MTA Plan To Close Montague Street Underpass For 14 Months Will Adversely Affect Thousands of Commuters

Brooklyn, NY – Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Council Member Vincent Gentile today met with Bay Ridge straphangers at the 95th Street R train station to alert residents that the MTA will begin work at the Montague Street tunnel, connecting the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan, on August 3. The repairs will take 14-months and will adversely affect thousands of straphangers who rely on the tunnel for their daily commute.

Speaker Quinn and Council Member Gentile alerted commuters to the service disruptions and renewed calls for the MTA to institute temporary ferry service in Southern Brooklyn to provide New Yorkers with a viable, alternate transportation option.

“The MTA must provide real, alternative service options for the thousands of New Yorkers who rely on the R train for their morning commute,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Simply being left to crowd on to other already packed subway lines is insufficient and unfair. I thank Council Member Gentile for his continued advocacy on this issue, and urge the MTA to minimize service disruptions and launch temporary ferry service in Southern Brooklyn.”

Earlier this month, Speaker Quinn and Council Member Gentile fired off a letter to MTA, urging the agency to implement temporary ferry service from Brooklyn Army Terminal to Lower Manhattan to mitigate the disruption caused by the service outage.

“I thank the MTA for doing the right thing with their $40 million surplus and restoring some of the cuts made back in 2010,” said Council Member Vincent J. Gentile. “But we cannot stop fighting for measures in order to mitigate the impact of the extraordinary 14 month Montague Street tunnel closure. To that end, I continue to make the case for the MTA to provide additional bus service and ferry service, while guaranteeing that the improvements are implemented expeditiously. It is hard enough as it is for residents of southern Brooklyn who travel to Manhattan each day via public transportation – closing a main artery for over a year is an extraordinary situation that requires extraordinary alternatives.”

“I have successfully fought in the past to bring ferry service to my District and look forward to joining my colleagues, advocates and residents to do so again,” said Council Member Sara M. González. “The closure of the Montague Street Tunnel will put a serious strain on tens thousands of residents in my community who depend on R train service. The Pier at 58th Street in my District is an ideal location to offer alternative means of transportation for Southwest Brooklyn residents in the form of ferry service. I am working with members of a broad coalition that supports this effort and look forward to bringing the MTA on board to make this viable plan of creating a great ‘Blue Highway’ a reality.”

Some of the alternatives the MTA has provided for straphangers during this repair work:

• Transfer at Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center to the 2/3 or 4/5 lines;
• Starting September 9th-Weekday X27 Express Bus service between Bay Ridge and Lower Manhattan will be increased by 25% for the duration of the R closure;
• MTA will add “gap trains” to additional service if there are unexpected delays on the 4/5 or on the D/N/R during the period of construction.
• MTA staff will be added at key locations at assist in help with subway transfers;
• Having both escalators at the Jay Street/Metrotech R platform operate in the ‘up’ direction to the A, C, & F platform during AM rush hour.