Home Asides Queens, Brooklyn to enjoy long-awaited subway connections

Queens, Brooklyn to enjoy long-awaited subway connections

by Benjamin Kabak

As far as minor subway construction projects go, none generate more interest among riders than the long-awaited transfer between the 7 at Court House Square and G at Court Square. The project was supposed to be completed in early 2010, and it has stretched ever onward. Today, though, NY1’s John Mancini brings word that the connection will finally open in February. Riders will now have an in-system transfer between the E, M, G and 7 and will no longer have to cross Jackson Ave. or pay two fares.

Meanwhile, Mancini tells us that another new subway connection — the pedestrian tunnel between Jay St. and Lawrence St. in Downtown Brooklyn — will open on December 10, ahead of schedule. This new transfer point between the A/C/F and R trains is part of a $108 million rehab of the Lawrence St.-MetroTech and Jay St.-Borough Hall Stations. When the project is completed, the new station complex will be called Jay St.-MetroTech. For a video on the new transfer point, check out this July post. Now if only Transit would connect the L and 3 trains at Junius and Livonia.

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Christopher December 4, 2010 - 12:26 pm

Or the G and the J at Broadway / Hewes. To dream.

Bolwerk December 5, 2010 - 12:58 pm

Two scarcely used stations? Well, at least that G station is scarcely used. This would probably only make sense if the IND West Fourth Street station somehow came to see revenue service. To dream, indeed.

What does seem unfair to me is the lack of a free transfer between the G and the J/M at Broadway and Hewes (or Lorimer). Same with the L and 3. There may be little reason to spend tens of millions on in-system transfers at those places, but a more usable system could be had today.

Farro December 5, 2010 - 4:42 pm

Connecting the 3 and L would be easy–since they’re on top of each other and elevated..

John Paul N. December 5, 2010 - 6:09 pm

Not too sure about that. The stations are not on top of each other, a connection between the two requires bridge(s) over the LIRR Bay Ridge Branch. At that point there is also a connection between the IRT and the Linden Shops, so the south side is out.

I assume the easiest (but costly) way to build an accessible connection there is to have a bridge at a higher level than the IRT, unless there’s a way to navigate the existing steel framework. There appeared to have been a fare control at Junius Street (opposite end of the current Sackman Street entrance to the west), at the same level of the exisitng pedestrian bridge. That is the most sensible level for the bridge, but it’s the same level as the Canarsie-bound platform and connecting the Manhattan-bound L platform without stairs would be way too tricky.

Andrew December 5, 2010 - 10:46 pm

There already is a bridge there – but it functions as a pedestrian connection for people not riding the subway. In order to maintain the existing street connection and add a subway connection, a second bridge would be needed, or the first bridge would needed to be widened and fenced down the middle. And all that work would probably trigger ADA, adding even more to the cost.

Is there really much demand for a transfer there? I doubt it. And with a 24/7 connection, security might be a challenge. I don’t see this as a worthwhile investment – the few people who need to make that connection can use unlimited MetroCards. Come to think of it, if people were using unlimited MetroCards to make that transfer in large numbers, the two stations wouldn’t both be among the lowest ridership stations in the system.

A Broadway/Hewes or Broadway/Lorimer transfer would certainly be more useful, but I don’t see a very compelling case there either. Unfortunately, the BMT stations are badly located with respect to the IND line, which is basically midway between them. The long walk would chase away most potential users who have other alternatives.

John Paul N. December 6, 2010 - 1:34 am

The current configuration doesn’t make it an appealing transfer; it’s probably the single worst transfer in terms of comfort if it was allowed. Reopening the Junius St. fare control would help, but there are still a lot of stairs and the transfer path is outdoors.

Come to think of it, the Junius St. northbound platform could be offset to provide the transfer, but that would shift the fare control to Junius St. most likely, a negative impact. If the TriboroRX is built here, then the transfer should be considered more seriously.

Local ridership is low due to the LIRR divide. It’s not the most secure of places, true. But the transfer would help with access between North/East Brooklyn and central Brooklyn and also provides East New York with better access to the L, and Canarsie with better access to the 3. (With ENY, people who switch to buses and community cars at Broadway Junction might consider using the 3 to the L instead.) The transfer connection design is crucial, obviously. If the transfer continues to be onerous, I would avoid it even if it provides the utility. Livionia would also surely need to be widened.

Andrew December 6, 2010 - 8:08 am

Any newly built transfer path would be outdoors as well! The stations are outdoor stations.

