Home Brooklyn Brooklynites argue for permanent G train extension

Brooklynites argue for permanent G train extension

by Benjamin Kabak

Will the G train extension remain once the Culver Viaduct rehab is completed?

As the Culver Viaduct rehabilitation project inches forward, residents in Brownstone Brooklyn are only half-hearted embracing the good news. Everyone wants service restored at Smith/9th Sts., but no one wants to lose the G train extension to Church Ave., a benefit of the project. With the rehab set to wrap until next winter, the G extension may be up in the air.

The G train extension has long been billed as a temporary benefit to the Culver Viaduct work. It was, in fact, one of the first news items to warrant a post on this site back in 2006, and the MTA instituted the new service pattern in May of 2009. At the time, the authority said it was a temporary extension that could become permanent if it gained enough popularity. It should stay.

By extending the G train to Church Ave., the MTA has connected some popular destinations throughout Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill, Clinton Hill, Williamsburg and Greenpoint with Park Slope, Kensington and beyond. It improves intra-borough, intra-neighborhood travel, something that the New York City subway does not always do well. Now, as the Viaduct project reaches milestones on the road toward completion, Brooklyn residents, as The Brooklyn Paper recently reported, want to see the extension become permanent. Natalie O’Neill had more:

MTA Spokesman Charles Seaton told The Brooklyn Paper that “a decision hasn’t been made” about whether the agency would keep the G train running at those five stations come next fall, declining to comment further until reviewing a feasibility report. The agency initially said it would make the G train extension permanent, but later backtracked amid budgetary woes.

…Many straphangers said the addition of the staircase is no consolation if the MTA plans to eliminate the G train extension. “It’s a pain,” said Matt Flammer, a Fort Greene resident who commutes to Park Slope. “It means you have to wake up half an hour earlier. And that makes you that much more grumpy in the morning.”

Thankfully for commuters along the G line, transit insiders say there’s still hope for the train. Gene Russianoff, a spokesman for the transportation advocacy group the Straphangers Campaign, said the city will likely consider how much use the G train gets at those five stations before deciding whether to make the temporary service permanent. “I can tell you from private meetings with [city officials], they’ve been impressed by the amount of ridership at those locations,” Russianoff said. “I’d like to see it continue.”

It’s often hyperbole to say that literally no one opposes anything, but it’s awfully tough to find some with a legitimate gripe against added G train service. Selfishly, I love it as it allows me a quick ride from my home neighborhood up to the bars and restaurants in Williamsburg and my friends along the G train’s route. The MTA should be in the business of providing adequate train service, and maintaining this G extension should become a priority as the Culver Countdown reaches completion.

Once upon a time, neighborhood activists called for a G connection with Atlantic Ave., and at other times, civic groups have rallied to save service on this oft-crowded and sometimes-neglected IND line. This one is a no-brainer though. Even when the viaduct rehab is over, the G should remain a Church Ave.-bound train.

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Justin Samuels March 5, 2012 - 4:28 am

I agree 100% with you been. I once lived in Bedstuy, and I used to go to Park Slope sometimes. It was annoying to have to get off the G and just catch the F. Or even worse, take the G to Smith/9th streets, get off and transfer to the F to take it one stop to catch the R train. That alone is reason to permanently keep the G at Church Avenue, as it would give residences of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Bedstuy, and Fort Greene a simpler trip to the 4th Avenue line.

Adam March 5, 2012 - 6:38 am

Yeah I tend to agree. However, I will be happy just to see Smith 9th back open.

mc March 12, 2012 - 10:20 am

adam, i agree. i live right across the st from that station and have been very anxious for “spring 2012”. since it’s right around the corner, does anyone know when it’s looking like smith/9th will reopen?

John T March 5, 2012 - 7:24 am

I agree with making this permanent, and maybe allow the F to run express again.

However, I don’t understand the quoted middle paragraph (repeated below) – what new staircase? And seriously, without a G train the commute is 30 minutes longer???

…Many straphangers said the addition of the staircase is no consolation if the MTA plans to eliminate the G train extension. “It’s a pain,” said Matt Flammer, a Fort Greene resident who commutes to Park Slope. “It means you have to wake up half an hour earlier. And that makes you that much more grumpy in the morning.”

More like 10 extra minutes to me.

