Home Rider Report Cards G train activists await an F grade

G train activists await an F grade

by Benjamin Kabak

It’s nearly time for the G train’s moment in the sun, and the line’s riders couldn’t be happier.

Last week, the MTA passed out the Rider Report Cards at the stations along the much-maligned and neglected G train, and, as The Times wrote in the City Section yesterday, G train advocates are gearing up for the line to receive an F when the grades are released next month.

The G train has long been regarded by those who rely on it as the MTA’s neglected stepchild. The train, the only non-Shuttle train never to reach Manhattan, can’t quite fulfill the promise of reaching all the way to 71st St-Continental Ave. in Queens, and service is spotty at best. During peak hours, trains — four cars instead of the MTA’s usual eight- or ten-car affairs — are supposed to show up every 7-9 minutes, and only about three or four off-peak trains run per hour. No wonder the people who love to hate the G train affectionately term it the Ghost train.

The Times details how those riders — among them Teresa Toro who runs Save the G Train! and the organization’s accompanying blog — are getting ready for the worst:

“Everybody knows what the rider report card on the G is going to be,” said Teresa Toro…

Ms. Toro, for her part, has urged riders to candidly respond to the transportation authority on her blog Save the G, which takes its name from a coalition of community advocates in Brooklyn and Queens. For each line, the agency distributes paper report cards to riders at train stations for one week, and riders have additional time to fill out identical report cards online. The deadline for the G train was Thursday; Marisa Baldeo, an M.T.A. spokeswoman, said the results would be announced in December.

But this fatalistic attitude is not without its upside. Riders are hoping that the report card results will catapult the problems of the G onto the plates of MTA officials. When the complaints come in about infrequent service, could those riders who need or want better G service be in for more frequent service and longer trains?

Maybe the tide really is turning on the G train. The service extension to Church Ave. in Kensington, once thought to be temporary, will remain in place permanently once work on the Culver Viaduct is completed. With, as The Brooklyn Paper reported last week, the population and ridership exploding along the G line, maybe its day in the sun will finally come. Who needs Manhattan anyway?

The map of the permanent G extension comes to us via The Brooklyn Paper.

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Marc Shepherd November 26, 2007 - 12:29 pm

I think the MTA could do a much better job of explaining why service levels are what they are.

If you’re a regular G train rider, naturally you want full-length trains. But, does the G need full-length trains? Every car running on the G, is a car that can’t be running somewhere else. Maybe half-length trains are the right answer for the G, because all of the other cars are more valuable elsewhere.

There will always be selfish riders who simply want their regular line to have the maximum amount of service, no matter what the rest of the system may need. But with more transparency, well-informed critics could at least judge for themselves whether the MTA is allocating its scarce resources the right way.

Ian W. November 26, 2007 - 12:56 pm

The permanent G extension to Church is, indeed, great news. Though I can’t help but wonder what’s preventing them from making it happen ASAP. Does it really take a year to adjust schedules and change destination signs?

Dingdong November 26, 2007 - 7:35 pm

You probably mean “maligned.”

Second Ave. Sagas | Blogging the NYC Subways » Blog Archive » No one really likes the E or the G December 24, 2007 - 4:35 pm

[…] and it even has its own community organization devoted to Saving the G Train. In fact, most riders were expecting it to receive an F. They will be sorely disappointed to hear this […]

BALA Real Estate Group January 30, 2015 - 4:53 pm

[…] G has been more widely and publicly reviled in recent years than any other.  It has fewer cars than most trains, it stops […]


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