Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today out of sadness for again we are burying part of a New York City subway line. As more and more people speak out against a payroll tax to save the MTA, the service cuts and fare hikes draw ever closer.
Today, at 10:30 a.m. at the Court Square subway station on the IND Crosstown line, we bury the G train’s northern extension. No longer with the misbegotten stepchild of the subway system reach from Carroll Gardens to Forest Hills. Instead, the G will permanently terminate at Court Square, doomed to leave Brooklyn-to-Queens riders searching for a transfer, another train and a faster way to travel between the city’s largest and most populous boroughs.
This is, of course, not the first time we have eulogized a train line facing its final few weeks of existence. In mid-January, we remembered the Z while we blamed this financial crisis in part on the grandstanding politicians who showed up for the Nassau Street Express’ final rites.
Two weeks ago, those same politicians buried the M and R trains in Manhattan and Brooklyn at least. The M will no longer head south of Broad St. during rush hour, and a few stations along the BMT Broadway line in Lower Manhattan will no longer enjoy late-night service. Prior to that, The Observer noted that no one will really miss the W, the city’s least reliable and dirtiest subway line. But we can’t neglect the Black Sheep of the family.
Meanwhile, the G train funeral offers much of the same. Joining the Straphangers Campaign at Court Sq. later today will be Joseph Lentol and Hakeem Jeffries, two state assembly representatives. Both of these representatives have something in common: They opposed a plan last year that would have delivered more service to the G line. Public hypocrisy, it seems, knows no bounds.
For Jeffries, this is nothing new. With an assist from Streetsblog, we took him to task last May for bemoaning the state of the G train after helping shoot down the congestion pricing plan. Lentol, meanwhile, was more guarded in his views but never really warmed to Mayor Bloomberg’s plan.
Today, these two officials are going to do what politicians do best. They are going to pander to their constituents less than a year after voting down a plan that would have accomplished just what they want to see happen today. Nothing beats a politician at a photo op. I just hope voters remember in November who killed their subway lines.