MTA Plans To Reopen Subway Entrances

The number of days to the inevitable L Train shutdown are getting shorter & shorter. As they do, riders & local officials continue to question how the MTA is going to handle it.

One idea being highly suggested is to reopen subway entrances at a number of stations that will see an increase in service. This idea is something that NYC Councilman Rafael Espinal mentioned in a letter he penned to the agency earlier this month. Vincent Barone of AMNY has more:

When the L train shutdown hits Brooklyn, most displaced riders are expected to flock to other subway lines. However, elected officials and experts are questioning whether already packed stations can accommodate larger crowds.

There are more than a dozen closed stairways and entrances to stations on or around the L line in Williamsburg, as well as entrance points farther east in Brooklyn — many of which were shut down decades ago because of security issues, when ridership was lower and crime was higher, or as a way to save money by staffing fewer station agents.

With the L shutdown approaching, and after huge growth in surrounding neighborhoods, some of those access points should be reopened to ease the crush of commuters and improve service, experts and elected officials say.

The MTA plans to tackle some of them.

As part of its larger service plan for the 2019 shutdown, which will shutter L service to and through Manhattan, the MTA plans to boost service on nearby lines and reopen several long-closed entrances to Brooklyn stations that are expected to see upticks in ridership: the Metropolitan Avenue and Hewes Avenue stations.

About 225,000 commuters rely on the L each day to get between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Moving that many people on other lines will require more reopenings, according to Councilman Rafael Espinal, who represents neighborhoods including Bushwick, Brownsville and East New York. He’s penned a letter to the MTA, dated Jan. 8, requesting that it also reopen several more closed entrances, including the Halsey Street L station and Gates Avenue, Kosciuszko Street and Chauncey Street stations of the J, M and Z lines.

“This will help cut down travel time for New Yorkers walking to the train station and make sure the entrances aren’t over crowded with the new demand and new density we’re seeing in Bushwick and East New York while also improving the overall quality of live in the neighborhoods,” Espinal said. “We will see L train riders walk from the L train stations over to the J in the outer parts of the borough. This is way for all riders to be treated the same along the J line.”

Shams Tarek, an MTA spokesman, said that in total the agency expects to reopen or expand more than 24 station staircases, though exact details on those plans are unclear. He said the agency will be refining and tweaking its plan in the coming weeks and will consider feedback from upcoming public meetings.

“The MTA is committed to making sure that customers are able to move as easily as possible during the Canarsie Tunnel repairs,” Tarek said in a statement. “Public input from those and other meetings will help inform the final details of the mitigation plans that go into effect in 2019.”

Click here for the complete report.

I am glad the agency is already going to implement such an idea as it makes complete sense to do so considering the guaranteed increase that will come to the G Train J Train M Train Z Train lines during the shutdown. Hopefully after it is all said & done, they will continue to keep these entrances open as it would make the access to riders much easier.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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