By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
There are humorous ditties about it, and expletive-filled rants against it. But however riders feel about the G train –- famously mis-connecting Brooklyn and Queens –- the line has experienced explosive increases in ridership over the past few years.
After months of complaints about overcrowded platforms and service disruptions, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced on Friday that the agency has agreed to undertake a Full Line Review of the train.
The review, requested by state Senators Daniel Squadron and Martin Malavé Dilan with the backing of more than a dozen Brooklyn and Queens representatives, will be completed by the end of June 2013.
As neighborhoods served by the G line –- like Williamsburg -- attract more residents, trains have become packed. Riders say the MTA does not communicate well on issues like service changes and disruptions, and bemoan the lack of free out-of-system transfers.
“G train riders spoke. Now, this Full Line Review will give us real answers to lead to real changes," Squadron said.
At Squadron's urging, the MTA has conducted two previous Full Line Reviews. A review of the F line in 2009 resulted in more frequent and on-time trains and newer and cleaner subway cars. This past summer, a review of the L line brought increased service.
Senator Dilan, ranking member of the Senate Transportation Committee, gave credit to advocates like the Riders Alliance and other G Line patrons “for playing a critical role in this recent development.”
John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance said in a statement, "The G train is often maligned, but it's vitally important for the residents of North Brooklyn. Riders Alliance members have already made some suggestions for better service, and we're happy to work with the MTA and our local elected officials to identify more solutions and implement them quickly.”
“The MTA’s decision to fully review the G train is the first ‘stop’ on a much needed overhaul of this vital cross-town route,” said Borough President Marty Markowitz. “The G train is the only line serving some of the fastest growing neighborhoods in New York City without having to pass through the ‘outer borough’ of Manhattan, but it runs with only half the number of cars and seats. The G also needs more ADA compliance; one can board an elevator at Church Avenue but nowhere else along the route.”
Markowitz suggested the MTA permit free above-ground transfers between the G at Broadway and the J/M line just steps away at Lorimer or Hewes Streets, as well as between the G at Fulton Street and the 2, 3, 4, 5, B, Q, R, N and D trains two blocks away at Barclays Center.