Home Brooklyn Brooklyn pols push G tunnel at Atlantic Ave.

Brooklyn pols push G tunnel at Atlantic Ave.

by Benjamin Kabak

The G train, running through Brooklyn and Queens, is almost a good train. You can almost get from Park Slope to Williamsburg and beyond. You can almost transfer to the other lines.

But the G train is also a big tease. For the next few months, until the Church Ave. extension is in place, the G doesn’t quite make it to Park Slope. And it stops tantalizingly close to the Atlantic Ave. hub, just four blocks away. There is, however, no transfer available.

A Brooklyn politician would like to fix that problem. Fresh off successful efforts to connect the A/C/F stop at Jay Street with the M/R stop at Lawrence St. via an underground tunnel, Brooklyn pols and business lobbyists are urging the MTA to study a connection between the G at Fulton St. and the Atlantic Ave.-Pacific St. complex. Separated by only 660 underground feet, a free transfer could give life to the oft-derided G train.

Sarah Ryley, reporting for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, has more:

Councilwoman Letitia James is asking the MTA to study whether the G Train at Fulton Street could be connected to the Atlantic Avenue transportation hub via an underground tunnel, she told the Eagle…

“I understand that the MTA is cutting back on all their capital projects, but I want them to at least look at it and get a feasibility study,” said James, who represents Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. She said she’s working with Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries on the matter and would suggest the project to help ease traffic as part of the mayor’s congestion pricing plan.

“It would definitely increase ridership,” she said.

According to an MTA spokesperson, the agency has yet to study this issue but will respond to James’ request shortly. Cost, however, will be a major red flag. The 50-foot tunnel at Jay St. will cost $130 million; a 660-foot tunnel would be significantly more costly, and in the end, its benefits would be limited in comparison to other capital campaign projects that could use the funds. I would probably study a connection between the G at Fulton St. and the C at Lafayette Ave. first. (Editor’s Note: Just use the connection at Hoyt-Schermerhorn.)

In the meantime, G riders could see a free above-ground transfer between Fulton St. and Atlantic Ave. similar to the one at 63rd St. in Manhattan between the F and the trains that stop at 59th St. and Lexington Ave. Even that small gesture would be a step in the right direction.

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Todd February 8, 2008 - 11:37 am

I would dig a 50 foot tunnel by hand for $130 million dollars.

Kid Twist February 8, 2008 - 11:56 am

I think a connection at Fulton-Lafayette would be redundant. You can already transfer from the G to the C (and the A) at Hoyt-Schermerhorn, the next station.

Benjamin Kabak February 8, 2008 - 11:57 am

Ah yeah, I forgot about that. Thanks, Kid Twist.

Marc Shepherd February 8, 2008 - 12:50 pm

There needs to be some cold, hard analysis on this proposal. If the Jay Street-Lawrence Street connection is $130m, this longer-distance connection — in an area where the web of underground infrastructure is very dense — would surely be a lot more. Let’s say the cost is $250m. In a system screaming for capital investment, is that the best use of such a large sum of money? How many commuters would use this connection?

Alfred Beech February 8, 2008 - 1:17 pm

A connection between the G and JMZ at Broadway would be very useful to me as well. The lines cross (G underground, JMZ elevated), but between two JMZ stops, forcing a walk of about a block to Hewes, and and extra $2, if you’re not on a monthly pass.

Why doesn’t the MTA allow a transfer at Broadway out of system, as they do between the G and 7 at Courthouse Square? It would seem that such transfers would be the short-term solutions to both the Broadway and the Atlantic Ave. problems.

Marc Shepherd February 8, 2008 - 2:09 pm

The MTA has never really explained why they don’t provide out-of-system transfers at places like this. I believe they’ve been asked about the G/JMZ transfer at Broadway. All they say is, “We’re not doing it.”

It’s notable, however, that both of the out-of-system transfers that now exist were provided as a sop to offended riders after service changes. Neither one was introduced to provide better service, but to compensate G and F riders who were being forced to accept worse service due to the introduction of the V Train.

paulb February 9, 2008 - 9:51 am

I’ve thought, and I don’t know why this occurred, that the Independent subway was deliberately constructed to integrate as little as possible with the two already existing systems. The advantage to passengers of a connection between the G crosstown and the lines that run through the Atlantic Ave./Pacific St. station–wouldn’t that have been obvious at the time the line was built?

660 feet is a long tunnel, and it seems like a lot of money; also, now that we have the unlimited Metro cards, I exit and walk up the hill to Fulton St., or vice versa.

