All aboard! G train gaining more riders than any line citywide • Brooklyn Paper

All aboard! G train gaining more riders than any line citywide

Straphangers are fighting for free above-ground transfers between the G train and other Brooklyn transit hubs.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The G train is on a roll, with its surging ridership growing faster than any other line citywide.

The little green line that never suffers the indignity of entering Manhattan gained nearly 2,000 riders per weekday in 2012, a passenger increase of 4.2 percent that dwarfs all other routes, according to new Metropolitan Transportation Authority statistics.

Riders of the so-called Brooklyn Local say the data proves service increases are necessary along the line, where commuters recently won a hard-fought battle to make a five-stop extension in Park Slope, Windsor, Terrace, and Kensington permanent.

“The MTA’s new numbers show what G train riders already know. These trains are overcrowded,” said John Raskin, head of straphanger advocacy group Riders Alliance. “We need more of them.”

The G now offers one-seat service between North and Brownstone Brooklyns — but at a price, according to frequent rider Alexis Saba.

“It can be really crowded when the service is irregular, and that happens a lot,” said Saba, who lives off the Clinton-Washington stop.

Last year, complaints about long waits, crowded trains, and poor signage grew louder than a subway car with the window open as commuters, activist groups including the Riders Alliance, and politicians demanded improvements on the G line.

The MTA initially said service was fine and low ridership on the line did not warrant any changes, but in January the agency reversed course and said it would consider G line alterations. In Feb.,authorities launched a line review, intended to be completed by this summer.

MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said the agency will consider the growing ridership — but only so much.

“We will of course use the latest ridership figures as we assess G line service, but total ridership is only one of the elements we use to determine levels of service,” said Ortiz. “The last time we looked at ridership trends, the level of service on the G was sufficient, but we will continue to analyze.”

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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