For an unbelievable five weeks starting last Friday, New York City's G Train, the only direct subway route between Brooklyn and Queens, will not run between the two boroughs. How will you cope?
The G train is like a short sandwich. A foot-long sub that you're only given half of. The links in a chain of sausages that someone pulled away from the sausage-maker too soon. The "G train hustle" sends riders into a flurry when they see the train approaching, having to catch up to that one hot dog link that is too far away to grasp. This train is only four cars long.
But it's a delicious, convenient sandwich to anyone who needs to get to Queens or midtown Manhattan from Brooklyn. Right now, though, if you want to get north of Nassau Ave., you're going to have to hail a green cab. Or walk.
The cause of the shutdown is the MTA's ongoing effort to fix the G train's tunnel, which was damaged during Superstorm Sandy. The construction had disturbed the lives of G train riders on twelve weekends through 2013, resulting in a laundry list of fixes the MTA chronicled extensively, including a fix to the G Train tubes. The tubes had been majorly damaged from the storm.
But remember, as with any temporary interruption to the delicate infrastructure of our lives as New Yorkers, there is always a bright side. You just have to dig in the hot trash to find it.
The Shuttle Bus Ain't So Bad
When else do you get to ride any MTA bus for free? Sure, the shuttles are crowded, and appear to be overseen by Bane, but if you think of it as a free bus ride, that might be the push that gets you through the misery. The last free bus ride you got was in middle school and man, weren't those the days?
You Can Show Up to Work Late, Probably
Gawker Media would never encourage you to be tardy to your job, but the G train's current problems are an understandable excuse for lateness. Practice these sample scripts on the shuttle bus before you arrive at Your Job:
EMPLOYEE: Bossman, so sorry I'm late! The G train is mad fucked.
BOSS: [slaps employee's hand] No problem, dude! Welcome to your work at FedEx Office copy center! Be late whenever you want! [The boss hands the employee a bag of candy]
EMPLOYEE: Hey, big kahuna! I know I'm about four hours late, but that damn G train. It sure is fucking with my mojo to get to work on time.
BOSS: You're late! You know how I feel about people who are late!
EMPLOYEE: [sad face] I know . . .
BOSS: That's right—I give them a HUGE RAISE. You should be ashamed. Here's a ton of cash.
EMPLOYEE: $$$$$ [Employee and boss turn simultaneously and wink]
Teach Your Ignorant Manhattan Friends About Transport
Most Manhattanites, living in the neighborhoods of Justoffthesixtrain and Ohacabwontcostthatmuchfromhere, have never had reason to ride the G train. Some of them may not even know it exists!
Well, now that you're going to have to take the Q to get to Queens from Brooklyn, you can pop by their apartments and let them know. Show up at their apartments and give them some short speeches about public transport. Do they know the differences between the BMT and the IRT? Do they know what the G used to be called? Make them ride the shuttle bus with you (and tell them how fun it is!). Stay at their apartments. Squatters rights! You can probably just move in!
Write Down All Your Sick Burns on the MTA
Whether you spend all day wondering if the transportation authority is pocketing at least an extra $34 of your FedEx Office copy center paycheck every time they up the price of a monthly Metrocard, or whether you can hardly believe the number of delays you're experiencing in one ten-minute train ride, you hate the MTA. Get a Moleskine at The Strand and start jotting down burns while you wait at least two hours for the shuttle bus.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority? More like Most Terrible Anus.
I'd rather eat a sandwich at Subway than ride the NYC subway.
That prior burn was so bad that it was almost as bad as the NYC subway.
What do you think the G in G train stands for? Garbage?
That prior burn was even worse than the worst one, which is like the same relative quality of shittiness between the NYC subway and the G train.
Philadelphia has a better public transportation system than New York. [Dayna—this one may be too harsh — Ed.]
Imagine What Five Weeks of Interrupted Service Should Yield
An interesting and foolish thing to do while your service is being interrupted in a lengthy way is to speculate what we're getting on the other end. Why don't we have a Willy Wonka-level imaginarium of stuff for us to fuck around with, like candy trees and a lake of chocolate? The last thing the subway needs is a stupid fixed tube. Dream big—like you live in Norway!
- A bar in every subway stop that serves one [free] piña colada for every minute the train is delayed.
- No more stairs. Only elevators.
- In fact, no more elevators. Only teleportation.
- While we're walking down that path, no more trains. Only cabs.
- Free Nathan's hot dogs every third Thursday of the month.
You could bike lol?
Enjoy Your Fellow New Yorkers' Misery
A cursory search on Twitter for "G Train" pulls up hundreds of entries on the crappiness of New York's most unreliable and most hated train. Since misery loves company, this search will be invaluable to you in the next five weeks. Consider framing them, if it helps.
Set A Weird Goal
Distract yourself from your new hellish commute with a self-imposed challenge:
- For the entirety of your train or shuttle bus ride, write out the full alphabet over and over but without the letter G. See how many times you can do it before you have to get off.
- Can you make your commute by only getting off the subway at stations where churros are offered?
- Never sit down once on the train in the five weeks you are inconvenienced.
- Alternatively, try to sit down every time you ride the train. This is much harder and potentially very rude. But you're up for anything! So why not?
- Learn how to Showtime before Showtime gets banned.
[Image by Jim Cooke]