R and G train tunnels to close in Brooklyn for months

June 27, 2013 2:27:38 PM PDT
We're all fairly accustomed to subway shutdowns for repair work. But Thursday night, there are protests held by riders fuming over repairs and the lack of any alternate plans for passengers.

The protests are over closure of the R and G trains in Brooklyn for months.

Harriet Dekernick enjoys riding the R train.

"It's just an easier train to take," Dekernick said.

But that might not be the case in the near future, with planned service changes for repairs to an infrastructure damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

"MTA we expect you to hear our voices," said Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President.

On the steps of borough hall Thursday, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz led a coalition of politicians and residents on board with a plan to get the MTA to add more options for straphangers during the upcoming repairs.

"It is inexcusable for MTA not to be proactive," said Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President.

They say the MTA is not prepared for a ripple effect that will lead to overcrowding that will spread through the system.

"The MTA should do everything to ease the burden on passengers in Manhattan," Stringer said.

Beginning in August, the R train tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan will close for 14 months.

And the G train tunnel between Brooklyn and Queens will close for 12 weekends this year and five consecutive weeks in 2014.

MTA officials counter the criticism by insisting they've thought through the options.

"We'll have a shuttle bus running as frequently as every three minutes," said Adam Lisberg, MTA Spokesman.

Spokesman Adam Lisberg showed Eyewitness News a small printout showing routes and options for passengers.

"This is going to have a significant impact on 65,000 people. We have looked very carefully at what kind of alternative service we can provide and additional plans we can give to them," Lisberg said.

What might look good on paper may not work in reality and MTA officials acknowledge that.

"We have a lot of time to come up with other creative solutions," Lisberg said.

The Transit Coalition wants the MTA to think bigger with the repair work fast approaching and straphangers like Harriet counting on a smooth ride.

"This is an issue not just for R and G riders," the coalition said.

For more information, please visit: http://www.mta.info