While the newly reopened Park Slope station promises greater subway access, if the MTA decides to cut the G train service between the north and central Brooklyn neighborhoods it currently serves, transit riders say that it will be a huge disservice to many of the riders who board the G every day.
“The G links Brooklyn neighborhoods that otherwise are not readily accessible to one another by bus or subway,” said District Leader Lincoln Restler, who created a petition at change.org called Preserve the G Train Extension. “The extension into Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Kensington was one boost in service after years of cuts and fare hikes. The G train is our Brooklyn Local. We need to preserve the G train extension.”
So far the petition has 719 signatures.
In July 2009, the G train was extended by five stations from Carroll Gardens into Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, and Kensington to allow for track work on the elevated section of the F and G lines.
The MTA had indicated the extension would be permanent, but now the agency is considering discontinuing G train service to the five stations - Fourth Avenue-Ninth Street, Seventh Avenue, Prospect Park-15th Street, Fort Hamilton Parkway and Church Avenue stations - as progress on the $257.5 million rehabilitation of the Culver Viaduct continues to be made.
One Greenpoint resident called the G train vital.
“The extension made it easier for me to not only visit friends in Park Slope, but to connect more widely with my Brooklyn community,” she said. “The population along this line is only growing. It seems ludicrous that the MTA would want to cut service.”
And some who signed the petition also chided the MTA for cutting the G train’s route in Queens.
“The G train was already truncated at Court Square, it is only four cars long and overcrowded, and it doesn't run frequently enough,” noted one petition signer. “Still, the ridership increases because it is an essential link between Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods and the population of these boroughs is growing. On weekends when the L train and 7 train are under construction, we need as many G train connections to other stops and lines as possible.”
Kevin Ortiz, a spokesperson for the MTA, said the agency has not yet made a decision on whether the train service will be cut.
“We will be conducting a full assessment in the future that includes ridership trends,” he said.
Ortiz said this will enable the agency to see how many people use the G train at the five stations before deciding whether to make the service permanent or cut it.