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NYC Transit’s Subway Plan Involves Major Work and Closures on G Line

G train at Court Square (NewYork86 via Wikimedia Commons)

May 23, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

The head of the MTA’s New York City Transit division announced a sweeping 10-year plan today that aims to modernize the city’s entire subway system, including the G line, which could undergo major improvements—hand in hand with extended closures—in the next few years if the plan is approved.

The plan, prepared by NYCT President Andy Byford and titled “Fast Forward: The Plan to Modernize New York City Transit,” calls for a massive and rapid overhaul of the subway in a variety of areas, including installing modern signal systems on lines, growing the number of accessible stations, repairing stations, and beyond.

The plan is essentially divided in half to note what can be accomplished in the first five years and in the latter five. Among the highlights of the first five years, according to Byford, is the full installation of state-of-the-art signal systems on five lines, including the G, which runs from Court Square in Long Island City, through Greenpoint, and down to Kensington in Brooklyn.


The Communications-Based Train Control system, the modern signaling system that allows for faster and more frequent train service, would be installed from Court Square down to Hoyt-Schermerhorn on the G line in the blazing-fast timeframe of five years. The CBTC system has typically taken close to 10 years to install, and would require some major sacrifices to get done in half the time.

In addition, installing the modern signal system through the entire subway is currently expected to take over 40 years at today’s pace. Byford’s plan, however, would aim to do it in a quarter of the time.

Byford said during the MTA’s board meeting today that expediting the replacement of the old signal system is the most “transformative thing we can do to improve subway service.”

To get the system in place on the G line and the four other lines within five years, extended closures and service changes on nights and weekends would be needed for at least two and a half years, according to the plan. This approach, Byford says, would allow for work to be done quickly, rather than waiting for weekends to do it, as has been typically done. There would be no full-line closures on weekdays, however.

Along with installing the communications system, the plan calls for power systems to be upgraded to accommodate for a larger volume of trains that the modern signal system will bring, and making all cars in the subway fleet CBTC-equipped.

Other components of the plan include making more than 50 stations accessible, bringing more than 150 stations to a state-of-good-repair, introducing a new fare payment system, and adding nearly 3,000 new buses. A new station management model would also be introduced by the end of the year.

MTA Board members applauded Byford for his “bold” plan, but many asked about the price tag for the overhaul, which will need to be approved by the state to go forth. While no number was given at the presentation, multiple reports place the price tag between $19 and $37 billion.

If approved, the work and cost for the first five years of the plan will be included in the MTA’s 2020-2024 Capital Plan.

To view the full 75-page report, click here. A “microsite” for the plan is also available on the MTA’s website.

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Jennifer Juniper

It would be awesome if they would extend the G line up to Astoria so we can have more reasonable access to Brooklyn.

stan chaz

The G used to run to Steinway Street and beyond, to Forest Hills. It should be restored.
If you want better access from Astoria, then demand that the BQX light rail/trolley line be built along the waterfront of Queens & Brooklyn.
Finally, this CRTC technology is untested and may prove to be susceptible to hacking and malicious intent. The MTA may be looking at a quick fix using CRTC – but it’s one that has the potential to endanger riders if there if no foolproof way to avoid train collisions.


And let’s hope they have the sense not to mess witt the G train until AFTER the L train shutdown & chaos take place.


The G train used to run to Steinway, and beyond to Forest Hills.
It should be restored.
As for better access to Astoria and the whole Brooklyn-Queens waterfront, demand that the BQX light rail/trolley be built.
Finally, the CRTC technology is untested and may be subject to hacking and malicious intent. In searching for a quick fix the MTA may be endangering riders if there is no foolproof way to avoid train collisions with the new technology.


Stanchaz–The G to Astoria and Forest Hills I agree with you. The BQX trolley is a folly thought out by developers to get minimal transit to areas they want or have already developed. It is a real Estate barons dream. It would be of little use to most.


I am beginning to believe Mr. Byford has taken on a job he can’t handle in NYC transit. I gave him a chance and so far I don’t agree with anything he wants to do. He wants to getbrid of Metro Cards which is fine and dandy if there weren’t so many other important thing needed. Elevators and Escalators constantly break down even on new or newer stations. Bus Time is a joke when 5 buses come going the way you are not (Bus Bunching) and you wait forever for your bus to come. He wants to favor L train riders from Brooklyn and remove the moving walkways from Court Square E-M-G station when L train shuts down. They need more room in the tunnel to E-M trains. Just run the G to 71 ave. Continental Queens. Stop people from using the tunnel that you wish to remove the moving walkway from. The next stop is Queens Plaza which is a walk across the same platform from G to E no tunnel needed. The MTA don’t know what it is doing.


Escalators never break down. They just become stairs. Sorry for the convenience.


Oh how cute are “you”.
Tell that to the older people using the system, honey.
And they’ll tell you exactly, in no uncertain terms,
where to shove your “convenience”.


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