Riders Alliance, Senator Squadron, and Senator Dilan Urge MTA to Increase G Train Service to Keep Up with New Ridership Growth
New Numbers Show G Train Ridership Grew More Than Any Other Subway Line in 2012
Call for MTA to Consider New Data as Part of Full Line Review of G Train
BROOKLYN, NY—State Senators Daniel Squadron and Martin Dilan and members of the Riders Alliance called on the MTA today to increase G train service in light of new ridership data that showed G train service increasing by a higher percentage than any other train in the last year. G train service grew by 4.2% on an average weekday in 2012, according to new ridership data released by the MTA, carrying an average of 2,000 more riders each weekday than in 2011.
According to the MTA, the growth is likely due to new residential development along the G train and increased travel between North Brooklyn and activities in Downtown Brooklyn, including events at the Barclays Center. Elected officials and Riders Alliance members urged the MTA to consider the dramatic new ridership data as a component of the Full Line Review requested in January by State Senators Daniel Squadron and Martin Dilan. The MTA agreed in February to conduct the Full Line Review, which is currently underway and expected to be complete by the end of June.
Senator Daniel Squadron said, "The numbers add up: more G train riders mean we need more G train service. And there's good news: at our urging, the MTA has agreed to conduct a Full Line Review, providing a real opportunity to improve and increase G train service so that it keeps up with growing ridership. Working together in the past, we've made dramatic improvements throughout the system, including the first-of-their-kind Full Line Reviews that led to better F and L train service. Now this Full Line Review allows us to reapply that experience to the G -- and finally make it Great! Thank you to Riders Alliance, Senator Dilan, and my colleagues, and to the MTA for working with us toward more reliable service."
“The MTA’s new numbers show what G train riders already know. These trains are overcrowded, and we need to run more of them,” said John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance. “We appreciate the MTA undertaking a Full Line Review of the G train. We are asking the MTA to consider these record ridership numbers and add more trains to accommodate all the new riders crowding their way onto the G.” The Riders Alliance is a grass-roots membership organization of subway and bus riders, fighting neighborhood by neighborhood to win better transit service—details are at www.ridersny.org.
Senator Martin Dilan said, “The latest G Line figures confirm what riders have known all along: that demand has outpaced service in North Brooklyn. It’s time that G Line service to Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn reflect the upward growth that both areas have seen, and every indication shows it will only continue. As the MTA has done in cases where service has fallen out of step with ridership, I urge them to begin increasing and up-scaling G Line service to meet the demand of nearly 2,000 new daily riders.”
Annemarie Caruso, a member of the Riders Alliance who lives near the Nassau G train stop, said, "I ride the G every morning from Nassau Avenue to Court Square. I work in midtown and this is my most direct transit option. No other lines have stops in Greenpoint. Day after day I make my way down a crowded platform and squeeze into an even more crowded train. Service is not frequent enough to say to myself ‘Oh, I'll just wait for the next one.’ The next one could be 12 minutes away. I love my fellow Brooklynites, but I am tired of spending my mornings pressed up against them!”
“Just because the G train doesn't run to Manhattan doesn't give the MTA the right to deny its riders good service. For years, this line has been neglected but thanks to grassroots advocacy from Windsor Terrace to Greenpoint, things are finally looking up. Brooklyn deserves a better G, and that's what we're going to win," said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who launched the "5-Stop Fan Club" in 2012 to protect additional G train stops.
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke said, “In recent years, the G Train has become vital to the people of central Brooklyn who commute across several neighborhoods in New York City. The MTA should allocate resources and enhance its current transit services to accommodate the increase in ridership.”
“G train service has to increase along with the growth in ridership. The MTA should be considering adding more cars to avoid the G train sprint and improve the frequency of service so that commuters who miss a train do not have to wait so long,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.
Senator Michael Gianaris said, “The jump in ridership on the G train demonstrates that this vital means of transportation is becoming more and more important to the residents of Queens and Brooklyn. As western Queens and Brooklyn continue to experience growth, the number of New Yorkers relying on the G train will also grow. I urge the MTA to take this telling data under consideration as part of the Full Line Review of the G train that we have requested.”
