I'm writing a story set in NYC sometime between 2000 and 2005, and I'd like some subway-related advice on where my characters should live.
Character A needs to live in a working-class neighborhood in the outer boroughs, somewhere near the far end of a subway line. Character B needs to live in a poor / rundown section of Manhattan, which is served by the same subway line as Character A.
Looking at the subway map, I'm thinking maybe the "F" service - in which case, B should live somewhere on the Lower East Side and A should live in either Brooklyn or Queens. But other suggestions would be welcome.
1) is it common for stations in Brooklyn or Queens to have a single elevated platform, i.e. where the eastbound trains stop on one side and the westbound trains stop on the other?
2) I want Character B to be able to travel out to Character A's stop with her, get off the train, walk across the platform, and get a train back to Manhattan - without paying another fare. Is that possible?
3) Are there any particular subway lines serving those boroughs where the cars would be pretty empty by the last few stations of the route? I'm thinking of times around 10pm-midnight especially.
Thanks in advance for your help. I've checked the MTA website and Wikipedia, but I couldn't find the info I was after. If there's somewhere else I should be looking, please let me know.