Riders of the F and G subway lines in Brooklyn are going to have to change their routines, as the Smith and 9th Street station is now closed for rehabilitation through March 2012 and no shuttle service will be provided. NY1’s Tina Redwine filed the following report.
Tough times are ahead for the over 4,000 commuters who catch F and G trains at the Smith and 9th street station in Gowanus.
On Monday, the MTA started renovations there, closing the station for at least the next nine months. Smith and 9th is the closest station to Red Hook, and residents there are not happy with their new convoluted commute.
“I have to take the 57 bus here, take it up to Fulton Street, take the 26 down to Myrtle where I could just take this train right there and be there in a half hour, but with two buses it’ll take me an hour and a half,” said one resident.
The MTA is not offering shuttle service to other stations, but officials say riders can take the B61 bus to the 4th Avenue and 9th Street station or the B57 bus to the Carroll Street station as alternatives.
Most riders knew about the station closing from MTA handouts, but they still weren't happy.
“I'm ticked off ‘cause it's early in the morning and I have to get to The Bronx, and I have to take the bus halfway there,” said a passenger affected by the service changes. She added that with the closing of the subway station, about 45 minutes will be tacked onto her commute, which is already an hour and a half long.
Many argued that there should be a shuttle service.
“Just so happens that the news camera [is] here — the buses wouldn't be on time like this,” said a straphanger. “We'd be standing here waiting for another 10, 15 minutes for another bus.”
Businesses are also feeling the pain. Salah Hussen worries he won't be able to pay the $3,000-per-month rent at his store.
“People are not going to come because our business is only from the train station,” said Hussen. “I don't know what I'm going to do now.”
Others say it will be worth the hassle.
“Happy they're fixing it up finally,” said one MTA rider.
“One time I was standing under the subway and something fell from under the tracks, so me and my friends almost got hit by something,” said another. “It was a little thing, but it's better for us to have a safer station.”
MTA officials say the renovation should be finished by March 2012. For more information, visit mta.info.