May
22

Yankee Stadium Metro-North stop ready to go

By

An Unveiled Sign

A new Metro-North stop and the Bronx’s first transit addition in decades will open tomorrow morning. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

Tomorrow morning shortly before 6 a.m., a Grand Central-bound Metro-North train on the Hudson line will make a stop at Yankees-E. 153rd St. stop. It will be the first train with passenger to stop at this new station, and it will usher in an era of increased transit accessibility for Yankee fans from Westchester and Connecticut.

Yesterday, I went up to the new station for its official dedication. Joining me at Grand Central for the ride up north were Jorge Posada, David Cone and Brian Cashman as well as one Michael Bloomberg.

The day was a congratulatory one for the MTA. They opened up the new station at Yankee Stadium on time and on budget. The agency known for its massive delays and cost overruns held down an aggressive timetable and a $91-million budget for a project that had to be managed around active train lines.

It took just 24 months to build and should help reduce traffic volume in and around the South Bronx during Yankee games. “It’s another alternative to taking the subway here,” the Mayor said during the ceremony “And the more alternatives you give, the fewer people will drive.”

Jorgie, Coney and Cashmoney

The trip up north started at Grand Central Terminal with a deadhead ride — a free train — to the new station. The new schedules claim it is a 16-minute ride from Grand Central to the Yankee Stadium stop, and they’re not kidding. It’s a fast, smooth ride that will make just one stop — at 125th St. — when it debuts on Saturday morning.

When we arrived at the station, the Yankees just stood there as city and MTA officials took over. The Mayor started off with a joke. While chatting with Brian Cashman in the VIP train car on the way up — I, by the way, was with the press in a different car — he offered to pitch for the Yanks. “I throw righty and not lefty,” he said. “They just don’t need another right-handed pitcher. So I guess I’m out of that job and will keep my old one.”

Bloomberg

After that, though, it was all business. Bloomberg praised the MTA for realizing the three-decade-old dream of building a station at Yankee Stadium and in the South Bronx. He stressed how the station will improve the quality of life for not just Yankee fans but for residents of the polluted and congested neighborhood. “It’s not just for Yankee Stadium; it’s for the entire South Bronx,” he said while trumpeting his long-term goals of getting cars off the road in New York City.

After Bloomberg finished up, a spate of speakers followed him. Elliot Sander, the outgoing MTA CEO and Executive Director, MTA Chair Dale Hemmerdinger and Metro-North President Howard Permut gave the agency spiel. New Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., trumped the stadium’s impact on the Bronx.

Jorge, Cashman and the Cops

The technicalities of the station are advanced, and the structure itself is a sight to behold. It is a state-of-the-art 10,000-square-foot, fully ADA-accessible facility. Officials estimated up to 10,000 passengers per day for Yankee games, and if they reach that goal, vehicular traffic around the stadium should decrease significantly. It features four tracks all ten cars in length and real-time train arrival boards.

From an engineering perspective, the MTA had to spread out four tracks of the Hudson Line to construct the extra-wide platforms. The agency had to snake them between the columns supporting the Major Deegan Expressway and Exterior Street. Additionally, Metro-North has activated a section of track one mile east of the stadium stop to ensure that Harlem and New Haven Line trains can make the stop during gamedays and still hook back up with their proper routes.

In terms of service, the station will see regularly hourly service along the Hudson Line, but on gamedays, service will be increased significantly. Trains from Grand Central will leave every 15-20 minutes, and either three or four additional trains from points north along the Hudson, New Haven and Harlem lines will pass through the station prior to games. Anyone who lives near a Metro-North line east of the Hudson now has little reason to drive to a game.

The fare scheme is too complicated to explain in detail because it depends upon point of origination. In general, tickets to the station from points north will cost either 75 cents (off-peak) or $1 (peak) more than it does to get to Manhattan. From Grand Central to Yankee Stadium, peak tickets will be $6.50 and off-peak $5 until the fares go up next month. It’s certainly an expensive, if fast and comfortable, alternative to the subway.

Metro-North will also accept the $3.50 City Tickets good for weekend and holiday travel with the New York City limits, and all monthly passes will be honored as well. To beat fare-beaters, customers must have a valid ticket to exit the station before a game and to access the platforms afterward.

