Brooklyn Boro

Expansion of G line is faster, cheaper than multibillion-dollar Interborough Express

January 26, 2022 Larry Penner, Special to Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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In all the discussion of the proposed Interborough Express, Gov. Kathy Hochul and other project supporters forgot to tell you about the existing G line service that has been running from Brooklyn to Queens for decades.

It was built as part of the municipal Independent Subway (IND) system constructed in the 1930s!  Whoever provided her with the proposed system map airbrushed this out. Reminds me of the late Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin. He would have people who fell out of favor removed from all previous photos.

Completion of communication-based train control on both the Queens Boulevard E/F & R line, along with F line’s Brooklyn route, will provide increased capacity.  Current G line service terminating at Court Square could be extended to Forest Hills-Continental Avenue. This would restore this connection that was terminated in April 2010.

A G train pulls in to the elevated Smith-9th Streets station in Brooklyn.
AP file photo by Mark Lennihan
Wikimedia photo

In Brooklyn, G line service could be extended beyond Church Avenue to Coney Island Stillwell Avenue Terminal. This would provide connections to the D, N & Q lines.

The G line’s Fulton Street train station is located several blocks from the Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center LIRR/NYC Transit subway station complex. A simple underground passageway could be constructed.

This could provide a direct indoor connection to the G line from the 2, 3, 4 and 5 IRT as well as the B, D, N, Q and R BMT subway lines, along with the Long Island Rail Road’s Atlantic Avenue branch.

Barclays Center, a possible transfer point with the G train’s Fulton Street station.
AP file photo by John Minchollo

All of the above could be implemented far more quickly. The cost for a new underground subway passageway connection, purchase of additional subway cars and modifications to increase capacity for storage and maintenance of equipment at a rail yard necessary to increase service on the G line to support extended service to Forest Hills and Coney Island would be far cheaper that Hochul’s proposal.

It would require several hundred million in capital and operating dollars rather than who knows how many billions for the new Brooklyn-to-Queens subway line over primarily freight tracks.

Larry Penner is a  transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously worked for the Federal Transit Administration’s Region 2 New York Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for billions in capital projects and programs for New York administered by MTA New York City Transit, the Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road, MTA Buses, NYC DOT Staten Island Ferry along with 30 other transit agencies in New York and New Jersey.

A rendering of the Bus Rapid Transit option for the Interborough Express (one of several options being considered), with buses on a dedicated lane running above the freight trains.
MTA photo


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