Lawmakers call for MTA to support alternative transit for ‘stranded’ G Train passengers on the weekend
City officials called for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to fund and support transit alternatives for “stranded” G Train passengers during weekend service changes at a press conference Saturday.
Lawmakers specifically asked for the MTA to help subsidize East River Ferry tickets, which cost between $2.50 and $4, during weekend service disruptions, which officials said affect 30,000 passengers.
Officials also called for the MTA to support an expansion of Citi Bike into neighborhoods affected by the disruptions.
“If taking the East River Ferry or riding a bike are the only options for commuters stranded by weekend shutdowns on the G train, then a ferry ticket should cost as much as a Metrocard swipe,” Speaker Christine Quinn said in a statement.
Through mid-December, weekend G Train service has been suspended between Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and Court Square in Long Island City, Queens.
The disruptions are caused by the MTA’s efforts to repair the Greenpoint tube, which was flooded with three million gallons of saltwater during Superstorm Sandy.
While the MTA provides free shuttle service during the changes, Quinn and other Council members believe more can be done to help affected straphangers.
“Greenpoint is a neighborhood already underserved, making it difficult for community members to move about the city,” said Council Member Stephen Levin, who represents the neighborhood.
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents Long Island City, said his constituents deserve a “full complement” of alternatives during G Train shutdowns.
“The MTA needs to treat us with the same respect they give to residents in Manhattan,” Van Bramer said.
Though the city Department of Transportation oversees both bike and ferries in the city, an MTA spokesman said they were “supportive” of any efforts to help impacted customers.
“We are supportive of any efforts to help mitigate the impact of Sandy-related repairs on our customers and will work with the city to obtain funds to support those efforts,” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said.
Lawmakers proposed placing 22 new Citi Bike stations along the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront to help commuters.
Connor Mealey, a Riders Alliance member, lives off the Nassau Avenue G Train station and commutes to Queens for work.
“I appreciate the need to repair the G tunnel after the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy and would welcome any additional service on top of the shuttle buses that the MTA is currently providing,” Mealey said in a statement.
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