It’s become sport in some circles to malign the G train, but we have always had a soft spot in our hearts for the only subway line that doesn’t go into Manhattan.
Finally, our sympathies for the little engine that could are being rewarded. On July 5, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will extend G-train service from its current terminus at the Smith-Ninth Street station to Church Avenue, deeper into Brooklyn.
This is a big deal for all residents of Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Kensington who never fully explored the riches of North Brooklyn neighborhoods like Greenpoint and Williamsburg because of the need to first take a train into Manhattan and then transfer to an L or J train back into the borough.
We certainly appreciate the desire to never set foot in generic Gaphattan, even underground. But soon, thanks to the new “Brooklyn Local,” as our GO Brooklyn section is calling it this week, you won’t have to.
But our excitement about the expanded G train is not mere borough boosterism. Our goal in celebrating the longer G line is our way to remind readers of the old “use it or lose it” adage.
Indeed, the MTA did not add five more stations to the G train because it wants to improve service to Kensington or allow Brownstone Brooklynites to easily access the free pizzas of the Alligator Lounge or the cool readings at Word book store (see page 5).
The G-train expansion is solely a result of some necessary track work along the elevated portion of the F line above the Gowanus Canal. The work makes it impossible for the G train to turn around after Smith-Ninth, its arbitrary endpoint.
Once that track work is completed, the transit agency plans to cut the G line back to its unsatisfactory size.
We can not let that happen. A one-seat, Manhattan-free ride between Greenpoint and Kensington has been the dream of every party-hopping Park Sloper and every Parade Ground-going Greenpointer since the subway system was first laid out.
But the only way to ensure that we retain that service is for Brooklynites to actively use it, showing the MTA that this small change means a big deal to commuters and pleasure-seekers.
So do us all a favor: read our G line “user’s guide” on page 5 — and get out there. Use your newly emboldened G train — or lose it.