G (New York City Subway service)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
G symbol
R68 (G) train at Court Square.jpg
A train made of R68 cars in G service at its north terminus, Court Square.
G map
Northern end Court Square
Southern end Church Avenue
Stations 21
Rolling stock 52 R68s (13 trains)
Depot Coney Island Yard

The G Brooklyn–Queens Crosstown Local is a 11.4-mile-long (18.3 km)[1] 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.[2] 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 through which it travels.[3]


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. This service was designated GG because the IND used double letters to indicate local service. 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 Continental Avenue.[4] The entire IND Crosstown Line was completed on July 1, 1937, including the connection to the IND Culver Line.[5] GG service ran at all times between Forest Hills–71st Avenue and Church Avenue.[6] 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 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.[7][8][9][10]

GG Train (1967-1979).svg
November 26, 1967-June 1979 bullet

On July 1, 1968,[4] service was again extended to Church Avenue during rush hours due to the F train operating as an express on the IND Culver Line.[4][11] This service pattern ended on August 30, 1976 due to budget cuts and 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.[11][12]

On August 27, 1977, GG service was cut back to Queens Plaza during late nights, being replaced by the F.[13]

GG Train (1979-1985).svg
June 1979-May 6, 1985 bullet

Beginning on May 6, 1985, use of double letters to indicate local service was discontinued, so the GG was relabeled G.[14][15]

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.[16]

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.[17]

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 as a result of the F running local east of Queens Plaza.[18]

On December 16, 2001, the 63rd Street Connector opened and Court Square became the northern terminal for the G train during weekdays. Service along the IND Queens Boulevard Line was replaced by the new V train.[11][18] G service was extended to Forest Hills–71st Avenue all other times. The G was to be cut back there 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).[18]

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 caused the express tracks at Smith–Ninth Streets and Fourth Avenue/Ninth Street—used to switch G trains between tracks after they terminated at Smith–Ninth Streets—to be temporarily taken out of service.[6][11][18] This had two side benefits: five F stations were served by more frequent service when the G was extended to these stations, and the Church Avenue terminal had four tracks to store terminating G trains (as opposed to only one storage track at Smith–9th Streets), thus reducing delays on both services.[11] On July 19, 2012, this extension became permanent, as per an MTA announcement.[6][18]

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.[19] However, due to planned track repairs during the times the G normally ran on the IND Queens Boulevard Line, it began terminating at Court Square on April 19.[18] In addition, train headways were reduced, which inconvenienced about 201,000 weekly commuters.[20][21]

Flood waters from Hurricane Sandy caused significant damage to the Greenpoint Tubes under the Newtown Creek. Although the G went back in service days after the hurricane, permanent repairs needed to be done to the tube. To allow for these repairs, G service ran to Nassau Avenue only for twelve weekends between July and December 2013 and all times between July 25 and September 2, 2014.[1]


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.[22] The reroute of the G was part of the original plans of the 63rd Street tunnel and connector, going back to the late 1960s.[23][24][25] 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" because it put more crowding on the E train.[26]

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.[18] 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.[18] 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 3, 2011, which made only the Flushing Line station ADA-accessible;[18] in the future, the Crosstown Line station may also be upgraded.[27]

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 and R trains), G trains could not fit during the daytime, when service is heaviest."[26]

However, 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.[18] 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; that plan was shelved in 2001 in the face of community opposition, but the MTA decided to implement it in 2010.[18][28] An MTA spokesman said, "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."[29]

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."[30]

Changes to train length[edit]

Signs at Bergen Street (top) and Nassau Avenue (bottom) 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 due to the 63rd Street Connector cutbacks, 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.[18] Historically, the G line had run 8 60-foot (18 m) car trains or 6 75-foot (23 m) car trains; both were shorter than the typical 600-foot (180 m) length of B Division trains because ridership was deemed too low to justify running full-length G trains in frequent intervals.[18] 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.[18] Thus, G service now operates 300-foot (91 m) trains, half the length of normal B Division standards. It also operates OPTO service during late nights and weekends.[18]

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. In the past, there have been signs indicating where the train stops at some stations, in addition to the "4" and "6" markers next to the tracks used by train operators as stop points. Still, the overall lack of visual identifiers of train stop points on the platforms, the differing stop points during different times of day, 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.[18][31] Beginning in 2013, additional signs were installed along G train platforms.[32] In 2014, train headways were increased and uniform stopping positions were instituted, with benches relocated and new CCTV systems installed for One Person Train Operation (OPTO).[31][33][34]

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 different places along the platform at different times of the day),[31] as well as public service announcement systems on platforms along the IND Crosstown Line. While train lengths did not change, despite an influx of ridership, the G is expected to get full length trains to accommodate L train riders during the BMT Canarsie Line reconstruction of the East River tunnels to Manhattan, which is scheduled to start in January 2019.[33][35][36]

Closed exits and non-free transfers[edit]

