From our Coundilmember Brad Lander:
Many of you have contacted my office today, after learning abruptly that north-bound local F/G train service will be suspended at Fort Hamilton Parkway and 15th Street F/G for the next five months.
This is part of a necessary project to rehabilitate F/G line. But the MTA did not do enough outreach to provide notice in advance, and has not offered adequate alternative service. I will be working immediately to push the MTA to provide better alternative service during the project.
The closure is part of the rebuilding of the F line's local and express tracks from Bergen Street to Church Avenue. The MTA is rebuilding tracks, signals, and switches along this entire section of the line. In order to complete the project, they need to detour the F train to the express tracks, which do not stop at either 15th Street or Fort Hamilton Parkway.
Unfortunately, they have informed us that this means:
-- Suspension of Manhattan-bound service at both stations from Jan 2011 – May 2011.
-- Suspension of south-bound service at both stations from Nov 2011 - March 2012.
The MTA has indicated that they will expand late-night bus service on the B61 to the 15th Street. However, they are not currently offering any rush-hour enhanced bus or shuttle services. And they are not offering any enhanced service for Fort Hamilton Parkway. Instead, they are just instructing people to go south to the Church Avenue station, and then turn around there for Manhattan-bound service (at what is already an extremely crowded station).
While this is a necessary project, the fact that an alternative form of transportation is not being provided is an unacceptable hardship on people in Kensington and Windsor Terrace. In addition, too little notice was provided; as of last night, there was no notice up at the Fort Hamilton Parkway station, and the station clerk did not have information on the project.
I am calling upon the MTA to implement alternative service – either in the form of regular shuttle bus service (at least at rush hour) or by extending and expanding service of nearby bus lines. I have been in touch with MTA officials to suggest this type of alternative, and will continue to urge them to do so. I will of course be in touch with you as we learn more about what alternatives might be available.
P.S. I know this frustration comes right on the heels of the City’s deeply inadequate snow removal efforts. Kensington in particular bore the brunt of the City’s failures, with some blocks not getting plowed until after midnight on New Year’s Eve. In addition to the City Council hearing on January 10th to get to the bottom of what went wrong, I plan to redouble my efforts to insure that all our communities get the full level of government services they need and deserve.