Many Greenpoint locals and G train straphangers were dismayed by last week’s news of a full-scale shutdown of the line over the summer. But there might be a silver lining to this storm cloud.

In late 2022, the MTA announced its plans to modernize the G train with communications-based train control, which they revealed will require a shutdown of the G train for weeks over the summer. But elected officials hope the MTA can use that downtime to make other much-needed improvements to the system’s shortest line.

Over 20 elected officials have signed a letter urging the MTA to upgrade the G train with additional train cars and service fully extended deeper into Queens — the G train used to terminate at Forest Hills-71st Avenue.

The letter points out the massive population growth neighborhoods served by the G have seen. Despite this boom, the line has not grown to accommodate the number of new passengers.

“The geographic reorganization of work in the COVID-19 era has also led to more New Yorkers traveling more frequently between ‘outer boroughs,’ and fewer to and from Manhattan,” the letter reads in part. “The G is a vital connector. But with only four or five cars, the G is the shortest non-Shuttle train in the entire system, leading commuters to dangerously sprint down the platform to catch the train. Every other line is served by eight cars, ten cars or more.”


Assemblymember Emily Gallagher, State Senator Kristen Gonzalez, State Senator Julia Salazar, City Council Member Lincoln Restler, and City Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez signed the statement.

In a New York State Legislature budget hearing this morning, Assemblymember Gallagher asked Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber directly about the plan.

“We are very grateful that the G train is getting new signals, but that is resulting in a really painful schedule which, I’m accepting, because I know that without pain, there can be no gain,” she said. “But I want bigger gain from this shutdown because I see the G as the new lifeline for New York City activity, because we are growing in Queens, and we are growing in Brooklyn, and the G actually connects all of these.”

Lieber said that the MTA’s decision would be based on looking into population and housing data.

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