Starting today, November 14, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) will .
According to an MTA official, the service suspension at these two stations are required in order to rebuild the Culver Viaduct structure and to renew tracks, signals and switches.
There will not be a shuttle bus provided between the stations, so people who are riding on Coney Island-bound F trains or Church Avenue-bound G trains will have to walk from Seventh Avenue station or Church Avenue, or take the B61, B67 or B69, but they are not direct connections.
But one man, and 11 volunteers, will help straphangers, especially women late at night, have a safe connection from the F/G Seventh Avenue station to their homes starting tonight at 8 p.m.
Jay “Rocket” Ruiz, the president of Brooklyn Bike Patrol, which was founded on September 14 in , is a service that allows women to call, E-mail, Facebook or Twitter for an accompanied walk home from 25 subway stations.
“We are going to be out here tonight, we will be out here all week,” Ruiz said on Monday, explaining that BBP will be paying close attention to the F/G suspension. “We will actually be out here all year long, until service is resumed at these stations.”
With the southbound suspension, BBP is expecting an increase in calls for an escort home. Ruiz said that he usually has five escorts from Seventh Avenue F train throughout the week and up to 15 during the weekend. But most of his clients get off at 15th Street-Prospect Park, so Ruiz is expecting to be very busy.
He will have two volunteers stationed on Seventh Avenue and Ninth Street and two on Eighth Avenue and Ninth Street.
BBP, which started with only 11 subway stations, has expanded to 25 subway stations to cover the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Park Slope, Kensington, Sunset Park, Carroll Gardens, Prospect Heights, and now, Fort Greene-Clinton Hill.
“This is a small-town idea, but it is working,” he said, explaining that it is a seven-day-a-week operation. “We do it because we want women in their homes safe. We are dedicated to the safety of the women of Brooklyn. We haven’t taken a day off since September 14, we are out there every night.”
Although they will be taking off Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, the group has been working hard. Ruiz said he has 40 clients that he escorts home every week, and the number is growing.
He said they do not accept tips, but one woman did bring cookies to his house:
“We do accept cookies,” he said. “We do this out of the kindness of our hearts and we won’t go away, even if there are no attacks, we will be there.”
The service has become so popular that state Sen. Eric Adams, D-Brooklyn, has vowed to secure funds to get winter coats for BBP's 11 volunteers—all of whom have undergone background checks at the 72nd Precinct, Ruiz said.
To ensure safety, pictures of the men behind BBP can be found on the group's Facebook page.
Although during the week they stop escorting at midnight, he said if someone calls ahead of time requesting a 1 a.m. walk that, “We will be there. We are not going to leave anyone stranded.”
Make sure to safe this information in your phone:
- Tel: 718-744-7592
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Facebook: facebook.com/BROOKLYNBIKEPATROL
- Twitter: @BKbikepatrol
- Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 8 p.m. to midnight
- Friday through Saturday, 8 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.
Other escort services from 15th Street-Prospect Park and Fort Hamilton Parkway
Safe Slope, a community organization that offers walking companions to women from the subway to their home, will also be providing “Safe Walks” from 15th Street-Prospect Park on Thursdays (8 p.m. to 1 a.m.), Fridays and Saturdays (8 p.m. to 3 a.m.).
RightRides, a group that offers women free rides home city-wide, will be stationed at the same stop and Fort Hamilton Parkway on Friday and Saturday nights (11:59 p.m. to 3 a.m.).
The relatively new community-based group called Kensington Windsor Terrace Canine Watch (K9 WaTch) will provide walks home from Fort Hamilton and the Church Avenue station (with the aid of bandana-wearing dogs). They are currently recruiting volunteers and will be starting up soon.