The 12-weekend-long G train shutdown scheduled for this summer could end up being somewhat of a blessing in disguise for Long Island City and Greenpoint commuters. Community leaders in Queens and Brooklyn have been rallying for the Citi Bike system to expand to those areas in order to alleviate the lack of transportation while the G train tunnel is under repair, and it seems like their efforts may be rewarded. Citi Bike had originally planned to open stations in these neighborhoods by May, but was unable to due to flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy. Now it looks like the MTA could step in and provide some or all of the extra funds needed to get the blue bikes rolling into the two nabes, and possibly before the G train goes out of commission.
Long Island City and Greenpoint were supposed to be part of the first wave of Citi Bike stations to go up but that plan was foiled by equipment damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. As you can imagine, people in the two neighborhoods were none too happy about that, and were even more disgruntled to find out that they’d be losing G line service for 12 weekends this summer.
According to the Daily News, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and other officials are currently in talks about accelerating Citi Bike expansion to LIC and GP in light of the fact that some of those areas rely almost solely on the G train to get around. There is also a possibility that the MTA may be funding all or some of the project, if it does get approved.
The great G train shutdown of 2013 will see 3 stations – Greenpoint Avenue, 21st Street, and Court Square – close for 12 weekends in a row starting in July. The closure will be due to maintenance to the subway tunnel under Newtown Creek, which was damaged during Sandy. Officials also say they’ll need to close the three stations again in 2014 (this time 24/7, weekends and weekdays, for a five-week period). The MTA will be providing shuttle buses to the affected areas this summer but the addition of Citi Bikes would surely make an even bigger difference in turning commuter frowns upside-down.