In 1925, Mayor Hylan proposed a subway line that would run in a loop between Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. The original proposal called for a track connection in Long Island City between the IND Crosstown Line (G Train) and the IND Queens Boulevard Line (E & F Train). The proposed loop would have branched off from the Queens Boulevard Line in Long Island City at 44th Drive and 21st Street, continued south to Schermerhorn Street in downtown Brooklyn, west to Lower Manhattan, north to Midtown via 6th Avenue and 8th Avenue, and then east to Long Island City via 53rd Street. Despite Hylan’s proposal, no track connection was ever built in Queens to allow for a subway route to operate circuitously between the three boroughs. As a result, the IND Crosstown Line (G Train) is presently the only subway line to not provide direct service to Manhattan.
As a modern adaptation of Mayor Hylan’s plan, ReThink Studio’s proposal mitigates the L Train shutdown by creating a semi-looping E Train service between Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. Instead of terminating at the World Trade Center, E Trains will continue along the A & C Line to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Station (Brooklyn), where it will branch off and continue north along the G Line to Court Square Station (Queens). With this new configuration, Brooklyn L Train passengers will have a two-seat ride to Manhattan by transferring onto an E Train at the Lorimer Street-Metropolitan Ave Station. Overlapping E & G Train service will also provide present G Train riders in Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant with a single-seat ride to Manhattan.
The problem with MTA’s proposal is that it will not be able handle the L Train’s current daily passenger load on its own. Shuttle buses and ferries are not nearly as convenient as subway service, and redirecting passengers onto existing nearby subway lines will lead to further over-crowding.