In defense of the G train: Why hating the Brooklyn-Queens connector is wrong
It's probably the most-hated line in the entire subway system, but is that fair? One TONY writer says no.
Fri Aug 2 2013
No discussion of the worst subway lines can happen, it seems, without someone talking about how much they hate the G train. Actually, let's revise that—no discussion of the subway, period, can seemingly happen without someone complaining about how much the G sucks. The issues are always the same: It's slow! It doesn't run on a regular schedule! I never know where it's going to stop! It doesn't go into Manhattan!
And clearly, the MTA was listening: The agency undertook a review of the line earlier this year and made recommendations to improve service, including more trains during the evening rush hour. But still, the G hate continues. (Seriously—Google "I hate the G train" and you get more than 40,000,000 results.) But you know what, haters? You're wrong—and here's why.
1. The G train is slow
Sure, compared to express trains like the Q or the 4 and 5, the G moves at more of a—shall we say—leisurely pace. But were you really expecting speedy service on a local train anyway? Take this opportunity to chill out, relax, maybe gather your thoughts a bit. We don't need to rush all the time. (Also, you want to talk about slow? We only take the R when we're trying to finish a magazine article. Which is precisely why it's going to be disrupted for more than a year.)
2. The G train doesn't actually go anywhere
If anything, we wish the G went deeper into Brooklyn and Queens (because getting from Astoria to anywhere but midtown is a hassle). There are plenty of easy transfer points (Hoyt–Schermerhorn, Court Sq, anywhere along the Culver Viaduct), so we're guessing the only people who think this is true are super lazy.
3. The G train stops at weird points and I have to run to catch it
Okay, fine, we'll give you this one. There are some things you just can't refute, and the G-train sprint is one of them.
4. The G train never runs on time
We can tell you from experience that this complaint simply isn't true, but we'll let the MTA do it instead: According to its recent review of the line, the G has "historically performed better than the average line in the system." (Hurricane Sandy threw a wrench into this, but really, can you hold that against the G?) The G typically sticks to its regular schedule—trains come every eight to ten minutes—and we respect that reliability.
5. The G train is too crowded
Ridership on the G did indeed increase substantially in the past few years, but it's no worse than any other train during rush hour. But generally, it's not as crowded as other trains—try getting on the G at Metropolitan Ave versus the L at Lorimer St during the morning rush, and tell us which one will have you standing in some dude's armpit for the whole ride. We're guessing it'd be the latter.
6. The G train made it too hard for me to date someone that lives along the line
We're honestly not sure how anyone who truly believes this can successfully live in New York; we can think of literally 100 things you encounter on a daily basis that are far more soul-crushing than riding the G train.
All right, readers, we made our case. What do you think? Do you hate the G? Love it as much as we do? Do you live in Manhattan, the Bronx or Staten Island and just don't give a crap?
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Senior Editor: Amy Plitt (@plitter)
Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)