When Council Member David Greenfield excitedly announced that the F train express would return for this summer, he thanked the MTA and a number of elected officials for "join[ing] him in this fight," including State Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon and fellow Council Member Brad Lander. Well, Lander's reaction was more like this: "I am extremely dismayed by the atrocious MTA process regarding proposed new F-express service."

Lander, whose district map covers Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington and part of Borough Park, tore into the MTA during a City Council meeting. Referring to how the MTA released their report about an F train express yesterday, he said, "Now that I've read the report, I understand why you blindsided us," adding that this plan "screws tens of thousands of my constituents, so it seems obvious why you didn't want to have that dialogue before letting the press know and putting it on the web."

The express service along the F in Brooklyn would be between Church Avenue and Jay Street-MetroTech, stopping only at 7th Avenue. Fort Hamilton Parkway, 15th-Prospect Park, 4th Avenue, Smith-9th Street, Carroll Street and Bergen Street would be bypassed. The current number of trains would remain the same, with half being express and half local.

Lander pointed out, "The stations that your screwing saw 66% growth since 2000... the stations that you're helping saw a quarter of this." He also brought up how the MTA admits there would be crowding along the local stops. "The trains would be less crowded, but the stations will be truly nightmarish, you yourself call it much larger exit surge."

A group of lawmakers, Lander, Council Member Stephen Levin, State Senator Daniel Squadron, State Senator Jesse Hamilton, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, State Senator Kevin S. Parker, and Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon released a scathing statement (full text below), declaring: "On behalf of riders, at both local and express stops, we are furious at how the MTA has handled this proposed change, and refuse to accept it as a done deal."

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams chimed in as well on the side of the disgruntled pols, "The MTA’s newly announced proposal, which was made outside of consultation with local representatives and impacted straphangers, seeks to pit Brooklynite against Brooklynite in a fight for quality transportation. We travel in an interconnected system, and progress cannot be defined by taking resources from one neighborhood and giving them to another."

Sorry, Bergen Street.

At the Council meeting, Greenfield, who represents Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Gravesend, Kensington, Midwood and Sheepshead Bay, shot back at Lander's remarks, "It's not very New York-like to begrudge other New Yorkers who have been waiting for 30 years for some improvements and finally have a hope of getting improvement," but conceded, "We certainly could have had opportunities to have a robust conversation, we should have had a robust conversation" with the MTA earlier.

"There are certainly things we could do like adding more F trains, adding more G service," he said, "that could be a win win for everyone, but I don't think the conversation should be an us vs. them."

Greenfield, too, released a statement with other lawmakers (full text below) saying the F train express was necessary, "This is a long overdue move that will drastically cut commute times for riders in southern Brooklyn and restore transit equity to neighborhoods that have languished in transit deserts for decades."

The MTA says that it would recommend the F train express train service start in Fall 2017, after other work on the Culver line.

Statement decrying the F train express from Lander and others:

“We are extremely dismayed by the utter lack of process on the part of the MTA regarding proposed new F-Express service between Church Avenue and Jay St-MetroTech stops in Brooklyn. The proposed service change harms more people than it helps, ignores our request for increased service, and pits Brooklyn residents against each other, creating ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ without sufficient information or dialogue.

We made clear from the start that we could only support an F-Express if overall service was increased on the F line and riders at local stops were not harmed. The MTA promised to share information with the community before making a decision - including information about what service increase would be needed to avoid harming riders at local stations.

Instead of providing a fair process, the MTA blindsided our communities, announcing the proposal in a newspaper, before providing any information to community stakeholders or the elected officials representing these areas.

The MTA’s own report shows that the total number of riders who will suffer under this proposal is actually greater than the number of riders who will benefit. F-Express service would benefit riders in Southern Brooklyn, and at the Church Avenue and 7th Avenue stops. But it would come at the expense of longer commute times for riders at Ft. Hamilton, 15th St, 4th Ave, Smith/9th, Carroll St, and Bergen St., as part of a commute on a line that is already unreliable, overcrowded, and sub-par. Half of the trains that now serve those stations would skip them, causing delays of 5 minutes or more.

In addition, according to the MTA’s own report, the proposed F express will severely exacerbate station congestion and travel delays at both the Bergen Street and Carroll Street stations. At Bergen Street, the MTA’s report predicts a nightmarish crowd, with a wait nearly five times longer for commuters trying to exit the Warren Street stairwell during the evening rush hour. The MTA admitted it hasn’t even factored that additional congestion into the increased commute time for all riders using those stations. Riders at the Bergen and Carroll Stations will lose more travel time than riders at any single express stop will gain. This is an unacceptable outcome.

On behalf of riders, at both local and express stops, we are furious at how the MTA has handled this proposed change, and refuse to accept it as a done deal.

We will work with riders on the F train, local stakeholders, and one another to demand increased and improved F service that doesn’t compromise riders on local stops and pit communities against one another, and a better process from the MTA going forward.”

And here's the pro-F train express statement from Greenfield and other lawmakers:

Councilman David G. Greenfield, joined by seven other elected officials from southern Brooklyn, today thanked MTA officials for taking first steps to restore express service to the F line in Brooklyn. The agency this morning released a long-awaited report analyzing the feasibility of restoring F express service. After a lengthy and thorough analysis of the costs and benefits, the report recommends restoring express service between the Jay Street-MetroTech and Church Avenue stops.

