Subway riders from Court Street in Queens to Church Avenue in Brooklyn have long sought more attention for their beloved G line.
Continuing that, state senators Daniel Squadron and Martin Dilan, along with members of the Riders Alliance, a grassroots movement to advocate for better city transit, held a rally this weekend in Williamsburg to support the G Train, calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to dedicate their focus on the only line that connects Queens and Brooklyn without going through Manhattan.
Dozens of community members backed their representatives on Metropolitan and Union avenues to ask the MTA for more trains, to cut back on waiting time, and provide free transfers to many of their stops.
Although Squadron commended the MTA for their dedication to previous full line reviews for the F and L trains, he said their negligence of the G is simply inexcusable.
“If there was a grade after F, it would be G,” Squadron said of the attention the current G train has been receiving. “As the Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods surrounding the G continue to grow, their lifeline must grow with them.”
Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, State Senator Michael Gianaris, Councilwoman Letitia James and a number of elected officials were also out in the frigid cold to support the initiative.
Since its establishment in the summer of 2012, the Alliance has been pushing for free out-of-system transfers to the J/M at Broadway and 9 other lines at Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center from Fulton Street, more trains during rush hour and late-night hours, as well as better communication from the MTA regarding delays and service changes.
John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance, led the chants from the gathered community members.
“Sometimes the G train can feel like the odd man out, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to thousands of people who rely on it every day,” Raskin said. “Riding the G can be frustrating, especially if you don’t know when it’s coming, and don’t know where it will stop and can’t transfer for free to other trains that pass within a few short blocks.”
In a report from the Times last November, an MTA spokesman said the train receives around 125,000 riders each day during the workweek.
Ron Sutherland, an employee at Norman’s Music and Vision just up the block from a G connection at Lorimer Street, has used the train since he attended Automotive High School in the late 80s and always associated the line with long waits and unreliability.
“Other people always complain about other train lines, but to me it has always been the slowest,” Sutherland said, recounting a 10 to 15 minute wait time during his commute. “It’s like they don’t think a lot of people live on the route or something, and it’s like there’s never enough trains.”