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Bergen Street (IND Culver Line)

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 Bergen Street
 "F" train"G" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway rapid transit station
Bergen Street Manhattan-Queens Bound Platform.jpg
A view of the Manhattan/Queens-bound platform at Bergen Street.
Station statistics
Address Bergen Street & Smith Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Borough Brooklyn
Locale Boerum Hill
Coordinates 40°41′14.11″N 73°59′24.02″W / 40.6872528°N 73.9900056°W / 40.6872528; -73.9900056Coordinates: 40°41′14.11″N 73°59′24.02″W / 40.6872528°N 73.9900056°W / 40.6872528; -73.9900056
Division B (IND)
Line IND Culver Line
Services       F all times (all times)
      G all times (all times)
Transit connections Bus transport NYCT Bus: B57, B65
Structure Underground
Levels 2 (lower level platforms not for regular service)
Platforms 4 side platforms (2 on each level; 2 on upper level in regular service)
Tracks 4 (2 on upper level in regular service)
Other information
Opened March 20, 1933 (85 years ago) (1933-03-20)
Station code 236[1]
Accessibility Same-platform wheelchair transfer available
Wireless service Wi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[2]
Passengers (2017) 3,525,144[3]Decrease 2.1%
Rank 143 out of 425
Station succession
Next north Jay Street–MetroTech (via Culver): F all times
Jay Street–MetroTech (express): no regular service
Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets (via Crosstown): G all times
Next south Carroll Street (local): F all timesG all times
Seventh Avenue (express): no regular service

Bergen Street is a bi-level station on the IND Culver Line of the New York City Subway, located at the intersection of Bergen Street and Smith Street on the border of Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill in Brooklyn.[4][5] It is served by the F and G trains at all times.

This station was opened in March 1933 as the original terminus of the Culver Line, which was referred to then as the Smith Street Line or the South Brooklyn Line. The station opened in advance of the opening of the remainder of the line to allow for it to compete with existing streetcar lines belonging to the Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation. Once the rest of the line was ready, in October 1933, the line was extended, making this stop a normal through station.

Bergen Street was originally designed as an express station, but only the upper level is currently in service; the lower level is neither in regular service nor usable due to its deteriorated condition. The lower level of the station was used when express service was provided on the Culver Line between 1968 and 1976. Express service was eliminated due to the loss of direct local service along the line to Manhattan. The express platforms were permanently removed from service during the 1990s, and due to a fire in 1999 the relay room was damaged, making the express tracks unusable. The relay room was rebuilt in 2008, and after repairs were done on the line, the implementation of express service become feasible. In 2016, it was announced that the MTA was considering having express service brought back to the line. However, unlike the earlier express service, express trains will skip this station due to the high cost of rebuilding it, thus making the station a local stop.[6]:24


Track layout
Upper level
to Hoyt
to lower level
Lower level
to upper level
to 7 Av

Bergen Street opened on March 20, 1933, as the first station of the IND Culver Line. Service began one month after the expansion of the IND into Brooklyn to Jay Street–Borough Hall.[7]:141[8][9] The station's construction was expedited in order to both connect with and compete with the Bergen Street and Smith Street streetcar lines of the Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT).[8][9][10] Construction was slightly stalled due to delays in the delivery of steel flues for the ventilation system.[8]

Upon opening, only the primary entrances of the station at Bergen Street (see below) were in use, with the southern exits completed at a later date.[8][9] The first express train for Manhattan from Bergen Street left at 6:25 A.M. carrying 30 passengers, and the first rush hour of service for the station brought 121 passengers, of which most came from the Bergen and Smith Street Line Trolleys of the BMT.[11] A and C trains from the IND Eighth Avenue Line terminated here, running to 207th Street in Manhattan and 205th Street in the Bronx respectively.[7][12] A southward extension to Church Avenue opened on October 7 of that same year.[7]:141[12] In 1937, the IND Crosstown Line was connected to the station, served by the GG train (today's G service).[12][13]

The lower-level express platforms, while built with the rest of the station, were only operated between 1968 and 1976 when express service was operated along the line. They were permanently removed from service in 1992, and support facilities were added to the platforms.[6]:24[14]:6[15] There are no plans to restore express service to the station, even with the proposed introduction of rush-hour F express service on the IND Culver Line in fall 2017 (see below).[6]:24[16]

Around the 1990s, the station was modernized.[14]:6 After water shorted out old wires in the station, on March 11, 1999, a major fire occurred originating in an equipment room on the station's lower level.[17] A 1930s-era relay room, which controlled the interlocking north of the station, was destroyed in the fire.[6]:20 The station was closed for several months, with G service suspended south of Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets and F trains simply bypassing the station at a lower-than-normal operating speed.[18][19][20] Signals and switches at the station were replaced and modernized after the fire,[6]:20[14]:15, 20 and again in Fall 2008 when the relay room was rebuilt.[6]:20[21]:22

