With all the talk about renovations and alterations to the subway system in recent years, the MTA has always focused on the present and future. However, some of the most interesting and innovative ideas regarding transit can be taken from the subway’s extensive (114 year old!) history. Here is a list of 5 subway routes that should be brought back from the depths of the subway’s past.

1. G Train to Forest Hills-71st Avenue

The G train used to run all the way from Smith-9th Streets to Forest Hills-71st Avenue for quite a number of years before being cut back in Queens to Court Square in 2001 temporarily, and permanently in 2010 due to the MTA’s financial crisis. Since then, the growing populations in gentrified neighborhoods along the G line have greatly increased ridership and created a need for more connections to other growing areas, such as Jackson Heights and Forest Hills. By extending the route back to Forest Hills, the G can be more of a useful connection between Brooklyn and Queens, in addition to decreasing the amount of riders on the already packed Queens Boulevard lines. This idea has been brought up to the MTA since the original cut back, but was met with opposition due to concerns regarding track capacity.

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7 thoughts on “5 NYC Subway Routes That Should Be Brought Back

    1. The polo grounds shuttle ran on the Jarome Ave line (todays 4 line). The third Ave line went from second/third aves in Manhattan and up third Ave in the Bronx. Thus was the line that went to gun hill rd and had a spur to todays 2/5 lines on Westchester Ave

  1. The G Train (originally the GG Crosstown Line) was a requirement placed upon the city to gain approval to build the IND system. Political leaders were not, as they are today, concerned only about lines going to/from Manhattan. They cared about the constituents they served along that corridor and demanded that they be given local subway to support their neighborhoods – hence the zigs and zags of the line.

    Of the suggestions listed above, this is the only one that would NOT require major capital construction. The MTA’s claim that there isn’t enough headway capacity to restore the G to its original terminus in Forest Hills is a red herring. Look at the current headways and waits for service – they could if they tried (and cared) squeeze in a restored G Train.

    1. As a former Co ductor in those lines, I can confirm that 71St can not handle the extra trains. They could send the G to 179the St, but it will be delayed often with M and R trains terminating at 71st

      1. I appreciate your personal knowledge. Going to Jamaica-179 with some delays – which should be minimal during non-rush hour runs – is preferable to today’s “permanent delay” – no trains at all. The F trains, with a high frequency, manage to do just fine coming through Church Avenue with the G terminating there now.

        1. Well, the Church Ave set up is really different from 71St. G trains are only half a train with little people getting out at church Ave and has four relay tracks to turn G trains. 71St has four relay tracks as well but the frequency of M and R trains are higher, trains are full length and from personal experience, trains take longer to empty out at 71St. Especially with delays being more frequent emptying trains with many homeless either taking their time getting off the train or even refusing to leave the train.

  2. The case for the IND expansion is getting even stronger, especially given the snarls that are going to be caused by the L shutdown.

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