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‘G’ makes way to Slope

The Brooklyn Paper
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Riders of the G train are getting an unexpected bonus — their much-maligned line will soon add five more stations in train-hungry Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Kensington.

Rather than long-anticipated service cuts, the four-car train that connects Brooklyn and Queens will travel along the F line beyond its current Smith/Ninth Street terminus to Church Avenue in Kensington beginning in 2008.

The news thrilled G-train riders, who are accustomed to just the opposite treatment from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said Teresa Toro, a member of the Save the G Coalition.

“Last year they considered permanently ending the northern terminus at Court Square,” she said. “We protested, and the plan was scuttled.”

And then there’s the sheer ignominy of having to sprint down the platform for the dwarfish, run-down train. In one common refrain, “‘G’ stands for ‘ghetto.’”

The service is being expanded only because the Smith/Ninth Street station will undergo reconstruction, meaning the G train will no longer be able to turn around there.

Riders have been getting an early taste of the impending changes thanks to recent weekend track work that has pushed the G onto the F line.

“It’s been really nice,” said Toro, who lives in Greenpoint and has been using the G to ferry her pets to their Park Slope veterinarian.

“[Before], it was the bus to the F, or the G to the F. So this has opened up a new part of Brooklyn.”

Unlike the permanent increase of trains on the L line starting this spring, the extension of the G line might be revoked once the Smith/Ninth renovation is complete.

“No decisions have been made yet,” said Charles Seaton, a spokesman for NYC Transit. “We will monitor the ridership.”

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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