Update 11/3 3:30:The MTA just provided an explanation for not even the partial restoration of G service. It essentially amounts to low ridership.
Update 11/1 8:09: We finally sort of found out how it is the G train flooded even though it does not go under the East River. Currently, the section of the train running under Newtown Creek is full of water (between the oil, the Superfund sites, and now this, that creek is just the worst).
It was not clear how the water got there, whether it came in due to flooding along the creek in Greenpoint and Long Island City or elsewhere in the system. Water flows downhill, after all, and this is the lowest point in the system, so it could have been flooding anywhere, through the air vents or entrances or other entry points, and this is simply where the water wound up.
It has yet to be decided when the tunnel will be pumped out–after all, this is one of the lowest-density lines, and thus less of a priority, especially since it does not travel into the central business districts in Manhattan. It was also not clear whether the line would begin to run in sections or see a partial restoration of service, as has happened with other subway lines thus far.
Original Post: It’s a question we’ve been getting a lot lately (but we’re biased North Brooklynites, so…). All anyone has been hearing and thinking about, quite understandably, is the flooded East River tunnels, which the G does not touch. Meanwhile, the F and N in Queens are running fine into Manhattan, so there are tunnels that have remained dry, though other outer borough lines are also out of commission, like the No. 7. Not that that means this is an issue with elevated lines, because the J is running, albeit only to Hewes Street.
So far, the only explanation the MTA has been able to give is that there is flooding in the G tubes. A spokesman could not say where, or how the water got in, but as soon as we know that, we will update you.
Until then, Brooklynites could turn to the East River Ferries, which are up and running again under a modified schedule starting this morning, though the connection is mainly to Manhattan, not within Brooklyn—for that, you will probably have to rely on buses, which have been taking hours to get most places, but that is quite understandable given the extraordinary circumstances.
Per New York Waterway, the ferry’s operator:
The ferries will run on two modified routes: a northern loop, making stops at North Williamsburg, Long Island City, and East 34th Street; and a southern loop, making stops at North Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO, and Wall Street/Pier 11. There will be free transfers at North Williamsburg. In addition, NY Waterway will continue to operate its free bus service from E34thStreet on a limited schedule throughout the day.
The ferries running on the northern loop will carry 149 passengers and arrive at each stop in 15-minute intervals, while the ferries on the southern loop will carry 399 passengers and arrive at each stop in 30-minute intervals. This schedule will allow the ferries to carry the greatest number of passengers.
The first ferries, for both routes, will leave from North Williamsburg at approximately 7 a.m., and the last ferries will leave from E 34th Street and Wall Street/Pier 11 at approximately 6 p.m.
Ferry stops in Greenpoint and South Williamsburg will remain closed until further notice, as damage from Hurricane Sandy continues to be assessed.
Due to damage to ticketing equipment, NY Waterway will be selling tickets on-board the ferry, available for purchase by cash only.
Correction: A previous version of this post said the Q was running from Queens. We meant the N train, from Astoria. The Observer regrets the error. Also, to clarify, the F is not running into Manhattan from Brooklyn, only Queens