G (New York City Subway service)

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Brooklyn–Queens Crosstown Local
G symbol
G map
Northern end Court Square
Southern end Church Avenue
Stations 21
Rolling stock R68
Depot Coney Island Yard

The G Brooklyn–Queens Crosstown Local is a rapid transit service in the B Division of the New York City Subway. Its route emblem, or "bullet", is colored lime green since it uses the IND Crosstown Line.[1] The G operates at all times between Court Square in Long Island City, Queens and Church Avenue in Kensington, Brooklyn via the IND Crosstown and Culver lines. In Queens, it only serves two stations – Court Square and 21st Street, both in Long Island City – but previously served all stations to and from 71st Avenue in Forest Hills on the IND Queens Boulevard Line. It is the only non-shuttle service in the system that does not serve Manhattan and suffers from frequent disruptions and poor service, leading to criticism from politicians and residents of the neighborhoods to which it travels.[2]

History[edit]

The original Brooklyn–Queens Crosstown Local service began on August 19, 1933 as a shuttle between Queens Plaza on the IND Queens Boulevard Line and Nassau Avenue using the designation GG. Starting on April 24, 1937 GG trains were extended to Forest Hills – 71st Avenue during rush hours, serving as the Queens Boulevard local while E trains ran express west of 71st Avenue.[3] The entire IND Crosstown Line was completed on July 1, 1937, including the connection to the IND Culver Line. GG service ran at all times between Forest Hills – 71st Avenue and Church Avenue.[4] Soon after, it was cut back to Smith–Ninth Streets.

The 1939 World's Fair was served by GG trains, some of which were marked as S Special, via the short lived IND World's Fair Line line to Horace Harding Boulevard. Trains were extended to the World's Fair Station at all times during the fair, supplemented by PM hour E trains. The fair closed on October 28, 1940, and GG service was truncated back to Forest Hills – 71st Avenue.[5][6][7][8]

On July 1, 1968,[3] service was again extended to Church Avenue during rush hours and the F train operated as an express on the IND Culver Line.[3][9] This service pattern ended on August 30, 1976 due to budget constraints, as well as complaints from many customers at local stations on the IND Culver Line wanting direct access to Manhattan. Afterwards the GG was cut back to Smith–Ninth Streets.[9][10]

Beginning on May 6, 1985, use of double letters to indicate local service was discontinued, so the GG was relabeled G.[11]

A train made of R68 cars in G service at its north terminus, Court Square.

On May 24, 1987, the N and R services switched terminals in Queens. As part of the reroute plan, Queens Plaza became the northern terminal for the G train on evenings, weekends and late nights.[12]

Beginning on September 30, 1990, G service was extended to 179th Street during late nights to replace the F, which terminated at 21st Street – Queensbridge.

Beginning on March 23, 1997, due to construction on the connector between the IND 63rd Street Line and the IND Queens Boulevard Line, G trains terminated at Court Square on evenings, nights and weekends. Beginning on August 31, 1997, late night service was cut back from 179th Street to Court Square.[13]

On December 16, 2001, the 63rd Street Connector opened and Court Square became the northern terminal for the G train during midday and rush hours. Service along the IND Queens Boulevard Line was replaced by the new V train.[13][9] G service was extended to Forest Hills – 71st Avenue other times. The G was to be cut back to Court Square at all times to make room for the new V train when the connection opened, but due to rider opposition, it was cut back only weekdays until 8:30 pm, and extended to Forest Hills – 71st Avenue all other times (the reverse of the previous pattern).[13]

On July 5, 2009, the G was once again extended south at all times to Church Avenue. This was required for overhaul of the Culver Viaduct, which took the express tracks at Smith-9th Streets and Fourth Avenue used to relay terminating G trains out of service.[13][9][4] On July 19, 2012, the MTA announced that this extension would be permanent.[13][4]

Due to the MTA financial crisis, the G was to be cut back from Forest Hills – 71st Avenue to Court Square at all times beginning June 27, 2010.[14] However, due to planned track repairs during the times the G normally ran on the IND Queens Boulevard Line, it ceased running north of Court Square on April 19.[13] In addition, train headways were reduced, which inconvenienced about 201,000 weekly commuters.[15][16]

Flood waters from Hurricane Sandy caused significant damage to the Greenpoint Tubes under the Newtown Creek. To allow for repairs, G service was suspended north of Nassau Avenue for twelve weekends between July and December 2013 and around-the-clock between July 25 and September 2, 2014.

