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Straphangers to MTA: Don’t cut G train extension

The Brooklyn Paper
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The reopening of a long-shuttered entrance at the Fourth Avenue-Ninth Street station promises Park Slopers greater subway access — but it also marks the beginning of the end of an extension of the G train that provides a crucial transit link between North and Brownstone Brooklyns.

Commuters will no longer need to cross six busy lanes of traffic to hop the train after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority wrapped up a station facelift last Thursday, ticking off another part of the agency’s massive renovation of the F train line between the Carroll Street and the Fourth Avenue-Ninth Street stations.

Yet with every bit of progress in the agency’s $257.5 million rehabilitation of the so-called Culver Viaduct, the G train extension — which two and a half years ago brought service to the Fourth Avenue-Ninth Street, Seventh Avenue, Prospect Park-15th Street, Fort Hamilton Parkway and Church Avenue stations — inches closer to its last stop.

The agency lengthened the G train’s route when it started work at the line’s terminus at Smith-Ninth Street, connecting the borough from Greenpoint to Kensington with one-seat service fitting of the nickname “The Brooklyn Local.”

But the MTA is only obligated to keep the train running at those stations until the project is finished next winter.

MTA Spokesman Charles Seaton told The Brooklyn Paper that “a decision hasn’t been made” about whether the agency would keep the G train running at those five stations come next fall, declining to comment further until reviewing a feasibility report. The agency initially said it would make the G train extension permanent, but later backtracked amid budgetary woes.

MTA brass and politicians cheered the $3.6 million entrance revamp, which Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) called “historic” and Borough President Markowitz — who contributed $2 million to the project — described as an example of “government doing good things.”

But many straphangers said the addition of the staircase is no consolation if the MTA plans to eliminate the G train extension.

“It’s a pain,” said Matt Flammer, a Fort Greene resident who commutes to Park Slope. “It means you have to wake up half an hour earlier. And that makes you that much more grumpy in the morning.”

Thankfully for commuters along the G line, transit insiders say there’s still hope for the train.

Gene Russianoff, a spokesman for the transportation advocacy group the Straphangers Campaign, said the city will likely consider how much use the G train gets at those five stations before deciding whether to make the temporary service permanent.

“I can tell you from private meetings with [city officials], they’ve been impressed by the amount of ridership at those locations,” Russianoff said. “I’d like to see it continue.”

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.
Updated 12:45 pm, March 5, 2012
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Reasonable discourse