Senator Velmanette Montgomery said, "I am delighted to add my voice to the call for the MTA to perform a Full Line Review of the G-train. The 25th District, which I represent, is experiencing explosive growth and one third of the G train stops run through it. This once critical subway line experienced much reduced service for years, but must now be restored fully!"
Senator Kevin Parker said, "The G train is a vital and necessary part of Brooklyn's subway service. We all agree that as its ridership grows, it should receive more resources to support Brooklyn's increased population and business growth, and to help our communities with their daily lives."
Assembly Member Joseph Lentol said, "With the rapid increase in population, it is no surprise that the only train that solely serves Brooklyn has had dramatic increases in ridership. I hope that these statistics will further validate the need for improved G-train service. It is imperative for the continued growth and economic development of Brooklyn, and in particular my district of North Brooklyn, that G-train service be expanded to run more frequently and serve a larger number of people."
Assembly Member Joan Millman said, "Due to new businesses and new housing in the 52nd Assembly District the G train line saw an increase of about 2,000 weekday riders per day. This is further proof that the G train line review was necessary and yet another reason why the MTA needs to increase service along the G train."
Council Member Letitia James said, “As the main local line serving the Fort Greene-Clinton Hill community, the G train has long been criticized for frequent overcrowding, delays, and reroutes. The growing residential and commercial development in Downtown Brooklyn adds additional ridership to an already-overcrowded line. I join my colleagues in calling on the MTA to increase the line’s ridership accordingly, and I further request the MTA review the prospect of connecting the Atlantic- Barclays Area transit hub to the local G-line at Lafayette Avenue.”
Council Member Brad Lander said, "We need to make sure the 'G' stands for 'Great' and not 'G-dforsaken'! The dramatic increase in G train ridership makes clear that the G train should be more than a minor footnote in the city's transit system, and I urge the MTA to account for the additional 2,000 riders we see each weekday when compiling its recommendations to improve the line."
Council Member Stephen Levin said, “The release of this data is further proof of the need to increase G Train service so that we can adequately serve the needs of the diverse communities of Brooklyn.”
“The G Train has seen explosive growth in ridership because it’s is a vital intraborough route for Brooklyn residents, a key connector for locals in Queens and a critical transportation choice for workers commuting between our largest boroughs. Service on this important subway line must keep pace with the thriving communities it serves," said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives.
“When investment in transit is made, there are measurable returns. The growth in G ridership is a prime example of this. Transit ridership is increasing citywide and greater investment is needed to meet this demand,” says Veronica Vanterpool, Executive Director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
Connor Mealey, a member of the Riders Alliance who lives near the Nassau G train stop, said, "The new data shows what riders have known all along: G ridership is expanding and exploding all across the borough and into Queens. It just shows why the campaign goals that the Riders Alliance is fighting for are so important. As somebody who takes the G to work every single day and multiple times on the weekend, an increase in service would improve my quality of life dramatically."
Matt Arancio, a member of the Riders Alliance who lives near the Metropolitan G train stop, said, "It's time for a change. It's clear that G train usage will only continue to increase as Brooklyn continues to grow, and the MTA needs to be prepared to provide riders with the service they deserve. I have talked to G train riders. I have petitioned for better service. One elderly woman told me that she commutes over an hour and a half to and from Queens every day. I'm sure there are countless stories that mirror her experience."
Alexis Saba, a member of the Riders Alliance who lives off of the Clinton-Washington G train stop, said, “For me the G is actually a very convenient train to take. I use it for everything: I live off of the G train, my sister lives off of the G train, and my boyfriend lives off of the G train. I take it to go to the gym and I take it to work. The problem is, it can be really crowded when the service is irregular--and that happens a lot. I know more and more people are using it to get to work and I know people need more service. I'm glad that the MTA decided to do a full-line review. It's needed and I hope that they consider the increase in ridership especially for those who rely on the train for work."