Save the G!, the Riders Alliance, and other organizations 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 either Hewes Street or Lorimer Street on the BMT Jamaica Line, which are both about three blocks away; this transfer has been previously proposed.[18][37] In 2005, an MTA spokesperson stated, "We have no intention of making that a permanent free transfer."[38] This sentiment was repeated in 2013 following the G Line review, with the MTA citing the loss of around $770,000 in revenue if the transfer were to become free.[18][39] Temporary free transfers have been provided in the past, including one 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.[18][40] The temporary Lorimer Street–Broadway transfer is due to be reinstated for 18 months beginning in January 2019, when the BMT Canarsie Line tunnels under the East River are closed for construction related to the Fix and Fortify program initiated by the MTA after Hurricane Sandy.[41][42]

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, as well as the fact that there is a transfer to Manhattan-bound A C trains at Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets.[18][37]

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."[43]


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


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
Station closed Station closed
Stops rush hours in peak direction only Stops weekdays in the peak direction only
Time period details
G service Stations Handicapped/disabled access Subway transfers Connections
Crosstown Line
Stops all times Court Square 7 all times <7>rush hours until 9:30 p.m., peak direction (IRT Flushing Line) at Court Square
E all times M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. (IND Queens Boulevard Line at Court Square–23rd Street)
Stops all times 21st Street
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)
Culver 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


  1. ^ a b "G Line Review". mta.info. Retrieved 2015-10-29. 
  2. ^ "mta.info - Line Colors". mta.info. 
  3. ^ "Lawmakers: G Train Riders Deserve Better Service « CBS New York". Newyork.cbslocal.com. January 27, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Independent Subway Services Beginning in 1932". thejoekorner.com. August 21, 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "New Crosstown Subway Line Is Opened". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 1, 1937. Retrieved 24 December 2015. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "HOW TO GET TO THE FAIR GROUNDS; BY SUBWAY". nytimes.com. The New York Times. April 30, 1939. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "Review of F Line Operations, Ridership, and Infrastructure" (PDF). nysenate.gov. MTA New York City Transit Authority. October 7, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-05-31. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ "Service Adjustments on the BMT and IND Lines Effective Midnight, Saturday, August 27 New York City Transit Authority (1977)". Flickr - Photo Sharing!. Retrieved 2016-06-09. 
  14. ^ What's a K train?
  15. ^ "Hey, What's a "K" train? 1985 Brochure". Flickr - Photo Sharing!. Retrieved 2016-06-17. 
  16. ^ Announcing Service Changes on the N and R routes
  17. ^ "Service Changes September 30, 1990" (PDF). subwaynut.com. New York City Transit Authority. September 30, 1990. Retrieved May 1, 2016. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Review of the G Line" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 10, 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  19. ^ "Service Change Details". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 18, 2008. Retrieved July 10, 2010. 
  20. ^ "2010 NYC Transit Service Reductions" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 27, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  21. ^ Haddon, Heather (April 13, 2010). "G train taking a hit before service cuts roll out". AM New York. Archived from the original on April 24, 2010. Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  22. ^ Kershaw, Sarah (December 2, 2000). "Proposed Line Would Lighten Subway Crush". The New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Regional Transportation Program" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  24. ^ Queens Subway Options Study, New York: Environmental Impact Statement. United States Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Urban Mass Transit Administration. May 1984. pp. 83–. Retrieved 10 July 2016. 
  25. ^ Final Environmental Impact Statement for the 63rd Street Line Connection to the Queens Boulevard Line. Queens, New York, New York: Metropolitan Transportation Authority, United States Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration. June 1992. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  26. ^ 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. 
  27. ^ "MTA Capital Program 2015-2019: Renew. Enhance. Expand." (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. October 28, 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015. 
  28. ^ 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. 
  29. ^ Ilel, Neille (July 21, 2005). "'G' is For Gone–G Train Loses Nearly Half its Weekend Stops". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved January 17, 2007. 
  30. ^ Hays, Elizabeth (October 24, 2002). "Riders Rail at G Switch". Daily News. New York. Retrieved January 17, 2007. 
  31. ^ a b c "Review of the G Line: Appendices" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 10, 2013. Retrieved 28 October 2015. 
  32. ^ 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. 
  33. ^ a b Rivoli, Dan (June 8, 2014). "G train service to become more frequent". AM NY. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  34. ^ 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. 
  35. ^ "MTA to Increase G Train Service - Greenpoint - DNAinfo.com New York". DNA Info. August 1, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  36. ^ Hogan, Gwynne (6 May 2016). "G Train To Get Full-Length Train Cars During L Shutdown, MTA Says". DNAinfo New York (Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick). DNAinfo New York. Retrieved 12 August 2016. 
  37. ^ a b 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. 
  38. ^ Miller, Shane (July 1, 2004). "Let Us Take a Free Swipe". Greenpoint Star. Archived from the original on 2005-02-14. Retrieved January 17, 2007. 
  39. ^ Dai, Serena (August 27, 2014). "Transfer for G, J and M Train Riders Should be Free, Advocates Say". Williamsburg, Brooklyn: DNAinfo.com. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  40. ^ "Free transfer set to expire between G train and J/M lines in Brooklyn". New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV. 
  41. ^ "The L Train Shutdown: Here's How to Commute Between Brooklyn and Manhattan". DNAinfo New York. Retrieved 2016-07-26. 
  42. ^ Fitzsimmons, Emma G. (2016-07-25). "L Train Will Shut Down From Manhattan to Brooklyn in '19 for 18 Months". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-26. 
  43. ^ 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]