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In Push for Better G Train Service, Politicians Get on Board

By Meredith Hoffman | January 25, 2013 7:48am

WILLIAMSBURG — Elected officials are hopping aboard the grassroots movement to get better G train service in Queens and Brooklyn.

State Sens. Daniel Squadron and Martin Dilan are joining the group Riders Alliance in a rally Sunday at the Metropolitan Avenue station to call for more frequent trains and better communication with riders.

"As the neighborhoods surrounding the G train continue to grow, it's vital that their lifeline grow with them," Squadron said of the cross-Brooklyn train, which connects Greenpoint, Queens, Williamsburg, Cobble Hill and Park Slope.

He noted that the G train push followed several other successful campaigns for Brooklyn public transit improvements, including more frequent and consistent service on the L and F lines. 

"I'm looking forward to continuing to work together with the MTA, advocates like the Riders Alliance, my colleagues, and our community to improve service," Squadron said. "And I hope G train riders will come out on Sunday to make their voices heard!"

John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance, a grassroots group of subway and bus users citywide, said the political support will help build the momentum of an already fervent movement.

"Having our elected officials on board is a great step toward winning better G train service," Raskin said. "It's gratifying that our grassroots campaign has attracted the attention of so many powerful allies. Of course, the real value will be when we begin to win some of the service improvements we've been pushing for."

Riders Alliance collected more than 200 signatures in one afternoon alone this month on their petition for G train improvements. The petition calls for more frequent service, screens showing when the next train would arrive, and free transfers from the G to other trains at nearby stations. He said his group was still collecting petition signatures on their website, and added that the group had sent a recent letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority with ideas for improvements.

An MTA spokesman said the authority would consider the advocates' suggestions and would do what was possible given financial constraints.

"We welcome the interest of the Riders Alliance and will certainly work with them to accomplish what we can, given our resources and system-wide demands," said Kevin Ortiz, the MTA's spokesman. "It must be noted that we are working from a pool of finite resources and have to maintain a fair allocation of investment throughout the system."

For Brooklyn residents like Alison Owen, who rode the G to her Greenpoint home Thursday afternoon, a boost to the crucial line would alter her whole life's plans.

"I've been thinking about moving to a different neighborhood to get on a different train," said Owen, 37.

The rally will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. on the corner of Metropolitan and Union Avenues. More details can be found on the Riders Alliance website.