L train closure will free the G!

Brooklyn Paper
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One train’s L-oss is another’s G-ain!

Metropolitan Transportation Authority honchos will finally give the G train the attention straphangers have been demanding for years when they stop L train service to Manhattan for repairs in 2019. The agency will shower the green-eyed bullet with longer trains that come more frequently and free above-ground transfers during the upheaval, officials announced last week, and transit activists are riding high on the news.

“It’s a great thing,” said Masha Burina of transit advocacy group Rider’s Alliance. “They’ve recognized the G train is going to be inundated with riders.”

The Transit Powers That Be plan to either stop or dramatically reduce service in the storm-ravaged tunnel from Williamsburg to the outer borough, and expect an influx of commuters will use the Brooklyn Local to shuttle to other inter-borough lines.

To accommodate the extra baggage, honchos say they will grant free transfers between the Broadway G station and nearby Lorimer Street J and M station during the closure — a deal they have offered during repairs in the past, but riders, pols, and activist groups are pushing to make it permanent.

And below ground, officials say they will also use the leftover L carriages to beef up the Brooklyn Local from four to eight cars, and run more Gs up and down the borough each hour — though they still won’t say by exactly how much.

The locomotive currently stops at stations every 6 to 10 minutes.

Transit bigwigs say they haven’t decided if they will keep the changes to the trains for good or just during repairs — which they say will either last 18 months if they close the tunnel entirely, or three years if they shut one half at a time.

But straphangers are hoping the new additions will stick around to shoulder the booming line. Around 1.8 million more riders commuted from Brooklyn’s 17 G stations in 2015 than 2014, according to the transit body’s data, with stops in Greenpoint, Fort Greene, and Bedford-Stuyvesant seeing the biggest increases.

And Burina is optimistic the big wheels at the transit body will get on board for good once they see how great it is.

“We’re hoping that there’s going to be advantages and that they’ll continue with more frequent and high capacity even after the events,” she said.

G lovers can celebrate the news with this 2009 Brooklyn Paper guide to the best spots along the line — many of which are still in business!

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. from BS, BK, NY, US says:
And all thanks to the significant increase of the subway ridership along the G line because of massive gentrification along the G line, which will happen in the considerable future.
May 11, 2016, 8:18 am
Steph from clinton hill says:
Ugh. The G during rush hour is barely tolerable as it is. Lots of squishing.
May 11, 2016, 10:16 am
Gabe from Park Slope says:
If the MTA really cared, they should have prioritized the G years ago.
Ideally they could run it all the way up to the Bronx so we can avoid Manhattan entirely.
May 11, 2016, 10:18 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
How about bringing back the GG?
May 11, 2016, 11:36 am
jjm from c. hill says:
So i guess when the g train is packed with hipsters & suffer from massive straining, the g will get shut down too because of these fools. Dear hipsters, please get the f**k out of nyc & leave us normal ny'ers alone, thanx in advance.
May 11, 2016, 5:52 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
What happened to Cuomo's plan to shutter G train stations for months at a time so the gentrifiers could have free wi-fi and fancy signs?
May 11, 2016, 8:53 pm
Mark from East Williamsburg says:
It's about time. The other letter lines have 8 cars expect the G and that's unfair.
May 12, 2016, 12:09 am

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