03/06/2012 11:08 am ET

G Train Extension Provokes Campaign To Save 'Brooklyn Local' Service From MTA Cutbacks

Brooklynites are up in arms over the MTA's consideration to cut off the G train's extended service to Church Avenue, a cutback that will eliminate what residents are deeming as the "lifeline" to many Brooklyn neighborhoods that currently include Park Slope and Fort Greene.

The planned, four-year extension to five stations began in July 2009 and started service in Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, and Kensington to accomodate work along the F train.

As the only line that does not run through Manhattan, the G train's extended service allowed locals to avoid Manhattan transfers and longer commutes in order to travel within Brooklyn, linking neighborhoods that otherwise would be difficult to reach.

With repairs slowly but surely approaching completion, the agency is considering returning the line's original terminus to Smith-Ninth Streets, a change that many Brooklyn residents are criticizing as a step backwards. In light of the looming threat to the popular service, straphangers have organized an online petition demanding the agency preserve the train's route.

District Leader Lincoln Restler began the petition and described the efforts, "We’re not going to take this lying down. At a time when the MTA is hiking costs and cutting service, the G train extension is the one silver lining."

As of Tuesday morning, the petition has already rallied 921 out of 1,000 signatures.

The L Magazine urged the MTA to cease its Manhattan-focused thinking, "In recent years, however, New Yorkers have begun to bypass Manhattan entirely, traveling, say, from one Brooklyn neighborhood to another...These days, the MTA should be looking to expand such non-Manhattan-centric interborough travel-not restrict it."

One frustrated petitioner said, "The G service was already cut off in many areas of Queens-do NOT let the same happen in Brooklyn! It's the only line we have left that connects us all without the burden of going through Manhattan."

If you'd like to add your name to the petition, click here.