Home<New York<NYC Subway<
Franklin Avenue Shuttle
New York City Subway
Franklin Avenue

on the SubwayNut
Service At All Times
·Franklin Av
·Park Pl
·Botanic Garden
·Prospect Park

The Franklin Avenue Shuttle is one of the New York City Subway’s shortest (except for length that’s the 42 Street Shuttle) and is its most quirky line. It’s a miracle, and great example of the power of community organizing that it wasn’t abandoned in the 1980s-1990s after years of neglect and instead was closed from July 1998 through October 1999 and completely rebuilt for $74 million.

The line today operates as basically a single-track railroad with a passing loop around and through the Botanic Garden Station. The Park Place station, is the only intermediate stop on the subway system with one platform and track with trains arriving on this track in both directions. South of Botanic Garden there are technically two tracks that become the local tracks into the Prospect Park Station, but except for one of the trains ending its service at the end of the day and has a layover overnight on the Coney Island-bound platform, trains switch back just after Botanic Garden to always operate on the former northbound, Manhattan-bound at Prospect Park, giving this railway the operational characters of a single track railway with a single passing siding.

Two 2-car trains of R68s that are dedicated to the Franklin Avenue shuttle route, and operate using One Person Train operation, every 10 minutes during the day 7 days a week, with a single train operating every 20 minutes overnight. Travel time the length of the route is 6 minutes. These R68s are dedicated to the shuttle because they no longer have their normal roll signs and have permanent vinyl signs with the shuttles destinations where the normal roll signs should be.

The tracks currently used by the Franklin Avenue Shuttle opened between 1878 and 1896 as the northern end of the Brighton Line. In 1896 it provided the Brighton Lines only connection to Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan at Franklin Avenue/Fulton Street to Manhattan via the Fulton Street elevated and to the Park Row Terminal over the Brooklyn Bridge.

On August 1, 1920, the new St. Felix Street and Flatbush Avenue subway line opened between Prospect Park and over the Manhattan Bridge, providing much more direct access to Manhattan from the Brighton Line. At the northern end of the line, the track connections at Franklin Avenue/Fulton Street were removed, although through service continued to operate down the Brighton Line from Franklin Avenue to Coney Island. The opening of the IND Franklin Street subway in 1940, resulted in the closure of the Fulton Street elevated, with through service from the Franklin Avenue Line to Coney Island slowly illuminated, with the last (then Saturday-only) through service operating in 1963, reducing all service on the Franklin Avenue Line to the current Shuttle service that runs today, albeit with one more stop than today.

In the 1970s, it seemed like the writing was on the wall for the discontinuation of the Franklin Avenue Shuttle. The Culver Shuttle was discontinued in 1975. This shuttle route was the closest counterpart to the Franklin Avenue Shuttle. It operated between Ditmas Avenue and Ninth Avenue in Borough Park, along the BMT Culver’s line’s former connection to Manhattan via the 4th Avenue subway until main part of the line (today’s F train) was taken over by the IND subway in 1954 (some through service to Chambers Street in Manhattan continued to operate until 1959). In 1977 the MTA hosted a public hearings to discontinue service on the Franklin Avenue Shuttle (at the same time as the South Ferry Shuttle, which did happen).

In the 1980s and 1990s the line slowly began entering an era of extreme disrepair, including being covered with graffiti, and only operating with 2 car trains. It seemed like service would be discontinued because of complete neglect and this kept being proposed by the MTA. The Dean Street Station was closed in 1995. This was due to low ridership (50 paid fares a day) and the MTA claiming extreme fare jumping by other riders, and reduced the number of stops on the Franklin Avenue shuttle from 5 to 4. I remember riding the Franklin Avenue shuttle in 1996 and bypassing the graffiti covered, extremely creepy looking Dean Street Station. The 1998-1999 rebuilding removed all traces of Dean Street (a sign is preserved and on display in the New York Transit Museum), and resulted in the current operations of the Franklin Avenue shuttle, with platforms now limiting trains to just two 75 foot cars, and through service to and from Coney Island something that will never operate again due to the extreme differences between a 2 car train and a 10 car train.

Home<New York<NYC Subway<
Franklin Avenue Shuttle
NYC Subway
on the SubwayNut

Last Updated: March 18, 2023
This website is not allifiated with MTA New York City Transit, their official website is here
This Website is maintained and copyright © 2004-2023, Jeremiah Cox. This website is not affiliated with any transit provider. Please do not remote link images or copy them from this website without permission.