution does need a massive addition of trains making stop along the local route.

Anonymous said...

According to the MTA's research, the bottom line is:
- They are not adding more trains, they are splitting the existing pool
- Express trains will be more crowded than current local trains
- Service to local stops will be reduced by 50%, doubling waiting times for local stop residents (who are the majority of ridership)
- Alternate new routes for former F-only riders involving the G and transfers will add time to commutes
- The more-crowded express trains will save only 3 minutes of commute time.

How is this a good idea? It's not.

It's simply a move by Greenfield to deliver on his undeliverable campaign promise.

Anonymous said...

The MTA does not recommend it.
Lander is vehemently against it.
This is all Greenfield noise.
Whose ear does Greenfield have?

Anonymous said...

This is awful. Terrible. It was already incredibly crowded; this seems like a real middle finger. A few people here have mentioned they contacted their officials. Can someone tell those of us who don't know – who should we contact? Thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

I too think this is a terrible idea and would like to protest. What can I do? Who should I contact?

Anonymous said...

Who to contact:

311. Though they'll ultimately direct you to the information below, it's a good way for the city to see there's a groundswell of complaints.

MTA: various methods available here

Your district's council member:

For most readers of this blog, it's Brad Lander:
718-499-1090, email,twitter @bradlander

kathleen henderson said...

I think it is ridiculous that the express will end at Jay Street. It would make sense if the express extended into Manhattan and Queens. The platforms for the local stations will just become more and more crowded as that empty express trains whizzes by.

Anonymous said...

Who do we pressure about this and how? This is a terrible idea.

Anonymous said...

More citizen protesters are need in Carroll Gardens!! More people are needed to contact Brad Landers about the express F train service, the shortage of pre-k seats, the delay on cleaning the Gowanus Canal!.

It takes a GROUNDSWELL not a few isolated concerned citizens to effect real change. Call Brad Lander now!

matteo said...

It is my impression that across the board, there is less train frequency than there used to be 10 or 15 years ago. This is certainly true at night and I think also during the day. Why doesn't the MTA just restore the lost frequency and solve the overcrowding that way. More trains also means faster movement through the local stations at rush hour, since less time will be spent sardining the commuters.
Also, in Japan, where the trains are even more crowded, the whole [enter the station / passengers off/ passengers on/ exit the station] process is significantly faster than ours. If you save 20 seconds at each station, that is better than the ill-conceived express version being proposed by the MTA.

Anonymous said...

So the MTA is going to implement this "trial" service this summer. This will not reflect an accurate picture of what the express service consequences will be during the rest of the year. Schools will be out very soon for the summer, so the large elementary, middle school, and high school student population taking the F will not be there. It's been my experience commuting to/from Manhattan everyday for 40 years on the F train that summer is "relatively quiet," and the passenger load is lighter as people take their summer vacations. Once September rolls around, the increase in ridership, especially during the morning rush hour, explodes. That's when the real problems with this ill-conceived plan will emerge.

Anonymous said...

There's some history here: in 1968, F express service was first implemented in Brooklyn, with both the northern (Jay-Church) and southern (south of Church) segments running express. Express service on the northern segment was pulled in 1972 in response to rider complaints from local stations along that stretch, and a revival of this express segment in 1976 lasted less than a year. Thus, if history is any indication, I predict that if the MTA's current proposal for F express service were to be implemented (without any additional local service), the express service will be discontinued within five years of its implementation.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely ridiculous. They are penalizing 5 stations like they did the last time and that was a disaster. What rocket scientist can explain the benefits of inconveniencing the most populated stations of Bergen and Carroll streets. For this people are getting paid!

Nancy said...

This is a great plan! I cant wait until it takes effect.