Editorial: G train finally getting some respect
The MTA has given the jam-packed, often-overlooked G train a green signal for urgently needed improvements -- a welcome nod of respect for a newly popular line.
In a review released Monday, the agency promises the following for the only subway line in the city that can proudly thumb its nose at Manhattan as its trains roll from Church Avenue in Brooklyn to Court Square in Queens:
More service in the afternoon rush -- with trains coming every eight minutes instead of every 10 -- provided the MTA can scrape up $700,000 to make this happen.
Decreased crowding in the morning rush by running trains at more regular intervals.
Installation of public address systems in all G line stations so passengers can hear service announcements.
Trains that stop where riders are waiting on the platform.
Currently the G line runs four-car trains on platforms built for much longer ones. Signage that shows operators where to stop and passengers where to stand will prevent frantic sprints, loud curses and -- with summer in full swing -- sweat-drenched office attire.
The MTA has always denied that straphangers on the G face disproportional suffering compared with straphangers on other lines. Daily riders in burgeoning neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Bushwick and Greenpoint have their doubts. And MTA entrance figures for stations that serve the G train exclusively seem to bear them out.
In all, turnstile tallies have skyrocketed 31 percent from 2003 to 2012 in G-train only stations -- compared to a systemwide leap of 17 percent.
But never mind. This is no time to cavil. The good news is that after pressure from the Riders Alliance and state Sens. Daniel Squadron and Martin Malave Dilan, among others, the MTA commissioned its "line study" to identify ways to make G service better.
The plausible improvements it promises mean that growing, close-in neighborhoods, where younger workers want a commute of 30 minutes max, stand a better chance of getting the service they expect. That's a major gain.