The G train, also known as the Brooklyn local, has been gaining riders at a rate faster than any other subway line in New York City. Data from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reveals that in 2012 the G gained 2,000 users each weekday, a rise of 4.2 percent, making other train routes in town look practically unused.
This information has prompted commuters using the G train to help push their case that the route needs to be upgraded further. Advocates for this route recently won a difficult battle to extend the line by five stops into Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Kensington on a permanent basis.
“The MTA’s new numbers show what G train riders already know. These trains are overcrowded” said John Raskin, leader of subway user advocacy group Riders Alliance. “We need more of them.”
Today the G train takes people from North Brooklyn to Brownstone Brooklyn, but it is not always a pleasant ride.
“It can be really crowded when the service is irregular, and that happens a lot” said Alexis Saba, who lives off the Clinton-Washington stop and takes the train often.
Last year commuters noisily advocated for improvements in the service on the G line. They complained of overcrowding, long waits, and inadequate signage. Politicians, commuters, and activist groups including the Riders Alliance, all joined together to demand change.
At first the MTA ignored the demands, saying that service on the G line was fine and low-ridership did not necessitate more trains or better service. In January, however, the MTA changed directions and said they will think about making changes to the route. Last February the MTA began a review of the line which they hope to be completed by this summer.
Spokesman for the MTA, Kevin Ortiz, said that the agency will take into consideration the increase in ridership, but that is not their only consideration when deciding on making changes to any one particular route.
“We will of course use the latest ridership figures as we assess G line service, but total ridership is only one of the elements we use to determine levels of service” said Ortiz. “The last time we looked at ridership trends, the level of service on the G was sufficient, but we will continue to analyze.”