Overnight G train service to be partially suspended for signal modernization starting Nov. 30

G train
Overnight service on the G train will be partially suspended starting Nov. 30.
File photo courtesy of EmperorofNYC/Flickr

The G train will be partially suspended during late nights from Nov. 30 to February 2024 as the MTA works to upgrade and modernize signal technology along the critical Brooklyn-Queens route. 

Starting on Thursday, G trains will not run between Bedford-Nostrand Avenues and Court Square from 9:45 PM to 5:00 a.m., Mondays through Fridays, with an exception overnight service on December 25-26. The work is expected to wrap in early February. 

During the suspension, the MTA will provide a free shuttle bus between Bedford-Nostrand Avenues and Court Square. Riders who exit the train at Bedford-Nostrand or Court Street are advised to get a GO ticket to re-enter the system after their shuttle transfer, and straphangers can get to Court Square via the 7, E, and F lines — though they will need to ride through Manhattan. 

Construction on the Crosstown Line was initially supposed to begin on Nov. 27, but was delayed due to emergency track maintenance work at the 53rd Street station in Manhattan, although an MTA representative said the schedule changes are not expected to significantly delay the project’s completion.

The long-needed update will bring communication-based train control technology, which the MTA heralds as the “international gold standard” in signaling technology, to the G Line. The new tech will, hopefully, speed up trains and reduce delays. 

MTA signals
The agency has been upgrading and updating signal tech on a number of train lines. Photo courtesy of Trent

“Our legacy signaling system relies on technology that dates back to the opening of the subway over 117 years ago,” the MTA says on its website. “While we’ve made improvements to modernize our signals over the decades, the fundamentals remain unchanged.”

CBTC uses a triad of modern technology to track trains and controls. Wayside equipment helps determine the precise location of each train, car-borne equipment controls train movement, and data communications links bring information back to the Rail Control Center. 

The tech promises faster and more reliable service, a smoother ride, and more accurate arrival time information. After a successful installation of CBTC technology on the L and 7 lines in 2009 and 2019, respectively, CBTC is now being implemented  on the several additional routes. 

The MTA green-lit the installation of the tech on the G line last year, with the stipulation that the $368 million project would be completed within five years. The much-maligned line has seen several upgrades this year – over the summer, the MTA announced it would increase the number of midday weekday trains and weekend service on the G line. 

A New York Post analysis of MTA data showed that the G train was on-time 88% of the time this year — but riders still faced long waits between trains during off-peak hours.