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‘Q’ quake! Brighton Line closes down this weekend

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Attention Q riders: get ready to play the shuttle bus shuffle.

From now until March 1, the MTA will suspend weekend train service along the Q line in Flatbush and Park Slope — another headache for commuters who have been dealing with construction delays along the Brighton Line for years.

“It’s hassle for us who live out here,” said Karen Yancu, a Flatbush resident, who said she’d rather take the long trek from her home to the 2 and 5 trains at the Newkirk Avenue station instead of waiting in the cold for the shuttle bus the MTA plans to offer stranded straphangers. “Those buses are very inconvenie­nt.”

The city just spent $161.4 million renovating five stations along the Brighton Line — causing many service outages for residents — but now the MTA says it wants to shut down the Q train tracks between Prospect Park station and 57th Street station in Manhattan so they can work on one station: the Atlantic Avenue hub. Work will commence every weekend with the exception of Feb. 4—6.

For Brooklyn riders, that means the Seventh Avenue station along the Q line will be completely shut down. Manhattan-bound riders will have to get off the Q at Prospect Park and take a shuttle bus to the Atlantic Avenue station, where they can get on the N train or a variety of other trains, the MTA says.

Flatbush riders will have to take the shuttle bus to Atlantic, but it will be a bigger hassle for straphangers who live further east — they will have to take the Q, which starts at Stillwell Avenue, to Prospect Park, get on a shuttle bus, only to get on another train at Atlantic Avenue.

Flatbush train users say the impending weekend shutdown is a slap in the face to people who live on the south side of Prospect Park.

“As usual, city services to our area of Brooklyn are sub-par,” said Madeleine Fix-Hansen, who lives near the Parkside Q station. “It’s a major inconvenience and I wish they’d do the work at night.”

Yet the MTA insists it needs the weekends to chip away the old track and put in a new one with concrete that takes 50 hours to set. They won’t have enough tracks to keep the Q train running while the concrete is drying, they said.

“If we tried to run the Q to Atlantic Avenue on the weekends [in question] we would be restricted to one track, which means a train would come every 20-30 minutes,” said Deirdre Parker, a spokeswoman for the MTA. “The line is so busy on weekends that we need to run every 10 minutes. So, we run a train every 10 minutes to Prospect Park, then we run a bus from Prospect Park to Atlantic Avenue with a bus every one to two minutes. [That way] no one has wait 20-30 minutes.”

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/from_where_isit.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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