G Train Extension May Be Permanent

Straphangers may, for once, get what they want from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

The G train extension from Smith St-9th Ave to Church Avenue will become permanent, according to a report from the New York Daily News, which cited sources in the MTA as stating that the current MTA budget draft includes “rider-friendly initiatives” that restores some bus and subway service throughout Brooklyn and the Bronx.

The extension was added in 2009 when the MTA began major construction in the area, specifically on the Culver Viaduct, temporarily closing the Smith-9th Streets stop and closing a spare F-line track that had been used to turn the G train around for its return trip.

The additional five stops – at 4th Ave-9th Street, 7th Avenue, 15th St-Prospect Park, Fort Hamilton Parkway, and Church Avenue – were enthusiastically welcomed by residents and business owners of Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Kensington, who had until then relied only on F-line service.

It was in these communities that the cries of protest came early this year when the MTA announced that construction would wrap up by the end of this year or early next year and the extension would be taken away.

Joining their calls to make the extension permanent were local officials such as Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Daniel Squadron, and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who launched 5StopFanClub.com in March, 2012, as an outlet for neighbors and business owners to voice their concerns.

“It’s hard to remember the last time we had good news about transit in Brooklyn,” said de Blasio in a statement. “Our message to the MTA was simple: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It looks like we’ve been heard. Keeping these extra five stops is a huge win for commuters and businesses.”

Celebrations may be premature, though, as the MTA budget is not due to be announced until tomorrow, Tuesday, July 17.

The MTA did not respond to a request for comment as of press time, and several local elected officials said they are awaiting official word.

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