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More Outages for Sandy Repairs Await G Train Riders in Brooklyn and Queens

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TWC News: More Outages for Sandy Repairs Await G Train Riders in Brooklyn and Queens
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Last summer, some Brooklyn and Queens G train riders got a taste of what awaits them in just a few months, when big service interruptions return to that line and will be a lot tougher than last summer's outage. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

Think riders on the G had it bad last year, when that line didn't run between Brooklyn and Queens for 12 weekends?

"It was rough," said one commuter. "I just switched to riding my bicycle. When it rained, I took the shuttle. No, it was massively inconvenient."

Then get ready for this summer, when they'll endure five weeks with no service at all between the boroughs, as crews finish repairing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in the tube that links Court Square in Long Island City to Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint. That's scheduled to go from July 26 to September 1.

"Wow, yeah. I don't know what I'm going to do to get to work," said one commuter.

Riders will have to take shuttle buses. They're supposed to run every two minutes at peak periods to connect to other subway lines. At other times, they'll run every five to 10 minutes.

The shutdown is the last big step in rebuilding a subway tube whose equipment was rotted by saltwater that rushed in during Hurricane Sandy.

"We've repaired power cables, communication cables, tracks, third rails, ducts, but so much more needs to be done in terms of that infrastructure, but other things like ventilation, other communication outlets that we need to fix," said Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesperson Kevin Ortiz.

The MTA said it's doing the repairs at the time when ridership is lowest on the G, which is the second-fastest-growing line in the system.

State Senator Daniel Squadron has called a Thursday night town hall meeting with transit officials so riders can push for more service during the shutdown.

"We know that we need to do better than we did last year," Squadron said. "And we now have weekdays, which means for those businesses, for those commuters, it's not just a weekend inconvenience. It's a matter of their pockets and their ability to earn a living."

"We'll be able to hear what their plan is, and they'll be able to hear from us," said Connor Mealy of Riders Alliance. "I know we wanted to push for some other city services, like Citibike. That may be outside the MTA's control, but it's good that people are listening and that we're talking to the MTA."

The G train town hall is set to start at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Polish and Slavic Center in Greenpoint.

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