Straphangers Can Expect a Big F-G Headache

F and G riders can expect skipped stations, shuttle busses

Subway riders on the F and G lines in Brooklyn – most of whom already endure either crowded trains or long waits for the mysterious G – will soon find themselves with service and station changes as a new construction project gets under way.

The project will rebuild the Culver Viaduct, the crumbling structure above the Gowanus Canal.  The start date for the project is still unknown.

The viaduct has two stations: Smith-9th Sts. and 4th Ave.-9th St. 

During the heaviest phase of construction, which could take four years, the Smith-9th Street station is expected to remain closed for the better part of a year.

Other stations could also be skipped, forcing straphangers to take shuttle buses.

And it get’s confusing.  In one set of plans, for at least several months the northbound local tracks will be out of service. The F and the G will run express from Church Ave. to Smith-9th Sts. with southbound trains providing service to 15th St.-Prospect Park and Ft. Hamilton Parkway. Northbound trains will service 4th Ave. via a temporary platform, and Smith-9th Sts. will be closed completely with shuttle bus service running along the path the train currently takes.

The F train is the third busiest in the MTA system, and the changes will likely have a ripple effect through the system.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that bypassing stations on a heavily-used line will be tough for the riders," Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign  told the Daily News.

The MTA board Wednesday is expected to award a $179 million contract to rebuild the Viaduct.  In the end, the two stations are expected to transform into gleaming, new facilities – a far cry from their current dilapidated status.

Peter Cafiero, chief of operations planning for NYC Transit, told a Metropolitan Transportation Authority committee Monday the project will take four years.

Cafiero said that when local tracks are being replaced trains will use the middle rails, bypassing stations.

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