OTOH, exiting and walking up the hill is not a great option in inclement weather. Also, a more convenient connection might improve tremendously the movement of Brooklynites between neighborhoods that are now not well connected via public transit, and those happen to be neighborhoods that are rapidly increasing in economic vitality: Long Island City, Greenpoint, W’sburg, Clinton Hill, Ft. Greene, Fourth Ave, Park Slope, Prospect Heights.

It’s got to be expensive, but I don’t think it’s an idea that should be dismissed.

smokedgouda February 9, 2008 - 10:39 am

I am usually a transit advocate, but this idea stinks of waste. Transit projects should be considered for how many people they will serve and this will not have much effect compared to SAS, or even F-Express.

ask123 July 18, 2013 - 1:00 pm

The transfer would open up Greenpoint, Clinton Hill, and Bed-Stuy. That sounds like it’s serving a lot of people to me.

As for wasteful spending, that comes into play with ALL MTA projects, since they ALL cost more than they should. The B/D/F/M transfer to the uptown 6 cost $130 million! And there wasn’t even a tunnel constructed there. They worked almost entirely under the existing station footprint.

Now imagine the cost for that job from a private contractor — it ain’t $130 million.

Marc Shepherd February 9, 2008 - 2:19 pm

I’ve thought, and I don’t know why this occurred, that the Independent subway was deliberately constructed to integrate as little as possible with the two already existing systems.

Of course it was. The IND, in fact, was designed to compete with those systems. That’s why, for instance, the Bronx IND was built along the Grand Concourse, even though the IRT Jerome line was (in most places) only a few blocks away.

JAR February 10, 2008 - 4:01 pm

660 ft tunnel? Isn’t that about the length of two football fields, and longer than a single platform? A long passageway that would be lightly trafficked is also a safety concern. File this under pipe dream… new infrastructure to add connections to the G are rightfully low priority – it’s far more expensive than a 4th Av connection that comes along with G extension to the slope.

Alon Levy February 11, 2008 - 3:43 am

The connection between Times Square and Port Authority is 800 feet long; so is the connection between 14th/7th and 14th/6th.

The Secret Conductor February 11, 2008 - 5:31 am

the a,c,f, connecting to the N,R at Lawrence is a great idea

not too sure about the G and Atlantic ave. it is a short walk plus with Atlantic ave being so hard to navigate, i am not sure where the tunnel would actually connect at.

that is allot of money for 200-300 people to use a tunnel a day (if that much). I would change my mind if and when Atlantic yard get developed. if that happens, then yeah, do it cause downtown Brooklyn will be the like going to the city (downtown Manhattan). workers, tourists, and people coming from the hoods that the G services… maybe even the far reaches of queens will quickly come to the Brooklyn nets games if the g tunnel was built. heck, the tunnel should be part of the whole ratner project if he plans on building the new nets stadium.

Alon Levy February 11, 2008 - 2:10 pm

No, the Atlantic Yards project is likely to depress the area. Urban renewal projects never cause any real urban revival; instead, they tend to bulldoze sections of neighborhoods randomly, and then cause residential flight from nearby areas because an integral part of the neighborhood has just been razed.

The Secret Conductor February 12, 2008 - 5:41 am

Well I hope that this urban renewal (if it goes through of which I think it will because of the amount of money it will generate) does not destroy the neighborhood.

I do know that when stuff like this is built that allot of things are ignored when it comes to the urban planning part… at any rate, I doubt it will depress the area. it might make it louder and more traveled bringing down property values of the homes left though but the business, new employment and money brought into the area will be staggering and is the main reason why they are ignoring many of the staples of urban design and planning.

paulb February 13, 2008 - 1:00 pm

“a 4th Av connection that comes along with G extension to the slope.”

What is this? (I know about the extension of the G line; I mean the 4th avenue part).

tom February 28, 2008 - 4:15 pm

hi folks, there’s a petition online. please check it out and see the comments. this would be great for NYC. it would help lots of people with their commuting. check the petition here:


Second Ave. Sagas | Blogging the NYC Subways » Blog Archive » Wrong time, right idea for G train activists April 9, 2008 - 12:08 am

[…] have a website and blog devoted to their cause, and they’re working really hard to push the G train connection to Atlantic Ave. The only problem is that their efforts are coming at what is probably the worst time for rider […]

G Train To Make Manhattan Stops « Brooklyn Based April 10, 2010 - 11:35 am

[…] is nearly always suspended; and connect Atlantic Ave. to the Fulton St. G stop, either through a 660-foot tunnel or a free street transfer, like the one between the G and 7 at Court House Square. To lodge your […]

G Train To Make Manhattan Stops | Brooklyn Based July 13, 2013 - 3:21 pm

[…] is nearly always suspended; and connect Atlantic Ave. to the Fulton St. G stop, either through a 660-foot tunnel or a free street transfer, like the one between the G and 7 at Court House […]


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