Andrew March 5, 2012 - 7:41 am

At most.

The new staircase is presumably referring to the newly reopened entrance on the east side of 4th Ave. The writer is probably unaware that, before the entrance reopened, the same staircase was in use for transfers between the F/G and the R. There is no new staircase.

And why is Russianoff talking to city officials? The city has nothing to do with this.

I agree that the G should keep going to Church – hopefully NYCT will find funding for it. (It’s been capitally funded until now, since it’s been required for the viaduct rehab project. Once that’s finished, it falls on the operating budget.)

But the F should definitely not go express, since that would really add 10 minutes or more to a lot of people’s commutes. And unless F ridership has skyrocketed since 2008, when the peak hour F from Brooklyn had a .75 V/C ratio, running extra F service (to allow some trains to run express) can’t be justified.

BrooklynBus March 5, 2012 - 4:18 pm

“But the F should definitely not go express, since that would really add 10 minutes or more to a lot of people’s commutes”

You are neglecting to consider all the current F riders who would save 10 minutes if there were an F express. Perhaps that number is greater than the number who would be inconvenienced. That is the question to ask.

Andrew March 5, 2012 - 9:23 pm

How do you come up with 10 minutes? The express run only bypasses 6 stations. If it saves as much as 4 minutes I’d be surprised.

It also wouldn’t save time for all current F riders – it would only save time for F riders south of Church and at the one express station north of Church. But the stations south of Church have very light traffic, and two of the busiest stations on the line are local stations, as is a major transfer point.

The station ridership counts are all online:

Al D March 6, 2012 - 1:32 pm

The number of stations bypassed depends on the length of the express service. So if there were an express let’s say from Coney Island, I’d say 10 minutes would be saved easily, maybe even 15 minutes or up. It is a looooong, tedious slog up from Av U on the F.

Marc Shepherd March 5, 2012 - 9:37 am

I suspect the F Express will not happen, because it would make the service worse at popular stations like Bergen Street, Carroll Street, and Smith–9th Streets.

Jeff March 5, 2012 - 10:20 am

It will help with overcrowding if and only if they restore the V train and send it down to Church St. It means less overcrowding for trains to and from Manhattan at those stops and was what advocates really wanted, not just an F Express.

Marc Shepherd March 5, 2012 - 11:03 am

Well, there is a problem with that. The V was merged with the M, and the new M (traveling via the Chrystie St. cut) is quite popular, as it gives those riders a one-seat ride to midtown that they previously lacked. You cannot resurrect the V, and send it to Brooklyn as a local, without returning the M to its old service pattern.

Jeff March 5, 2012 - 1:09 pm

From what I understand, the old M route is being missed by people on 4th Av too. So the issue is whether to satisfy the people in Middle Village/Ridgewood or the people in South Brooklyn.

Jeff March 5, 2012 - 1:22 pm

Although if the MTA ever gets a surplus again like they did a few years back… Maybe they can extend the E train – send it to the Houston/Essex line instead of down to WTC and into Brooklyn (though they’ll probably need to cut the G back since E+F = max capacity)

A near impossibility – but if ridership keeps going up the way it has in the last decade, that might be a way to go about increasing service.

Bolwerk March 5, 2012 - 2:36 pm

That just sounds like a clusterfuck. I don’t see using the F express tracks as making much sense without a new tunnel, and even then it only makes sense if you can really justify that level of service, or if there was some service extension from south of Church Ave to somewhere completely new.

BoerumHillScott March 5, 2012 - 3:01 pm

I’m not sure how much the M trains are really missed along 4th Ave, since the R usually is less crowded than any other line through Atlantic/Pacific during rush hour.

BrooklynBus March 5, 2012 - 4:15 pm

But it is probably missed at Dekalb because of the extra wait for a Tunnel train. How many more are reluctantly switching to the IRT at Atlantic because they don’t want to have to wait up to 10 minutes for an R when they can get an IRT train quicker even if it means an inconvenient transfer at Atlantic as opposed to an across the platform transfer at Dekalb?

BoerumHillScott March 5, 2012 - 4:26 pm

I don’t know how many people make transfers there or why.
I know that I sometimes take the R instead of the 4/5 even though it comes less frequently and means an extra block walk to my job because there is never a struggle to squeeze onto it.

