Squadron: Shutdown can’t mean stranded commuters
Electeds, agencies, and community come together to offer alternatives
BROOKLYN – State Senator Daniel Squadron was set to be joined by City Comptroller Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Adams, State Senator Dilan, and Assemblymembers Lentol and Davila for a town hall with community members and representatives from the MTA, City DOT, EDC, and the NYPD on solutions to the 5-week suspension of the G train between Nassau Avenue and Long Island City planned for this summer.
The G train is a vital lifeline for residents and businesses throughout Brooklyn and Queens. With the Sandy-related closure of the G train tunnel between the boroughs, the town hall provides an opportunity to raise concerns and suggest solutions to ensure riders are not stranded.
“A closure like this is going to be painful, but we have to make sure the shutdown doesn’t mean stranded businesses and residents,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “By having the city and state come together now, we're letting the community provide solutions so that people have options. I look forward to working with the agencies and my colleagues to make the solutions suggested tonight a reality.”
The G train will be out of service between Nassau Avenue and Long Island City for 5 weeks between July 26 and September 1due to Hurricane Sandy-related repairs. The MTA will provide a shuttle service, but has not yet decided on the route. City agencies – DOT, NYPD, and EDC –also have a role in providing alternatives. Representatives for Congressmember Maloney, State Senator Gianaris, Councilmembers Levin and Van Bramer, the Riders’ Alliance, Transportation Alternatives, and Brooklyn Community Board 1 also joined Senator Squadron for the town hall.
Connor Mealey is a G train rider and member of the Riders Alliance who commutes to Long Island City from Greenpoint says: “The MTA has listened to G train riders in the past and even though this construction will disrupt a lot of lives, I hope that this forum will help address some of our concerns."
“It is imperative that the MTA provide efficient transportation alternatives for the thousands of riders who use the G train between Brooklyn and Queens,” said Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman. “The MTA must commit to minimizing the impacts of this closure. If the best alternative is shuttle buses then they must run on a reliable schedule 24/7, not just Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. No riders should have to wait 30 minutes for a shuttle on their way home from work at midnight on a Friday.”
“Although the G train is considered the ugly stepchild of the MTA, these much-needed repairs will hopefully improve reliability,” said Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol. “The G train is already seeing some service upgrades this coming summer, which is certainly a step in the right direction. I hope this town hall provides a forum for constituents to not only learn what will be happening in the coming months, but also to provide suggestions and feedback to the MTA. As we all know, the best policy comes from the ground level.”
“The extent of the damage the city’s transit infrastructure sustained during Superstorm Sandy was unprecedented, so too is the work to repair it,” said State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan. “To date, MTA crews have gone above and beyond to make lasting repairs and much needed improvements and I commend them for that. The logistics alone in maintaining service while work continues is remarkable. My colleagues and I want to ensure that the work progresses as it has and that any ideas from riders and constituents that can serve to make the repairs as painless as possible be considered.”
“Western Queens residents continue to get hit with service disruptions by the MTA,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “Thousands of commuters from Brooklyn and Queens rely heavily on G train service every single day. With 17 weekends of disruptions on the 7 Line, and now five weeks with no service on the G train, it is safe to say that commuters who use these lines have had enough. I urge the MTA to take the community’s concerns into account and implement a work schedule that will better accommodate riders this summer.”
“Limiting train service is necessary to complete repairs needed due to Sandy along the G line, but overall service has been unpleasant for years,” said Councilmember Antonio Reynoso. “As the only direct train service between Queens and Brooklyn, the 5 weeks of shuttle buses will make for significantly congested streets between the boroughs and escalate frustrations for our commuters. Riders should be able to expect consistent and reliable public transportation along the G line, like everywhere else in the City.”
“The G train is a crucial transportation option for people living throughout Brooklyn and Queens,” said Councilmember Steve Levin. “These communities already have limited transportation options so it is important that we come together to plan how to best respond during the planned shutdowns. I want to thank Senator Squadron and all the elected officials and advocates for hosting this Town Hall.”