Going to the city this weekend? If you were planning on taking the train, you better seek out an alternative route. The MTA is once again halting Q service between Stillwell Avenue and Prospect Park, and instead providing free shuttle buses. There will be two kinds of buses – one that runs locally, stopping at all Q stations between Prospect Park and Kings Highway; and another express that runs non-stop from Prospect Park to Flatbush Avenue (transfer to the 2 train) and then Kings Highway, before resuming locally to Stillwell Avenue.

But I don’t need to tell you this, right? We’ve been through this routine a couple of times now. And aren’t there just spectacular improvements in service after each shutdown?

For those who work in the city and like to grab drinks after work, don’t make the kind of mistake I used to make (when I worked in the city, that is). I’d forget these rules go into effect early Friday night and end up drinking too much, then get on the train late only to find that I need to get out and figure this bus crap out while tossed.

It’s not fun. Don’t do that. Just drink when you get home. By yourself. It’s a different kind of pain, but at least it’s self-inflicted.

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  • Kon

    I got class on Saturday. This is bullocks, I say. Am I the only one who feels that the workers building the new platforms on the Q line are stalling complete for more money. I reckon that they could have finished the job in 1/4th the time in which they actually took. A lot of the times when I am standing, waiting for my train, I see them standing around doing nothing. I call SHENANIGANS on them.

    • winson

      oh quit your complaining. I have Saturday classes too and will be using the F train to get to Hunter. The fact is the rehabilitation at those stations are not fully completed. Only the platforms and stairs will be ready when the Coney Island-bound side reopens on Monday (similar to Avenue U and Neck Road), but other work that does not require platform closings will continue, so consider yourself lucky that the MTA is working on this as quickly as they can. If they had kept them closed until the station was fully renovated, we would be stuck with this rebuilding project until 2012 or even 2013. Construction workers cannot work around the clock. They need breaks. Why don’t you try working for them.

    • BrooklynBus

      Few people realize that this line is almost as old as the oldest subway, built over 100 years ago around 1907 I believe. After it’s completed, you won’t have to put up with shuttle buses here for another 100 years. The narrow platforms and stairways need to be replaced to service future generations.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        Which means the MTA, like other agencies, is of the mind that the future of southern Brooklyn is urban.

        This looks like the big project they wanted to do for the longest time. They have decided that an almost total reconstruction is the way to do it. And if all goes well, you may be almost right. You might remember that the first time shuttle buses were used on the Brighton during reconstruction was during the 80s.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        Which means the MTA, like other agencies, is of the mind that the future of southern Brooklyn is urban.

        This looks like the big project they wanted to do for the longest time. They have decided that an almost total reconstruction is the way to do it. And if all goes well, you may be almost right. You might remember that the first time shuttle buses were used on the Brighton during reconstruction was during the 80s.

        • BrooklynBus

          However, that recostruction of the 80s was mostly track work with very little station work. This time is is all station work except for the temporary track connections.

          Also, if you remember, some of the 80s work was screwed up. The tracks were raised too high at Neck Road and some of the other local stations, necessitating temporary (20 year) layers of plywood which had to be placed over the concrete platforms. Let’s just hope that nothing gets screwed up this time.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            I had forgotten why the platforms was raised. I certainly hope that the numbers are double checked on everything, and measurements taken.

            But sadly, nothing that is used as much as train infrastructure parts is going to last perfectly for 100 years. And I suspect that there were better craftspeople then, even though a lot of work was done by unskilled labor.

          • BrooklynBus

            I guess what annoys me is that the standard for rebuilding mass transit facilities is every 100 years, but the standard for rebuilding baseball stadiums is every 30 years. Guess they get more usage. Ha ha.

      • Anonymous

        Right.. If you believe that I have a local bridge I can lease to you for about $55 per diem.

  • BrooklynBus

    I thought it might be easier to figure out what was going on while drunk, since it ain’t that easy when you’re sober either.

    You’re not going to see spectacular improvements after the shutdown. It’s just work that has to be done and you’ll be glad to get the subways back after suffering with the buses. As far as people standing around doing nothing and not working, there could be many reasons for that which are probably not the fault of the people you are watching, but the fault of others you cannot see. They also could just be on a break.

  • Linda

    In November 2009 (Thanksgiving weekend) they did this Shuttle Bus crap except it didn’t extend all the way to Prospect Park. It was only from Stillwell to Kings Highway. Even at 8:00am in the morning the Shuttle Bus at Sheepshead Bay Road was packed. Unless the MTA plans on a fleet of Shuttle buses coming every 2 minutes (which is highly unlikely), take my advice and avoid taking the Q Train. Try the F train instead or just don’t go anywhere if possible. My experience was like a nightmare from hell and I don’t wish it on anyone! Massive incompetence on the part of the MTA, packed buses, packed trains and major delays. I probably could have walked it into Manhattan quicker than it took trying to deal with the Shuttle Bus.

  • winson

    This is for the next and last phase of the Brighton Line Station Rehabilation Project. This weekend, the MTA is realigning the southbound tracks at Cortelyou Road so trains can stop at Avenues H, J, and M, which are scheduled to reopen on Monday. Over the next two weeks, the temporary platforms at Avenue J and Kings Highway will be moved to the Coney Island-bound express track. On the second weekend shutdown this month, the northbound tracks will merge at Cortelyou Road so the Manhattan-bound platforms of Kings Highway and Avenues M, J, and H can be rebuilt. When they are finished in about a year from now, there will be another round of weekend shutdowns to remove the temporary platforms and realign the tracks and after that, the B train can finally run express again. It is all for the better.

  • Bugg

    Give them this much credit; next weekend, when service will not be interrupted, the Irish Fair is at Cyclones Park in Coney Island. So at least that set of imbibers will be able to use the subway to get there and back.

  • Anonymous

    I took the bus from Coney Island to the Bay around 11:30 last night. These guys need to get their act together. The bus does not follow the route of the subways or even the same stops. My driver was calling out stops like “Coney Island Ave”. I got off the bus at “East 16th Street” (and Ave Z)

    Only after boarding the bus and beginning the trip did the driver announce that the bus was only making “express” stops and would be bypassing “local” stations.

    This “service” is a pain in the ass!

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