“I’m very happy that the MTA has finally released this report, and I’m thrilled that after a decades-long absence, the F express will finally be returning to Brooklyn,” Greenfield said. “This is a long overdue move that will drastically cut commute times for riders in southern Brooklyn and restore transit equity to neighborhoods that have languished in transit deserts for decades. I want to thank MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast, President Veronique Hakim, NYCT Vice President of Government and Community Relations Lois Tendler, and all of the elected officials and community advocates who have supported me in my six-year fight to make this happen.”

Greenfield noted that today’s announcement is only a first step toward needed improvements on the F line. “Today’s announcement represents major progress, but there is still plenty of work to do. Like many of my colleagues, I would like to see increased service along the entire F line. I look forward to having constructive conversations with the MTA and with my colleagues in the Council and in the state legislature on how we can make that happen,” he said.

In February, Greenfield authored a joint letter to the MTA, signed by 14 local elected officials, to call for the restoration of F express service in Brooklyn. Signing the letter with Greenfield were New York State Senators Simcha Felder, Kevin Parker, Martin Golden, and Diane Savino; Assembly members William Colton, Dov Hikind, Jo Anne Simon, Steven Cymbrowitz, and Pamela Harris; and Council members Stephen Levin, Brad Lander, Mark Treyger, and Chaim Deutsch.

Several elected officials from southern Brooklyn joined Greenfield in expressing their appreciation for the MTA’s move toward restoring transit equity to their communities:

Senator Simcha Felder said, "I recall riding the F Express and am so happy for the thousands of F train riders who will finally be able get this level of service again. The return of the F Express is a perfect example of what can happen when we don’t give up. Congratulations to Councilman Greenfield for helping resolve this for everyone."

Senator Diane J. Savino said, "I have said it once, and I will say it again, It's imperative that the MTA restores express F line service for south Brooklyn residents. There's no reason why individuals living in and around Coney Island should be subjected to absurd wait times especially when the infrastructure to restore the line exists. I want to urge the MTA that with the agreement of a $29 billion five-year capital plan in place, the time is now to do the right thing by Brooklyn residents and bring back the F express line.”

Assemblyman William Colton said, "The restoration of the F express line is an important improvement that we have been advocating for many years. At a time when neighboring lines such as the ‘N’ train are under construction, the F express will be beneficial to the families of Southern Brooklyn, whether it's the students, commuters to and from work, or the seniors. This is a particularly welcome relief to all the residents of our community in terms of reducing travel time."

Assemblywoman Pamela Harris said, “This is a huge victory - the restoration of the F Express is a critical move that will provide many more Brooklyn families, seniors and students with the public transit options that they deserve. I extend my thanks to my colleagues at the city and state levels for their tireless efforts in making this a reality. This truly is a testament to what can be accomplished when we combine our voices for a common goal. I look forward to advocating for our commuters and ensuring that their daily transportation needs are met.”

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz said, “The absence of express service on the F train has been a longstanding problem for thousands of my constituents who've been forced to endure unreasonably long commutes. I'm pleased that the MTA is finally restoring F express service and, at the same time, sending a message that it's willing to listen to the concerns of southern Brooklyn riders.”

Councilman Chaim Deutsch said, “The restoration of the F Express is welcome news to Southern Brooklyn residents, many of whom endure some of the longest commutes in the City. Mass transit in our neighborhood is sorely lacking, and while this is an important step, there is still much more that is needed to be done to improve transit here in Southern Brooklyn. The F line is one of those few available resources that we are able to utilize, and added express service will have some impact on the travel time for countless riders. I commend the MTA for their positive response, as well as Councilman David Greenfield, for his longtime advocacy to bring back express service on the F line. I thank many of my fellow local and State elected officials for their collaboration and partnership in tackling issues that affect our districts.”

Councilman Mark Treyger said, “Quite frankly, this is a long time coming. The residents of Southern Brooklyn in particular have been waiting for nearly three decades for the return of the F express, and I am happy to see that the MTA has finally made positive progress. Residents of Coney Island, Gravesend, Midwood, and Borough Park who rely on the F line will see a much-needed reduction in travel time for what has been a sluggish commute. We have been advocating for this for many years. Having said that, there is still more work to be done. This is just the first step in addressing very real transportation concerns throughout these communities. We are still awaiting the return of the x29 express bus, and Saturday service on the x28, and we need to improve accessibility to elevated subway platforms for our most vulnerable residents: seniors and people with disabilities. We still need improved service on the B1 and the B82, and we also need to ensure that the MTA adds more trains to the F line so that residents in other communities of Brooklyn are not negatively impacted. This is about residents in Southern and Central Brooklyn receiving their fair share, not pitting residents of different neighborhoods against each other. We will be meeting with MTA officials and representatives from Governor Cuomo’s office in the near future to address these issues. I want to thank Council Member David Greenfield for his strong partnership as we work to restore this and other crucial transportation services.”

Reporting by Kellylouise Delaney