On June 9, 2014, a budget surplus in the MTA caused a few service improvements for the G to be implemented, such as an increase in the number of trains per hour (from six trains per hour to 7.5 trains per hour during evening rush hour), uniform stopping locations for trains (previously, trains stopped at random places along the platform), as well as public service announcement systems on platforms along the IND Crosstown Line. Train lengths did not change, despite an influx of ridership.[17][18]

Controversies[edit]

63rd Street Connector service reductions[edit]

When the connector to the IND 63rd Street Line from the IND Queens Boulevard Line was completed in December 2001, it not only introduced the new V service, it also allowed up to nine additional trains to and from Manhattan on the Queens Boulevard Line during peak hours. However, to make room for the V train on Queens Boulevard, the G had to terminate at Court Square on weekdays.[19] The service plan was designed to redistribute Queens-bound passenger loads on the heavily-used IND Queens Boulevard Line (under 53rd Street in Manhattan) and better service and transfer opportunities as the V train allowed direct access to 53rd Street and the IND Sixth Avenue Line for Queens Boulevard Local customers. The New York Times prematurely described the service plan as "complex and heavily criticized".[20] V trains, while by no means consistently full, did take some load off the F train, which was rerouted via 63rd Street, though many riders complained that the passenger load on the E had worsened due to its becoming the only express train that runs along 53rd Street. The overcrowding on the E train was, in part, due to riders' propensity to board an express even in situations where it offers no real advantage in travel time over the local.

In response to complaints from G riders at public hearings about losing a major transfer point to Manhattan-bound trains at Queens Plaza, the MTA agreed to a number of compromises, including installing a moving sidewalk in the passageway between Court Square and 23rd Street – Ely Avenue (now served by the E M trains) on the Queens Boulevard Line.[13] In addition, a free out-of-system MetroCard transfer to 45th Road – Court House Square on the IRT Flushing Line was created at those two stations.[13] This special transfer was discontinued when construction of an in-system transfer at the corner of 23rd Street and 45th Road that opened on June 5, 2011,[13] which made only the Flushing line station ADA-accessible.

The MTA also agreed to extend the G to Forest Hills – 71st Avenue during evenings and weekends (when the V was not running), and run more trains on that route. There was a four hour period where the G, R, and V, as well as the Queens Boulevard line's express services, the E and the F, were all supposedly running at once since the V stopped running at midnight. and the G was extended to 71st Avenue at 8:00 p.m. The authority "had spent several hundred thousand dollars on tests, trying to figure out a way to keep the G train running past Court Square and farther into Queens on weekdays, but because of the addition of the V train, which shared space along the Queens Boulevard Line with the trains already there, the E, F, G and R trains could not fit during the daytime, when service is heaviest."[20]

Signs at stops along the G route directing passengers to the correct boarding areas, due to the short 300-foot (91 m) length of the trains.

To increase service and reduce waiting time, the G would need more trains, but there were not enough cars available in the system. The solution was to reduce the length of trains in order to increase service frequency.[13] Historically, the G line has ran trains shorter than the typical 600-foot (180 m) length of B Division trains, with ridership too low to justify running full-length trains in frequent intervals.[13] Under the 2001 plan, trains were shortened from six 75-foot (23 m) cars to four, sticking all the leftover cars together to make the extra trains.[13] Thus, G service now operates 300-foot (91 m) trains, half the length of normal B Division standards.[13] This, however, meant there would be more riders packed into smaller trains, and led some passengers to miss trains because they were standing at the wrong part of the platform. While there have been signs indicating where the train stops at some stations such as the "4" and "6" markers on the tracks used by train operators, a lack of visual identifiers of train stop points and the location of staircases, transfer passageways and platform benches have been cited as a cause of passengers missing trains or being bunched into single cars.[13] Beginning in 2013, additional signs on the platforms of G line stops were installed.[21] In 2014, train headways were increased and uniform stopping positions were instituted, and benches relocated.[17][22]

