F train will close in southern Brooklyn for 8 weekends this summer for signal modernization

An F train arrives at a Brooklyn station
An F train pulls into Avenue I in Brooklyn in Aug. 2023.
Marc A. Hermann / MTA

F train service in southern Brooklyn will be suspended for eight weekends this summer as the MTA replaces ancient subway signals with modern train communication systems.

The southernmost part of the F line between Church Avenue and Coney Island, known within the MTA as the Culver Line, is the latest route in the system to be outfitted with Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC), a modern signaling system that allows trains to be run closer together and at greater speed. CBTC, the MTA says, increases reliability from the current analog signals that are nearly a century old.

To complete the work, though, the MTA says the lower portion of the F must be closed on weekends this summer. The closures begin on the weekend of Friday, July 5 to Monday, July 8, and continue from July 12-15, before subsiding for the rest of July.

Closures will resume the weekend of Aug. 9 and the line will shut down each weekend, Friday through Monday until Sept. 13-16, except for the weekend of Aug. 30, when service will be suspended till Tuesday, Sept. 3, due to Labor Day.

During the closure periods, free shuttle bus service will operate between Church Avenue and Coney Island at all times. Unlike most similar shutdowns, the MTA initially didn’t plan to offer any shuttle service because the F is relatively close to other transit lines — but the transit agency relented after community pushback.

The project was not set to be funded with money from congestion pricing, which was to go into effect on June 30 but has now been indefinitely paused by Gov. Kathy Hochul. Further re-signaling efforts are on ice, however, such as the A/C line in Brooklyn and the B/D/F/M line in Manhattan.

Ancient, unreliable signals are one of the primary drivers of subway delays, which are on the rise this year. Signal delays in particular were up 57% in the first four months of 2024 compared to 2023, Gothamist reported.

Service reliability has shot up on the L and the 7 since installation of CBTC was completed; they remain the only two lines fully outfitted with the new tech. The MTA will be shutting down the G train for much of this summer to outfit the Crosstown Line with CBTC tech, while work is also ongoing on the A/C/E in Manhattan and the long-delayed Queens Boulevard Line in Queens, which carries the E, F, M, and R lines.