The G Train Is Back, And Riders Are Not Happy

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 12:35 PM

The full G train will be back in service next week. (flickr/The All-Nite Images)

Brooklyn and Queens, the nightmare is over. The full G train will be back in service next week.

A section of the line between Court Sq. and Nassau Ave. shut down in July for five long weeks to fix damage from Superstorm Sandy. Riders feared the worst. For many commuters, the G is their only point of access to the subway system, and people were skeptical that the MTA’s shuttle buses would manage to replace the trains.

But the shuttle came more frequently than the much-maligned G train and people loved the temporary free transfer that lets G riders switch to the J/M.

So why not make that transfer permanent?

“The G train is the only one that doesn’t go to Manhattan. And so your ability to connect from the G train to other lines is uniquely important,” said State Sen. Daniel Squadron, who spoke at a rally supporting the transfer on Wednesday.

Right now, riders can walk from the G train Broadway stop, and switch free to the J/M at Lorimer. When the G train returns to its normal schedule Tuesday, people will once again have to pay a full fare to re-enter the subway. More than 2,000 people make that “walking transfer” every day, according to the MTA.

“It feels really unfair to lose the transfer,” said Rebecca Bailin, an organizer with the Riders Alliance. Commuters “feel cheated, when they can literally see the train right down the block.” The stations are approximately 600 feet apart – a three- or four-minute walk.

If a rider has an unlimited ride MetroCard, that’s not a big deal. But half of the people who make that transfer have pay-per-ride cards, Squadron said. Those riders “are more likely to be people with less income, who are making that choice because they can’t afford the full monthly ride in one shot,” Squadron said.

An MTA study found that G train riders make twice as many transfers as the average subway rider, and that “most riders transfer at least once before reaching their destinations.” Ten of the line’s 21 stations have no transfer opportunities.

Making the free transfer permanent would cost the MTA between $770,000 and $1.1 million a year, according to the study. An MTA spokesperson confirmed that the transfers will end on schedule next week.  



Comments [3]

Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

I could never understand why everything the MTA does is so expensive. The money that they are spending can build several transit lines out west and in third world countries for that amount. Even worse, the majority of their spending actually comes from us motorists who are coming from areas that are hardly served by any mass transit. In other words, we are the cash cow for them. As a matter of fact, this is why we motorists are against the raising of tolls and gas taxes especially when it's going to places that don't involve driving, which is what they are meant for, which makes me feel why roads in the state of NY are in such bad shape despite having such high tolls and gas taxes that's supposed to go to them.

Aug. 28 2014 11:08 PM
TOM MURPHY from Sunset Park

Please explain why a free connection in an outer-boro hurts the bottom line of the MTA. If anything it encourages patronage. Of course, it in the provinces, not the Emerald City. I often use the freeby provided at the F train stop at Lexington(right near where Berny Madoff lived). I'm not going to/from the Lex 59th station but it works for me. I believe if you access anywhere in the system you have two hours to catch the break. How much does the MTA lose?

More important, when the R train runs again to Manhattan this Fall, as planned, what will(or can) go wrong? Of course, watch those real estate costs jump along the 4th Avenue route. Beware L-train people; you may have chosen "Unwisely".

Aug. 28 2014 08:05 PM
JOSEPH P. WALL from Pelham Bay, Bronx

There are other locations in the New York City Subway System where subway routes pass near each other but do not necessarily give free transfers and people are charged a Metrocard transfer or must pay a separate subway fare to enter the other train route. Sometimes, this may lead into severe overcrowding if there is a delay problem on that second train route. For example, the No.7 and N trains stop at Queensborough Plaza. But, there are many people who wish to make a transfer downstairs to the E or R trains at Queens Plaza and are charged either a Metrocard transfer or must pay a separate train fare to enter the Queens Plaza subway stop. The same laughable reason could be said about the free transfer link down on Fulton Street.After building this new transfer link, the M.T.A closed off this link because their stupid reasoning was that only about 7 people a day would use this transfer link.HELLOW M.T.A? there is such a area called the Wall Street area just below Fulton Street and there are many people going to and from work in the Wall Street area who would simply love to use this free transfer link and I doubt very very much if there are only 7 people running the Wall Street area and, I ought to know because I worked there myself for many many years as a Wall Street Runner. HOW STUPID CAN A AGENCY LIKE THE M.T.A BE!!!.

Aug. 28 2014 01:26 PM

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