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End of the line looms for free G transfer

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The G has been caged once more.

On Monday the Metropolitan Transportation Authority ended the free transfer between the Broadway G station and the nearby Lorimer Street J and M station as it completed repairs to a Hurricane Sandy-damaged tunnel below Newtown Creek. The transit agency has no plans to bring back the free transfer anytime soon, said Authority spokesman Kevin Ortiz. The move comes despite protests by activists, pols, and forward-thinking articles by this paper.

The return of the charge for the above-ground transfer is insufficiently fair, straphanger activists said at a protest the week before the other shoe dropped.

“The G always has to beg for minor improvemen­ts,” said David Estrada, a member of the transit advocacy group the Riders Alliance who lives off of the 15th Street–Prospect Park G stop. “The MTA seems to be just grudgingly giving it little concessions.”

Transit honchos instituted a free transfer between the two stations for the duration of the five-week outage of G service to Queens to allow for the repair work. Riders Alliance members, pols, and this paper have long called for the transfer to be made permanent along with a similar over-land transfer between the Fulton G and the Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center hub.

G riders transfer to other lines at a higher rate than riders of any other subway line and twice the rate of the average straphanger, according to authority data. In 2013, 2,300 Brooklyn Local riders made the move between the Broadway and Lorimer stops on weekdays, even though they had to pay, the data shows. A transit rep said his office could not provide numbers on how many people availed themselves of the transfer while it was free.

One pol suggested that the train, which is also the only route that doesn’t suffer the indignity of entering Manhattan, is meant to feed the other lines and that the Williamsburg transfer is a logical addition.

“The G is really all about connectivity. And connectivity between the G and J–M would fundamentally change what the G train means,” said state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Williamsbu­rg). “Let’s take a good thing and make it last longer.”

A spokeswoman for the state-controlled authority said the switch was only a stopgap measure to lighten the inconvenience of the Queens disconnect and that it’d be too expensive to keep.

The agency’s 2014 budget is $13.5 billion. It said in a 2013 report that it stands to lose $770,000 annually by keeping the Broadway–Lorimer transfer free.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at mperlman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 7:58 pm, September 3, 2014
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Reasonable discourse

Ben from Bay Ridge says:
The MTA loses millions of dollars on just about everything else through horrible contracts and union inefficiencies. whats so different here?
Aug. 28, 2014, 3:30 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I will agree to this idea if the Riders Alliance will agree to a modest fare hike and them giving the majority of the funding since they are the ones using it more.
Aug. 28, 2014, 6:56 pm
ty from pps says:
Luckily we don't need Tal Barzilai to agree with anything... Imagine if Tal was a decisionmaker?!
Aug. 28, 2014, 8:11 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Unfortunately for you, the MTA is a state agency and I do pay taxes to them as well, so I do have a say on what they are doing whether you like it or not.
Aug. 29, 2014, 4:56 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Sure, you have a say... but like I said, it very lucky you have no decision-making role in ANYTHING (well, unless your mom let's you pick out your own sheets and comforter when you go shopping).
Aug. 29, 2014, 7:57 pm
ty from pps says:
(and by "say" of course you mean incoherent whining on the internet)
Aug. 29, 2014, 7:58 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I just want to ask some questions about the MTA with the cost of what they do. Why does even simple renovations cost so much to do? What are they using to make those renovations that makes them cost so much? Just hearing these costs does make me question the MTA a lot. Also, why is that despite having the highest gas tax and tolls, the roads in much of the state of NY are in bad shape especially when a good part of it isn't going to them, which is what they are supposed to be going to? This sounds like a misuse of funds if you asked. On a side note, there are a numbers of roads in southern states that are in good shape, and their gas taxes and tolls are very low, and that's probably because they are going to where they are supposed to be going to. Overall, cut the personal attacks, because I can hardly take you seriously.
Aug. 30, 2014, 5:38 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Are you moving to Alabama? Please!
Aug. 31, 2014, 12:31 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
First of all, I'm too liberal to live there, plus I'm a blue stater. For the record, I'm not anti-transit, I just don't like the way it's being funded. I feel that those who are using the system on a normal basis should be giving the bulk of the funds, not the other way around. There is a reason why residents especially in Rockland County aren't happy about giving to the MTA, and it's mainly because they feel that they give so much taxes to them, but get very little service in return for it, and the same goes with both Nassau and Suffolk Counties in LI. If you're making the claim that driving is heavily subsidized, think again, because it's only the infrastructure that is being used that includes the roads, highways, and crossings, but not anything else. On a side note, since you talk about moving, when do you plan on moving to Zimbabwe to become the next dictator, so that you can have everyone always do what you want whenever you want to, because they will have guns pointed at them.
Aug. 31, 2014, 5:40 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I think that some of you are just commenting like this because you are jealous of the fact that I actually stand up to a fight while the rest of you just hide behind your computer screens saying things you would never say in real life. All of you have shown is that you are nothing but cowards, and are probably more afraid of me than I am of them, which is why you will be nothing more than an armchair activist. Remember, Jane Jacobs was claimed to fight a loosing battel against the Lower Manhattan Expwy against Robert Moses with the odds against her, but she wound up winning in the end. The same thing can be with those who were against the West Side Stadium. Even the people at DDDB believe that there is still a reason to fight the Atlantic Yds complex by Bruce Ratner despite all the odds, and I support them to. By your logic, then maybe it is also a lost cause for the people who are fighting for the existance of Israel, b/c half the world doesn't want it to exist. Again cut with the personal attacks. As a native of Israel, I know what is like to loose someone in a terrosit attack, b/c it happens quite constantly over there.
Sept. 30, 2014, 1:24 pm

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