Southern Brooklyn’s lawmakers applauded the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) announcement today that it will offer a limited express service on the F line beginning September 2019 to speed up the commutes of thousands of customers who use the subway line in Brooklyn during the morning and evening rush hours.
The express trains will be identified as (an F inside a diamond), similar to the design convention used on other express trains. They will be rolled out in limited peak-direction, a.m. and p.m. rush hour express service between Church Av and Jay St-MetroTech, stopping at 7 Av, beginning in September 2019.
“We’re adding some limited express service to the F line in Brooklyn because our customers asked, and we listened,” said MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford. “It will benefit thousands of commuters by getting them to their destinations faster instead of sitting waiting as their train makes all local stops.”
The F line currently operates local service on a 26-station segment from Bway-Lafayette St to Coney Island-Stillwell Av, the longest local service-only portion of any subway line in the system. Southern Brooklyn customers traveling to and from Midtown Manhattan can spend 50 minutes or more in each direction as trains provide service to every stop along the route.
To balance ridership needs at local stations in Brooklyn with the new express service benefitting the southern portion of the line, two Manhattan-bound trains between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., and two Coney Island-bound trains between 5 p.m. and 5:40 p.m., will operate express between Church Av and Jay St-MetroTech. These particular times were chosen to benefit the largest number of customers while limiting impact and wait times for other Brooklyn riders of the F line.
To accommodate the new express service, local service schedules will be adjusted to ensure even train spacing during the brief windows when express service will operate.
The MTA estimates more than half of the F line customers affected by the express service enhancement will benefit from a faster ride, with some shaving about an hour off their commute times each week.
City Councilman Kalman Yeger (D-Borough Park, Midwood, Flatbush) called the announcement a good start to finally bringing much-needed transportation relief to the borough’s southern Brooklyn communities.
“I’m grateful to the MTA for beginning this expanded service. Undoubtedly, our neighborhoods need better and faster public transportation options, and I know the MTA agrees. I’m hopeful that this express option expands to more hours in the near future,” said Yeger.
City Councilmember Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) said he has long advocated for express subway service on the F train line due to the fact that many of his constituents in Coney Island have one of the longest work and school commutes in the city.
“Bus service from the west end to the Stillwell train station coupled with a train ride amounts to an over 1.5-hour commute for residents. With thousands of additional housing units coming online and the expansion of amusements, faster and more reliable transit service is a necessity, not a luxury, and is a matter of transit equity for Southern Brooklynites. I applaud the MTA for taking this initial step, but we must continue working to increase the number of additional trains to accommodate both local and express service for all Brooklynites, ” said Treyger.
State Sen. Diane Savino (D) and Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D), both of whom also represent Coney Island, called the move long overdue and much needed.
“I want to thank the MTA for finally hearing the concerns of the residents of South Brooklyn! This announcement is an excellent start to what will finally bring some transportation equity to underserved neighborhoods. I look forward to continuing to work with the people of South Brooklyn and the MTA to expand on this exciting news,” said Savino.
“I am thrilled about the launch of F express service beginning in September. As a long-time resident of Coney Island, I know how valuable the express train has been to our community over the years, as well as other southern Brooklyn neighborhoods. I want to thank the MTA for restoring the express service which will directly improve the commutes of thousands of riders in my district,” said Frontus.
City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach, Homecrest, Midwood) said the peak hours express F service will make a significant impact for many of his constituents, who are subject to extremely long travel times when commuting to and from work in Manhattan.
“With minimal mass transit options for Southern Brooklynites to get into the city, it is vital that the service we do have access to is reliable. I’m hopeful that when this F express option begins in September, it will have a positive effect for thousands of Brooklynites,” said Deutsch.
Other Southern Brooklyn lawmakers who lauded the move include State Senators Simcha Felder and Andrew Gounardes, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Max Rose, and Assemblymembers William Colton, Steven Cymbrowitz and Simcha Eichenstein.