Group 'takes it to the streets’ on G train service

A G train is seen switching tracks at Fourth Avenue. Wikipedia photo

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

The Riders Alliance, a grass-roots advocacy organization for the city’s transit riders, has taken the improvement of the much-criticized G train as one of its main focuses.

To this end, it is sponsoring an online petition on its website. But that isn’t all—the organization this past weekend took it to the streets. Volunteers met in Williamsburg and collection signatures there in person.

The G is one of very few trains in the subway system that doesn’t enter Manhattan. Since the late 2000s, it runs almost entirely in Brooklyn, with only two stops in western Queens.

Common complaints about the G include the short, four-car trains (which the MTA says are essential to maintain frequent service), the lack of transfers and crowding on the trains.

“The main thing is more frequent service, especially during rush hours,” said Kate Meyer, a teacher who travels to work with special-needs children. “The trains are supposed to come every 7 to 9 minutes, but in practice they come every 10 to 15. If you compare 10 to 15 minutes to other lines, that’s really laughable.”

“When you take the G to Court House Square, the transfer is not great – I definitely see where [other transfers] could help a lot of people,” she added.

Although a transfer to the L train does exist at Metropolitan Avenue-Grand Street, the Alliance wants two more free transfers -- to the J/M at Broadway, and from Fulton Street to the nine different subway lines that converge at Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center.

These would be “walking transfers” – transfers in which riders get out of the subway, walk a block or two, then get back on using their MetroCards.

A spokesperson for the group said this would allow G train riders “more access to more places faster” and would reduce crowding on some other lines, such as the L.

An MTA spokesperson, however, told the Eagle that the MTA’s policy is not to implement such walking transfers, and that the only one that currently exists is in Manhattan, from the Lexington Avenue Line at 59th Street to the Lexington Avenue stop on the 63rd Street line.

Past organizing efforts involving the G train, mostly by another group known as “Save the G,” had two focuses. The first was to make permanent the MTA’s temporary expansion of service from Smith-9th Streets to Church Avenue. This became a successful effort last year.

The second was to keep and expand service to Forest Hills, Queens. This effort was unsuccessful – the MTA cut back service to Court Square at all times in 2010.

That group is still active.  On its website, its most recent post is from November of last year, complaining about the city’s delays in restoring service on the line after Hurricane Sandy.

The Brooklyn Brewery recently sponsored a contest to compose a theme song for the G train. The contest was won by a musical duo called Teen Commandments, aka Brett Moses and Nick LaGrasta

January 9, 2013 - 3:21pm



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