Jan
11

Drilling down on Cuomo’s plan to close 30 subway stations for renovation work

By
The MTA will close these 30 stations at times over the next few years to speed up rehab efforts. (Click to enlarge)

Is your station among the 30 due for a full top-to-bottom rehab over the next few years? (Click to enlarge)

On Friday morning at the Transit Museum, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a series of MTA projects designed to help modernize our subway system. By and large, these initiatives weren’t new as much as they were promises to speed up slow or stalled projects, such as wifi for underground stations, a move to a new fare payment technology, USB charging stations in the subway and B Division countdown clocks. I took a deeper dive into these plans in a rare weekend post that explored the tensions between Cuomo’s lofty rhetoric around expanding transit use and utter modesty of these proposals. I’d urge you to read that for my take. Today, I want to look closer at a different element of his MTA plans.

One part of Cuomo’s announcement that drew headlines and consternation involved plans to revise the way the MTA approaches station rehabilitation projects. For years, the MTA has seesawed between full station overhauls and a component-based repair system, often implementing the latter at stations that won’t undergo the former for years (if not decades). You see, with 469 stations — and soon to be 472 — under its purview, at current construction rates as set forth in the current five-year capital plan, it would take the MTA around a century to renovate every station. If only the lives of New York City subway stations were that long.

So during Friday’s semi-surreal event, Cuomo and MTA CEO and Chairman Tom Prendergast announced what the agency is a calling a “new, rapid approach” to station redevelopment that may speed up work by as much as 50 percent while saving money as well. Take a look at how Cuomo described it. “And that, “he said, referring to the rapid pace of construction on the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement, “is what we are going to do with the MTA, 30 stations put them out all at once, design build whole new station, let people walk in there and say, “Wow, this is the MTA.” This is the train station – amazing. Yes, we can.”

You can see why people might get upset about this. Cuomo sounds like he’s proposing that the MTA shut down 30 subway stations all at once, and New Yorkers — especially those in Astoria where four adjacent subway stations will get this treatment — were concerned about losing access to the subway system for extended periods of time. In subsequent comments, though, Prendergast said that not all stations would be closed at once. The MTA expects to wrap work on these 30 by 2018 for most and by 2020 for a few stragglers. With rehabs expected to last 6-12 months, MTA officials said the agency will plan so subway riders will always have a nearby station.

As part of this work, the MTA is going to “revamp the design guidelines for subway stations to improve their look and feel…These cleaner, brighter stations will be easier to navigate, with better and more intuitive wayfinding, as well as a modernized look and feel.” The navigation element confuses me because every single one of the 30 stations is a single- or side-platform one-line station without any transferring or confusing corridors. Some have closed entrances that should be reopened, but streamlining navigation is more applicable to major destinations — which these 30 are not. Hopefully, though, navigation considerations come into play in the agency’s design guidelines, and we’ll learn more about that as the process unfolds.

More importantly, the MTA is trying something new with regards to construction and procurement. As the governor’s subsequent press release explained, “The MTA will use design-build procurement to deliver the projects more quickly, at a lower cost and with better quality, as a single contractor will be held accountable for cost, schedule and performance. Stations will be closed to give contractors unfettered access with a singular focus – get in, get done and get out.”

Prendergast explained that, instead of work extending for two or three years on weekends and nights, contractors will be given uninterrupted access to stations within the hopes of completing work much faster. The inspiration is clearly the Fastrack repair program which has led to cost savings and speedier timeframes.

Riders won’t be without subway service, though some may have to work a few more blocks or alter their commutes. And from a State of Good Repair perspective, this work should push the ball along. But there’s an element of Sisyphus to this proposal. If the MTA can get through 30 stations in three years, rather than 20 in five as the current capital plan proposal allows,

Even if the MTA can realize cost savings and find ways to speed up the work, getting through 30 stations in three years still means nearly 50 years before every station is repaired, and those renovated early in the cycle will be well past the point of bad repair by then. It’s a start, then, but is it enough? And that seems to be a common thread with Gov. Cuomo’s MTA proposals.



Categories : MTA Construction

86 Responses to “Drilling down on Cuomo’s plan to close 30 subway stations for renovation work”

  1. Liam says:

    An important question for me is whether or not the new design guidelines include elevator access. It’s ridiculous to me that the MTA has only installed elevators in about a quarter of all subway stations, and that in some of the complexes where elevators exist, there exists only one that is annoyingly out of the way, like in Union Square. So it is my sincerest hope that the new design guidelines that Pendergast announced include elevator access to all stations being renovated, not just a select few.

    • Nathanael says:

      Closing the station for any modifications — as opposed to just fixing stuff to be the way it was originally (repairing damaged concrete etc) — triggers the *full* ADA requirements.

  2. Bolwerk says:

    Concurring with Liam here, I’d be curious about the scope? This doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me if it gets some ADA work out of the way fast.

    • SEAN says:

      The ADA requires elevators in stations based on the scope of renovations being discussed here.

      • The MTA seems to disagree you and believes that elevators aren’t required if the cost of the elevators isn’t commensurate with the cost of the project on the whole. The details regarding ADA compliance vis-a-vis these 30 stations haven’t been revealed yet, but my guess is the work will not include full compliance for any that aren’t Key Stations and a subsequent legal fight.

        • Jedman67 says:

          One has to wonder why it costs in the hundreds of millions – if not billions – to install an ADA compliant elevator.

          • SEAN says:

            Ben,

            As a lawyer, you should be acutely aware of the ADA & in this case title II & what it requires. If the MTA wants to risk numerous legal challenges by crying poverty, it’s their choice – but the fees they would be flushing down the toilet would be better spent on the actual compliance.

            • Brooklynite says:

              They don’t seem to have been challenged on the lack of ADA elevators at basically any of the already-rehabbed stations. The entire Brighton line except for KH, plus Pelham, Rockaway, and several others all got rehabs with barely any effort made to provide ADA compliance.

              • SEAN says:

                I don’t get it – I’ve studied the ADA & based on the access board rulings the MTA is in violation of title II & yet they haven’t been brought to task over it.

                • mister says:

                  Well, at the very least, the MTA has been told that opening anything new, or reopening anything closed, triggers ADA. Check out the last paragraph of this page of the AC Line review.

                  • AMH says:

                    I wish they’d challenge that. Go ahead and open some closed entrances, and if someone tries to sue, argue that it’s not fair to hold the entire riding public hostage for a few insanely expensive elevators.

                    • Jedman67 says:

                      I think a bigger problem is WHY these elevators are so expensive?
                      If it cost the MTA $1 million to install 1 ADA Elevator in 1 Station, that would be “reasonable” by MTA standards. That it cost’s many times that is ridiculous.

                    • Nathanael says:

                      If they challenged that, they’d find themselves under court order to install elevators at many stations. Very quickly.

                      Every other transit system in the country is making a good-faith effort to comply with the ADA. The MTA is *not*, and people need to go to prison for this.

                    • Nathanael says:

                      Just for a contrast with the lawbreaking MTA in NY, here’s Chicago:

                      http://abc7chicago.com/news/no.....e/1150605/

                      http://www.richmond.com/news/a.....0e182.html

                      Boston is also aiming for 100% accessibility. They already have engineering prepared for the remaining subway stations except Bolyston, and for many more of the surface streetcar stops.

                • Nathanael says:

                  Sean: basically, the disability rights advocacy groups have been short on money, activists and lawyers lately.

                  If we could get together the funding, we could sue the MTA over their ADA violations and nail them. These are black-and-white violations of the ADA. The MTA is simply relying on being able to burn taxpayers’ money on delaying tactics in the courts if anyone sues them.

                  • Nathanael says:

                    The group which made the most progress in forcing NYC Subway to comply with the ADA — United Spinal — has been focusing their efforts on the lawbreaking taxi system in recent years, so they haven’t had the staff, money, or time to keep dogging the ADA. There’s been some major progress on the taxis, thank goodness.

        • Nathanael says:

          Benjamin: the MTA is basically wrong, and has lost several lawsuits regarding this matter.

        • Nathanael says:

          I will be happy to join in a lawsuit against the MTA if they do more major rehabs without adding escalators. People should be going to prison for the MTA’s scofflaw behavior.

          There’s another point here: even if the MTA evades the lawsuits for a while, they’re just setting themselves up for huge costs later.

          The list of metro and light rail systems in the US which are not fully wheelchair accessible is getting *very short*. Chicago’s CTA is readying a plan for full accessibility by 2036 — I know, it sounds like a long time, but it’s not. Boston will be done well before then. At the current rate, Phildelphia should be done around the same time. Even San Francisco, with numerous “streetcar style” stops, is likely to be done before then. Being broke, Cleveland and Pittsburgh may lag, but even they are making progress beyond “key stations”.

          The commuter rail lines are taking longer, but they’re making progress too. The big laggards are Metra and NJT.

          Anyway, within 20 years, we’ll see a political situation where New York stands pretty much alone in its hostility to wheelchair access. Other cities and agencies will be unsympathetic.

          At that point Congress — always full of old people — will amend the ADA to remove the grandfather clause, and New York will be required to make EVERYTHING accessible, probably with a fairly short timeline. Cities which aren’t New York will have *no sympathy whatsoever*.

          New York should get started on *full* accessibility before Congress hits them with the big hammer. Once it’s the *only* non-accessible transit system in the country, they *will* get hit by annoyed Congressmen who are embarassed by the obsolete, 19th-century inaccessible system.

  3. Larry Littlefield says:

    “Even if the MTA can realize cost savings and find ways to speed up the work, getting through 30 stations in three years still means nearly 50 years before every station is repaired, and those renovated early in the cycle will be well past the point of bad repair by then.”

    There has to be an understanding of what the MTA’s capital program has been over the past 30 years. There have been some projects that have been designated “state of good repair” and others that have been designated “ongoing normal replacement.” But the only projects that really represented catch up from past disinvestment were the car overhaul program of the 1980s and repairs to the tracks.

    Basically the MTA has been replacing things at would have to be the normal rate. If things had already gone to hell, this was designated state of good repair. If not this was designated ongoing normal replacement.

    The question is, since Generation Greed has already mortgaged the MTA (and our city, state and federal government in general) and these governments face relentless demands for that same generation’s old age, how will ongoing normal replacement be paid for? And why the heck is $22 billion required for road projects Upstate when spending on roads there has been way above the U.S. average — forever?

    • Duke says:

      When you say that spending is above the US average, are you looking at just the state DOT or at all entities maintaining roads?

      In the latter case I would suggest that New York’s cumbersome and inefficient government structure (every square inch of the state is part of a town or city in addition to having a county government, plus all the villages dotted about) might have something to do with it.

      In either case, winter maintenance costs may factor in substantially as well – New York experiences above average snowfall for the US, and the state does an exceptional amount of salting and plowing to keep the pavement bare as much as possible. Western states are much less vigilant about keeping roads clear in winter and expect people to put chains on their tires to drive through the snow.

  4. Jerrold says:

    When it comes to a side-platform-only station, why can’t they do first one side, then the other side? That way, at least the inconvenience to passengers will be considerably less than if they lose the station completely.
    Or do the transit bigshots not have enough brains to realize this, while they ride around in their fancy limos?

    • Jerrold says:

      CORRECTION: I meant to write “…..if they CLOSE the station completely.”

    • Bolwerk says:

      I don’t know why, but that wasn’t how they did it (IIRC) at Central Avenue in Brooklyn or Court Square in LIC. But maybe that’s because both those stations have only one entrance to the relevant platforms?

    • VLM says:

      Do you have proof that the transit bigshots are not riding the trains or is it just a nice talking point for you? What a pointless comment that would have sounded a lot better 10-15 years ago.

      If the point is to speed up work, why not just close the whole thing?

      • Jerrold says:

        I believe in telling it like it is, even if it is no longer politically correct to bash the asses of rich people who RICHLY deserve it.

      • Jerrold says:

        If we use some common sense, we see that speeding up work is NOT a price worth paying if it takes away the ability of riders
        to simply overshoot their station and just double back.

        • VLM says:

          I’d love to see your numbers on efficiency and spending. “Common sense” dictates people could walk a few blocks for 3-4 months if it means saving millions of dollars. Local subway stop spacing in NYC sure can support it.

          And Peter Kalikow hasn’t been in charge of the MTA for a decade. Who are these “rich people” in charge of the agency you keep referring to?

          • Bolwerk says:

            Perusing the credentials and professional histories of the board members, they don’t seem like Mitt Romneys, but they also don’t exactly seem like the people who depend on the MTA to get around.

            But actually seeing their transportation habits would be nearly impossible, and I don’t personally see it affects their ability to run the system well.

            • VLM says:

              I’m talking about the NYCT staffers and ops workers who were in charge of putting together this proposal. Do you think the MTA Board is working on the nuts and bolts of station rehab plans? Of course not.

    • pete says:

      A staircase to the street doesn’t care which platform side you closed. You can’t fix that staircase without closing it completely. How do you plan to repair the floor infront of turnstiles without closing all of the turnstiles?

      You would be the first one to protest building a duplicate subway line parallel to the existing one, so the existing one can be renovated.

      • Tower18 says:

        What’s interesting is at Clinton-Washington on the C, all the staircases were repaired last year, so at least this is not a relevant reason to close the whole station for repair.

      • Bolwerk says:

        You’re right, but you can still do that work and then do the platforms sequentially. Not sure why a station needs to be completely closed the entire time, but maybe there is a good reason.

    • Alex says:

      It’s my sincere hope that this is the approach, especially for stations where there are completely separate entrances to each side. I’m all for getting things done more quickly, but there’s no reason to completely close a station for many months at a time when you could simply stagger the work.

      Personally, I’d rather my station be closed overnights and weekends and have the construction go on longer than lose the station entirely. But it’s abundantly clear that Cuomo does not ride the subway given his basic lack of understanding of how real people actually use it, so I’m not surprised at his decree here.

      • VLM says:

        El-oh-freakin’-el. Do you really think *Cuomo* came up with this plan? Watch the video. This is the MTA’s plan through and through, and Cuomo’s simply taking credit for it. No matter what you’d “rather” have happen, we’re pissing tens to hundreds of millions of dollars down the drain so you don’t have to walk five extra blocks for a few months. Doing things the current way isn’t working. Might as well try this.

        • Alex says:

          Yes I absolutely think this is Cuomo’s plan. It is completely within his MO to hand down decrees to his underlings without consideration for how it is executed or how it affects real people.

          Also, why so antagonistic? Most folks on these threads are pretty civil and engage in good conversation without the heavy-handed snark and nastiness.

          • I can provide some color here at least on Cuomo’s role in this: It’s only Cuomo’s plan in that he’s determined it’s politically feasible to shut down single subway stations for a few months a time to streamline work and create budget efficiency. He had nothing to do with the creation of the plan other than by directing the MTA to find a better and faster work to get this work done. In other words, he’s signed off on an approach after asking consultants and MTA staffers to find a better way.

            • Alex says:

              Yeah, exactly. He’s not hand picking stations for renovation or dictating what work to do. Just that he’s saying, “This needs to go faster, shut them down completely,” without any greater knowledge or concern of what the implications of that are. Kind of like when he closed the whole system for a few inches of snow.

              • The other element of this though is that the MTA does this already. It’s nothing new, but because it’s happening at stations like Rockaway Avenue and Van Siclen Avenue, you don’t hear too much about it. I don’t think it’s a poorly thought out plan, but New Yorkers are going to not like it no matter what because it creates some inconveniences.

                • Michael549 says:

                  And if you happen to know folks who live in the area, and use the Rockaway Avenue station on the #3 line – they’re not too happy about the schelpping to and from the other stations 7 blocks away in either direction. The supposed shuttle buses are not getting any high ratings either from friends who live there, either.

                  Political on-line talk seems to suggest that these kinds of station closings are “pain-less” – that kind of talk has to stop. These kinds of station closings may be needed to finish the work as quickly as possible, or less expensively – so that in the “long run” the riders benefit.

                  As a friend of mine explained “in the long run” takes on new meanings when you’re trying to dash to the subways to get to work in the mornings. And when you’re coming home tired from work.

                  Mike

                  • AG says:

                    When you live in a city of 8.5 million people – someone is bound to be upset. The question is what is the greater good for the overall population. Saving millions is most important for the majority of the populace.

              • AG says:

                Sorry – I’d rather you walk a few extra blocks for a year and we save millions – and tens and hundreds of millions in the long run.
                People on the #6 in the Bronx had to deal with it (walking or taking a bus). Why not the rest of the system???

                • mister says:

                  This is old hat.

                  When Nevins street was rehabbed back in the 90s, it was shut down (one direction at a time). That was a major transfer point (there’s no other convenient transfer between 2/3 and 4/5 until Franklin ave) and wasn’t some far flung station.

      • Streater says:

        Some of us work overnights and weekends… So I’d rather a station be closed for 4 months than it to be closed on weekends and nights for three freakin years. Fast Track is the best idea, because I can’t stand off hour closures and reroutes.

        Plus it saves money, so stop complaining and being one of the people that holds up projects that gets delayed for years.

        • pete says:

          +1

          The 5 mph for 20 minutes crawls for years after 9 PM have to end. Just shut down the line and put articulated buses that replace the subway. Fasttrack Buses will always be faster at night than stopping in the tunnel for 5 minutes, then crawl at 5 mph for 5 more minutes, then stop again for 5 minutes, then crawl again, all the way to your stop.

        • Todd says:

          Yes! The N/R East River Tunnel night work has been going on for over a year. I’ve honestly lost track, it might be two years now. It’s ridiculous. There are dozens of workers sitting around doing nothing most nights with zero accountability.

    • ajedrez says:

      Do consider that in some cases, there’s an alternative bus route that makes things a lot easier than backtracking. (For example, the B9 brings you from Bay Ridge Avenue to 59th Street, where you’ll have the choice of both the (N) & (R)). So in some cases, a total shutdown isn’t that big of an inconvenience if the riders are saavy enough (or better yet, if the MTA publishes that alternative)

  5. rewenzo says:

    I guess there’s two ways to look at this. One, Cuomo is giving the MTA the easiest possible task – renovate 30 little-used stations in three years. I suspect the MTA will not be able to do it, but if it can, it will look like they and Cuomo did *something.*

    The kinder way to look at is that this is a pilot program. Let’s see if the MTA can do quick renovations when they have full access to a station. Let’s see how streamlined we can make the process. If it’s a success, maybe we can scale up to real stations*, and maybe it will drive the time and expense down for the second stage – and maybe even for expansion.

    *Although I don’t think you can shut down actual important stations like 145th Street on the ABCD.

    • Mike D. says:

      I’ve lived in Astoria since 2003 and let me assure you Broadway and 30th Avenue are far from little-used stations. Along with Astoria-Ditmars, they are the three most-used stations on the line. Part of the problem with the “express” lines in Astoria is that they’re based on where people lived in 1933, not on where they live now. If those two stations are closed at once, a lot of people will be forced to walk 40 minutes or cut off from the city completely.

  6. g says:

    I guess they finally noticed Chicago using design/build for rapid (and cost effective) renovations and not being afraid to close stations temporarily to accomplish it.

    • Nathanael says:

      Chicago’s rebuild of the Brown Line is a case in point: first they closed half the stations (every other station), then they reopened them and closed the other half.

      London does similar stuff. It’s just best practice these days.

      Of course, every *other* city adds wheelchair access while they’re doing this, like they are *legally obligated to*, but the criminal MTA keeps trying not to.

  7. NattyB says:

    Thanks Cuomo. I was about to get an apartment off the R, in which the closest station was Prospect Expressway (a 4 minute walk, next closest is the R/F at 4th ave and 9th, a 13 minute walk). But since I know that that stop will be out of commission for at least 6 months, I will now look elsewhere. The MTA stations are clean enough for me. My main concern is actually being able to use it regularly. I was already a little sour relying on a local only that runs at 8 min intervals at rush without any countdown clock (or real time tracking app). These are the things passengers care about.

    • Tower18 says:

      Wait for the station to actually BE closed and then lease the apartment then. You might get a small discount.

      • Larry Littlefield says:

        And get a bicycle and a NY Fughetaboutit lock.

        Even if you can’t ride all the way to work, you can ride to a better station and lock the bike up there. Think of it as a ‘station car” in the suburbs, one that can be used locally on the weekends.

        • NattyB says:

          I’m seriously contemplating that. I have a bike and 16th and 5th ave is just a bit too far for me to regularly bike to work (I bike to work now).

    • Alex says:

      That’s my current station and you’re dead on. There isn’t much wrong with it from a functional standpoint. Granted there may be structural issues I’m unaware of, but it seems way overkill to shut the thing down for 6 months or more to install new lights, flooring, and wall tiles. There are stations in the system in much worse shape. It could definitely use a second set of stairs on the Bay Ridge-bound side, but I highly doubt that’s part of the plans.

      Regardless, no reason to do a full closure on this station. The two sides are completely separate so they can easily be closed at different times. That’s a reasonable compromise on this.

      • Blaise says:

        This is my station too, and I have been wondering about how on earth this station was built with just one stair on the southbound side. The laws of commuting say that it is the returning trains in the evening that have the most need for station capacity to handle crowds coming off trains. Yet this station is the opposite. From the street level the sidewalks are identical so I can’t see a physical reason for it. In any case, it will be a giant waste of opportunity if they close it and don’t add at least one more staircase. From a logistical standpoint, there should really be a second entrance north of Prospect Avenue, but that will probably never happen.

  8. BKTrain says:

    One of the big reasons for the “component repair” program that NYCT currently has the enormous costs associated bringing stations into ADA compliance.

    Unless the scope of the proposed renovations is very limited, these stations will have to become ADA compliant (per FTA rules). FTA has become extremely stringent in the enforcement of this, and it has gotten to a point where the MTA cannot open up a closed staircase at a station without the FTA forcing them to put in elevators. This is why you see a number of staircases closed on the BMT-Broadway and IND-Crosstown, IND-Fulton St lines.

    This program will not get off the ground unless ADA accessibility issues are addressed. The cost of putting in elevators is tremendous and could suck up all the money for these renovations.

    • Brooklynite says:

      As mentioned above, if this were true every single Brighton, Pelham, Rockaway, West End, etc. station would have elevators. All those stations were basically rebuilt from the bottom up.

      • Nathanael says:

        Every single Brighton, Pelham, Rockaway, and West End station *is* required to have elevators. The MTA’s work was flatly illegal, and they are legally obligated to go back and install elevators if anyone sues.

        I hope someone sues them before the statute of limitations runs out.

  9. Kevin Walsh says:

    One station in need of an upgrade is the West 4th complex — since 7 trains stop there, it should be a flagship station — yet it’s dirty, the tiles are crumbling and the intratrack mezzanine is dark and scary.

    Yet, it seems, the station is too busy to partially close and make those changes.

    • bigbellymon4 says:

      West 4th Street is used by the A, B, C, D, E, F, and M. Where did the 7 train get in this?

      I do agree though that it needs an upgrade.

      • Subutay Musluoglu says:

        I’m sure he meant 7 lines or services, which is what the A, B, C, D, E, F, and M add up to.

      • Tower18 says:

        7 trains, not the 7 train.

        • TimK says:

          “7 trains” is ambiguous. E trains terminate at WTC, for example, and 6 trains serve Union Square.

          • John says:

            This is a transit blog. You should assume that people know minimally what they are talking about. His sentence is technically correct, and just because he wrote ‘7’ instead of ‘seven’ has nothing to do with your incorrect interpretation of what he meant. That’s on you.

  10. tacony says:

    Does anybody know what the criteria for picking these stations may have been? Some of them are baffling to me.

    Take 28th Street on the 6. From a passenger perspective, I’d definitely consider it to be in among the best shape of the stations in the system. It’s a pretty simple local station with no mezzanines or cross overs/unders. It was renovated in 1996, when they added a wall of glass block work around the turnstile banks. It’s one of the original IRT stations and it’s on the National Register, so I doubt any further renovations could be allowed to do too much to disturb the original features of the station. What would they possibly want to do to it? All it needs is a good top-down pressure washing and cleaning, like every other station needs.

    It seems that there are maybe hundreds of stations that deserve a rehab more than 28th on the 6. Or is the idea that it’s “easy” ’cause “all” they’ll do is add elevators? (Although that’s always the expensive sticking point in regular rehabs…)

    • BruceNY says:

      I could not agree more. And why 57th & 6th on the F? I can think of any number of stations in far more desperate need.

      Agree with Kevin Walsh also–West 4th really needs to be renovated. They managed to do it at 14th & 8th a few years ago, despite being a busy station.

  11. Brian says:

    Cuomo doesn’t care about the need for stations to be renovated, he’s just trying to win points by creating fanfare about these grand projects. For all we know, the stations were picked because they are the cheapest and easiest to renovate AND (perhaps because) they are in the right places based on polling data. By sprinkling them almost evenly around the boroughs, just like promising money for road work outside the city, its all politics. Trying to make sense out of his ideas is almost as fruitless as making sense of the GOP presidential race.

    • Larry Littlefield says:

      “Trying to make sense out of his ideas is almost as fruitless as making sense of the GOP presidential race.”

      The GOP Presidential race makes complete sense. Generation Greed is desperately seeking someone else to blame for the diminished circumstances it is leaving to younger generations, and in some cases its own diminished circumstances as it approaches old age without savings.

      And the shrewd and cynical Donald Trump knows how to manipulate people. How does The Donald know what is up with ordinary people? He took their last dime at his casinos before they went under and got foreclosed, and so did his casinos.

      https://larrylittlefield.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/donald-trump-the-man-of-his-generation/

      Read to the end where I discuss his Presidential run, two years before it happened.

      • Brian says:

        I meant to say the ideas make no “common sense.”

      • Spendmor Wastemor says:

        Trump’s a curious character. He has said ~”I think of myself as more of a Democrat” and invited Hillary to one of his weddings. He’s not quite as dumb as he styles himself, but he does seem to have a thin skin.

        But nobody forces people to gamble at his casinos, the same people will go hundreds of miles out of their way for that curious activity.

  12. bigbellymon4 says:

    One station that could do with some renovation is the Ralph Avenue station on the IND Fulton street. The platform edges need to be repaired, there is a constant flow of water in the ditch between the rails and besides the water, there is plenty of garbage on the tracks.

    What Cuomo really should do is focus on the extremely need of repair stations and start with a full shutdown of those first.

  13. Julie says:

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you mean by “single- or side-platform one-line stations”, but at least one of the stations listed, Parsons Blvd., has two tracks in either direction with an island in the middle of each set. At rush hours, there’s both the F and an E that runs on the express platform and skips several adjacent stops. To me, this station seems like an odd choice for shutdown/renovation when most of the surrounding stations are single/side platform and/or are F line only. Additionally, the nearest stations (Sutphin, 169th, and Jamaica Center) are a half-mile in either direction, which adds significantly to the commutes of many residents at the end of the line who may already rely on buses to get them to the station in the first place.

    I’m wondering whether they’ll be running additional bus service or even shuttles to compsenate for this disruption.

  14. Spendmor Wastemor says:

    You don’t need fancy stations outside the multi-track areas.

    You need turnstiles to pay for a fraction of it, a platform to stand on, stairs to get to the platform and perhaps elevator/urinals to avoid. Something to keep the rain off you while checking the website for train delays is a nice addition. In NYC, the rest of it is a way to buy votes with money that the voters do not realize eventually comes from them.

    • Jeff says:

      Who’s voting for Cuomo for minor announcements like this?

      Ugly, utilitarian infrastructure is all fine and good when you’re a third tier American city, but a little bit of shine and polish never hurts, especially as getting more people to ride the subway.

      • Spendmor Wastemor says:

        Nobody’s voting for him based on these stations, the kleptocracy that makes these things cost a multiple of what they should is tightly connected to the Albany mafia. Construction costs are not high in NYC due to its remote location, lack of raw materials or 40 below zero temperatures.

      • Spendmor Wastemor says:

        2nd part: Cheap doesn’t have to be ugly. Go check out a poor country like the D.R., they have brightly painted patters on even a little overpass. You can do a lot without burning stacks of million dollar bonds.

        IMHO, it’s also not really useful to make a branch line stop much more than a subway stop. You don’t spend long there, there’s really nothing happening. An interchange or multiline stop, sure, but the rest are just places to stand while waiting for a train. The streetcar stops that were the ancestors of these things were simply a spot on the sidewalk. Cost: $250 to tack up a sign and pay 2 people to watch.

  15. Streater says:

    What the MTA needs to do once they build build a new station or renovate an old one is to MAINTAIN them… of course they are going to fall apart over time if there isn’t any constant maintenance.

    They need better cleaning equipment and personnel too. The cleaning crews I’ve seen now are just sad.

    I was in disbelief one night while I was waiting on a platform at how they clean a station. The workers, who were pretty much disabled, sauntered down ladders to the tracks to use brushes to wash the walls… then someone whistles when a train is about to come.

    Why don’t they have specialized equipment to clean floors and walls? Instead, they let these stations rot.

    The garbage situation is even more sad.

    There is often talk on this website that building new infrastructure is more important than making the old infrastructure look good… but what we have is a disgrace… and it’s no model for the rest of the world… how sad it is when tourists come to NYC and see the sewer like system we have.

  16. Old New Yorker says:

    Closing subway stations…cutting service…getting a raise…this is NYCTA Chief of Revenue Analysis and Director of Corporate Communications Marc Mednick’s dream come true!

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