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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3 Responses
  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.

  2. Eli Dardis Reply

    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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