Eyes on the Street: Franklin Avenue


The Shuttle, as seen from Brevoort Place.

This four-stop line deteriorated and was nearly abandoned by the MTA in the 1980s and again in the 1990s. Instead, after community opposition, it was restored for $74 million in 1999, although one station, Dean Street, was closed. Does anybody know more details about the community advocacy that led to the preservation of the line?

  • Ed

    I dunno, but Forgotten NY has a great page on the Franklin Ave. Shuttle


  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    In the early and mid 90s I worked with TWU Local 100 leadership, particularly but not limited to Arthur Goldberg and some local community organizations, storefront churches etc. on joint issues opposing both the privatization of the LIRR freight service and the closing of the Franklin Avenue Shuttle and its proposed replacement by buses. I remember one telling statistic at the time that the Franklin Avenue Shuttle carried more people than the entire Oyster Bay Branch of the LIRR. Anyway, Virgil Conway, Chairman of the MTA at the time ultimately caved on the Shuttle closure (though privatizing the LIRR Freight Line, it is now the New York and Atlantic and somewhat successful). I felt the social pressure put on him by the Straphangers the local churches and TWU Local 100 embarassed him into dropping some money on the service. Arthur Goldberg (same name as a famous Supreme Court Justice, different guy) has sinced retired from Local 100, lives in Park Slope somewhere and would be a good source for that particular piece of commuter-labor-community organizing history. He is good friends with Robert “Buzz” Passwell well known academic and transportation policy advocate.

  • Nona

    Joe Rappaport, who has posted here before, was Straphangers Campaign coordinator and instrumental in helping local groups organize the advocacy effort. Al Vann, who is a City Council member, was a State legislator at the time who came around on this fight and helped push it over the edge. I believe Council member Tish James was on his staff then.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Yeah, Tish James did a lot of coordination of the groups, she is probably a real good source on that organizing.

  • Joe Rappaport

    I’d be happy to talk with you on the phone about the work the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign and many other groups, individuals and elected officials did to save the shuttle and get it rebuilt. Call during the day at anytime — I’m in the Manhattan phone book (on 104th).

  • AD

    Thanks all. This is great information.


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