Al D March 6, 2012 - 1:38 pm

It’s Brighton passengers heading Downtown (Brooklyn and Manhattan) that change there for the R. Clearly a cross platform transfer is infinitely more desirable than some long trudge up and down stairs and through passageways which is why I still don’t quite get why the D skips DeKalb once the B stops running. An easy transfer turns into a project.

Andrew March 5, 2012 - 10:02 pm

If some former M riders now ride the IRT instead, what’s the problem? They can ride whatever lines they like. If the loss of the M isn’t a serious hardship for people who now only have the R, then it’s even less of a hardship for people who also have the 2, 3, 4, and 5 to choose from.

(And the R is scheduled to run every 6 minutes during rush hours.)

Bolwerk March 6, 2012 - 6:05 am

I don’t know how many of these people there are, but for anyone who needed to get from the southern Brooklyn R service area to Ridgewood or even Williamsburg or vice-versa, it turned a one- or two-seat trip into a three seat trip.

Anyone who can take the D or N may not have it so bad since they can reverse to the M at Broadway-Lafayette. So this is primarily a problem for those going to/from local stops served only by the R.

Andrew March 6, 2012 - 7:19 am

There aren’t many. Some of them can also take the R to Canal for the J. But remember how empty the M through the Montague tube was. Far more people need to get from the West End line or the Myrtle line to Lower Manhattan, and they also have to transfer.

But even more people used to have to transfer and now don’t, because of the direct Midtown service.

And, lest we all forget, the idea here was to reduce costs, not to improve service. Some people lost out, of course, but their numbers were relatively small and they didn’t lose all that much. Unusually for a service cut, a large number now have better service.

Andrew March 5, 2012 - 9:52 pm

Aside from what Marc Shepherd says, the F is not overcrowded. It may be more crowded than you prefer, and some of the cars (especially the first two cars) may be overcrowded. But the average car in the peak hour is still carrying well below what NYCT defines as an guideline load for rush hours.

As such, unless ridership on the line skyrockets, don’t get your hopes up for any more service, express or local.


John-2 March 5, 2012 - 8:46 am

The protests by Carroll Gardens passengers alone would keep the F local — even if you did a split F service like the 1967-76 period to retain some one-seat service into Manhattan, the bi-level express stop at Bergen Street was one of the original IND’s biggest design flaws from a passenger prospective (though that would be less of a pain when the countdown clocks finally arrive).

Throw in the Park Slope riders at Fourth Ave., 15th St., at Ft. Hamilton Pkwy., who are way more savvy in dealing with the MTA than their predecessors 45 years ago, and there’s no way that the F express option comes back, as long as the ridership on the M train keeps increasing. The only option now would be to extend E service from WTC, but the Cranberry St. tunnel is maxed out, and you’d have switching and capacity problems on the local track between West Fourth and B’way-Lafayette if you tried to run the E through the Rutgers tunnel.

Larry Littlefield March 5, 2012 - 8:56 am

(I agree that the G should keep going to Church – hopefully NYCT will find funding for it. (It’s been capitally funded until now, since it’s been required for the viaduct rehab project. Once that’s finished, it falls on the operating budget.)

If you know that for a fact, think about what you just said. They have been BORROWING to run the G to Church Avenue. THAT is an OUTRAGE.

And, what, exactly did it cost them? The G runs every 10 minutes, so you might end up with two additional trains on the line, with four workers. Would those trains have been idled, in the yards at rush hour, or would they have been used on another line? Aren’t they using Church Avenue to store the trains and headquarters the crews anyway?

And once they got through shifting the costs to the “re-imbursible” capital budget, what else got shifted? This is an untold story — the “reimbursable” operating budget. A way for younger generations to get robbed as operating costs are borrowed for.

In the “Robber Barron” era, the top executive issued each other stock, diluting other investors and making themselves rich in exchange for money. They essentially just transferred ownership of companies from other investors to themselves. But now, the do so through stock options, so it’s hidden and “legal.”

The “re-imbursable” budget is the Beame Shuffle.

Larry Littlefield March 5, 2012 - 9:01 am

BTW, the cost of capital projects has soared since “re-imbursable” expenditures were added in the early 1990s. It is one of the factors.

What is the difference between an operating cost due to a capital project being in the area, and a capital cost incurred due to the fact that service was ongoing during a project?