A from Greenpoint says:
Yes, if they are not going to add more cars to the crowded G train, at least they can keep these extra stops open!
March 2, 2012, 9:49 am
A from Greenpoint says:
Yes, if they are not going to add more cars to the crowded G train, at least they can keep these extra stops open!
March 2, 2012, 9:49 am
Saskia Scheffer from Kensington says:
Please keep those stops for the G-train! Take a look at the people you serve with those extra stops.... we pay the same fare as the folks going to Manhattan but the service is not equal. I take that train every day and I am one of many. Spend a little less money on excessive decorating and beautifying Manhattan stations. Give us transportation. Basics first please!
March 2, 2012, 10:06 am
jj from brooklyn says:
It's hard to believe there'd be much extra cost in keeping the G extension. Turning round on the viaduct never made much sense — Church Ave also allows for an easy return PLUS there's a natural connection now between Park Slope and Williamsburg that the MTA should exploit.
March 2, 2012, 10:21 am
Joanna from Clinton Hill says:
Please keep the G Train extension (AND add extra cars to the jam-packed G train)! It's made all the difference in the world to me and many of my neighbors who go to and from Park Slope. The need is clearly there, and if Brooklyn had remained an independent city, this wouldn't even be an issue.
March 2, 2012, 12:33 pm
AD from Park Slope says:
I commute from Park Slope to Williamsburg every day and the G train makes that possible. I am a small business owner with affordable office rent in Brooklyn, and I need the G train to facilitate my commute. There are hundreds of people who use that line every morning. Please keep the G Train running at the extended stops as it has served a long overdue need for Brooklynites to be able to commute within the borough.
March 2, 2012, 1:07 pm
Erin from Kensington says:
I love the G train at Church Avenue. It significantly shortens my commutes to Northern Brooklyn and Queens several times a week.
March 2, 2012, 1:09 pm
jude from greenpoint says:
PLEASE add a car or two to the G train. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!! Particularly during the school year. With the addition of yet another school in Carroll Gardens, it is going to get even more packed with school kids. It is crazy to ram that many people into four cars.
March 2, 2012, 1:18 pm
Matt from Clinton Hill says:
Before the extension, I remember many times where I was waiting at 7th Ave. or 15th St. for an F so I could transfer to a G for the rest of my trip home. G trains would regularly pass through those stations south of Smith/9th—apparently they'd turned around at Church Ave—without bothering to stop and pick anyone up. So much for the idea of "hey, while you're down here..."
March 2, 2012, 1:46 pm
Beth S. from Kensington says:
My family regularly uses the G to go to Fort Greene and beyond without having to change trains. We just won't spend as much money at local businesses without that train service.
March 2, 2012, 6:40 pm
John Leon from Greenpoint says:
How about the MTA extending the G to at least Queens Plaza to save us from that 600 foot laborious transfer at Court Square?
March 2, 2012, 7:03 pm
Anna from Kensington says:
Save the G!
March 2, 2012, 8:10 pm
purr from purrland says:
g good
March 2, 2012, 8:21 pm
purr from purrland says:
gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
ggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
March 2, 2012, 8:21 pm
Peter from Windsor Terrace says:
If they could also extend the G to Queens Plaza, I would ride it every day. It would let me avoid much of the Manhattan crowds and I could take the R just one stop back to get to Manhattan.
March 2, 2012, 11:03 pm
AD from Windsor Terrace says:
With the NYC Department of Health moving to LIC last year there are hundreds of city workers who live in Kensington, Windsor Terrace and Park Slope who save half an hour on an already long commute with the G. I agree that having the train extend to Queens Plaza is a great idea and would be even better for DOH employees than having to walk from Court Square. The G is now a vital service in my life, and with three small children, I can't afford a longer or more complicated commute.
March 2, 2012, 11:51 pm
Steve from Windsor Terrace/Kensington says:
I live around the Windsor Terrace/Kensington border and love the G extension. I use it often because it brings service to downtown Brooklyn (Hoyt-Schermerhorn) and also to Ft Greene (Fulton St) where I can easily get to the new Barclays Center in the fall, as well as being close enough to downtown Brooklyn. I always take it to Ft Hamilton Pkway and Church Ave. I also use it for short trips to Prospect Park and 7 Ave in Park Slope, Carroll Street and Bergen Street. Furthermore, I use it to get to Williamsburg (Metropolitan Ave) and Greenpoint (Nassau Ave/Greenpoint Ave) to see friends. I used to also use it to go to Queens to see my girlfriend at Grand Ave because it was much quicker than going through Manhattan and to go to Forest Hills. The G extension should not be cut. I would like to see the G's Brooklyn terminal remain at Church Ave permanently. I would also like to see the G extended back to Forest Hills since it adds a lot of value to the route and allows for much simpler travel between Brooklyn and Queens. I know money is an issue but even if it could go back part-time (to Forest Hills) like nights and weekends, would be helpful.
March 3, 2012, 8:10 am
mike from GP says:
I love the G train extension! It would be great if it could go to Queens Plaza again.
March 3, 2012, 8:31 am
Jake from Park Slope says:
Got to save the G extension! Comes on local pols. Let the MTA know this is important. It's the first decent improvement to the declining and increasingly awful subway service we have had in Brooklyn over the last 25 years.
March 3, 2012, 11:26 am
Bill from Maspeth says:
A look at the G line schedule from Church Ave. toward Queens, readily available on the MTA website, will tell you why SOME G's are overcrowded going toward Queens during the AM rush. The headways between trains is not even since they have to share the same trackage as the F between Church Ave. and Bergen St. There are more F's scheduled than G's, therefore sometimes there are 2 F's to a G and other times they run 1 to 1. Consequently, if you stand at Court Sq. during the rush for a little while, or let an overcrowded go by at your station and wait a few minutes for the next one, you'll find there are 2 trains back to back with the second one virtually empty. Case in point: leaving Church there is a 6:51, then 6:57, then 7:07, then a 7:13. That 7:07 is jammed every day (and late) with the 7:13 catching up to it most every day. I should know: I am someone you all hate: I am the train operator on that train! We don't make up the schedules, we only work the jobs.
March 3, 2012, 10:27 pm
Bill from Maspeth says:
A look at the G line schedule from Church Ave. toward Queens, readily available on the MTA website, will tell you why SOME G's are overcrowded going toward Queens during the AM rush. The headways between trains is not even since they have to share the same trackage as the F between Church Ave. and Bergen St. There are more F's scheduled than G's, therefore sometimes there are 2 F's to a G and other times they run 1 to 1. Consequently, if you stand at Court Sq. during the rush for a little while, or let an overcrowded go by at your station and wait a few minutes for the next one, you'll find there are 2 trains back to back with the second one virtually empty. Case in point: leaving Church there is a 6:51, then 6:57, then 7:07, then a 7:13. That 7:07 is jammed every day (and late) with the 7:13 catching up to it most every day. I should know: I am someone you all hate: I am the train operator on that train! We don't make up the schedules, we only work the jobs.
March 3, 2012, 10:27 pm
Juniper from Greenpoint says:
There was no reason the G train shouldn't have always gone to Church Ave given that it has to go there anyway to turn around. MT,A the demographics of Brooklyn has changed. The very thought of it reverting back is perposterious. I love being able to go to Prospect park with only one train. This was one diversion that made sense.
March 3, 2012, 11:31 pm
Miguel Carraway from Clinton Hill says:
How much does the G train extension cost to operate? They spend $257 million rehabbing the line, but the MTA hasn't decided if they'll keep the line running these five extra stops? They should put that capital investment to good use by spending a fraction of that amount on a popular service improvement.
March 5, 2012, 8:51 am
paul from windsor terrace says:

The G extension is the biggest civic improvement in
Brooklyn I've witnessed
in my 30 years here.
It unites North and South Brooklyn,and is helping the
economy of Brooklyn with very little added expense.
I hope the politicians and transportation honchos will
get the message.
For once all the above comments are in agreement:
Save the G Extension!


March 5, 2012, 11:10 am
sign the petition from Save the G says:
http://www.change.org/petitions/metropolitan-transit-authority-preserve-the-g-train-extension?utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=autopublish

Lincoln Restler organized a petition to Save the G Extension!
March 5, 2012, 3:19 pm
AndreaR from Kensington says:
The G train is a necessary alternative to the always overcrowded F train. It's efficient, clean, safe and takes a lot of the misery out of the morning commute. Discontinuing service would negatively impact Brooklyn straphangers... so save the G train !!
March 9, 2012, 10:30 pm

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