UPDATE: The G Train ('Crosstown Local') Will Get Its Full Line Review

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[UPDATE, February 22nd]

Looks like the public campaign by State Senator Daniel Squadron and others to refocus attention on the increasingly popular G train worked in the end.

According to the Daily News, the MTA has agreed to conduct a Full Line Review of the green line in an attempt to make the line run faster and smoother. A spokesman from Mr. Squadron's office informed the Voice that the judgement call for improvement will come some time in July.

Here's a statement from the Senator on the matter:

"G train riders spoke. Now, this Full Line Review will give us real answers to lead to real changes," said Senator Daniel Squadron. "Working together in the past, we've made dramatic improvements throughout the system -- including first-of-their-kind Full Line Reviews that led to better F and L train service. The MTA deserves great credit for its willingness to continue working together toward the reliable service G train riders deserve. Thank you to Senator Dilan, our colleagues, and the Riders Alliance for their continued advocacy."

South Brooklyners, rejoice!

Original Post:

Ah, the G train.

With a daily ridership of 125,000 people and rising, the green line is slowly becoming what the L train was at the end of the 2000s. The areas around Barclays are being Williamsburg-ified, transforming neighborhoods like Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy into real estate beacons, with the G as a metro purveyor of this recent borough phenomenon. Except it's falling a bit behind the urban sprawl.

The green line that takes you anywhere between Court Square and Church Avenue is like the L train's less successful, washed up younger brother. It's all too common that you hear people grumble and complain about the 'Crosstown Local' - the name given to the only subway line that connects North and South Brooklyn. Especially because, according to the Riders Alliance advocacy group, most of this whining has some sort of logical foundation: it's pretty much a fact at this point that the G train, known for its infrequent arrival times and sluggishness, could use a bit of a pick me up.

And that's now the mission of two local politicians.

With a rally outside of the Lorimer Street stop yesterday, Democratic State Senators Martin Dilan and Daniel Squadron are amping up support to refocus the MTA's attention on the G. That includes a full review of the line and free transfers at the Broadway-Hewes Street stop and at Barclays Center. And these reviews sometimes yield huge results; you can thank them for cleaner F trains and faster L trains. We kinda wish those two adjectives were switched around.

With the sheer economic engine that somewhat-South Brooklyn is becoming, it's hard to see Mr. Dilan and Mr. Squadron come into any problems getting this review up and running. Improving the infrastructure inevitably leads to more ridership, thus resulting in more dollars for the MTA. It's a win-win for everyone (except those getting pushed out from gentrification).

Long live the G train.


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For many years I have been angry with the Bloomberg administration over the G Train. It's not merely the lone subway link between North and South Brooklyn; it's the fundamental link between Long Island City (Jackson Heights if it were extended its full length), Williamsburg, Bushwick, the edge of Bed-Stuy, Carroll Gardens and Park Slope. Anyone familiar with New York can instantly see why these neighborhoods should be in close fast contact with one another. Anyone familiar with the economy of the last 5 years should be able to understand what creative energies can be unleashed when these neighborhoods can be in close fast contact with one another. Bloomberg has prioritized Manhattan at the expense of the creative economy that runs along this thread. Only now, now that Brooklyn is a "brand," is attention being paid. Dammit, the G Train Corridor could have been a major driver of the New York economy during the Great Recession. So, Mr Bloomberg, MTA, assorted folks: cheers. Thanks. A bit late to the party. Wake up and smell what's going on in your city.

Robert Acosta
Robert Acosta

I use the G on a daily basis, and its main problem is time. I don't know what happens along the route, but it usually takes 20-25 minutes in between G trains. Also, it tends to get crowded during rush hour, not a huge problem, but maybe the addition of one more car would help.

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