If you look at Fastrack, you’ll see the way things should be going. But without capital projects and the associated borrowing, I’ll bet the operating budget would collapse, because operating costs that would have been incurred anyway would no longer be paid for by future generations.

Bolwerk March 5, 2012 - 12:51 pm

They were borrowing to finish a capital project. If anything, it would seem dishonest to fund that service change from the operating budget if it really was happening because of the capital project they needed to fund.

Andrew March 5, 2012 - 9:57 pm

The G runs every 6-8 minutes during the AM rush.

The extension to Church cost three trains.

I don’t understand the outrage. The G was extended to Church to support the viaduct rehab project. That’s a capital job. When the line has to be shut down for a weekend, should the shuttle buses come out of the operating budget? Of course not, and this is no different.

Larry Littlefield March 6, 2012 - 3:37 pm

Yes, the shuttle buses should be coming out of the operating budget.

Al D March 5, 2012 - 9:16 am

At minimum, MINIMUM, the G should be permanently extended to 4th Ave. It would make the line infinitely more useful allowing for the transfer to the 4th Ave local.

Andrew March 5, 2012 - 9:58 pm

Can’t be done, unfortunately. The interlocking is where it is.

Al D March 6, 2012 - 1:52 pm

I was waiting for this comment. 😉 You see, MTA is spending a whole bunch of friggin’ $ to rehabilitate this portion of the line, and while they were at it, they could have and should have looked at ways to improve service and encourage ridership. Extending the G 1 lousy stop was a no brainer to make the transfer at 4th Ave, and they should have figured out a way to make this happen while they are busy spending all this money.

R2 March 5, 2012 - 9:21 am

OMG yes, keep to the G to Church. I think the ridership justifies it. Selfishly, makes my Brooklyn excursions from LIC easier.

Shabazz March 5, 2012 - 12:03 pm

Hey Ben

Can you do a follow up on the F express?

Many of the comments on here so far seem to think that the F express isn’t a feesible option due to community opposition, but residents in Park Slope have been clamoring for such a service for many years now.

Although, I don’t live in Park Slope, it would seem that an F express would add significantly more capacity to the crowded F train, while dramatically improving trip times for those traveling from Park Slope and Kensington to Manhattan.

This idea was so popular for a while that the Mayor pledged to make it happen in his re-election campaign.

The routing would be a little complicated (G train becomes the local, F Train remains Express) or perhaps an F diamond or V local (this option would slow down express service due to switching complications), but it would be a net positive for the communities. The only concern is who would pay for the rehab of Bergen Street

Caelestor March 5, 2012 - 12:42 pm

The thing is, you don’t increase capacity by adding express service. You do that by adding more service to the popular stations, which are not the express stops here.

Along the F in Brooklyn, the ridership is mostly concentrated in the IND section of the line (north of Church Ave), so express service only benefits the relatively small number of riders south of Church Ave. Perhaps you could keep the same number of local F trains and add a few express, but there exist further issues regarding capacity in Manhattan, as 6th Ave is at max capacity with the new M.

Shabazz March 6, 2012 - 2:58 pm

7th and Bergen streets are pretty popular stations, and are both express stops.

I grant you, the service would have to be a pure add-on, it wouldn’t work if service was cut to the local stops

Marc Shepherd March 5, 2012 - 12:46 pm

Community opinions about an F express depend on whether you live near an express stop. If you do, an F express is golden. Park Slope residents, for instance, would gain an express trip from the Seventh Avenue station.

But many other neighborhoods would lose service, unless the F express were a pure addition (i.e., without reducing the number of local F trains). That’s the rub. It’s not clear that the MTA can afford to do that.

A few years ago, the best option would’ve been to extend the V into Brooklyn during the hours that the F runs express. But the V has disappeared, replaced by a very popular M train that gives Queens resident a one-seat ride to midtown that they previously lacked. It might be tough to take that away.

I don’t think switching would be an issue: the line was designed for this possibility. I also don’t think it would be terribly expensive to rehab Bergen Street, although they would need countdown clocks, to alleviate the well known problems with the design of that station.

The real problem is instituting the express without taking away service from riders at the local stations.

