Living in New York City, I've always found that public transit is the cornerstone to the wellbeing of such a densely populated metropolis. I thank public transit for not just helping me develop a sense of spatial awareness but for (almost) never letting me down during my daily commute to my high school and for helping me appreciate just how diverse the city truly is. However, I'm an ardent critic of the MTA, the agency that runs the New York City Subway, due to the endless streams of repairs, delays, and service cuts on the aging century-old system.
However, I do believe that an excellent move on their part was adding rush-hour peak-direction express service on the F train in Brooklyn, where it used to run entirely locally, supplemented from Bergen Street to Church Avenue by the G train. This is such a great move because it greatly speeds up the commute between Church Avenue and Jay Street to MetroTech by 12 minutes, aiding straphangers from southern Brooklyn. At the same time, not all F trains are express, which means riders in northern Brooklyn can still get direct access to Manhattan without having to take the G and transferring to other lines.
This move is still quite controversial, as riders living in northern Brooklyn would have to deal with reduced F service. But I do believe that this small price to pay will greatly reduce commute times and in general speed up not just F service but the whole subway system. This would also have the effect of more people riding the F, reducing crowding on other subway lines and even encouraging the use of public transportation over motor vehicles, reducing emissions and leading to a cleaner city.
Despite the merits of this plan, I still feel like there is much room for improvement. Another seven stops can be cleared from the F's route if express service was extended from Church Avenue to Neptune Avenue, which would clear commute times even more. This can be made possible due to express service on the F during rush hours in the peak direction only. Even though the number of tracks decreases from four to three south of Church Avenue, peak-direction F service could still utilize the center track and speed up commute times for southern Brooklyn riders, reducing congestion on the existing F route.
I also feel like another way to improve would be to make more than two trips in the peak direction express; doing so would add more flexibility to the service and aid more people's commute times. I feel this move would require a small sacrifice of local F service but at the same time, some equity must be put in place. Northern Brooklyn riders simply don't need to take the train for as long a time to commute to Manhattan as riders more south.
So MTA, nice work! But there is still a lot more that has to be done before we start seeing more tangible results.