Community groups such as Save the G! and the Riders Alliance have been frequent activists for improvements of G service. Save the G! regularly lobbied the MTA for more G train service since the original cutbacks when the V was introduced in 2001. They made the restoration of service to the Queens Boulevard Line at all times an issue in the 2002 New York gubernatorial race, but the transit authority said, "Unfortunately, putting the G back to full service is just not an option, given our track capacity—and that's not likely to change."[23]

Due to construction on the Queens Boulevard Line, the G train frequently terminated at Court Square even at times when the published timetable said it ran to 71st Avenue.[13] Some riders were suspicious that the service disruptions were "simply a de facto way to implement the original plan of halving G train service." The original plans called for the G terminate at Court Square at all times. The plan was shelved in 2001 in face of community opposition, but implemented in 2010.[13][24] An MTA spokesman says that "It's not personal…. If you want to keep the system up to date, you need to make sure the track and switching are all in good repair."[25]

Exits and transfer controversies[edit]

Save the G! and the Riders Alliance have also lobbied for the creation of new free out-of-system transfers to nearby stations. The most prominent is between Broadway on the Crosstown Line and Hewes Street on the BMT Jamaica Line two blocks away, which has been previously proposed.[13] However, the MTA said, "We have no intention of making that a permanent free transfer"[26] even though a temporary free transfer was provided to Lorimer Street in 1999 due to suspended service over the Williamsburg Bridge on the J M Z trains, and again during the Summer 2014 G service suspension north of Nassau Avenue.[13][27] A second transfer, from Fulton Street to the busy Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center complex in Downtown Brooklyn, was rejected by the MTA due to the long walking distance between the two stations.[13][28]

Most stations along the IND Crosstown Line were built with multiple exits to the street. Over the years, many lower-use exits were closed (as they were in other parts of the subway), as the city was concerned that they were a magnet for criminals, but in July 2005, in response to community pressure, the MTA agreed to re-open the South Portland Avenue exit of the Fulton Street station. The New York Times described it as a "minor victory" for "a maligned line."[29]

Route[edit]

Service pattern[edit]

The following table shows the lines used by the G:

Line From To Tracks
IND Crosstown Line Court Square Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets all
IND Culver Line Bergen Street Church Avenue local

Stations[edit]

For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.

Station service legend
Stops all times Stops all times
Stops all times except late nights Stops all times except late nights
Stops late nights only Stops late nights only
Stops weekdays only Stops weekdays only
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Stops weekdays in the peak direction only
Station closed Station closed
Time period details
G service Stations Handicapped/disabled access Subway transfers Connections
Queens
Stops all times Court Square 7 all times <7>rush hours until 10:00 p.m., peak direction (IRT Flushing Line)
E all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. (IND Queens Boulevard Line at Court Square – 23rd Street)
Stops all times 21st Street
Brooklyn
Stops all times Greenpoint Avenue
Stops all times Nassau Avenue
Stops all times Metropolitan Avenue L all times (BMT Canarsie Line at Lorimer Street)
Stops all times Broadway
Stops all times Flushing Avenue
Stops all times Myrtle–Willoughby Avenues
Stops all times Bedford–Nostrand Avenues B44 Select Bus Service
Stops all times Classon Avenue
Stops all times Clinton–Washington Avenues
Stops all times Fulton Street
Stops all times Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets A all times C all except late nights (IND Fulton Street Line)
Stops all times Bergen Street F all times
Stops all times Carroll Street F all times
Stops all times Smith–Ninth Streets F all times
Stops all times Fourth Avenue F all times
D late nights N late nights R all except late nights (BMT Fourth Avenue Line at Ninth Street)
Stops all times Seventh Avenue F all times
Stops all times 15th Street – Prospect Park F all times
Stops all times Fort Hamilton Parkway F all times
Stops all times Church Avenue Handicapped/disabled access F all times

