1:55 pm Jul. 16, 2012
In advance of next year's fare hikes, M.T.A. chief Joe Lhota is considering softening the blow.
Today, the Daily News' Pete Donahue reported that M.T.A. officials "plan to make permanent a popular expansion of the G train in Brooklyn."
The M.T.A. added five stops to the G train in 2009 to compensate riders for service cuts tied to its work on the Culver Viaduct.
That expansion has proven popular, giving Greenpoint residents a one-seat ride to their friends in Park Slope, and vice versa.
With that construction nearing completion, residents have been fretting about the imminent loss of the service.
And politicians, including Williamsburg district leader Lincoln Restler, councilman Steve Levin, public advocate and aspiring mayor Bill de Blasio, and his allies at the Working Family Party, have been lobbying for that line to be made permanent.
Though a source at the M.T.A. cautioned Capital that this is not yet a done deal and analysis of the service expansion continues, supporters of the move are claiming a win.
"We’re on the verge of a victory for straphangers and small businesses who depend on the G train," de Blasio wrote in an email to supporters.
"The M.T.A. understood just how popular and beloved and relied on the G train is by so many Brooklynites thanks to the extensive organizing that we did in support of the G train extension," said Restler.
The G train is also expected to be just one in a number of service restorations, timed, conveniently, to offset some of the public anger over impending fare hikes. Next year, the riding public will bear a 7.5 percent hike, followed by another one in 2015.
The fact that riders are paying more and getting less has been a common refrain among transportation advocates.
The M.T.A.'s relatively new chairman, Joe Lhota, has made it his goal to enhance the image of the M.T.A., in the belief that only when voters and the politicians who represent them hold the transit agency in higher regard will they be willing to take steps to bolster the struggling authority's finances.
These new service restorations, if they pan out, should help.
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