Improve the G Train Service Campaign

June 8th 2014

Senators Squadron and Dilan, Riders Alliance Hail the Increased G Train Service That Begins Tomorrow

MTA to Add 25% More Afternoon Rush Hour Service

Senators Squadron and Dilan’s Full-Line Review Led to Tomorrow’s Service Changes

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BROOKLYN, NY— State Senators Daniel Squadron and Martin Dilan and members of the Riders Alliance, a grassroots organization of subway and bus riders, today hailed a 25 percent increase in afternoon and evening G train service that starts tomorrow, Monday, June 9.  Better G train service will help up to 125,000 people who ride the G on an average weekday.

The MTA agreed to add this new G train service after undertaking a Full Line Review of the G train, as requested by State Senators Squadron and Dilan.  The review incorporated recommendations made by the Riders Alliance at the request of its members who ride the G.

“Today the G rarely means the beginning of a great ride,” said Senator Daniel Squadron. “These improvements will help commutes on this important line—and hopefully make lives a little easier for the riders who depend on it. I’m glad the MTA was responsive to our request for a full line review, and for implementing these important service upgrades. I look forward to continuing to work with the MTA, Riders Alliance, and my colleagues on continued service improvements and full-line reviews across the system.”

“Following the review, the need for improved service on the G train couldn’t have been more apparent,” said Martin Malavé Dilan. “Thankfully, increased service is soon to be a reality for those who rely on the G line. I commend Senator Squadron and the Riders Alliance for their efforts and the MTA for their partnership throughout the process.”

Alexis Saba, a Riders Alliance member who lives off of the Metropolitan Avenue G train station and pushed for better G train service, said, “Riders who have to suffer through crowded trains and irregular G train service finally get some relief.  This win shows that when riders speak up, the MTA will listen!  Thanks to Senator Squadron and Senator Dilan for advocating for better service, and thanks to the MTA for conducting a high-quality review and making changes that will help riders.”

John Blesso, a Riders Alliance member who lives off of the Broadway G train stop, said, “This is a solid first step by the MTA and hopefully many more will follow.  The G train is increasingly becoming a major artery for Brooklyn and Queens residents, and we need to make sure that service keeps up with ridership on the line.”

These changes are in addition to G train improvements the MTA agreed to make in response to last year’s Full Line Review, including:

  • Stopping the 4-car train at the same place on the platform at all times, making those stops convenient to staircases and benches, and marking where on the platform the train will stop with clear signage that reads “G train stops here”;

  • Adding public announcement systems at the 12 G train stations that currently lack them, allowing the MTA to update customers in real time when there are service changes or delays;

  • Making changes to train operations, such as letting trains wait at Court Square with all the doors open longer, allowing passengers to spread throughout the train rather than bunching together near the only open door; and

  • Running morning trains at more evenly spaced intervals, which will alleviate crowding on G train platforms and provide more predictable commutes for G train riders.

Senators Squadron and Dilan requested the G train Full Line Review in early 2013.  Riders Alliance members had drawn public attention to the problems addressed by the Full Line Review: first in a letter to the MTA, then in a petition campaign, a public rally and production of a tongue-in-cheek “G Train Working Plan” exercise video that highlighted the difficulties riders face when they rely on the G.


July 15, 2013

G Train Riders Win Big Improvements to G Service

MTA Review Proposes Adding 25% More Trains in Afternoon and Evening, Running Trains at Even Intervals to Reduce Crowding, and Marking on the Platform Where the Train Will Stop 

Riders Alliance Members Mark Big Wins In Campaign for Better G Service, 
Thank Senators Squadron and Dilan for Prompting Review

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BROOKLYN, NY—The Riders Alliance, a grassroots organization of transit riders that has been pushing for better G train service, praised a new set of recommendations released by MTA New York City Transit today for improvements to G train service.

The recommendations came from a Full Line Review of the G train, which had been requested by State Senators Daniel Squadron and Martin Dilan, as well as the Riders Alliance and community and transit advocates.

Riders Alliance members have been undertaking an extensive grassroots campaign to fix many of the problems addressed by today’s report.  They wrote to the MTA identifying the concerns, then launched a petition campaign, held a public rally, built support among elected officials and community organizations, and even released a tongue-in-cheek “G Train Workout Plan” exercise video that highlighted the daily experience of sprinting for the train and stretching across a crowded train car.

