F this! Hundreds of angry commuters sign petition opposing express F train

F this: Councilman Brad Lander (D-Park Slope) delivered a petition to the MTA with more than 650 signatures opposing the transit agency’s plan to run express F trains through brownstone Brooklyn.
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More than 650 scorned straphangers signed a petition opposing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plan to run express F trains through brownstone Brooklyn.

Councilman Brad Lander (D-Park Slope) delivered the signatures to transit head Andy Byford at the MTA’s monthly board meeting on Monday — arguing that the scheme throws commuters living between Cobble Hill and Windsor Terrace under the proverbial train in an effort to shorten ride times for southern Brooklynites.

“The current proposal adds no train service whatsoever. It simply eliminates service during rush hour at six local stations — some of the busiest and most used ones on the line, stations that already experience severe overcrowdi­ng,” Lander said at the July 22 meeting.

The Transit Authority says adding additional trains to make the arrangement work is impossible due to signal constraints that require long spaces in between trains.

Instead, the plan calls for four existing local trains — two Manhattan-bound trains in the morning, and two Coney Island-bound trains in the evening — to be converted to run express between Jay Street-Metrotech and Church Avenue stations during weekdays. Between those stations, the express F train would stop at Seventh Avenue only, while bypassing six other stations in a service expected to debut this September.

Lander said the potential benefit to commuters would be minuscule, arguing that catching the limited express trains would come down to luck.

“You’d have to be like a lottery winner — more than a lottery winner — to get the benefits,” he said. “You don’t really know which days that you’ll be able to save the up-to six minutes.”

Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon (D-Cobble Hill) joined Lander in criticizing the Transit Authority at Monday’s meeting, echoing his claim that the MTA is not adding service, but reducing it.

“Getting on those trains now is next to impossible. It will be even more difficult if we are skipping two trains in the morning, and two trains in the afternoon,” she said. “We should be adding service, not reducing service — anywhere in the system.”

Even the Transit Authority agrees that the F express would hurt more riders than it would help, according to Lander, who pointed to a 2016 study published by the MTA that concluded 52 percent of riders would face longer commutes under the new plan.

However, the Authority’s report notes that riders who do benefit from the new express service will save more time on average — about 3.4 minutes — as compared to other commuters, who will only lose 1.3 minutes.

As much as Lander and Simon opposed the new service swap, southern Brooklyn politicians defended the express F train, claiming uptown straphangers can wait the extra minute to ensure their long-suffering southern neighbors get to work on time.

“We’re asking some people in New York City to wait on a platform for approximately a minute more — those who live closest to Manhattan,” said Kalman Yeger (D-Borough Park). “In exchange, those who live further away will see their commutes reduced.”

Coney Island residents, who live on the farthest reaches of the F line, currently travel the longest stretch of exclusively local service in the city — 26 uninterrupted stops between Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue and Broadway-Lafayette Street, where straphangers can transfer to express B and D trains, which run parallel to the F.

In discussing the plight of transit-dense brownstone Brooklyn residents, Lander’s Coney Island counterpart suggested the subway’s shortest busker would play the world’s smallest violin in their honor.

“When I hear other parts of the city complain about commuters that are dragging out to an hour and a half of more — that’s daily life for residents of the west-end of Coney Island,” said Councilman Mark Treyger.

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at
Updated 6:10 pm, July 22, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Samson from Brooklyn says:
Quit your bellyaching. You should be pragmatic and realize that this has to be done for commuting fairness. It’s not all about you. I applaud the MTA’s decision.
July 22, 2019, 4:17 pm
Sally from Slope says:
Great, smart, sensible idea for the F express. Good decisions sometimes happen.
July 23, 2019, 7:28 am
Ro from Park Slope says:
Makes great sense for people living further into Brooklyn. It is only a couple of trains that'll pass some Brownstone Brooklyn stops. We can show concern for our neighbors by affirming this update to F service for them.
July 23, 2019, 8:07 am
Audrey from Midwood says:
The F line used to run express. and it was not just 2 trains each rush hour. Try to figure it out MTA. the expres tracks are there, they were in use during the recent "renovations". the stations are there. you can make a regular express run. your proposal was borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. Make the express line equitable to ALL riders.
July 23, 2019, 8:59 am
The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
It's a borough civil war and the Culver Line is the Battle Line between the rich North, with historical brownstones, and the South, with one of the longest commute times in NYC.
July 23, 2019, 10:49 am
Chad from Ft Greene says:
If you want quicker train service, then you should go back to school and get a better job that pays enough to afford to live downtown. So tired of the whining of uneducated moons.
July 23, 2019, 11:51 am
Chad from Ft Greene says:
July 23, 2019, 11:51 am
Chad from Ft Greene says:
BTW, I am the smartest person here. Anyone challenge me and I will fight you! Bare-knuckles! Also, I don't even know how to use moons/mooks on comments!
July 23, 2019, 12:15 pm
William Leonards from Bed STY says:
Just another scheme to make the MTA's on time #s look better than they really are. A few may be better off but many will be hurt by the new schedule. deBlasio would be proud and Cuomo will cheer.
July 23, 2019, 12:54 pm
Chad from Ft Greene says:
I have no need to fight anyone. The NYPD is here to protect me from the local elements.
July 23, 2019, 1:28 pm
Chad from Ft Greene says:
Yo! My brother is a NYPD Cop, bring it you jabronis!
July 23, 2019, 1:34 pm
Anna from Cobble Hill says:
Does everyone not realize they already do this? Commuting home the F at least once a week I have to get out of my F train at Jay St. that is going to run express. It's annoying, but I get it. I would much rather wait 1.3 minutes than stuff myself on a train like sardines. I often end up letting a packed train go ahead anyway and stay on the platform. What's the difference? We are talking about TWO trains here per commute. Let's give it a shot and if it's awful then we can protest.
July 24, 2019, 9:14 am
Deborah Gilfillan from Gowanus says:
So tired of MTA throwing this neighbor under the bus and trains. Moving bus stops, making in harder and harder for the elderly to get around in the neighborhood they grew up in, Yeah you would think it's a good idea because it benefits you. I get tired of getting to Jay St. then having to get off because MTA is making sure the privilege get home first, when my stop is the next stop...Bergen St. But no...I have to wait till 3 trains go by until I can go one more stop. Do you realize people have to walk for blocks before they can catch anything transportation out of the neighborhood. You removed the the bus stops and in a sneaky way for a few people. The hell with the rest of us.
July 24, 2019, 10:42 am
Deborah Gilfillan from Gowanus says:
You know what you can do with those F Express trains.
July 24, 2019, 10:44 am
Em from Carroll Gardens says:
Maybe just fix the trains so they run properly like any other first world country instead of coming up with weird and contrived schemes improve service without really improving anything. The MTA is embarrassing and at some point there needs to be a general strike.
July 28, 2019, 5:42 pm

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