Let’s talk about the G train, aardvark of the New York City subway system, the sole major line that doesn’t reach into Manhattan, and the train that Brooklynites love to hate for being too slow, too short, too often suspended and too little loved by the powers that be.
Except, maybe not! Programmer Alex Barkan set out recently to study service disruptions on a handful of subway lines, culling two years of MTA announcements from Twitter, and expressing service disruptions in a data visualization.
What he found? That the G train compared favorably to the F, B, L and Q trains: less likely to suffer service disruptions, skip stations or run in segments. And before you argue that those numbers are skewed because the G services fewer stations: Stop it. Mr. Barkan factored the number of stops along each line into calculations.
So why is the change so often derided? Mr. Barkan has some theories, touching on the late-night lifestyles of G train-riders, lack of convenient alternatives and long wait times. Also, this:
Some of the G train stops are packed with rats. An extra minute there is more excruciating compared to a station that merely smells like piss, or is perhaps outdoors.
Or it could be our urbane friends in neighborhoods from Carroll Gardens to Fort Green, Williamsburg and beyond, simple need to grow up, and come to grips that in this life, sometimes you just have to wait.