You are reading

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.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
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”.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Gunman who fired shots at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City remains at large: NYPD

Police from the 114th Precinct in Astoria and PSA 9 are continuing their search for a gunman who allegedly opened fire at the Ravenswood Houses in Long Island City last month.

The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 18, when officers responded to a 911 call and a ShotSpotter activation for multiple shots fired at 21-25 35 Ave. at the Ravenswood Houses NYCHA complex just after 2 a.m., according to authorities.

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.