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Queens Chronicle

MTA weighs G line subway upgrades

Study seeks more trains, shorter waits and better communications

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:17 am, Thu Jul 25, 2013.

New York City Transit is recommending a 25 percent increase in afternoon and evening service along the G subway line, which runs between Court Square in Long Island City with Church Avenue in Brooklyn.

The new trains and other changes are contingent upon the Metropolitan Transportation Authority finding the estimated $700,000 to implement them, according to a statement issued by the MTA on Monday.

The recommendations result from a study initiated in February, spurred on by a joint request from state Sens. Daniel Squadron (D-Manhattan) and Martin Malave Dilan (D-Brooklyn).

Statements issued by the MTA and the grassroots Riders Alliance said the report suggests increasing the number of trains between 3 and 9 p.m., and running them at more regular intervals, among other upgrades.

It also calls for adding announcement systems at the 12 stations on the line that lack them.

“The G line is a vital connection for customers in fast-growing parts of our service area, and this review will be an important tool for making both short-term improvements and long-term additions to our service,” MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said.

Another of the recommended changes is that the G, typically with fewer cars than normal trains, stop at a designated, marked spot along the platform.

“That would eliminate the ‘G Train Sprint,’” Gene Russianoff, spokesman for the Straphangers Campaign, said of the frequent need for riders to dash from all over the station platforms to where the train comes to a stop on that particular trip.

The NYC Transit study also recommends relocating benches to keep people on the correct place on the platforms.

The Riders Alliance characterized the recommendations made public on Monday as “big improvements” for riders of the line.

Russianoff said the key remains whether the MTA can find the money during a period of historic cost-cutting by the authority.

“Like anything else, celebrate and be vigilant,” Russianoff said. “This is contingent on finding $700,000 and then continuing that funding.”

Russianoff said the changes could cut waiting times from an average of about 10 minutes between trains to eight.

“It’s not like the Lexington Avenue line, where a train is coming every two to three minutes and you really have no place to put more trains,” he said.

He also said the changes offer the potential to space trains out more evenly, rather than bunching some together while leaving other commuters with longer waits.

Russianoff did say that he believes the MTA was selective with some of its data when making some of its on-time assessments in the study.

He also said some key data was left out, such as the mean distance on each line between equipment breakdowns that result in delays.

He said the G train averages such a breakdown every 83,000 miles traveled, while the system average is about 173,000.

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