MTA aiming for shorter South Ferry repair timelineBy
With Staten Island representatives breathing down their necks, Transit officials yesterday pledged to reopen the 1 train’s South Ferry terminal station as soon as possible. Although formal plans have yet to be drawn up, New York City Transit President and current MTA Executive Director Thomas Prendergast said that he hopes to restore passenger service to the station before cosmetic and other infrastructure needs are fully addressed.
One day after Staten Island’s MTA Board representative Allen Cappelli called upon the authority to reopen the decommissioned (and also damaged) South Ferry loop, Prendergast placated the borough’s concerns. “There are ways to restore service before the work is completed,” he said.
Ken Paulsen of the Staten Island Advance had more:
The MTA’s interim head said the agency is not considering re-opening the “old” South Ferry station so it can focus on getting trains rolling in the new station ahead of the three-year timetable set for its reconstruction. Interim Executive Director Tom Prendergast told the Advance Wednesday that the MTA — with funding now in place — is working to restore basic subway service to the station, even if behind-the-scenes work needs to continue long afterwards…
No one is talking about an imminent return to service at the new South Ferry station, but he sees a similar dynamic at play [as the one that quickly repaired the Staten Island Rail Road]: Get the riders back on the trains as quickly as possible, before the cosmetic or behind-the-scenes work is completed.
Predergast said it would require a huge effort to re-open the decommissioned old station — and that would no doubt affect efforts to get trains back into the new station before 2016. The old station was shut down in 2009 when the new one opened, and there was never any consideration that it would be placed back in service, he said. Means of access have been altered or shut down. Significant rebuilding and construction work would be required to make it accessible once again to passengers. The bottom line: “It would divert resources away from how fast we could get the new South Ferry up and restored,” he said.
According to the Advance, Transit’s next steps is to “formalize its assessment and plan to rebuild South Ferry,” and with federal funds on hand, it can begin to move forward with that planning. There is, however, no real timetable for a return to service, and as far as I can tell, even a best-case scenario would involve numerous weekend diversions once service returns and significant work on the terminal even before that.