G train could shut down for 6 weeks this summer for subway signal improvements

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Saturday, January 20, 2024
MTA eyeing 6-week shutdown for G train this summer
CeFaan Kim has the details from Greenpoint.

BROOKLYN (WABC) -- G-train riders could face some commuting headaches this summer when the MTA shuts down the line for upgrades.

The MTA plans to tear out and replace the century-old train control systems that now power the G line -- part of a multi-billion dollar effort to computerize the signal system.

The agency said the project to improve the signal system is important because the system is what provides instructions to trains so they know when they can and can't move and how fast they should move.

The system also helps keep trains spaced at safe distances to help make sure they can't move in ways that will put people in danger.

The MTA has proposed dates of three sets of 24-hour, seven-day disruptions over six weeks of the summer.

The dates, which are not finalized, include:

-June 28-July 5: No service between Court Square and Greenpoint Avenue

-July 5-Aug. 12: No service between Court Square and Bedford-Nostrand

-Aug. 12-Sept. 2: No service between Bedford-Nostrand and Hoyt-Schemerhorn

On Tuesday, business owners and commuters in Greenpoint reacted to news of the subway disruption. They say, without the G train, Greenpoint can be a bit of a transit desert.

The neighborhood has also become a food destination, which is concerning restaurant owners.

"Especially late June, through July, August -- that's probably our busiest time of the year, yeah it is gonna be rough," said co-owner of Wen Wen Andy Chuang.

He says 80% of his customers come from outside neighborhoods.

"Worried, because we're located in Greenpoint," Chuang said. "Like everybody knows that people do travel here to go to restaurants and to enjoy their time here. Have no train, that's the only train that goes through here."

The G train is a lifeline for residents of the neighborhood.

"I don't know how anybody's gonna get around, when they do the shuttle buses it's not enough, especially during rush hour," said rider William Haas.

The shutdown will also occur just as congestion pricing will be in effect, and some riders are concerned the double whammy will add to the pain.

Councilmember Lincoln Restler is asking the MTA to consider an alternate plan, like it did to avoid the L-pocalypse.

"The MTA should be considering nighttime closures, weekend closures, so that we don't have full extensive 24/7 multiweek shutdowns that can really be harmful the local economy," Restler said.

An MTA spokesperson says this is a proposed plan and it will engage with communities across the G line to ensure there is as little disruption as possible.

Riders Alliance Policy & Communications Director Danny Pearlstein said:

"Brooklyn and Queens riders need a robust public transit alternative when G train service is suspended for signal upgrades. Like for the planned L train shutdown, which created the 14th Street busway, City Hall must work with the MTA to make bus service in the affected neighborhoods as fast, frequent, and reliable as possible. Signal upgrades, the centerpiece of the MTA capital program and supported by congestion pricing, are the linchpin of the modern, reliable subway New Yorkers deserve. Much better bus service can cut the inconvenience from construction if the Adams administration takes responsibility and participates fully in the contingency plan."

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