The change will save time for many south Brooklyn commuters, but it does mean that express trains will skip Bergen Street, Carroll Street, 4th Ave – Smith Street, and 4th Ave – 9th Street. According to the MTA’s ridership data (below) these are some of the most heavily used F stations in Brooklyn. Every other train will go express, and since MTA is unable to run additional trains that means a 50% service reduction at local stations.
In MTA’s analysis express stop riders will save an average of 3.4 minutes on trips into Manhattan, while local stop riders will add 1.3 minutes to their trip. In exchange, the agency claims local trains will be less crowded, which may be attractive to Bergen Street riders who sometimes must let packed trains pass them by.
Our local representatives Council Member Lander, State Senator Daniel Squadron, and Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon released a joint statement with other officials expressing dismay at the decision and the MTA’s opaque process.
Bergen Street has an express platform on the lower level that has sat defunct for years. The $75 million renovation required to open it to the public means it will not be an option MTA considers any time soon.