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G is a Go; L Still in Limbo

G train service returned to Greenpoint, on Wednesday, November 7th, ten days after being shut down for Hurricane Sandy. L train service in the neighborhood, however, will remain out of service for an undetermined amount of time.

The absence of the two lines since last week’s storm stranded North Brooklynites who rely on public transportation, especially with damage to the East River Ferry’s India Street pier eliminating that stop as well.

According to MTA spokesperson Marisa Baldeo, to get the G and L trains going again “workers had to work around the clock to pump the eight underwater tunnels which had been flooded during the storm.” These included the 14th Street tube under the East River and the Greenpoint tube under Newtown Creek.

Adding to the G’s delayed return was severe damage to its communication and signaling systems. While the needed repairs are being done, the train will operate at slower speeds through the tunnel [10 miles per hour]. To provide additional capacity, G trains will operate with 8 cars instead of 4. “But, of course,” Baleo warned, “we’re still advising customers to allow extra travel time and to expect delays and possible crowding.”

Bringing back the L has proved more difficult for the MTA. Currently the L is only offering service between Broadway Junction Station and Rockaway Parkway Station, making local stops. After draining the tunnels, workers had to wait for the tracks to dry out, and then inspect the tracks, switches and signals to ensure they’re in working order. At press time, they were still assessing the damages. Once completed and repaired, L service will resume.

Assemblyman Joe Lentol led the push for the MTA to get the G and L back running. “I am pleased Chairman Lhota and the MTA responded to my request to speed up restoring the G line,” he said. “I hope that this same effort will continue in the restoration of the L line, so the people of North Brooklyn can begin to resume their everyday lives.”

Until its return, commuters can take the nearby B60 bus, connecting with the J at the Marcy Avenue Station or the L at Rockaway Parkway Station.

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