The MTA announced this year’s schedule for its Fastrack weeknight repair program, and Brooklyn straphangers will be inconvenienced first.
Starting Tuesday, the MTA will shut down the No. 2 line between the Flatbush Ave.-Brooklyn College and Franklin Ave. subway stations from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for repairs.
The closures will continue every weeknight until Friday and then restart on Jan. 25 for another week of repairs.
An additional 10 weeks throughout the year will affect other Brooklyn stations, including closures on the L train for the first three weeks in August.
Despite the inconvenience, some straphangers said the short-term sacrifices would be acceptable in exchange for longer-term gains. “It’s better than them doing it during the day or during weekends,” said Nina Boone, 55, of Harlem.
The MTA set up Fastrack in 2012 as a way to speed up maintenance and repair work underground by doing it in a concentrated period rather than over sporadic weekends.
The agency said that through the program it has cleaned up several tracks, repaired steel and upgraded wiring.
“Fastrack has proven to have a significant impact on decreasing delays — both in terms of consolidating maintenance forces in a concentrated area and in terms of proactive maintenance that improves service delivery,” said Wynton Habersham, acting senior vice president for the department of subways.
Nick Sifuentes, the deputy director of the Riders Alliance, said the agency completes more work during those weeknights and that the headaches caused by Fastrack aren’t high on straphangers’ list of subway annoyances.
“What New Yorkers are most annoyed about is delays, the lack of solution for crowding, and a lack of communication about what’s actually going on,” he said.
Sifuentes said the MTA puts a good amount of research into how it chooses spots for the program and effectively informs the public about alternatives during the work.
For example, free shuttle buses will provide transportation to the No. 2 stations closed next week.
Still, “It’s up to us, the advocates and riders,” to keep the agency transparent and determine exactly how the Fastrack program is paying off, Sifuentes said.
(with Jason Shaltiel)