Home Asides Queens commuters growing impatient over Court Sq. transfer

Queens commuters growing impatient over Court Sq. transfer

by Benjamin Kabak

The new transfer between the E, M, G and 7 trains at Court Square was supposed to open in February. In March, the MTA renamed the 23rd St.-Ely Ave. station in anticipation of an April opening. Now, as May 2 is upon us, the transfer remains completed but closed as Citi Corp., the owner of the building through which the new transfer runs, and the MTA have failed to come to terms on a Memorandum of Understanding that would dictate the use of the space. It is a bureaucratic mess.

In the Queens Chronicle this week, Elizabeth Daly delves into the conflict over the transfer. She speaks with antsy commuters who have waited years for an enclosed escalator transfer and rehashes the vague details surrounding the conflict between Citi and the MTA. While the authority claims the entrance will open this spring, local politicians are annoyed. “It’s already a year late,” State Sen. Michael Gianaris said. “We shouldn’t let bureaucratic inertia slow down infrastructure improvement.”

Ultimately, this is a tale of the conflict between the MTA’s work and private interests at its finest. Citi is apparently hesitant to agree to certain obligations over entrance maintenance to which the MTA asks all of its real estate developers to adhere. One day, a transfer will open. One day.

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20 comments

Glenn May 2, 2011 - 6:37 pm

A correction and some clarifications:

This transfer was originally scheduled to open in February *2010*, according to signs posted at the station when work commenced.

Later signs pushed back the date of completion to November 2010, and included several “milestone dates,” including, for example: “Reopening of the G Train Stair on 45th Road and Jackson Avenue: January 2010” and “Completion of New Street Stair and NE Elevator: May 2010.”

When the November 2010 date was missed, it was then reported that the transfer would open in mid-February 2011. Then mid-March 2011. Now “later this spring,” per the Queens Chronicle article. I guess that means anytime between now and June 21st.

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AlexB May 2, 2011 - 6:59 pm

Certainly the details of who bears maintenance costs were worked out before they started construction, no? Is one party now trying to change the terms? This is so bizarre and frustrating.

The current transfer is so obnoxious, making you get out, walk half a block and cross the street. A simple escalator ride would speed it up by a couple minutes every time.

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Nathanael May 4, 2011 - 11:45 pm

What do you expect from a company like Citibank? They’ve been defrauding investors and customers for years now, of course they’re going to back out on a contract they agreed to sign….

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Frank B. May 2, 2011 - 8:17 pm

I’ve already seen maps on the trains themselves which show the IND Concourse Line and the IRT Flushing Line Stops as one Station, with a connection to the E and M at 23rd St – Court Sq.

I realize handicap access is important, but for crying out loud, just open one staircase!

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Kid Twist May 3, 2011 - 9:43 am

They’re connecting the Concourse Line to the Flushing Line? No wonder it’s taking so long! j/k

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ferryboi May 3, 2011 - 10:14 am

They have to. It’s a bitch of a walk between the Grand Concourse and LI City!

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Jerrold May 3, 2011 - 11:02 am

He must have meant to say the Crosstown Line, which is what it was called before it became the GG, and then the G.

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Eric May 2, 2011 - 8:19 pm

Why don’t they reopen the closed street-level entrance, at least? Surely there can’t be any turf issue with that, seeing as how it was extant before the transfer construction started.

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Brian May 2, 2011 - 9:30 pm

If they renamed it CitiStation, I’m sure it’d be open by now.

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Alon Levy May 2, 2011 - 9:32 pm

Sure, let’s be like subway stations in North Korea and such, named after companies or slogans and not after where they’re located.

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Jerrold May 3, 2011 - 12:33 am

You mean SOUTH Korea, right?
Are there any private companies in North Korea?

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Alon Levy May 3, 2011 - 4:22 am

No, I actually mean North. Pyongyang has a subway, whose stations are named after propaganda slogans (and yes, I think naming random stations after companies that shell out money is equally bad for customer convenience, if perhaps not for the ability of the people to afford food). The subway in Seoul has stations named after streets, neighborhoods, and public monuments, just like in every other developed country.

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John May 3, 2011 - 9:35 am

For tourists, Citi Station is about as meaningful as Court Square. And for residents, they should know their way no matter what their station is called.

Alon Levy May 3, 2011 - 4:45 pm

And for people who live in the city but in a different neighborhood, there’s a big difference. Look, if they want to name a station after Citi, let it be the one next to a publicly known monument named after Citi. It’s not a big problem for this particular corporation.

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Jerrold May 3, 2011 - 12:39 am

I just noticed something else.
When I posted a message, the time stamp came up as 12:33 on May 3.
In other words, it’s Greenwich Mean Time.
Is that that the intended system now, or is that a glitch?
It’s not the most important thing, but I’m just curious.

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Jerrold May 3, 2011 - 11:04 am

OK, thanks for fixing it.

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Bill Reese May 3, 2011 - 1:23 am

Fair trade:

MTA forgoes naming rights to Mets-Willets Point, calls the station what it is, Citi Field-Willets Point…

In exchange, Citi ignores this whole land rights deal.

No one gets hurt, no one goes broke and we get a much-needed connector.

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Kevin May 3, 2011 - 2:29 am

I dont blame the Queens commuters, its very frustrating to see something built, and ready for use, but not being opened for several months. I was there just a few weeks ago, and things look tidy and ready to be opened. Not the first time we we’re given false promises.

When it does open though, I’ll miss the ability to be able to stop by that Quiznos or the nearby Deli’s to grab a bite while I transfer.

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Kai B May 3, 2011 - 3:32 am

It’s also interesting to note that Citi paid for the transfer itself:

The company will pay to have an escalator installed connecting the G and Number 7 lines. That escalator will enable passengers to walk underground between those lines, rather than having to walk outside as they do now.

http://www.siteselection.com/s.....ti0408.htm

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