Obviously, if TriboroRX happens and a new station is built here, it would connect to both the 3 and the L. That’s even more reason not to waste money on a connection now.

I still don’t see a significant market for a transfer here.

Jerrold December 5, 2010 - 10:10 pm

The West 4th St. station does not have revenue service?
You meant the never-used South 4th St. station, right?
(The place that was the focus of all that recent publicity about that graffiti project.)

iso December 10, 2010 - 9:03 pm

“seem unfair to me is the lack of a free transfer between the G and the J/M at Broadway and Hewes (or Lorimer).”
Why don’t they make this transfer just out of the system transfer. The way it is btw G and 7. It is really unfair. And the whole system is unfair referring to Brooklyn/Queens subway connections. And LaGuardia- JFK as well.

Cap'n Transit December 4, 2010 - 12:41 pm

Mancini was wrong: nobody has needed to cross Jackson Avenue for at least ten years.

The transfer is still way too long, especially compared to the old across-the-platform transfer from the G to the E at Queens Plaza, and the conveyor belt is always breaking down.

AlexB December 5, 2010 - 11:36 am

Cap’n, you are thinking of the G to E transfer which is not being affected by this construction.

The transfer from the G to the 7 is quick, but you have needed to cross Jackson Ave for that transfer for the past year or two while the escalator was being built.

Alon Levy December 4, 2010 - 12:53 pm

It’s about time.

Henry December 4, 2010 - 1:10 pm

Would a connection between Lex/63rd and Lex/59th St also be possible? It would link the F with not only the 4,5, and 6, but also the N, Q and R.

Benjamin Kabak December 4, 2010 - 1:14 pm

There’s already a free out-of-system transfer there, but I think the station depth and aboveground distance is too great for an underground tunnel.

Andrew December 4, 2010 - 8:07 pm

For the record, there’s also a free out-of-system transfer at Court Square.

If a connection from 63rd to 59th (actually, 60th) were built, it would presumably be a deep tunnel, perhaps connecting directly to the IRT express platforms. Not sure how expensive it would be or if anything’s in the way.

Al D December 6, 2010 - 9:08 am

And I use it all the time although I have an unlimited card. As a regular user of this transfer, the work seems to have been progressing nicely and steadily, so I am surprised to read here that it is behind schedule. One thing that’s puzzled me is why they don’t, won’t or can’t open the new, stand alone G entrance right next to the escalators. Surely, that could have already been done? (RIP Leslie Neilson)

AlexB December 5, 2010 - 11:38 am

I have always pictured an escalator starting from the F Lexington platform headed up and south under Lex to the 4/5 platforms. I feel that by the time the escalator went 3 blocks south, it would have risen to the level of the 4/5 anyway, or maybe higher.

SEAN December 4, 2010 - 1:20 pm

I’ve wondered about that as well. Walking between 63rd & 59th isn’t difficult, but it would be nice to remain within the system while making a transfer.

Perhaps a provision can be made while the 2nd ave. subway connection is constructed at 63rd?

Joe December 4, 2010 - 6:01 pm

There really isn’t a new station being built at 63rd Street for the 2nd Avenue Subway. The Q will run across the platform from the F trains now, that section is hidden behind a wall.

Redbird December 5, 2010 - 11:39 am

The MTA just awarded a $180M contract to reconfigure 63rd Street so the 2nd Ave line can run through the station. From what I’m told, the work is basically a complete re-configuration of the station (including steel demo/reconstruction). If the MTA doesn’t make the connection now, it is doubtful it will be done.

Benjamin Kabak December 5, 2010 - 11:46 am

Is it a reconfiguration or just a complete renovation? The tracks for the Second Ave. subway exist behind that hideous red wall. You can see some pictures right here. I thought the contract was to knock down the wall and renovate the station to create cross-platform transfers between the Second Ave. Subway and the F.

ajedrez December 5, 2010 - 12:45 pm

Would there be any chance of the connection if Phase 3 is built?

Redbird December 5, 2010 - 1:31 pm

When I said re-configuration I was referring more to the structural framing than the track configuration. You are right that they are basically knocking down a wall, but to get the cross-platform transfers, they need to be-build the structural steel framework to the station, which is very complex (basically rebuilding from underground while the station is in use). Much more complex than just knocking down a wall and putting in some new finishes.

The project has been referred to as “Times Square on steroids.”

John Paul N. December 5, 2010 - 6:31 pm

That’s just alarming. In that case, wouldn’t it have been better to design and construct the station as it was a cross-platform station in operation? Sure, the City wouldn’t have known when the SAS was going to be built, but was it much more important to secure the access on the north side and have the look of the station conform to the other 63rd Street Line stations than to ensure an easy transition to SAS operation? Boggles my mind.

