Save the G! That’s the rallying cry heard in Brooklyn these days, as hundreds of straphangers are pressuring the MTA to keep service at the last five southbound G train stops in Brooklyn.
The MTA extended the G more than two years ago, in 2009, to the following stops: Fourth Avenue-Ninth Street, Seventh Avenue, Prospect Park-15th Street, Fort Hamilton Parkway and Church Avenue. But the G may no longer run to those last five stops when the MTA completes its ongoing Culver Viaduct rehabilitation project, expected to end next winter.
“The G train is the Brooklyn local — it links neighborhoods that have been otherwise inaccessible,” said Williamsburg District Leader Lincoln Restler, who started a petition to save the service.
So far at least 1,500 people have signed on in support of their subway.
Without the G extension, it would take an extra 40 minutes to make it from Greenpoint to Park Slope, Restler pointed out, because riders would have to transfer to another line.
“I don’t know how I’d get to work,” researcher Sara M., 29, who lives in Greenpoint and commutes to Park Slope for work, said.
South Slope business owner Damien Gagliano, 34, said it would be devastating to the communities that line the train.
“A lot of people use that train,” Gagliano said. “Other than driving, there is no way to get to that side of Brooklyn.”
Riders running out of time?
Restler realized the deadline for residents to save the extension was inching closer and closer last week, after the MTA finished repairing the 4th Avenue-9th Street station house, which had been closed for 40 years. With the Culver Viaduct Rehabilitation Project scheduled to be completed next year, Restler put out a call to arms.
But despite outcry, spokesman Charles Seaton said MTA still hasn’t made up it’s mind.
“No decision has been made,” said Seaton. “Closer to the date, we’ll do an assessment.”
BK prez weighs in
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz sides with straphangers when it comes to the G train extension.
“The extension of the G train to Church Avenue has given MTA customers,” agued Markowitz. “We need more service, not less.”
Markowitz said G train service has been essential to the borough’s expanding work force, tourism and residential appeal.
“I strongly urge the MTA to consider the impacts on straphangers and businesses from Greenpoint to Kensington if the G train extension were to be discontinued,” Markowitz said.
The following five stations would no longer be serviced by the G should the MTA end service next winter:
Fourth Avenue-Ninth Street
Prospect Park-15th Street
Fort Hamilton Parkway
The MTA estimates that approximately 125,000 straphangers ride the G from Court Square to Smith-9th.
For more local news, follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyAEpstein.