Sep
14

Scenes from the 7 line: A politically-charged opening

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The 7 line’s new station at Hudson Yards, replete with massive mezzanine, finally opened on Sunday. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

For the first time since the last 1980s, the MTA yesterday opened a new station. The long-awaited 7 line extension from Times Square to Hudson Yards at 34th St. made its inaugural ride shortly after 1 p.m., but for a few hours during a bright blue morning, as politicians commemorated the day, the debate over the MTA’s future took centerstage. In the end, just about everything about Sunday’s opening ceremony for the 7 line extension was weird.

For now with infrastructure projects, New York is stuck in a weird place. Yesterday’s opening celebration was much ado about one new subway stop, something that would barely register a blip in cities around the world with developed transit networks, and yet, Sunday seemed like a release. Twenty-one months after then-Mayor Bloomberg held a pre-opening ribbon-cutting to slap himself on the back, the MTA finally let the public loose on its latest station, and except for a street-level elevator outage, with that new train station smell permeating the air, amidst a sunny day, everything seemed to run smoothly.

The 7 line’s new station will never look so clean. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

An R188 7 train, jammed with rail fans and locals, left Hudson Yards at 1:06 p.m. en route to Queens, and that was that. But underneath the clear skies and before the afternoon’s rain came, tensioned simmered. MTA CEO Tom Prendergast challenged Mayor Bill de Blasio, sitting a few feet away, to find $2.3 billion for the MTA’s capital plan over the next five years while de Blasio pushed back forcefully. Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Schumer and Rep. Jerry Nadler, both citing Mayor Bloomberg’s push to see the 7 line extended to the West Side, urged the city to pay up, and Schumer echoed a Sunday Dan Doctoroff Daily News column in calling for a station at 41st St. and 10th Ave. When their turns came, Albany pols seemed to want some resolution to the MTA’s capital debate, and TWU President John Samuelsen also used his turn at the mic to lay into the city’s lack of capital contributions. Governor Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, was nowhere to be found. It wasn’t, after all, his party.

After the pols spoke, Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, head of the MTA’s capital construction unit, spoke on the design of the station. At one point, he mentioned how inclined elevators were first installed by Americans as part of the Eiffel Tower in the late 19th Century. It was an odd parallel to draw considering how the inclined elevators were one of the reasons why the station opened nearly two years late, and only City Council Member Corey Johnson noted that “it took long enough” to finally open the new stop.

The canopied entrance sits amidst a new park at 34th St. and 11th Ave. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

I’ll take a look later this week at the evolving soap opera behind the capital campaign, But now, let’s journey underground into this vast, expensive new station. It’s very nice, and it’s very large. The inclined elevators are there for ADA compliance, and they’re so slow that the escalators are always a better option. The mezzanine reminds me of the giant, empty spaces that mark the IND stops in Brooklyn and Queens. There will never be enough people at the station to fill all the space, and as now, there’s no clear indication that the mezzanine will be anything more than just for show. The lack of columns leads to open views, and the lack of Transit Wireless service leads to more questions regarding cooperation among MTA contractors. (Reliable sources tell me the general contractor at Hudson Yards wasn’t keen to give Transit Wireless early access to the station. So cell and wifi service won’t be available for a few months.) All in all, though, it’s a subway stop. Take that for what you will.

Ultimately, this project will be known for what New York City got for its money. It’s a needed subway extension to an area of Manhattan previously inaccessible, but it cost $2.42 billion to get there. Sunday featured a lot of self-congratulatory speeches without a nod to the excessive costs or any indication that the MTA will have to rein in these price tags if it wants to realistically expand the subway system. In other countries, the opening of a new subway line is expected and a regular happening. In New York, it’s a monumental and costly undertaking that takes seven years to build 1.5 miles of truck and one subway station. Take that too for what you will.

Now, after months of waiting, the bulk of this saga is behind us, and New York City’s subway today has 469 stops, a temporary number on the way to at least 472. It was a beautiful day for a subway ride; the band played on; the art looks great; and there were cookies.

After the jump, a slideshow of photos from the day. These are from my Flickr album, and I’ve also posted a few to my Instagram account.

7 Line Extension Opening



Categories : 7 Line Extension

90 Responses to “Scenes from the 7 line: A politically-charged opening”

  1. John-2 says:

    Well, if there were cookies, that makes everything OK…

    The low-key opening for Hudson Yards probably isn’t good for spurring discussion on future MTA line expansion projects, though the lack of development in the area at this time means it will probably be 3-4 years down the line before anyone can really gauge the impact of the new 7 line station. When the Q extension to 96th Street opens up, it will be a little easier to judge the impact right away, because the areas around the 72nd, 86th and 96th Street stations already are developed, so the ridership on the line (and the drop in riders on the 4/5/6 trains) should be noticeable immediately, if that line does what it’s supposed to do.

  2. Quirk says:

    The station is still not ‘complete”. The second entrance between 34th and 35th was supposed to open in spring of this year. I wonder what the excuse is this time….

    Anyway, a December 2016 2nd Ave. subway opening? Hah I got a bridge to sell you.

    • Kai B says:

      Do you know where the 2nd entrance connects to the underground structure? I couldn’t figure it out.

      • BoerumHillScott says:

        There is an area on the same wall the main entrance is on near the other end of the mezzanine (north end of east wall) where the wall is indented for around 25 feet. The indented section has a closed door and tile work that looks to be fake or of lower quality.

        • JD says:

          That’s the only place that looked like the future entrance to me as well. There’s painted plywood around the edges. The strange thing is that it doesn’t have the same round connection through that wall that the existing ones do, and it doesn’t look like the ceiling and upper wall is designed to accommodate it.

    • tacony says:

      I was kind of amazed by this. I wandered over into the park and found that the 2nd entrance looked nowhere close to completion. But I didn’t see mention of it anywhere. Is the MTA even giving a target date to have it done?

  3. Vinny O'Hare says:

    I am still trying to figure out why they built this. Anyone coming from Brooklyn on the A will still get off at 34th and walk to the javits. What a waste of money. Could have opened 10 stations for this cost.

    • proudtexangrandma says:

      Um..No?
      1. Not everyone comes from Brooklyn
      2. Its actually a decently long walk

      While the 2.4B price tag is nothing to laud at, this station will serve THOUSANDS of commuters everyday. The high rise buildings, the new restaurants, the high line, the javits center,and the mega bus terminal will now more accessible to people who work and visit there.

      • Vinny O'Hare says:

        Ok anyone coming from the Bronx or upper west side would opt to walk from 34th and 8th than get off at 42nd and walk to the 7 which is about the same walk through that tunnel as it would be to walk to the Javits.

        • What? First of all, the A doesn’t go to the Bronx. Secondly, all the trains that actually do go to the Bronx (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, B, D) all connect to the 7 train at 42nd Street. All those trains connect to the 7 via two staircases. As for the upper west side, again, while the schlep from the A, C, and E is as you mentioned, the B, D, 1, 2, and 3 all have easy access to the 7 from their 42nd Street stops.

          Trust me, as someone who lives in the Bronx and goes to Javits for events regularly, this extension is the best thing ever.

        • Michael says:

          From a previous message:

          “Ok anyone coming from the Bronx or upper west side would opt to walk from 34th and 8th than get off at 42nd and walk to the 7 which is about the same walk through that tunnel as it would be to walk to the Javits.”

          Actually that depends upon which subway one takes. If one lives in the Bronx and takes either the #1, #2, or #3 trains – then the transfer at Times Square-42nd Street is pure simplicity – the stairways to the #7 train lead directly from those #1, #2 #3 platforms. Thousands of folks every day make the really easy transfer to/from the #7 train and the 1-2-3 trains and that was before the station renovation made the transfer slightly easier. It is only takes a few seconds to walk downstairs to the #7 train from the platforms. I’ve done it hundreds of times!

          (Now N-Q-R riders at Times Square-42nd Street might have to walk around the passageways a bit, but then they’re not coming from the Bronx!)

          On the eastside, riders from the Bronx, taking the #4, #5 or #6 again have stairways direct from the platform DOWN to the #7 train. It is a really easy simple transfer. It is only takes a few seconds to walk downstairs to the #7 train from the platforms. Thousands daily make this easy transfer! I’ve done it hundreds of times!

          Of course the original planners and builders of the IND system (as built) provided few connections to then existing IRT and BMT subway systems. Basically decades later such connections had to be made where possible. So it stands to reason that A, C, D or B train riders from the Bronx or Upper Westside might have a bit more difficulty getting to from the #7 train, and have an indirect route to the new station. That however is no reason to in any way “bad-mouth” the new station.

          Some have questioned why is the station so huge. It is large to handle the crowds that can often appear at the Jacob Javits Center for various events, as well as for the new housing and other facilities that’s supposed to be built as a part of the Hudson Yards complex.

          It is funny – transit fans often note how previous subway lines were built in anticipation of new residents and housing, but now seem to complain when such a station is built NOW under that premise. Interesting.

          Mike

        • Bolwerk says:

          <1 block = 3 blocks?

          Is this the new math everyone is complaining about?

    • anon_coward says:

      they are building thousands of luxury rentals in the area that start in the $4,000 a month range. these people don’t want to walk a block or two for the subway.

      • Eric says:

        So it’s not a transit improvement, it’s a $2 billion subsidy to real estate developers who are not going to have to pay tax for the buildings they build? Great deal for NYC.

        • 22rr says:

          The fact that is it going to serve developer-driven neighborhoods does not negate the fact that it’s a transit improvement…

        • AG says:

          What? There are already tens of thousands of highly paid jobs signed on to move there and the buildings aren’t even done yet. They will indeed be paying taxes… Property – sales – payroll – transfer etc. etc.

    • Larry Littlefield says:

      “I am still trying to figure out why they built this.”

      To encourage modern office buildings with large floorplates to be built there. The city’s office inventory is aging, and to build new buildings elsewhere you have to empty and tear down old ones first, which is very expensive.

      City Planning started talking about this extension in the early 1990s. What really got it going was 9/11, when the city lost a huge share of its modern office inventory. It was thought this would lead to a loss of high wage jobs. Then there was the goal of the 2012 Olympics.

      In reality, what has happened is a huge shrinkage in office space per worker, and a massive residential boom, but no one saw that coming when the Flushing Extension was being planned.

    • Chet says:

      Coming from Staten Island to an event like the Auto Show, or a smaller photography show in October. (One day I need to go to Comic Con!)…the trip is easier.
      In the past, express bus to A train at Fulton or Chambers to 34th, then bus to Javits.
      Now, for certain- it will be the 4,5 train from Wall Street (or Bowling Green if I take the ferry) to GCT and the 7 to Javits.

    • Alex says:

      Assuming I’m still with Time Warner in 2018, I’ll be one of the people coming from Brooklyn and the only time I’ll use this station is when the weather is bad. Otherwise, I’ll be walking or CitiBiking from 8th Ave (the new Time Warner building will be on 10th, so not too bad) or just cycling all the way from Brooklyn. But in general, this will make my commute more complicated.

      I do see how this stop will be handy for people coming from Queens. But for most people it’s another transfer and I frequently question the wisdom of building out a whole new business district at the end of a line. It would have been much more worth the cost had they included the 10th Ave stop and created a stop at Chelsea Piers (the tail tracks almost make it there). They should have been able to do all that for half the money they spent. Sigh.

    • Steve says:

      Why do I think that you have never walked from 8th Ave to Javits? It is three LONG blocks. And if it’s cold and windy (as it often is as you walk to the river) it can be a miserable three long blocks. If you’re old, physically disabled, carrying a lot of things (as one might going to or from a convention center) or just plain tired, it’s an especially miserable three long blocks. Can you point to any other major transit-dependent city where the convention center is so isolated from transit and so far away from the hotels and shops and restaurants that convention-goers need and want? It is a disgrace that it has taken almost 30 years from the time Javits opened to get real transit (not a cross-town bus) over to our only real convention center. It’s way over-due.

  4. The mezzanine reminds me of the giant, empty spaces that mark the IND stops in Brooklyn and Queens. There will never be enough people at the station to fill all the space, and as now, there’s no clear indication that the mezzanine will be anything more than just for show.

    You obviously have never been to New York Comic-Con. Trust me, that mezzanine will get a massive workout in October.

    And speaking as someone who does more than one event in Javits, but particularly NYCC, this is a godsend. While Vinny O’Hare’s dismissal on the basis of people who live in Brooklyn and like to walk long distances is noted, the plurality of people who don’t live in Brooklyn and/or do but don’t want to schlep from 8th Avenue to 11th Avenue will be extremely grateful for this long overdue extension.

    • Eric F says:

      And — not so much for the SAS readership set — the auto show. Draws huge crowds.

    • John-2 says:

      People from Brooklyn also can use it, since the coverage area of the A/C is mainly the Fulton/Pitkin corridor. Those coming in living along Eastern Parkway, Nostrand, Broadway/Myrtle or from South Brooklyn have the 2/3/4/5/B/D/F/M/N/Q/R as transfer options to the 7 which are far shorter connections than the schlep from 8th-42nd to the 7’s Times Square platform.

  5. Richard Garey says:

    The regional planning association has generated maps illustrating areas of high density, low income and poor transit access. One would think that our collective public monies would go towards increasing accessibility for those who need it the most. A tale of two cities.

    • J says:

      Can you link me to this? Sounds interesting…

    • Alex says:

      If we could build subways for what they SHOULD cost, maybe (I’m looking at you, Nostrand Ave extension). But the outrageous costs we pay mean we’ll only build them in neighborhoods where there is significant profit to be made. Everyone loses (except the contractors and union workers).

  6. paulb says:

    Thanks for the report, Ben. Nice job. Good on the extension. Let us cross our fingers it doesn’t leak.

  7. Bri H says:

    I enjoyed the shitshow concerning this on Twitter. Especially the part where MTA spox Adam Lisberg decided he was going to be Governor Cuomo’s stooge for the day, and then complained that everyone who had a different take was a troll.

  8. Douglas John Bowen says:

    Ah, negativity reigns here, even on a day we might take a break from same.

    And even from the writer, who allows that it might be weird for politicians to actually address one legitimate concern (system expansion) but not two (capital construction costs). I would think that, again even if only for one day, that’s batting .500.

    That’s not even factoring the televised positive reactions of everyday people (mixed with some rail fans and advocates, ’tis true) the ceremony generated. Nope, we here all know better, so we can’t even hint at being happy, if only briefly.

    Could be worse, congenital pessimists. We could be closing stations.

    • Sorry this actually reflected reality and wasn’t Pollyanna-ish cheerleading? I don’t know what else you want. It’s a $2.4 billion one-stop extension that came in 21 months late, and the opening ceremony was marked by political bickering. Spin that how you wish.

      • Douglas John Bowen says:

        I’ll categorize it as “hey! Progress, however fitful and costly.” Plenty of time for criticism and angst (perhaps it’s own ‘spin’ at play? But surely not) to resume Tuesday, and every day after that.

        And missing amid the respectful rebuttal is any acknowledgement that the issue of funding, something dear to this site, was actually addressed, if not with the exact emphasis desired. That may indeed be “weird,” but I would think one would welcome or at least herald that, nonetheless.

        This writer modestly submits he knows something about rail capital projects and reality, though my expertise admittedly lies west of the Hudson Ocean. Armchair Admiral stuff is easy, folks, but it does make unrelenting, 24/7 criticism a bit suspect.

    • Thomas Graves says:

      You have to be kidding. Sure it’s a beautiful station in a heretofore under-served area. But pointing out the horrendous cost and unfathomable delays is just reality. No need to pretend to be ‘shiny happy people’.

  9. tacony says:

    There will never be enough people at the station to fill all the space

    Really? The platforms are nice and wide, but I can imagine them being as full as Grand Central once the neighborhood is built out, after a large event at Javits or something.

    The two levels of mezzanines will obviously never be full. Mezzanines in general are never full anywhere, because people either want to be on the platform waiting for the train or outside the station. Mezzanines in subway stations are, absent retail spaces or whatever else (none of that planned for this station I guess?) just the areas people pass through.

    My thoughts: the platform level is actually pretty ugly. I was kind of surprised by that. The plastic-looking slats that I guess are meant to “break up” the flourescent lighting and make it look less blinding? Who’s idea was that? It looks really cheap. Other than the 2 blue tiled pieces of artwork, the station is very utilitarian. The former “new” South Station and the Fulton Center were much prettier stations.

    It looked like the station is already leaking in the weird metal passageway between the hall to the incline elevator and the stairs to the platforms. What’s up with that? Is the MTA working on that?

    Most frustratingly, I couldn’t believe that the elevator between the street and the upper mezzanine was ALREADY BROKEN! Not the fancy incline elevator, but the other, mundane elevator from the upper mezz outside fare control to the outside. Someone in a wheelchair couldn’t use the brand new station on the first day it was open. Totally unacceptable. If I were BDB I would have told Prendergast to shove it if he’s asking for more money when they can’t even keep the elevators working on the day the station opens. Pathetic. The MTA has such a terrible track record with this kind of stuff, they should have had an army of elevator repair pros on hand to fix that ASAP.

  10. BenW says:

    Just so we’re clear, that’s this Dan Doctoroff, right?I actually kind of used to like that guy…

  11. geep9 says:

    I think all the bickering means that the pols all know that they can’t just cut service and maintenance and extensions any more. This sounds positive to me in that way.

  12. BruceNY says:

    I find it disappointing that there is no direct passageway from the station into the Javits Center. In any other major city in the world, they would create direct connections to a major venue such as this and not require people to trudge outside in the snow/rain.
    Oh well, I’m just glad it’s open!

    • tacony says:

      Yes, and the fact that the station is billed as being at “34th and 11th” is misleading. The train runs under 11th ave, but the entrance is basically half way between 10th and 11th. It ensures you’ll get soaking wet trudging over to the Javits or to meet your Megabus.

      We used to build direct entrances into buildings when we built new subway stations. Not anymore. Too complicated!

  13. Crawdad says:

    The Javits Center won’t even be there in 10 years. This subway extension has really nothing to do with Javits; if anything it will hasten its demise.

    • The subway extension has everything to do with Javits — or, more accurately, it’s finally prompting the building up of the neighborhood that Javits was supposed to do when it was built. In addition, the station will get its greatest use during events like the Auto Show, New York Comic-Con, Book Expo America, etc.

      • Crawdad says:

        No, it has nothing to do with Javits. Javits was originally put there because the land was empty and worthless. Now that Hudson Yards is being built, the subway has arrived, and Midtown has pushed west, Javits is a waste of space, and is blocking millions of square feet of development rights. The state could sell the land for a couple of billion, right now.

        Javits will eventually be relocated, probably to Long Island City. Cuomo has been trying to do this since he got in office, and the state refused to expand Javits; they basically just agreed to fix the leaky roof. They aren’t sinking any more money into a temporary venue.

        So I’m not understanding the questions about the interplay between the station and Javits, as the two have nothing to do with each other, and Javits will be demoed in the near future.

        • tacony says:

          You really think they’ll find a site, go through environmental review/NIMBY battle, and have the new convention center up and running in some magical huge empty plot of land in Long Island City in 10 years? That’s extremely optimistic. You make it sound so easy.

          • BruceNY says:

            They’re building an entirely new neighborhood of giant glass towers around the station. They could have planned direct entrances from the subway into all of these AND to Javits (or whatever may replace it in 2050). Look at Brookfield Place as an example. Seems to me it would be a lot more efficient to disperse crowds heading into these buildings rather than forcing all of them on to MTA escalators which are having mechanical difficulties on Day 1!

    • Michael says:

      From 2013 – First look: Jacob K. Javits Convention Center renovation and expansion – Completed 2013.

      http://www.bdcnetwork.com/firs.....-slideshow

      “The massive upgrade included a 110,000-sf expansion – Javits North – as well as the installation of 240,000 sf of energy-efficient glass curtain wall on the existing facility and the region’s largest green roof.”

      Somehow I doubt having spent about a half-billion dollars on the renovations and improvements to the Javits center – with that work completed 2 years ago – implies that the Javits Center will be closing any time soon. The interesting thing is that if the inclined escalators were working 2 years ago, the renovation and expanded subway service would have been major news!

      The newly expanded convention center now being served by the #7 train at the new 34th Street station, and the anticipated Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, along with the completed High Line, the new Hudson Park and Boulevard, all work together to create something much better.

      I remember the difficulty getting to/from the Javits Center in the 1980’s at the PC-Expo shows, and the many events since then. Some of the criticism here seems to imply that those were the “good old days” that were somehow great! Yes, that is sarcasm!

      Mike

    • AG says:

      Javits isn’t moving in this generation…

  14. Gary says:

    At 11:30Am today, one of the escalators from the street was already under repair. No wonder they have eight of them.

  15. Ian says:

    Imagine someone who really doesn’t pay too much attention to this stuff going here –
    http://web.mta.info/capital/no7_alt.html

    -and reading this –

    “The New 7 Line Station at 34th St – Hudson Yards will link to 18 subway lines.”

    Makes it almost seem like it’s some kind of new mega hub. If that was the case then maybe it would have been worth $2 billion

  16. AMM says:

    The inclined elevators are there for ADA compliance, and they’re so slow that the escalators are always a better option.

    I use the elevators at the new Fulton St. Station, and they are also incredibly slow. I can’t help suspecting that that was intentional, to discourage anyone from using them unless they really have trouble taking the stairs.

    BTW, the renovations to Fulton St. added a bunch of inexplicable level changes to a station where you already had to go up and down a lot of stairways to get from one place to another. Hence, Fulton St. has an amazing number of slow, hard-to-find elevators. Which are frequently out of order. MTA is complying with the letter of ADA, but not the intent.

    • BruceNY says:

      ” I can’t help suspecting that that was intentional”

      It’s to give the homeless people enough time to zip up when they’re done urinating.

    • Nathanael says:

      “MTA is complying with the letter of ADA, but not the intent.”

      That’s been their practice all along… and often they go too far and violate the letter of the law too. I can’t for the life of me understand why.

      Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia have all done their best to comply with the *spirit* of the ADA, even when they got exemptions from the *letter* of the ADA. The results have been popular!

  17. Eric Brasure says:

    May as well mention that my new home, Portland, just opened a 7.3 mile rail extension, for a billion dollars less than the 7 train extension, on time and under budget (even if they did have to cut some pedestrian and bike improvements). Not exactly apples to apples, but…

    Sad that I’m not there to see this, though.

    • 22rr says:

      Yep, and LA has a number of lines under construction too. It’s all too little too late, but still a heck of a lot more than NYC has accomplished lately

      • tacony says:

        LA has essentially built their entire rail (heavy “subway” and “light rail”) system in the time between NYC building the new Hudson Yards station and the last stations in 1989. And as anyone who’s been to LA recently will attest, it’s quite impressive the transit system they’ve built in such short time.

        • Nathanael says:

          LA is the most impressive. It’s also worth noting that in the same time period (since 1989) nearly every light rail system in the United States was built from scratch, with most of the remainder having major expansions or near-total reconstruction.

          In the same period, Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia, with systems of a similar age to New York, have renewed vast quantities of their track, signal, and stations, while New York has… not.

        • Anonymous says:

          Metro is a prime example of why the subway needs to be moved back to city control ASAP. Why the hell can a guy located ~120 miles from the nearest subway station hold an entire city to ransom?

        • AG says:

          Well when you start from nothing it’s easy to impress. Then you realize more people will probably use East Side Access in a day than all their light rail combined. That’s not to mention the SAS. China is impressive. LA? (Shoulder shrug).

  18. Russell says:

    One thing that surprised me when I was there yesterday was that there is no way to access 33rd street from the plaza. I would have thought that they could build a staircase from the plaza down to 33rd street – that way, the station could be more integrated into the neighborhood. I realize 33rd street right now is just a massive construction site but that won’t be the case in the future.

    • 22rr says:

      I noticed that too. It’s such an odd condition (chain link fence plus 10′ sheer drop to 33rd) that they must have a plan to connect to 33rd eventually… I’m suspecting that the grade level of Hudson Yards park south of 33rd matches the grade of the park / station entrance area north of 33rd, and they they will be connected.

  19. Seamus Mac says:

    From the platform level up to lower mezzanine , there are only stairs and one elevator. Why not some escalators like at Grand Central and Times Square, that one elevator will be busy at times.
    I did see 2 doors marked I think emergency assistance with a wheelchair symbol could they be some sort of wheelchair lift up to mezzanine if that one elevator breaks down?

    • 22rr says:

      I too thought it was a bit odd that they have such big escalators to get down to the mezzanine from street level and then no escalators to the platforms… i don’t mind walking a few stairs, but just seems odd and inconsistent

      • tacony says:

        The MTA thought they’d make it a little more fun for the thousands of Megabus and Boltbus customers toting luggage from their buses!

        • 22rr says:

          Will be interesting to see where Boltbus and Megabus get pushed to once Hudson Yards finishing up… the “stations” where they are now are so sad and confusing, especially in bad weather or if there’s a bus delay

    • JoeS says:

      That’s probably an area of emergency assistance. If there’s an evacuation and they elevator/lifts aren’t available, it’s the designated space for people to wait to be rescued. And I believe the fire department should have pre-knowledge of the spot.

  20. Brooklynite says:

    Visited the station today. While it looks spiffy because it’s new, in essence we got a bland (worse than IND-bland) station with poorly-planned passenger circulation and lots of reliance on escalator technology that MTA has proven incapable of maintaining. What’s more, the train from Times Square doesn’t actually travel very quickly. I don’t know what the speed limits / timers are but for a 500′ radius curve the speed felt very underwhelming.

    Also, Ben: I’m getting redirected to random ad sites when I visit SAS on mobile. The problem had gone away before but is back now.

    • This is personally annoying to me, and I’m doing my best to stop it. What are the ad landing pages? It’s a game of whack-a-mole, and my ad server has been generally responsive. I’m losing patience with them. It’s definitely not my intention to have such a janky user experience here.

  21. ARR says:

    I’m not a math genius.
    But if the cost of the station is approximately $2.5 billion.
    And a single fare with discounts is approximately $2.50.
    Does that mean that this station will require one billion passengers to break even?

    • 22rr says:

      government entities do not break even.

    • Bolwerk says:

      No. Read up on accounting for depreciation. :-p

    • Jon Y says:

      No but also keep in mind that the addition of the station means that new businesses will pop up, generating increased tax revenue (income taxes from the employees, sales tax from the retail stores, sales tax from the restaurant/bars that will be needed to feed said employees etc). If the extension also included the 41st and 10th stop while staying under its original budget, the breakeven would likely be under 20 years!

  22. Panthers says:

    Geez, all this finger pointing is irritating and stupid.

    I loathe you,
    you hate me,
    we’re a happy fam-i-ly

    Pols are always going to blame each other for stupidity and shortcomings. $2.3 billion of taxpayer money and one stop? Outrageous. And they’re worried about funding capital projects!

    Here’s a solution:
    1. MTA, clean it up. How many ad agencies do you have on retainer? And law firms? Bring it in-house and retain 1 ad agency and 1 law firm. Send out RFPs to law firms and ad agencies. Take 6 months for the process to play itself out.
    2. Why do funding/running pensions cost so much? Again The most expensive firms aren’t necessarily the best
    3. Cost overages: They pay. Not us.
    4. Bid rigging, bloated employment. Corruption has to be rooted out.

    How about congestion pricing? I know gas is cheap. So what? Owning a car isn’t a right. It’s a privilege. Stop at a street corner in Manhattan, any time of day and see how many one-passenger cars there are. I’m 55. I’ve had my license for 35 years. I’ve driven once. I don’t need a car. I don’t want a car. And even if I did, I wouldn’t be so selfish as to drive it in every day. I’d car pool if warranted if I lived so far away from my job that I needed a car.

    One agency, one voice. LIRR, PANYNJ, MTA, Metro North, NJ Transit = One agency, one voice. 5 divisions. 5 person ruling committee made up from NYC, NY, CT and NJ.

    Get costs to a tolerable level
    Hold contractors to timelines and costs
    Decide what’s important regionally
    Congestion pricing

    There. That was easy.

    • 22rr says:

      yes. yes. yes. congestion pricing yes. limit the size of trucks that can enter manhattan to not much bigger than a van. widen the sidewalks and narrow the traffic lanes and reduce the number of lanes. this is supposed to be a city for people, not a highway for cars.

      • adirondacker12800 says:

        Buying food in New Jersey will be a adventure. Especially for the restaurants.

        • 22rr says:

          You don’t need Walmart-sized/Texas-size 18-wheelers to make deliveries. More reasonably sized vehicles will do just fine.

          • adirondacker12800 says:

            when you want to feed millions of people that’s the size of the trucks.

            • 22rr says:

              Not really; many other global megacities do not have the same issues with their central cores being unpleasant highways like Manhattan does… NYC is by far the least pedestrian-friendly and least transit-friendly of the global megacities I’ve been to…

              • adirondacker12800 says:

                Ban passenger cars and the congestion would evaporate.

                • Brooklynite says:

                  I was trying to come up with an intelligent response to this but the best I can muster is that I really hope you’re trolling… did you really just propose entirely banning cars from the CBD?

                  • adirondacker12800 says:

                    Why not? 22r wants to ban trucks. Trucks are serving many many people at the same time. Private automobiles a few. Who have other options.

                    • 22rr says:

                      I don’t want to ban trucks entirely — just the Texas-scale ones that are clearly too big for a dense island full of pedestrians, yet somehow make it through the tunnel and then cause headaches at every intersection and block traffic when making deliveries because they have nowhere to park (the building don’t even have loading docks big enough to accommodate them).

                      I would agree with you that private cars are unnecessary for the vast majority of people in Manhattan and are just a huge burden on the quality of life of everyone due to how much space they take up (not to mention noise and air quality). Many taxis ride would also become unnecessary if we got our transit system to be more comprehensive and more reliable, made our sidewalks wider and better-designed, and with an expanded CitiBike system which also needs better, safer bike lanes (the ones we have now are an unsafe joke). Let’s not ban cars, but a heavy congestion price fee conbined with better streetscape design would work wonders.

                    • adirondacker12800 says:

                      So instead of one truck with ten pallets for the supermarket there would be ten trucks, with ten drivers, clogging the streets?

                    • 22rr says:

                      i don’t know. Tokyo, Berlin, London, Paris, Hong Kong, etc have all figured out how to make their streets reasonably pleasant and functional for pedestrials and not the disgusting highway-avenues we have in Manhattan. We need a comprehensive solution to this. It’s about more than just trucks.

  23. JS says:

    Four problems with the new 7 Extension:

    1) Lack of underground connection to the Javits Center.

    2) Poor signage inside the 34th St. Station directing people to the Javits Center. I only saw 1 sign.

    3) No stop at 10th Avenue.

    4) That track curve to 11th is horribly engineered. Reminiscent of the 19th Century PATH train tunnels.

  24. Andres says:

    I paid a visit to the new station and was struck by its aesthetics, but simultaneously angry. MTA sure can build, but it can’t maintain. In a few months, any surface out of reach will start getting caked with the same grime that coats the fancy stainless fixtures at the Grand Central 7 station. The sheet-metal ceiling panels are already discolored in places. They will dent and rust. Panels removed for service will be re-attached haphazardly, if at all. Those fancy fins that diffuse the fluorescent tubes will disappear one-by one, if not wholesale, sure as the translucent panels at Bowling Green did. Yet all of these “aesthetics” surely added millions of dollars to the cost of the station. Could MTA not have taken their design cues from Squire Vickers’ enduring IND and kept things basic, simple, sustainable and cheap?

    • 22rr says:

      I was amused to see the standard-issue MTA wood benches in the new station (the ones with all the armrests to prevent people from sleeping). The ones I’ve seen at other stations have always been so old and worn out that I assumed they were a leftover from some bygone era. So it was amusing and surprising to see a brand new one!

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