In the end, it’s hard not to be excited about this station. It’s a big, modern station just a five- to eight-minute walk away from the new Yankee Stadium. It should be popular for years to come, and it will open for business on Saturday. So if you’re off to see the Phillies play the Yanks on Saturday afternoon, take the train and take comfort in the fact that, when push comes to shove, the MTA can build a new facility on time and on budget. It may not be as sexy as the Second Ave. Subway, but as Hemmerdinger noted, these smaller expansion projects are just as important to the future of transit in New York City as the big-ticket items are.



Categories : Bronx, Metro-North

11 Responses to “Yankee Stadium Metro-North stop ready to go”

  1. Peter says:

    Yet more public subsidies shovelled at the most lucrative sports franchise in the world

  2. Josh Karpoff says:

    While I’m usually totally deadset against giving any public monies to professional sports franchises for ANYTHING, this is project where it actually does benefit the broader community.

    First, getting people out of cars when they go to see a game (though who can afford to see a game at the new stadium?) is always a good thing. I’m sure everyone in the neighborhood will appreciate having several thousand less cars traveling through their neighborhood on game days.

    This station will help South Bronx residents to reverse commute up to Yonkers and other Metro-North stops outside of subway territory. Reverse commuting is one of the fastest growing demographics of Metro-North’s passenger base.

  3. Josh Karpoff says:

    This is the sort of station that should replace Metro-North’s hideous, useless, station at Croton-Harmon (which is my hometown). Croton-Harmon is an express stop on the Hudson Line, the termination point of local trains originating in GCT, a transfer point to Poughkipsee bound express trains and a stop for all northern bound Amtrak trains, including the Lake Shore Limited. Not to mention the location of their main train yard and repair shops.

    The platforms are too narrow, the layout makes no sense, the stairs are too steep, the elevators are horrible (I spent 20 minutes trapped in one and the emergency phone box only connected me to some random fax modem line).

    I genuinely believe that this sort of station is what should replace the existing station the next time a major renovation comes around.

  4. Kid Twist says:

    I work near Bryant Park, and on days when I’m running late and trying to get to a night game, this could be a great alternative to the subway. But most of the time I’ll just stick with the D train.

  5. Scott E says:

    I find it odd how different this is than the Mets-Willets Point (Shea Stadium) station on the LIRR. The Yankee stop is open all the time, the Mets stop is only open on game/event days (meanwhile, a wonderful Park-and-Ride/stadium parking lot is currently only used for the #7 train). CityTicket is valid for weekend Yankee games, but is not accepted for Mets games. The LIRR fare to Mets-Willets point is consistent with its Zone-3 location, while a MNR fare to Yankees-153rd from the north costs MORE than a trip to Manhattan, despite it being a shorter ride. I just can’t figure this out.

    I like the WPIX-11 ads though; it looks like they’ve taken the whole station!

  6. Mitch45 says:

    I read in today’s Post that the station has no restrooms for either men or women. The MTA defended this by explaining that there are restrooms on the trains so there is no need for restrooms at the station.

  7. Adam says:

    I think the reason for the Mets station closing during non-game time is that there’s nothing else there, whereas there are other things near Yankee Stadium. I do have a feeling that when Willets Point is finished with its development the Mets station will open full time (and as a Mets fan I hope they do).

    And I thought the Yankees hated it when people used mass transit… :P

    • Mitch45 says:

      There is a lot nearby, including Arthur Ashe Stadium, the Queens Theater and the Hall of Science. That station would be pretty handy for people to get easy access to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

  8. Ian W. says:

    Will the higher fares be in effect at all times, or only for game days? It seems unfair to me that locals who want to take the MNR to/from their neighborhood will have to pay a special fee for the privilege.

  9. paulb says:

    Did I read correctly that the Harlem and New Haven routes will serve the station? If yes, that’s seems significant. I was dubious about the project because I thought that only Hudson line trains would stop there, and it seemed a waste to spend all that $$ and leave game visitors who take those other Metro North lines out of the equation.

  10. Ani says:

    Why didn’t you guys build a stop for every day metro north users in the south bronx? Only for the majority of yankee fans is the reason why you guys built this metro north stop. For the whites who don’t live in the south bronx.

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