Bolwerk March 5, 2012 - 1:06 pm

The only way F express is a win for you is if you’re one of the lucky ones who would see average trip times decrease. And that would mostly only happen, meaningfully anyway, for those who live near express stops further south than Park Slope, and then only if the express really improves trip times so much that it’s worth it to actually miss a local and wait for an express. And then, if enough service could be provided in Brooklyn, there is still the problem of squeezing two tracks of northbound service into one north bound track to Manhattan, and then the M is in the way.

Al D March 5, 2012 - 2:31 pm

An F Express is not really possible. Some of the most heavily used stations would be bypassed and sending the V (were it to be brought back) or G or even the V AND the G together are not enough to make up the slack. Perhaps, and only perhaps, you can run the F to Kings Hwy, V & G in combination as a local and the F to Coney as the express rush hour peak direction only…?

And even if this were to work, the problem of merging/diverging these routes between Bergen/Jay/Schermerhorn is there.

John-2 March 5, 2012 - 2:44 pm

Basically, there’s no place to put the express in Manhattan, because the A and C tie up Cranberry, the M and F tie up the tracks between West Fourth and B’way-Lafayette, and if the MTA could squeeze a third line onto one of those routes, if you sent the C or E over as Park Slope express you’d have too much service either on the Culver or on the Fulton St. local with the E.

Unless you kill the M service via Sixth Avenue or reinstate the Brooklyn-only Fulton St. local by killing/relocating the Transit Museum, there won’t be Manhattan track capacity for Culver Express service at least until the Second Avenue subway gets built down to Houston or Deleancy Street. Don’t hold your breath on that one.

Shabazz March 6, 2012 - 3:03 pm

Some of the above comments aren’t true, or are pretty narrow-sighted.

You could increase service on the G and the V to compensate for the loss of the local F. Bergen street, 7th and Church avenue are all very popular stations.

As long as there is no loss in service to the local stops, then I don’t see how the F express is a bad idea. For those who live on express stops or past Church avenue the plan would be a win.

And those who live at other stops would see a reduction in crowding on a line that is basically at capacity.

J Boerum March 5, 2012 - 1:22 pm

There are phrases like “no-brainer” and “it should stay” in frequent use in the article, but there are no numbers. If you tell me something’s a no-brainer, but don’t provide data, my inclination is to distrust your conclusion, especially with the admission of “Selfishly, I love it…”

Before we can say /clearly/ they must keep it, we’d like to know other things that could be done with the same amount of money, no? Perhaps this is quite useful, but perhaps there is a still-better use elsewhere.

Could we get some ridership numbers (incl breakout for the add’l stations, as a group) or vs. 2009? Also, what’s the cost of the extended run? What are some similar costs, like restoring G’s northern terminus? or the V or something? How much ridership did those lose?

Chris March 5, 2012 - 2:10 pm

The “legitimate gripe” would seem to be the added cost and little or no additional revenue provided by the service. If it were unions demanding some entirely debt-financed benefit, they’d be described as “robbing the future to pay for the present.”

Bolwerk March 5, 2012 - 2:26 pm

No. There isn’t really a parallel if a service is paid for out of a balanced operating budget this year* – or, as this case may be, the future is being asked to pay for some additional service to maintain service levels while getting a rehabilitated line in exchange. The union’s demand is to borrow now, so they can consume more, and let someone else, including some who are probably in the womb now, pay the tab down the road.

That doesn’t mean this budgeting is the right decision – that is always to some extent a value judgment – but it’s not the same thing.

* Even if that balanced budget includes taxpayer subsidies, the obligation is being paid and the the future isn’t being left with a tab.

Chris March 5, 2012 - 3:24 pm

Whether the debt is undertaken by the MTA or the state, there’s consumption now being funded by incurring additional future obligations. Certainly existing taxpayers won’t be asked to contribute the incremental money to pay for making the G extension permanent – it’s not “Brooklynites argue for tax increases to cover G train extension.” You can argue that it’s significant whether the debt is incurred by the state instead of the MTA, but considering the implausibility of separating the two entities, I don’t think the distinction is of great importance – constraints on future state budgets (e.g. excess debt) will impact future MTA operating budgets. Even if the state pays for something now through its own deficit spending, nominally “balancing” the MTA budget, future MTA riders will suffer.

Bolwerk March 5, 2012 - 4:22 pm

First of all, I don’t think operating expenses should be paid for with debt no matter who does it. Maybe with two exceptions: absolutely dire emergencies or if it really makes more financial sense to borrow than to not borrow (e.g., to lock in a really low interest rate).

