L, G train recovery lags behind rest of subway system

As of yesterday, the MTA had restored about 80 percent of subway service.

Noticeably out, however, were the L and G trains. The G train, which runs from Court House Square in Queens to Church Avenue, was totally out of service.

The L train was operating only as a shuttle from East New York, where riders could transfer to the J and Z lines, to Rockaway Parkway-Canarsie, with the western portion of the line out of service.

While these lines go through many different neighborhoods, their temporary loss was most keenly felt in Greenpoint, northern Williamsburg and northern Bushwick. The G doesn't go to Manhattan, but many residents of Williamsburg and Greenpoint take the G train, then transfer to Manhattan-bound L trains at Lorimer Street-Metropolitan Avenue.

During the weekend, MTA Chair Joseph Lhota was quoted as saying that the L train was "wall to wall" with water.

Yesterday, MTA spokesman Charles Seaton told the Eagle that the transit agency "just finished pumping out the G train" and plans to get the L train back in shape in the near future.

Transit riders in some of the affected areas, he said, could take buses, then transfer to Manhattan-bound J line. The J is basically parallel to the L, to the south, while the M train joins the J at Myrtle avenue-Broadway.

Several local politicians urged the MTA and the city to do more for L-train and G-train riders. For example, Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Fort Greene/Prospect Heights), asked the MTA to provide temporary shuttle-bus service along the two lines.

"It would be wonderful if the MTA could provide temporary shuttle service along the L and G subway lines until full service is restored," said James. "Although the G train does not extend to Manhattan, it is a vital subway line in parts of the 35th District."

City Councilwoman Diane Reyna, who represents Williamsburg and Bushwick, said in a statement, "The G line, as the only north/south bound train for Brooklyn and Queens, is an important route for my constituents and I urge the MTA to explore all options, including shuttles, to ensure that people can get to work.

"As for the L, it is unacceptable to limit the service of one of the busiest train lines in the system."

Ridership on the L has zoomed since the beginning of new residential development in Williamsburg about 10 years ago.