In May 2016, the MTA revealed plans to restore express service on the Culver Line between Jay Street and Church Avenue by Fall 2017. The Bergen Street lower level, however, will not be restored and reactivated for express service. This is in spite of the fact that the station is one of the most heavily used on the line.[6]:24[16]

Station layout[edit]

G Street Level Exit/Entrance
Local platforms
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Northbound local "F" train toward Jamaica–179th Street (Jay Street–MetroTech)
"G" train toward Court Square (Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets)
Southbound local "F" train toward Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue (Carroll Street)
"G" train toward Church Avenue (Carroll Street)
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Express platforms
Side platform, not in service
Northbound express No regular service
(No service: Jay Street–MetroTech)
Southbound express No regular service
(No service: Seventh Avenue)
Side platform, not in service

Bergen Street is laid out similar to other subway stations located below narrow streets, with two levels. The upper level—the only one used in regular service—serves local trains, while the lower level has formerly seen express service.[6]:19, 24[14]:6 As a result of the station's proximity to ground level, there is no room for a mezzanine, making it one of only three as-built express stations[a] in the system that do not allow free transfers between directions. As a result, passengers wishing to transfer from a Brooklyn-bound G to a Manhattan-bound F, and vice versa, cannot do so at this station.[b]


Exit location[4] Exit type Number of exits Platform served
NW corner of Bergen Street and Smith Street Staircase 1 Southbound
SW corner of Bergen Street and Smith Street Staircase 1 Northbound
NE corner of Bergen Street and Smith Street Staircase 1 Southbound
SE corner of Bergen Street and Smith Street Staircase 1 Northbound
NW corner of Warren Street and Smith Street Staircase 1 Southbound
NE corner of Warren Street and Smith Street Staircase 1 Northbound
Brooklyn-bound entrance at Bergen Street and Smith Street

Each platform has two same-level fare control areas, one at either end of the station, and there are no crossovers or crossunders. The full-time ones are at the north end and each has a turnstile bank, token booth, and two street stairs. The ones on the Manhattan-bound platform go up to the northeast and southeast corners of Bergen and Smith Streets while those on the Coney Island-bound platform go up to the northwest and southwest corners.[4][6]:35[23]:Appendix C-13 The fare control areas on the south end of the platforms are unstaffed, containing full height turnstiles and one street stair to the northeast corner of Warren and Smith Streets on the Manhattan-bound platform and the northwest corner for the Coney Island-bound platform.[4][6]:35[23]:Appendix C-13 The south fare control area is more heavily used.[6]:35

Tracks and platforms[edit]

Bergen Street's lower level, though opened at the same time as the upper level, was not used in revenue service until 1968, when rush hour F express service along the IND Culver Line began. This service ran until 1976, ending due to service cuts and complaints from Culver local residents about losing direct access to Manhattan.[14]:5[22][24] The lower level was abandoned afterward;[14]:6[22] trains rerouted via the express tracks during construction or service disruptions bypass the station towards Jay Street (northbound) or 7th Avenue (southbound).[25] The lower level platforms have not been used since except for a scene for the movie Jacob's Ladder.[15][25] The tile was removed during renovations in the 1990s, leaving unpainted concrete and corrugated metal, old lights and signage (including original IND signs reading "BERGN" on support pillars), and modern Exit signs, none of which are in usable condition.[6]:24–25[22][26] The only remaining IND tilework exists in the stairwells between the levels, with copperplate directional plaques reading "EXPRESS TRAINS" and pointing to the lower level.[27] Steel doors on the upper level block access to the staircases to the lower level,[28] which is used for support facilities, storage of heavy equipment and occasional layups of A and C trains.[14]:6[22]

A study on implementing an F express variant on the Culver Line found that reopening Bergen Street's lower level for express trains had potential benefits, including relieving passenger congestion along the heavily-used northern section of the line, but that the costs of reopening the lower level outweighed the benefits.[6]:24 When the station was used for express service, passengers would wait on the staircases to see which level the next Manhattan-bound train would arrive at.[14]:6 This currently occurs at the Delancey Street/Essex Street station where passengers wait to see whether a northbound F arrives on the lower level, or whether a northbound M arrives on the upper level, since both services operate local along the Sixth Avenue Line north of that point.[29] Repairs to restore the lower level to operating conditions, as well as required upgrades to make the station ADA-accessible, are estimated to cost over $75 million. The signals near the station, damaged during the Bergen Street fire in 1999, would also have to be built to allow trains to stop at the station. Due to the high cost of restoring the lower level, it would be bypassed by express trains should F express service be implemented as recommended.[6]:24

A G train of R68 cars at the station

At the north (Manhattan- and Queens-bound) end of the upper level, the Culver Line local tracks diverge, splitting into four tracks. The F train, using the outer pair of tracks, ramps down to the lower level, merges with the innermost, express tracks located on the lower level, and continues north to Jay Street–MetroTech. Meanwhile, the G train, using the inner pair of tracks, stays on the upper level before making a hard right turn east under Schermerhorn Street to Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets. The lower level tracks can only be reached by trains running to or from Jay Street–MetroTech since they do not connect to the IND Crosstown Line.[6][23]:Appendix D-1[30]