However, I think saying the state is borrowing to pay for train operating costs is kind of misleading. The state certainly has the resources to give the MTA the priority it deserves, and it chooses not to do so to make other parasitesties happy.

Eric March 5, 2012 - 2:48 pm

Would it be possible to construct a track connection before Hoyt-Schermerhorn?

If so, the G has enough spare capacity to run a new train line (say, the H) that would run into Manhattan and act as the Culver local, with the F becoming express in Brooklyn.

Eric March 5, 2012 - 2:54 pm

Actually, just ignore this. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking.

Henry March 5, 2012 - 4:24 pm

Now admittedly, im not an expert on this, but would it be possinle to run the G express on the culver line?

Andrew March 5, 2012 - 4:34 pm

No, the G cannot access the express tracks on the Culver Line. Unfortunately there really is no way to make an express on the Culver Line work. Before the V and the M service changes happened it was possible. The plan would have been to extend the V into Brooklyn and have either the V or the F run local while the other ran express. As the service patterns exist today, there is no room for more capacity on the 6th Ave line in Manhattan. And using the switches at either W. 4th or Jay St. to bring an 8th ave train onto the Culver Line will not work either. The associated delays with switch would affect every line on 8th ave as well as the F and the M.

Eric March 5, 2012 - 4:38 pm

Admittedly I am not an expert on this either, but why not? Does the switch from local/express occur before Bergen Street? Jay Street-Metrotech, perhaps?

Eric March 5, 2012 - 4:41 pm

And if so, would it be worth it to construct a connection from the Crosstown to the express Culver tracks after Hoyt/before Bergen?

I guess the problem is conceptually I don’t understand where the Culver express tracks ARE. Are they under the local tracks (until you get to the outside portion of the Culver line?)

BoerumHillScott March 5, 2012 - 5:05 pm

The express tracks are under the local along Smith St, and I don’t think there is any way to work a new G connection into an already complex and tight underground junction.

Shabazz March 6, 2012 - 3:06 pm

Quite obviously there would need to be some restructuring of service if there were to be an express on the Brooklyn Culver

ipac March 5, 2012 - 8:47 pm

I would wonder why those express tracks were originally built there then, were they part of the IND Second System?

John-2 March 5, 2012 - 10:51 pm

The express tracks apparently were meant to serve as the route north of Church for the IND’s proposed Staten Island line that was to run south towards the Narrows mainly via Ft. Hamilton Parkway (yes, it would have been way easier to hook the BMT up to any SI service from Bay Ridge, but that wasn’t the mindset of city mass transit planners in the 1920s). Once the Ft. Hamilton Pkwy. route bit the dust, the IND could still recapture the Culver el for the local tracks, but the express tracks were left with no place to go south of Church.

Andrew March 5, 2012 - 11:16 pm

The original IND conception was that Queens/Brooklyn locals wouldn’t enter Manhattan. The Queens Blvd. and Culver (Smith) locals fed the Crosstown line from either end and the Fulton local terminated at Court St.

Saner heads prevailed when it came time to run the service, at least in Brooklyn. Court St. was served by a shuttle, and Fulton locals ran into Manhattan. The F ran local along with the GG along Smith. Queens wasn’t so fortunate, with the GG serving as the only local until 1954, when the 11th St. Cut connected the local tracks to the nearby BMT line into Manhattan. It wasn’t until 2001 that the Queens local got its second local service into Manhattan.

Januz March 5, 2012 - 9:04 pm

The reality of the matter is they are not going to run the F as an express, because of the fire years ago at Bergen St. As for the G it always has been the MTA’s redheaded step child, and thus,they do little for that train. If they really wanted to start, they could add a free transfer at Lormer St Broadway to the J & M, extend the train to Queens Plaza, and fix up the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station (Brooklyn’s answer to Chambers St on the J).

Eric March 6, 2012 - 11:52 am

I thought they couldn’t extend the G to Queens Plaza because of capacity issues?

Matthias March 6, 2012 - 12:08 pm

Unfortunately, since the introduction of the V (now the M), there is no capacity on the QB local tracks for the G. It would be a nice overnight/weekend extension when the M is not running there. Currently G customers have to transfer twice just to go between the G and QB local stations.

