The MTA is continuing to hedge and clarify South Brooklyn Councilmember David Greenfield's triumphant, practically fist-pumping statement this week that express F train service would return by trial this summer, and permanently next summer. "This is a huge victory for Brooklyn's commuters, who for years have had to endure lengthy commutes and overcrowded trains," the councilmember stated on Tuesday.

Then the authority explained that implementation would not be possible before 2017. "Councilman, I don't want to undercut your excitement, but I want to be clear that the report [PDF] said there wasn't an ability to do this until mid-2017," an MTA spokesperson said during a heated City Council hearing on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz issued a statement to Crain's clarifying that Greenfield's assurances, based on a recommendation listed at the end of the aforementioned report, should be checked. "If we move forward with the F express," he said, "it will start in the fall of 2017." (There is some construction-related F express service now through June 3rd—some Queens-bound rush hour F trains are skipping Smith-9th, Carroll and Bergen.)

According to the MTA's preliminary analysis, express F train service between Church Avenue and Jay Street would result in 50% less peak service for the local stations in between, impacting nearly 8,000 daily commuters in neighborhoods that are growing steadily, like Cobble Hill and Gowanus. It would decrease commuting times for Greenfield's constituents, in Kensington and Ditmas Park.

The MTA did not immediately respond to our request for comment on what factors it plans to consider before reaching a final decision, but Crain's reports that the authority has committed to consulting impacted community boards and local officials—many of whom are furious.

"Now that I've read the report, I understand why you blindsided us," Brooklyn Councilmember Brad Lander told the MTA on Tuesday, adding that the 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."

In a joint statement issued this week, Lander and a slew of other impacted councilmembers pledged to dig their heels in. "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," they said.

While Lander said he was "stunned" that he wasn't privy to the MTA's proposal before it hit the press on Tuesday, Greenfield maintains that he was in the loop. In a statement Wednesday, the South Brooklyn councilmember dismissed the MTA's hedging, and maintained his stance that express F train service is a guarantee.

"I was told by top MTA officials that F express service will be returning to Brooklyn," he stated. "While there is a normal process that every recommended MTA action has to go through, I can't imagine that after studying the issue for years and issuing a strong recommendation to bring back the F express, the MTA Board would flip-flop and screw over hundreds of thousands of Brooklynites."

"We have been waiting for this for years," he added. "And it wouldn't make sense to change course now just because a few politicians are upset about having to wait 1.2 minutes at a handful of stations in neighborhoods that already have great mass transit options."

Tell that to Lander.