The MTA’s report, released today, recommended important improvements to G train service, including:

  • Increase G train service by 25% in the afternoon and evening, running more trains from approximately 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.;

  • Run trains at more even intervals, rather than having some bunched together and some with long waits in between;

  • Stop the 4-car train at the same place on the platform at all times and clearly mark where on the platform the train will stop, as well as rearrange benches and other station elements so that riders wait at the right place for the train;

  • Add public announcement systems at 12 G train stations that currently lack them, so the MTA can update customers in real time when there are service changes; and

  • Make changes to train operations, for example opening all doors earlier on trains waiting at Court Square, so that passengers can spread throughout the train instead of bunching together near the one open door.


The full report can be found on the MTA web site:


In addition to Senators Squadron and Dilan, who requested the Full Line Review, the Riders Alliance campaign for better G train service has been supported by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Borough President Marty Markowitz, Senator Eric Adams, Senator Michael Gianaris, Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Councilmember Letitia James, Councilmember Brad Lander, Councilmember Stephen Levin, Councilmember Diana Reyna, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, NYC Transit Riders Council, Regional Plan Association,  Straphangers Campaign, Transportation Alternatives, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, North Brooklyn Development Corporation, and St. Nicks Alliance.

The MTA’s recommendation to add 25% more trains in the afternoon and evening is contingent on funding being allocated by the MTA board—the MTA estimates it would cost $700,000 annually.  To address that and other concerns, the Riders Alliance is pushing for the MTA to use $40 million in unexpected state funding to restore and increase service, of which the recommended G train improvements would be only a small fraction.

John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance, said, “G train riders spoke and the MTA listened.  These changes mean less waiting, less crowding, better communication with passengers and no more guessing about where to stand on the platform.  To its credit, MTA New York City Transit conducted a careful and thorough review, considered input from riders, and came up with creative ideas to improve G train service.  I want to thank the MTA team that worked hard on this report, as well as State Senators Daniel Squadron and Martin Dilan for requesting the Full Line Review and pushing for better G train service.”

Tolani Adeboye, a member of the Riders Alliance who lives off the Myrtle-Willoughby stop on the G train, said, “I’m so happy that transit riders working together made a difference!  We rallied riders from all over the G train and worked with our elected officials together to speak with one voice for all G train riders.  The changes we won will significantly improve my daily commute: less time waiting on the platform at Hoyt-Schermerhorn, watching A and C trains come and go while I wait for the G to take me home.  My neighbors in Bedford-Stuyvesant were skeptical that we could actually win improvements in service, and I’m happy to be able to report back to them that because of our efforts, G train service is getting better for everyone.”

Alexis Saba, a member of the Riders Alliance who lives off the Clinton-Washington stop on the G train, said, “The MTA listened to riders and responded with a very comprehensive review of the G line!  This report directly reflects my daily struggles with the G train, from infrequent and irregular service to poor communication with riders when the trains are delayed.  The report’s recommendations will greatly improve my experience riding the G train, and I look forward to their being implemented as soon as possible!”


July 12, 2013

Riders Alliance Statement Regarding MTA Announcement Of Plans to Close R Train Tunnel for 14 Months and G Train Tunnel for 12 Weekends and 5 Consecutive Weeks

John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance, released the following statement today:

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“Even before today’s construction plans were announced, we were pushing for better R and G service because those trains are notoriously crowded and infrequent.

“Commuting during construction will be awful, not just on the R and G trains but on nearby lines that will suddenly be even more crowded with extra passengers.

“We understand that the MTA has to do what’s necessary to rebuild from Sandy, we know it will be painful, and we support the MTA doing this much-needed construction.  But shutting down a whole train line is an extraordinary move, and we want to guarantee the MTA is making extraordinary accommodations to serve riders while the tunnels are under repair.

“That could mean running extra trains on nearby lines or adding more buses in the affected neighborhoods.  Whatever it takes, we should do it; hundreds of thousands of commuters should not experience Sandy-like conditions every day for more than a year.”