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L train closure will free the G! - Brooklyn Paper

L train closure will free the G!

G-whiz: The MTA said it will consider changes to the G train the community has been asking for, including higher frequency of service, better information about service changes, and free above-ground transfers at two stops.
File photo by Mike McLaughlin

One train’s L-oss is another’s G-ain!

Metropolitan Transportation Authority honchos will finally give the G train the attention straphangers have been demanding for years when they stop L train service to Manhattan for repairs in 2019. The agency will shower the green-eyed bullet with longer trains that come more frequently and free above-ground transfers during the upheaval, officials announced last week, and transit activists are riding high on the news.

“It’s a great thing,” said Masha Burina of transit advocacy group Rider’s Alliance. “They’ve recognized the G train is going to be inundated with riders.”

The Transit Powers That Be plan to either stop or dramatically reduce service in the storm-ravaged tunnel from Williamsburg to the outer borough, and expect an influx of commuters will use the Brooklyn Local to shuttle to other inter-borough lines.

To accommodate the extra baggage, honchos say they will grant free transfers between the Broadway G station and nearby Lorimer Street J and M station during the closure — a deal they have offered during repairs in the past, but riders, pols, and activist groups are pushing to make it permanent.

And below ground, officials say they will also use the leftover L carriages to beef up the Brooklyn Local from four to eight cars, and run more Gs up and down the borough each hour — though they still won’t say by exactly how much.

The locomotive currently stops at stations every 6 to 10 minutes.

Transit bigwigs say they haven’t decided if they will keep the changes to the trains for good or just during repairs — which they say will either last 18 months if they close the tunnel entirely, or three years if they shut one half at a time.

But straphangers are hoping the new additions will stick around to shoulder the booming line. Around 1.8 million more riders commuted from Brooklyn’s 17 G stations in 2015 than 2014, according to the transit body’s data, with stops in Greenpoint, Fort Greene, and Bedford-Stuyvesant seeing the biggest increases.

And Burina is optimistic the big wheels at the transit body will get on board for good once they see how great it is.

“We’re hoping that there’s going to be advantages and that they’ll continue with more frequent and high capacity even after the events,” she said.

G lovers can celebrate the news with this 2009 Brooklyn Paper guide to the best spots along the line — many of which are still in business!

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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