References[edit]

  1. ^ "mta.info - Line Colors". mta.info. 
  2. ^ "Lawmakers: G Train Riders Deserve Better Service « CBS New York". Newyork.cbslocal.com. January 27, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Independent Subway Services Beginning in 1932". thejoekorner.com. August 21, 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c O'Neill, Natalie (July 19, 2012). "G wiz! MTA plans to save the G train extension!". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved July 21, 2012. 
  5. ^ "HOW TO GET TO THE FAIR GROUNDS; BY SUBWAY". nytimes.com. The New York Times. April 30, 1939. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "CITY SUBWAY RIDE TO FAIR TO COST 10C Board Holds Dime Charge Is Necessary to Pay for Branch Line to the Grounds". nytimes.com. The New York Times. February 18, 1939. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "NEW SUBWAY SPUR IS READY TO OPEN: First Train to Start Four Minutes Before the Fair Officially Begins". nytimes.com. The New York Times. April 17, 1939. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "END OF SUBWAY SPUR TO FAIR NOW URGED: Transportation Board Asks the Right to Demolish It". nytimes.com. The New York Times. November 26, 1940. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Review of F Line Operations, Ridership, and Infrastructure" (PDF). nysenate.gov. MTA New York City Transit Authority. October 7, 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  10. ^ O'Neill, Natalie (April 13, 2012). "History shows it’s not the G train ‘extension’ — it’s the G train renewal". The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  11. ^ What's a K train?
  12. ^ Announcing Service Changes on the N and R routes
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Review of the G Line" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transit Authority (New York). July 10, 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Service Change Details". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 18, 2008. Retrieved July 10, 2010. 
  15. ^ "2010 NYC Transit Service Reductions" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transit Authority (New York). January 27, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  16. ^ Haddon, Heather (April 13, 2010). "G train taking a hit before service cuts roll out". AM New York. Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Rivoli, Dan (June 8, 2014). "G train service to become more frequent". AM NY. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  18. ^ "MTA to Increase G Train Service - Greenpoint - DNAinfo.com New York". DNA Info. August 1, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  19. ^ Kershaw, Sarah (December 2, 2000). "Proposed Line Would Lighten Subway Crush". The New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2010. 
  20. ^ a b Kennedy, Randy (May 25, 2001). "Panel Approves New V Train but Shortens G Line to Make Room". The New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2010. 
  21. ^ Upadhye, Janet (January 13, 2014). "MTA's New Signs Do Little to Curb the 'G Train Sprint,' Locals Say". Fort Greene, Brooklyn: DNAinfo.com. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  22. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (July 15, 2013). "M.T.A. Will End Mystery of Where on the Platform the G Train Stops". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  23. ^ Hays, Elizabeth (October 24, 2002). "Riders Rail at G Switch". Daily News (New York). Retrieved January 17, 2007. 
  24. ^ Kadushin, Peter (January 15, 2008). "G Train May Give Brooklyn Riders Faster Service, Queens Riders More Legwork". Daily News (New York). Retrieved March 20, 2010. 
  25. ^ Ilel, Neille (July 21, 2005). "'G' is For Gone–G Train Loses Nearly Half its Weekend Stops". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved January 17, 2007. 
  26. ^ Miller, Shane (July 1, 2004). "Let Us Take a Free Swipe". Greenpoint Star. Retrieved January 17, 2007. 
  27. ^ "Free transfer set to expire between G train and J/M lines in Brooklyn". New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV. 
  28. ^ Hoffman, Meredith (December 31, 2012). "G Train Riders to Renew Push for Improved Service With New Year". Williamsburg, Brooklyn: DNAinfo.com. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  29. ^ Mooney, Jake (July 3, 2005). "For a Maligned Line, a Minor Victory". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved January 17, 2007. 

External links[edit]