The G train will be extended to Church Avenue in July, creating the first direct link between trendy Williamsburg and posh Park Slope.
The service boost, scheduled to go into effect on July 5, became necessary because of planned track work along the elevated section of the F and G lines in Carroll Gardens and Park Slope.
It was approved on Wednesday by the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as part of the $257.5-million renovations — a price that leaped $70 million last year.
Riders said that the MTA had finally hit the G spot.
“This will be great. I’m always going back and forth,” said Park Slope resident Caroline Bell, who owns Café Grumpy in Greenpoint (and an eagerly awaited second branch of the coffee shop in the Slope). “I don’t know why they haven’t done it before.”
The change will simplify the commute for Bell and others. Currently, the only line that does not enter Manhattan terminates at the Smith-Ninth street station. But upon commencement of major renovations to the Culver Viaduct, the G will not be able to turn around until it reaches Church Avenue.
That means it will begin making stops at Fourth Avenue, Seventh Avenue, 15th Street, and Fort Hamilton Parkway, before reversing course at Church Avenue. The work is expected to last until 2013.
The MTA told The Brooklyn Paper the G-train enhancements would shave three precious minutes off the commutes of 8,500 daily riders.
MTA New York City Transit President Howard Roberts touted his agency’s work.
“Riders utilizing the line between Church Avenue and Fourth Avenue will benefit from more frequent service,” he said.
Despite the improvement, politicians said the G train is still unsatisfactory because it’s shorter than other subway trains and because the MTA eliminated almost all of its service in Queens, a neighboring borough.
“The MTA must cut down on wait times and run the full number of cars for each G train and restore full service to Queens,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Greenpoint).
The Culver Viaduct project does entail an inconvenience for some of the straphangers who rely on the Smith–Ninth street station. From the moment this project was first announced in November, 2007, the MTA made it clear that the work can’t be done without completely shutting the key hub for nine months.
It will get a sprucing up — but not until 2011 or 2012, when the station will be closed. During that time, the transit agency will provide a shuttle to either Fourth Avenue or the Carroll Street station.
And other parts of the plan have changed for the worse. At one point, the MTA promised to install windows with breathtaking views at the Fourth Avenue platform, but shelved that element due to cost.
That station will remain decrepit for years.