F is for Fiasco: Is the MTA Full of Shit?

01/24/2011 12:39 PM |

This is a real thing: sometimes the F train transforms into a bus

  • This is a real thing: sometimes the F train transforms into a bus

With entire platforms of certain Brooklyn subway stations recently closed, traveling on the F line to parts of Gowanus, Park Slope and all of Windsor Terrace has become a pain (if not downright impossible). Councilman Brad Lander had a modest propsoal to solve a small part of this problem: why not extend one of the bus lines a few blocks, so that riders at shuttered Windsor Terrace stations could be bused into Park Slope to a fully open one?

The MTA nixed the request, responding that “they do not provide shuttles for the eight to 10 projects around the city where one side of a subway platform is closed.” Sounds reasonable enough: Park Slopers might feel entitled to special treatment, but they’re not! Except one Sheepshead Bay blogger says that’s bullshit. They had a special shuttle bus just a few months ago!

In a post called “Hey Park Slope: The MTA Is Lying To You,” Sheepshead Bites blogger Allan Rosen (“former Director of MTA/NYC Transit Bus Planning (1981)”) explains that life on the B/Q line has long been as screwed up as the F is now. (I experienced that first-hand while reporting this!) Just with one significant difference:

Wasn’t there a temporary B3K bus operating between Kings Highway and Avenue U during rush hours precisely [because subway service had been interrupted], so those from Marine Park and Sheepshead Bay would not have to travel to Sheepshead Bay then reverse direction to access the Avenue U Station?

Rosen hypothesizes that, in the current F train fiasco, the MTA is worried about extending a bus route that would prove so popular it would later be difficult to repeal; and, also, that it could set a dangerous precedent, inspiring other areas also to demand sensible extensions of bus routes. (He cites a recent project in Canarsie.) The MTA is all about more efficient buses these days—just fewer of them.