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Add another item to Brooklyn's list of public transportation headaches: Starting in 2017, the F train may go express during rush hour in the southern part of the borough, reports Crain's, and both residents and local politicians are split over whether this is good or bad news.
According to the MTA proposal, some F trains will take the fast track between Jay Street and Church Avenue, skipping Bergen Street, Carroll Street, Smith-9th Street, Fourth Avenue, 15th Street, and Fort Hamilton Parkway.
For years, the F train used to run express in Brooklyn, but went local in 1987. City councilman David Greenfield, who represents the neighborhoods of Borough Park, Midwood, and Bensonhurst, has long advocated for bringing back the service. Back in 2014, he signed a letter to the MTA criticizing the train's poor record as one of the most delayed lines in the system, and noted that population growth in south Brooklyn has led to overcrowding and lengthy commutes.
On Twitter this week, Greenfield wrote, "Over 6 years ago, I campaigned on bringing back an F express. After years of hard work, proud to say, 'We did it!'" He added that the F express would improve the quality of life for his constituents:
Other local pols, however, are not so thrilled: Brad Lander, who represents several corners of Brooklyn, including Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, expressed dismay in a joint statement that his constituents will face longer commutes when half the F trains begin skipping their stops.
Indeed, the MTA's plan does not involve increasing the number of F trains and, according to a feasibility study conducted by the agency, the change will shorten the commutes of express passengers by 3.4 minutes, and lengthen the commutes of local passengers by 1.3 minutes.
Brooklynites are similarly split depending on which neighborhood they call home; the blog Second Avenue Sagas has deemed the disagreement "Brooklyn Civil War," and locals are taking to Twitter to express, alternately, mockery and alarm:
Meanwhile, perhaps in response to the hubbub, an MTA spokesman clarified yesterday that the agency has yet to reach a final decision on the F train's fate, reports Gothamist. In the meantime, now even more Brooklynites are waiting on transportation pins and needles.
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