standard Rally Held to Keep Free Transfer for G, J and M Train Riders

Commuting Cheaper, Faster for Thousands; Set to Expire Next Week
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State Sen. Daniel Squadron led the Press Conference (Sen. Sqadron’s Office)

A rally held this morning intends to make a free transfer between the G, J and M train stations permanent.

Riders Alliance, Senator Daniel Squadron, and a host of elected gathered in front of the Broadway “G” train in Williamsburg to support an attempt to keep the soon-to-expire accomodation alive.

“One silver lining to the G train outage has been the free transfer to the J/M line,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron. “Making it permanent is an affordable way to improve service and respond to riders.”

The free transfer, temporarily implemented while the G train tunnel undergoes construction, is set to expire next week.  A Full Line Review requested by State Senators Squadron and Dilan in 2013 found that about 2,300 riders transferred daily between the G and J/M trains, even before construction began on the G train tunnel.  People with pay-per-ride Metrocards have to pay twice to make that transfer under normal circumstances.

“Keeping the transfer in place could help thousands of riders every day, especially low-income riders who rely on pay-per-ride Metrocards,” said Rebecca Bailin, senior organizer at the Riders Alliance. “It’s not just an easy fix; it’s also good policy.”

Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna, Senator Martin Dilan, Council Member Stephen Levin, and representatives from the office of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez also attended or expressed support for the measure.

“With limited transportation options, it is important that we make it as easy and affordable for New Yorkers to get where they need to go and making this free transfer permanent is an important step in accomplishing that,” said Council Member Stephen Levin.

The G train at Broadway is less than a three minute walk from the J and M at Lorimer. The proposed transfer is an affordable way to provide better connectivity, officials claim, because no construction or physical infrastructure would be required; the MTA would just have to keep the Metrocard readers programmed to accept free transfers.

The MTA estimated last year that they would lose $770,000 in fares from pay-per-ride riders if the change is implemented. At the same time, the figure could be seen as a convenience and savings to cash-strapped riders.

“This free transfer really matters to me,” said David Estrada, a Riders Alliance member who lives off the G train in Brooklyn. “I’m unemployed at the moment and I don’t have a monthly MetroCard.”

Andrea Smith, a Riders Alliance member who lives in Brooklyn off of the Alabama Avenue stop on the J train, said, “I transfer from the J to the G train at this stop all the time. Transfering from the J to the G train is the easiest way for me to get around. I want this free transfer to be permanent because it saves me time and money when I’m traveling”