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Trainspotter

Does the ‘G’ Stand for Ghost?

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Does the ‘G’ Stand for Ghost?

By JEFF VANDAM

 

In theory, the G train, the lime green line that never enters Manhattan, runs for about 14 miles, from Red Hook, Brooklyn, all the way to Forest Hills, Queens. For residents of Jackson Heights who enjoy the cuisines of Carroll Gardens, for example, or for Greenpointers who shop at the Queens Center mall in Elmhurst, the G can be a straight shot, no train changes needed.

 

That route, however, is available solely on nights and weekends, the only times the G is scheduled to travel the second half of its appointed route, from Long Island City to Forest Hills. And as of May 24, the 14-mile span became even less real. New York City Transit posted signs saying the line’s route will be abbreviated on weekends “until further notice” because of track work along the Queens Boulevard line, where the G makes the second half of its normal run.

 

The announcement has those on the line’s seldom-served Queens half scratching their heads.

 

“It’s a ghost train,” said Michael Velazquez, a tall man leaving an R train at the Steinway Street station in Astoria last week, one of the stops the G train will now make even less frequently.

 

For Elizabeth Tibaduiza, a college student in forensic psychology who lives near the Steinway station, a fully functioning G is much better for Saturday nights out in Brooklyn than the three different trains, the R, E and the truncated G, she now takes to get there.

 

“The G would be helpful if it ever came by,” she said. “I’ve seen it, like, maybe one time here.”

 

James Anyansi, a spokesman for the transit agency, said that the track work will last at least through the summer.

 

“Anytime we have to do some work on the Queens Boulevard corridor and lose a track or two, the likelihood is that it’s the G that’s going to be dropped,” Mr. Anyansi said, adding that riders can change from the G to the E or R line at Court Square.

 

Still, riders remain miffed that the G is sometimes a phantom train. On astorians.com, a neighborhood bulletin board, a user named geowrld recently groused about the train’s prospects.

 

“Why is there a conspiracy to keep Queens and Bklyn apart?” the user wrote. “Maybe more people would ride the G train if it really existed.”

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During the morning rush hours it ain't so bad.

 

Like 2 years ago my car got totaled by a truck while it was parked by my job and I had to use the (G) for a week. It wasn't that bad during the morning hours a little worse in the evening.

 

I guess worse now. I haven't ridden it since then.

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