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The much-demanded F express is now part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s train of thought.
The MTA revealed it is considering implementing express service on the F line that would race between Downtown and Coney Island — appeasing residents across the borough who say faster trains could get the overburdened line back on track.
When the long-overdue renovation of the Culver Viaduct finally wraps up in a few weeks, the agency will study the line and determine whether express service is viable, an MTA official told councilmembers on Tuesday.
The train, which would run toward Manhattan in mornings and toward Coney Island in evenings — like Brooklyn’s answer to the 7 train in Queens — would harken a return of a speedy service that used to stop at Jay Street–MetroTech, Seventh Avenue–Ninth Street, Church Avenue, 18th Avenue, and Kings Highway until the 1980s.
Proponents of an express F train can’t wait to hop on board.
“For the people who live in Bensonhurst and Gravesend and Coney Island, it could shave a half an hour off the commute,” said Todd Dobrin, a former member of Community Board 13 who is running for city council. “The signals are in place and there’s nothing holding it back.”
Carroll Gardens commuter Gary Reilly, who promoted the idea of an express train in an online petition and blog, said it’s about time the MTA gets moving on the proposition.
“As Brooklyn continues to grow, the Culver line ought to have restored express-local service,” said Reilly. “Logistically it is possible. It’s just a matter of finding a little bit of political will, and a relatively small amount of money.”
But, Reilly said, the MTA needs to do it right to make sure that commuters in Brownstone Brooklyn don’t get stuck on the platform as express trains race through their stations.
“The key is that there must be an overall increase in the service levels so that the current local stops don’t suffer a reduction in service,” he said.
This isn’t the first time the agency has said it would consider adding an F express train after work on the viaduct wraps up. But that $257.5-million project has taken longer, and cost more, than expected.
Commuters recently got a taste of the high-speed service when construction work turned all Manhattan-bound F trains into express trains on weekends.Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at email@example.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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