Ask the MTA: About G train crowding and homelessness

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Every week, amNewYork Metro presents “Ask the MTA”, where you can seek out answers to your common questions about public transportation in New York City. Send us your questions for the MTA, and we’ll make sure you get an answer! Email us at askthemta[@]amny.com.

Q: Since the population of Brooklyn around the G line has increased immensely over the past 5 years, the G train has become very crowded.  When will additional train cars be added?

A: The G is one of the more unique subway lines on two counts: it does not serve Manhattan, and it operates trains that are considerably shorter than the station platforms. The short trains reflect the fact that ridership on the G is overall much lower than on other subway lines.

We continually monitor ridership on all our lines, the G included, to see if service increases are warranted. We last increased weekday service on the G in 2014. You’re right that G ridership has indeed been trending upwards, and may reach levels that trigger a need to add service. But we’re not there yet.

At present, we’re still evaluating a plan of action for when the time comes. We have two options: making G trains longer or running the existing shorter G trains more frequently. Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to do both.

Because most G riders must transfer to get to and from Manhattan, if we do add more service, riders overall would benefit more if we run more frequent trains to reduce waiting times rather than if we were to run longer G trains. When we decide to change service, we promise to promptly let you know.

Glenn Lunden, NYCT Acting Deputy Chief, Rail Planning 

Q: Can you please let me know what is being done about the homeless sleeping on the J & Z rains at Parsons Archer?  There are no police in sight when you need them to handle this situation.  I do understand the homeless have nowhere to live, but when they are stretched out on the entire seat for 6 people, it becomes very intimidating to ask him/her to sit up and make room.

A: Making sure that everyone feels safe while riding with us is our top priority. We take the rise of homelessness in the city very seriously and are committed to addressing the issue compassionately on the subways. 

Last year, we launched a homeless outreach task force to help connect those experiencing homelessness with services. We have teams made up of police officers and MTA staff working at ten terminal subway stations – including Parsons Archer– during overnight hours who help transport people to service locations. So far, this program has quadrupled the number of homeless accepting placement into shelters and other facilities— almost 3,000 people have received assistance, including medical treatment, since the summer.

You may have also heard that we’re in the process of hiring 500 new MTA police officers whose duties will include helping the homeless. They’ll be deployed across our entire system, not just on the subway.

 Patrick Warren, MTA Chief Safety Officer