Riders Alliance member and Bay Ridge resident Justin Brannan lives near the R train and relies on the line for service to work and throughout the city.
“We need a realistic contingency plan and we need it now,” he said. “The MTA needs to do everything it can to mitigate the impact of these closures for the hundreds of thousands affected commuters.”
Brooklyn and Queens electeds along the subway lines signed a letter to MTA chairman Tom Prendergast and Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week to press for commuter support while the city completes the repairs.
While there are plans for G-train shuttle buses, according to acting NYC Transit president Carmen Bianco’s presentation at a June 5 MTA board meeting, the letter signed by 17 NYC elected officials says the current strategic measures for the 12 weekends and 5 consecutive weeks of train outages will not be enough.
Signed by; Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senators Eric Adams, Martin Dilan, Martin Golden, Velmanette Montgomery, Daniel Squadron; Assembly Members James Brennan, Joseph Lentol, Nicole Malliotakis, Joan Millman, Felix Ortiz; and Council Members Vincent Gentile, Sara Gonzalez, Letitia James, Brad Lander, Steve Levin and Jimmy Van Bramer, the letter outlines a number of ideas including increased train frequency along with additional bus and ferry service.
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer said, "We must ensure that the hundreds of thousands of residents who use both the G and R lines are provided with adequate alternatives that will help alleviate the delays we are expected to suffer during these extensive periods of construction.”
Looking toward the future, Assemblyman Lentol said he urges the city to take a look at measures in preventing a long-term outage in the future.
"I understand that the necessary repairs must be made to the G train tunnel,” Lentol said. “Hopefully, some added upgrades will also be installed to ensure that it doesn't take as long to get the G train up and running following future natural disasters.”
John Raskin, the executive director of the Riders Alliance has long fought for better service along the G and R lines and follows suit.
“We understand that the MTA has to do what's necessary to rebuild from Sandy, we know it will be painful, and we support the MTA doing this much-needed construction,” Raskin said.
“But shutting down a train tunnel is an extraordinary move and we want to guarantee the MTA is making extraordinary accommodations to serve riders while the tunnels are under repair.”