The Neck Road stop will look much less forlorn when renovations are complete. (Courtesy of the MTA)
Brooklyn sure is in for a rough ride. A few weeks after announcing years of construction — and service changes — in central Brooklyn along the F line, the MTA unveiled plans to completely overhaul seven stations along the Brighton Line from Neck Road and Newkirk Ave.
First up are Neck Road and Avenue U, and the MTA’s plans should wreak havoc for commuters relying on the Q and B trains to ferry them to and from Homecrest or Sheepshead Bay and the rest of the city. The work on just those two stations is set to take 28 months, and there is, as yet, no timetable for work on the other five stations.
Much like the work on the F train, commuters will be facing constant service changes as these two 100-year-old stations finally receive a proper overhaul. Included in the renovation are ADA-compliancy plans. The MTA anticipates work to begin in late 2008, sometime around October, and for the first 11 months, southbound service will be rerouted. All southbound Q and B trains will skip Ave. U and Neck Road, running from Kings Highway to Sheepshead Bay. For the B, this is routine service, but the Q will see two fewer stops.
Riders wishing to get to these two stations will be able to transfer to a northbound Q train at Sheepshead Bay making all local stops or transfer to a shuttle bus at Kings Highway. This bus will run from Kings Highway down Ocean Ave. and east on Ave. U to Gerritsen Ave. near Marine Park. The shuttle is, in fact, a bit of a boon to many who faced long walks from the subway along that route or long waits for the B3. Additionally, many riders may also just choose to walk to Kings Highway or Sheepshead Bay as those stations aren’t very far from Avenue U and Neck Road respectively.
After 11 months of southbound work, in fall of 2009, phase two of the project will begin. This time, the northbound platforms get their makeover. All southbound trains make normal stops while northbound trains ride on the express tracks, bypassing Neck Road and Ave. U. To reach northbound trains, riders at Neck Road and Ave. U will have to ride south Sheepshead Bay for Manhattan-bound Q or B trains. The three people riding north from Coney Island or Brighton Beach trying to reach Neck Road or Ave. U will be able to switch to southbound local service at Kings Highway.
Got all that? Backriding is confusing stuff. For a convenient picture form of this mess, the MTA’s presentation to Brooklyn Community Board 15 is available here as a PDF.
The service changes should wrap up by mid-2010, and it is anticipated that the renovations on the other stations will fit into a similar time frame. All in all, fun times are ahead for people in southern Brooklyn relying on the B and Q lines. With the F line construction set for the same time, good options from Coney Island north are slowly dwindling.