Talk about the “ghost train.”
Nearly every other train in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority system is at least partially back on track, but the G train — widely considered to be the neglected stepchild of the New York City subway system — remains fully suspended more than one week after Hurricane Sandy.
That, added to the fact that the L train is still not running in Willimsburg and Bushwick, has turned North Brooklyn into a public transportation desert — and made the J train a jam-packed commuting nightmare for Manhattan-bound straphangers.
“Everything is messed up here,” said Chris Henderson, a Greenpoint resident who commutes to Bushwick on buses that are crammed with commuters or stuck behind gas-line traffic. “It’s impossible to get anywhere.”
Now, riders and politicians are urging the MTA to restore G train service to give commuters more options.
“My phones have begun to overheat from calls this morning regarding the G line being the only line still completely suspended and the limited services on the L line,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Greenpoint).
Former Democratic district leader Lincoln Restler, who recently lost the party position to Chris Olechowski in a highly-contested bid, partnered with Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene) to write a Change.org petition asking the MTA to provide shuttle buses along the routes. In one day, the petition garnered close to 2,200 signatures.
Straphangers claim transit honchos don’t care much for the four-car G train — which passengers deride as the “ghost train” due to its long waits and frequent service interruptions even during the best of times.
Some allege that the so-called “Brooklyn Local” — which is the only non-shuttle line in the system that does not service Manhattan and nearly lost its beloved stops in Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope earlier this year — has been put on the backburner.
“They cherry-picked which lines to get moving first and the G train isn’t as important to them,” said Henderson.
MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said the agency has worked to restore the G along with all other lines.
“We’re doing the repairs along with everything else, not afterward,” said Seaton, who noted that the line has been closed due to “significant damage to the signals.”
The portion of the G line that runs under the Newtown Creek flooded during Hurricane Sandy, but the agency said it finished pumping out the tube late Monday night on Twitter.