When the MTA announced that the G train extension—put in place a few years ago at the start of the Culver Viaduct rehab project—might not be permanent, residents of Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, and Kensington were pissed. The five additional stops extend the G train from Smith-9th Street station to Church Avenue station, creating a link between the R and G at 4th-9th Street and generally making life better, transportation-wise, for a chunk of people without a ton of train options. The extension was originally presented a permanent change, but now the MTA claims they may not have the budget to keep the additional five stops on the route.
Multiple save the G petitions have been created in protest, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio started the Five Stop Fan Club, which argues that the G extension helps local businesses. As a resident of the area, I personally feel like two years of the train not going to my station with no shuttle buses and no decrease in my fare has earned me the right to a few MTA dollars.
Members of the Kensington/Windsor Terrace yahoo group are suggesting a new tactic: arguing that the extension isn’t an extension at all, but a restoration of service. According to an MTA map from the 70’s, the G train used to run all the way to Church. This 1974 Map shows the G in its previous “extension,” while by 1978 it has been trimmed back to Smith-9th.
Of course, nearly all the train routes have changed since the 70’s, and some of those changes make a lot of sense given ridership patterns and budget realities. Still, historical precedent is now on our side. Don’t call it an extension: restore the G train to its former glory!