Long Live the G-Train? New Petition Tries to Preserve Park Slope Extension (UPDATE)
Brooklyn's straphangers, known to love the looping line as much as they hate it, are now rallying in support of the G: District Leader Lincoln Restler has organized a petition to keep the MTA from cutting off full Church Avenue-to-Queens service. Nearly 1,200 have signed the online petition, which began Sunday. The move comes as communities continue to feel the effect of MTA cuts -- which resulted in the loss of two subway lines, 36 bus routes, and 570 bus stops in the last several years.
The extended run -- which brought the G from Carroll Gardens to Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, and Kensington -- started in 2009, when the MTA underwent repairing track at the Culver Viaduct.
"It was the saving grace for Brooklynites when the MTA cut off bus service for this neighborhood," Restler told Runnin' Scared.
"I cannot understand why the MTA will not confirm their intentions of whether the extension will be permanent."
The MTA would not confirm the status of the Brooklyn Local.
"No decision has been made yet," MTA Spokesman Kevin Ortiz tells Runnin' Scared. "There's still a lot of work to be done along the Culver Viaduct, which will continue until 2014."
Restler says the extension is an important economic engine.
"I work with small businesses in Greenpoint and Williamsburg who tell me that a major base of their consumers are people who come in on the weekend from Park Slope. There are limited costs associated with this five station extension, and the MTA needs to make it happen," he said.
"This will be a further slap in the face if our Brooklyn Local is reduced more."
Runnin' Scared reached out to Transportation Alternatives to see what the commuter advocacy agency has to say about Restler's efforts. We'll update when we hear back.
UPDATE: Transportation Alternatives told Runnin' Scared that the group supports the plan.
"The G train extension has provided Brooklyn residents with an invaluable one-seat ride between the neighborhoods of Greenpoint/Williamsburg and Park Slope/Windsor Terrace," Michael Murphy, an organization spokesman, told Runnin' Scared.
"The MTA should consider ways to increase service on the line and extend the G back into Queens, not shorten the route again and deprive locals of service."
Straphangers Campaign, also involved in subway rider advocacy, supports the push.
"Ridership has shown that this is a vital service," Cate Contino, a campaign spokeswoman, tells Runnin' Scared.
"It's lovingly referred to as the 'Brooklyn Local,' but it really does make a difference for commuters going between middle Brooklyn and Queens, and we would love to see it preserved."
(H/T New York Times)
Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.