G train riders call for line review and improvements

January 28, 2013 Heather Chin
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As one of the only subway lines that take commuters directly between Brooklyn and Queens — and the only one to do so without stopping in Manhattan along the way — the G train is a key aspect of many riders’ daily lives, and now residents and local politicians are calling for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to review the “G” line and address service concerns.

The train travels from Church Avenue in Kensington to Long Island City and was recently extended south of Smith-9th Streets in Carroll Gardens — a welcome change, say straphangers, but one that didn’t remedy other issues, such as frequency of trains, communication with riders about service changes and disruptions, and the lack of free out-of system transfers.

That is why a petition was launched by the Riders Alliance and in a letter to the MTA’s interim president, Thomas Prendergast, sent by State Senators Daniel Squadron and Martin Malavé Dilan, along with over a dozen other politicians and transit advocates.

It was then followed up with a rousing Rally for a Better G Train at the corner of Metropolitan and Union Avenues in Williamsburg on Sunday, January 27, where straphangers called for a full performance review of the “G” line, as the MTA did with the “F” and “L” trains.

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“If there were a grade after F it would be G — and that’s what many riders would give the G train,” said Squadron. “As the Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods surrounding the G continue to grow, their lifeline must grow with them.”

Squadron cited the successes of his recent work with the MTA in creating the “first-of-their-kind Full Line Reviews of the F and L trains” as something to emulate. Those reviews resulted in “more frequent and on-time trains and newer and cleaner subway cars along the F line beginning in 2009, and increased service along the L line beginning in the summer of 2012.”

“Riding the G can be frustrating, especially if you don’t know when it’s coming, and don’t know where it will stop, and can’t transfer for free to other trains that pass within a few short blocks,” said John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance.

“I live in Bed-Stuy and take the G train every day to get to work,” added Tolani Adeboye, a Riders Alliance member. “Sometimes it feels like we have to plan our whole lives around the train frequency because we never know when it’s going to come.  Our neighborhood is growing, and we deserve a train that really meets our needs.  [This] is an opportunity to get together with other G train riders and demand better service.”

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