The beleaguered G train is finally getting much-needed improvements with the implementation of a modernized signaling system, but this summer, the project could turn into a headache for Greenpoint and its surrounding areas.
In a briefing on Friday, January 12, the agency revealed the next steps for its signal modernization project, which will replace the existing signals with Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC). As part of that implementation, the MTA says drastic service diversions are needed.
While the MTA has already implemented partial service suspensions during weekday nights, the next round might be a more bitter pill to swallow, with the agency revealing its plans for a “24/7, continuous shutdown.” From June 28 to July 5, the MTA plans to suspend G service between Court Square and Greenpoint Avenue stations. From July 5 to August 12, there will be no G service between Court Square station and Bedford-Nostrand Avenues station. And from August 12 to September 2, the MTA will suspend service from Bedford-Nostrand to Hoyt-Schermerhorn. Shuttle buses will make the stops in all cases.
In December 2022, the MTA approved a $368 million contract to implement CBTC, which they say will increase the reliability and efficiency on the line, providing a more precise picture of where trains are located.
Though North Brooklyn elected officials praise the project, they say that the drastic shutdown measures would be too big of a burden for a neighborhood entirely reliant on the G train.
“The G train is the lifeline for the Greenpoint community — with thousands of people depending on it every day to get to work and to keep local businesses thriving,” City Council Member Lincoln Restler said in a statement to Greenpointers, “While the planned signal improvements are a vital infrastructure investment, a full shutdown of the G train in Greenpoint for six weeks would cause unnecessary harm and disruption to our community. I’m urging the MTA to act nimbly and find alternative construction approaches.”
“Communications-based train controls will bring real improvements to the reliability and frequency of the G train but the MTA must pursue a less disruptive schedule for installing it,” said Assemblymember Emily Gallagher. “The G is Greenpoint’s only subway and going without it for weeks at a time will cause major headaches for our community.”
The assemblymember also called for additional updates to the line.
“Ultimately, we don’t just need a modern signal system but a full eight cars and restoration of service all the way to Forest Hills, Queens where the G used to terminate. The only subway line that runs between Brooklyn and Queens, the G travels through some of the fastest growing neighborhoods in New York City—we need a full, modern line.”
The MTA anticipates that the project will be completed by the end of 2027, though major service disruptions should subside by 2025.