In light of new ridership data released by the MTA this week, North Brooklyn’s elected officials along with members of the Riders Alliance are calling on the MTA to increase G train service.
According to the MTA, overall system ridership in 2012 is the highest since 1950, and weekend ridership at the all-time high reached in 1946. Leading the increased usage is the G Train, the lifeline of Greenpoint’s public commuters, which grew by 4.2% on an average weekday in 2012, carrying an average of 2,000 more riders each day. The MTA attributes the growth to new residential development along the G line and increased travel between North and Downtown Brooklyn for events such as those held at the Barclays Center.
In response to those numbers, State Senators Daniel Squadron and Martin Dilan along with members of the Riders Alliance, a grass-roots membership organization of subway and bus riders, are urging the MTA to consider the dramatic new ridership data as a component of the Full Line Review currently being conducted by the MTA at the request of the two Senators.
Several Riders Alliance members said that the MTA needs to increase G service in line with the new ridership statistics. “It’s time for a change,” said Matt Arancio, who lives near the Metropolitan G train stop. “It’s clear that 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.”
Annemarie Caruso, who enters the line at the Nassau Avenue station noted that the G is the only subway option in Greenpoint. “Day after day I make my way down a crowded platform and squeeze into an even more crowded train,” she said. “Service is not frequent enough to say to myself ‘Oh, I’ll just wait for the next one.’ I love my fellow Brooklynites, but I am tired of spending my mornings pressed up against them!”
North Brooklyn’s elected officials came out in support of the Riders Alliance members, with Squadron saying, “The numbers add up. More G train riders mean we need more G train service.” Dilan pointed out the MTA’s history of upscaling service to match increased ridership. “Demand has outpaced service in North Brooklyn,” he said about the community’s growth, which he anticipates will continue. “G train service has to increase along with the growth in ridership,” agreed Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.
Others, like Assemblyman Joe Lentol stressed the dependence of Greenpointers on the G. “It is no surprise that the only train that solely serves Brooklyn has had dramatic increases in ridership…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.” The ridership data reaffirmed what is common knowledge to the neighborhood, according to Councilmember Steve Levin. “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.”
“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,” concluded John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance.
The MTA’s Full Line Review is expected to conclude in June.