Eric March 6, 2012 - 3:18 pm

Unfortunately being nice to G train riders isn’t an MTA priority.

Think twice March 5, 2012 - 9:35 pm

The G to Church helps those who catch the R at 4th Ave to be less reliant on the F. Unfortunately, AFAIK the G can terminate only at Church or Smith/9th and nothing in between. I guess that so long as the orange M is popular and the SAS has yet to reach Chrystie Street, the Rutgers Tunnel is going to remain a one-train tunnel. Until that day, if we’re going to have a Culver Express, it’ll probably be a rush-hour only, peak-direction F-diamond (which could also run under the alias “V”).

Kai B March 5, 2012 - 11:12 pm

To add insult to injury, when it terminates at Smith/9th it actually terminates on the express tracks of the 4th Av/9th St station (which don’t have platforms). In retrospect, too bad that wasn’t built as an express stop.

Vinny From Brooklyn March 6, 2012 - 12:00 am

I would love to see it continue as waiting for the F train at Smith and 9th is just plain cold in the winter. It also unclogs people from the A line coming from Brooklyn as they can catch the G at Hoyt instead of going to Jay street and crossing over the mezzanine to get to Coney Island bound trains.

Nyland8 March 6, 2012 - 6:51 am

In a parallel universe that makes sense, the G is an inner beltway local that goes from the Bronx to Staten Island, never touching Manhattan. In that same universe, the outer beltway, initially an express, only stops at already existing train stations, connecting every rail spoke from the Riverdale Metro North station to the western end of Staten Island’s northern corridor by way of Jefferson Ave or New Dorp stations.

Combined, those two beltways would offer the greatest flexibility to riders within the boroughs, reduce peak hour crowding on EVERY Manhattan-centric train, and provide the MTA with the ultimate selection of alternate routing whenever there are outages or scheduled maintenance on ANY other line in the subway system.

All that, and the two airports would effectively be connected by a handful of subway stops.

I wish we all lived in that universe.

Alon Levy March 6, 2012 - 11:53 pm

Kind of, sort of. The problem with doing full circumferentials in New York – or even half-circumferentials, i.e. only east of the Hudson – is that the water gets in the way. So instead, you should think of circumferential lines as connecting major Outer Borough destinations on feasible alignments. This means the G should’ve connected QBP with Atlantic-Pacific; since that ship has sailed, they can at least have Triboro connect Yankee Stadium, Astoria-Ditmars, Middle Village, Broadway Junction, and southern Brooklyn.

Streetsblog New York City » Today’s Headlines March 6, 2012 - 8:55 am

[…] Brooklynites Push for Permanent G Train Extension (Bklyn Paper, 2nd Ave Sagas) […]

JDH March 6, 2012 - 6:48 pm

Hello all- there is now a Change.org petition to keep the extension. Please go here to sign it! They have over 1,500 signatures so far!


Lee March 7, 2012 - 7:51 pm

Folks, let’s get real. Because of short-sightedness, the G helps no one from H-S onward to court 23. If you want capital projects that help risers, we need a new qp station with a connection to the qb lines. Then of course that opens the G to be a super express from Jamaica to the new terminal. Curtailing service to qp screwed us good. To add insult to injury, the last two weekends have been pure hell. No 7 and no L; not extending the m to fh was a poor move. We were robbed, that’s for sure

mc March 12, 2012 - 11:13 am

when it comes to the smith/9th station reopening…where are we at? the original notifications said march 2012, and then quietly switched to spring 2012 a short time later. as someone who lives right across the street from this station, it’s been annoying that it’s closed, but i’ve adjusted by using the B57 and B61. i just want to have a better sense of when it will reopen. as the new station entrance was demolished, and looks nowhere near being rebuilt, i don’t feel confident.

Carroll Gardens Res March 16, 2012 - 12:40 pm

Does anyone know if they change means they would extend the G back into Astoria/Steinway? I’m all for the G routing down to Church Ave. permanently. I find it very convenient. But I would also love for the train to extend back up into Astoria. More inter-borough transport please!

To petition or to ride, that is the G train question :: Second Ave. Sagas March 21, 2012 - 12:28 am

[…] would take away the very useful five-stop G train extension that’s been in place since 2009. Keep it, they rightfully […]

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