Both levels have a switch south of the platforms, allowing terminating trains to reverse direction. The switches were used when the station was the southern terminus of the line.[23]:Appendix D-1

Design and artwork[edit]

Both platforms on the upper level have a dark green trim line on a lime green border and name tablets reading "BERGEN ST." in white sans serif lettering on a dark green background and green border, much of which was installed during the 1990s renovations.[31] New tiles replaced the original small "BERGEN" tiles, and covered existing advertisement panels. Dark green i-beam columns run along the entire length of both platforms at regular intervals with alternating ones having the standard black station name plate in white lettering.[32]


  1. ^ The lower level is currently unusable, and thus, it can only be used as a local station.[6][14][22]
  2. ^ The others are 86th Street on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line and Nostrand Avenue on the IND Fulton Street Line.


  1. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017. 
  2. ^ "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  3. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2012–2017". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c d "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Red Hook" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Downtown Brooklyn & Borough Hall" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Feasibility and Analysis of F Express Service in Brooklyn" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c Raskin, Joseph B. (November 1, 2013), The Routes Not Taken: A Trip Through New York City's Unbuilt Subway System, Fordham University Press, ISBN 978-0-8232-5369-2 
  8. ^ a b c d "City's Subway Open March 20 To Bergen St". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. March 12, 1933. p. 8. Retrieved July 4, 2016 – via 
  9. ^ a b c "CITY SUBWAY OPENS NEW LINK MARCH 20; Brooklyn Extension to Bergen and Smith Streets to Add One More Station. RISE IN REVENUE CERTAIN Further Cut Into Traffic of Rival Systems at Terminal Point Is Predicted. GROWTH WILL CONTINUE Station-by-Siation Completion to Church Avenue Before September Is Planned". The New York Times. March 12, 1933. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 20, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Growth of New Subway Traffic Spurs Delaney: Early Opening of Bergen St. Station Assured−Recipts Gratifying". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. February 26, 1933. Retrieved July 4, 2016 – via 
  11. ^ "City Subway Adds Link: Extension to Bergen–Smith Street Station in Brooklyn Opened" (PDF). The New York Times. March 21, 1933. Retrieved August 17, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c Korman, Joseph (August 21, 2013). "Independent Subway Services Beginning in 1932". Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  13. ^ O'Neill, Natalie (July 19, 2012). "G wiz! MTA plans to save the G train extension!". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved July 21, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Review of F Line Operations, Ridership, and Infrastructure" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 7, 2009. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  15. ^ a b Pollak, Michael (December 5, 2008). "F.Y.I.: The Lady's Guards". The New York Times. Retrieved August 26, 2016. 
  16. ^ a b Durkin, Erin (May 17, 2016). "MTA to run express F train service in Brooklyn in 2017". NY Daily News. Retrieved May 17, 2016. 
  17. ^ Chan, Sewell (January 25, 2005). "2 Subway Lines Crippled by Fire; Long Repair Seen". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  18. ^ Thompson, Clive (February 28, 2005). "Derailed: Beset by floods and fires and built on technology that predates the Model T, the subway, the very essence of New York, has become frighteningly fragile. And now that the MTA has dug itself into a deep financial hole, it has started traveling back in time to 1975". New York. Retrieved November 4, 2015. 
  19. ^ Lueck, Thomas J. (March 13, 1999). "After Station Fire, Subway Lines Face Months of Turmoil". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  20. ^ "METRO NEWS BRIEFS: NEW YORK; Smoky Fire Halts Service On Four Subway Lines". The New York Times. March 12, 1999. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Review of the G Line" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 10, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  22. ^ a b c d e Gerberer, Raanan (March 6, 2013). "LIGHT AT END OF TUNNEL: F Train Express may return". Brooklyn Eagle. Retrieved July 28, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b c d "Review of the G Line: Appendices" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 10, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2015. 
  24. ^ O'Neill, Natalie (April 13, 2012). "History shows it's not the G train 'extension' — it's the G train renewal". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  25. ^ a b Flegenheimer, Matt (November 29, 2013). "In Subways, Suddenly, 2 Glimpses of History". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2015. 
  26. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (November 29, 2013). "In Subways, Suddenly, 2 Glimpses of History". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  27. ^ Walsh, Kevin (May 8, 2004). "BELOW THE PLATFORMS…". Forgotten New York. Retrieved August 26, 2016. 
  28. ^ Cox, Jeremiah. "Bergen Street Doors Blocking Access to Lower Level". Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  29. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (December 27, 2012). "A Rare Choreography for Riders Caught Between an F and an M". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 7, 2017. 
  30. ^ Friedlander, Alex E. (November 2, 2003). "The Twists and Turns Of the F Train". The New York Times. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  31. ^ Cox, Jeremiah. "Bergen Street Tiles". Retrieved December 11, 2016. 
  32. ^ Cox, Jeremiah. "Bergen Street Signage". Retrieved December 11, 2016. 

External links[edit]