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North Brooklyn to MTA: Give us the G train … or at least give us shuttle buses

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Talk about the “ghost train.”

Nearly every other train in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority system is at least partially back on track, but the G train — widely considered to be the neglected stepchild of the New York City subway system — remains fully suspended more than one week after Hurricane Sandy.

That, added to the fact that the L train is still not running in Willimsburg and Bushwick, has turned North Brooklyn into a public transportation desert — and made the J train a jam-packed commuting nightmare for Manhattan-bound straphangers.

“Everything is messed up here,” said Chris Henderson, a Greenpoint resident who commutes to Bushwick on buses that are crammed with commuters or stuck behind gas-line traffic. “It’s impossible to get anywhere.”

Now, riders and politicians are urging the MTA to restore G train service to give commuters more options.

“My phones have begun to overheat from calls this morning regarding the G line being the only line still completely suspended and the limited services on the L line,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Greenpoint).

Former Democratic district leader Lincoln Restler, who recently lost the party position to Chris Olechowski in a highly-contested bid, partnered with Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene) to write a Change.org petition asking the MTA to provide shuttle buses along the routes. In one day, the petition garnered close to 2,200 signatures.

Straphangers claim transit honchos don’t care much for the four-car G train — which passengers deride as the “ghost train” due to its long waits and frequent service interruptions even during the best of times.

Some allege that the so-called “Brooklyn Local” — which is the only non-shuttle line in the system that does not service Manhattan and nearly lost its beloved stops in Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope earlier this year — has been put on the backburner.

“They cherry-picked which lines to get moving first and the G train isn’t as important to them,” said Henderson.

MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said the agency has worked to restore the G along with all other lines.

“We’re doing the repairs along with everything else, not afterward,” said Seaton, who noted that the line has been closed due to “significant damage to the signals.”

The portion of the G line that runs under the Newtown Creek flooded during Hurricane Sandy, but the agency said it finished pumping out the tube late Monday night on Twitter.

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Reader Feedback

Andy from Williamsburg says:
Yes, the Newtown tunnel is flooded but they could still provide partial access by running trains from Bedford-Nostrand south.
And I haven't heard any explanation for why the L can't do turnarounds at Bedford right now.
MTA gets points for their incredible transparency over the past week but I don't understand how these options haven't been addressed.
Nov. 6, 2012, 7:52 am
Chris from Bushwick says:
Andy - they can't do turnarounds at Bedford because the "dewatering" of the tunnel is taking place in that station. It's full of work trains and pumps. In fact, outside the Bedford station, you can see this work taking place.

The next full bi-directional switch - which we can blame on the lack of foresight by those who designed the Canarsie Line in the 1920s - is at Broadway Junction.

But this isn't an excuse for the MTA's lack of action. They need to run shuttle buses NOW.
Nov. 6, 2012, 9:54 am
Isa from Greenpoint says:
Lincoln Restler is not the "former" District Leader, he will be "former" after New Year. And he's doing a hell of a lot more on his way out than Chris Olechowski will ever do.
Nov. 6, 2012, 9:57 am
KB from Greenpoint says:
To be fair, this morning in Greenpoint was much better.

As I approached the corner of Lorimer & Nassau, I saw an extra Queens-bound B62 entering service at that corner (nice and empty).

I still decided to walk to work via the Williamsburg Bridge (for exercise) and noticed on my walk to Bedford Ave that there were no lines at the B62 stations (unlike yesterday) and that the buses that passed were barely even utilizing standing room.

Much improved.
Nov. 6, 2012, 10:27 am
Rob from NY says:
Let's hope Governor Cuomo stops getting distracted by expensive and unneeded boondoggles like a new Tappan Zee Bridge -- that make climate change worse!

Ask Cuomo to focus on protecting his MTA (which he is in charge of). Tell him to spend the $6Billion on transit instead of a bridge that is not falling down.
Nov. 6, 2012, 10:32 am
Andy from Williamsburg says:
Thanks for the clarification on the Bedford station situation Chris. I saw the MTA working through the vents above the Graham station on Friday. I hope those CBTC signals fared okay.
Nov. 6, 2012, 10:57 am
Chris from Bushwick says:
That's exactly what I'm worried about, Andy... that we don't even know the full extent of damage the flooding caused.
Nov. 6, 2012, 11:34 am
Isa from Greenpoint says:
It makes me shiver just thinking about the muck in the G tunnel under Newtown Creek. There aren't enough haz mat suits in the world...
Nov. 6, 2012, 11:34 am
Jack from Kent Ave says:
For those that need to get into Manhattan the East River Ferry is also an excellent option. You would likely have to walk a bit from inland Brooklyn but it is a very pleasant commuting option.
Nov. 6, 2012, 12:47 pm

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