Steve December 4, 2010 - 1:24 pm

This is excellent news! The funny thing is that I asked some MTA workers yesterday about the Jay Street connection and they had no idea when it was going to open and said with the MTA nothing is on time (funny, since this project is ahead of schedule). I’ve always walked the block, which isn’t bad but this will make it so much easier and I will be using this connection often. It’s much easier than transferring at 4 Ave-9 St from the F. Also, good news to hear the Court Square connection is coming through soon too…I still wish the G could run permanently from Church Av to Forest Hills, though. It makes it much faster and more convenient to travel to Queens that way…Also, miss the M at 4 Av-9 St, tho it is doing well with its new route. It would be nice if the N were back there at least…One thing that I haven’t been able to get used to is the switch with the D and B in Brooklyn. I know they had switched them because of the Manhattan Bridge project but I still don’t see why they had to switch locations in Brooklyn (it still annoys me)…Any idea when the 6 uptown transfer will open?

Andrew December 4, 2010 - 8:04 pm

If the B were still on the West End line, it would have to run as a shuttle on weekends, since the upper part of the B only runs on weekdays. And on the flip side, the D would have to terminate in Midtown on weekends, since the Brighton express only runs on weekdays. By linking the two part-time segments, through service can be maintained on the full-time D on weekends.

It’s not like they switched overnight. The B and D stopped running to Brooklyn entirely in 2001. When they returned in 2004, they were running in different places than they had been 3 years earlier. On that first day, far more West End riders were looking for the W than for the B.

Jerrold December 4, 2010 - 8:42 pm

BUT, they could have put back those routes as they were before the Manhattan Bridge project.
In those days, if you were coming off of an F train or C train at West 4th St., you could transfer to a Brighton Line D train or a West End B train to Brooklyn, even on the weekend. The D ran as a Brighton LOCAL in Brooklyn on the weekend. Both the B and the D were running seven days a week.

Andrew December 4, 2010 - 11:14 pm

The B used to run to Queensbridge (instead of the part-time Q) on weekends. Queensbridge isn’t available as a terminal anymore. If the B still ran on the West End line, it would probably run as a shuttle on weekends, or maybe it would have gone as far as West 4th. With the D, West End riders get 24/7 service to Midtown and beyond.

Market research showed that Brighton riders generally preferred Broadway service rather than 6th Ave. service on weekends (given that they could have only one). So the Q became the full-time Brighton service.

Routing the trains to best serve the public is more important than restoring the letters to the same places they had been three years earlier.

Jerrold December 5, 2010 - 2:11 pm

Do I not remember a time when the B West End train was running on the Central Park West line, even on weekends? I was not referring to the Queensbridge “subway to nowhere” route.

Andrew December 6, 2010 - 8:06 am

You’re right, for a brief period during construction on 63rd. But generally speaking, the weekend B went to Queensbridge.

Jerrold December 4, 2010 - 2:14 pm

The switch of the D and B in Brooklyn was just like the switch years earlier between the N and R in Queens. It confuses the hell out of everybody until you finally get used to it. The older you are (or the longer you’ve lived ib New York City), the more this is true.

BrooklynBus December 4, 2010 - 4:39 pm

D – Culver

Then D – Brighton –

Now D -West End

Did I leave anything out?

Andrew December 4, 2010 - 8:05 pm

Yes, the three years (2001-2004) when the D didn’t run in Brooklyn at all.

Clarke December 4, 2010 - 2:14 pm

Any word on Bleecker St/Broadway-Lafayette Uptown 6 connection work? Seems like that’s been going on forever.

Jerrold December 4, 2010 - 2:18 pm

That’s right.
Good question!
In the current economic situation, when we don’t hear any news about a project for a long time, people start worrying that maybe the project was quietly abandoned.

Benjamin Kabak December 4, 2010 - 2:22 pm

The original — and current — completion date for the Bleecker St./Broadway-Lafayette transfer is November 2011. Transit says that project is still on time.

Clarke December 4, 2010 - 2:22 pm

Thank you!

Gary December 5, 2010 - 10:25 pm

I make the over-land transfer every day from Broadway-Lafayette to Bleecker. They are constantly doing work on this project in the mornings.

Walk to the eastern end of the platform at Broadway-Lafayette and you can get some interesting views of the work in progress.

This is one of the projects that I’m excited about – a “simple” but long overdue fix with a significant impact on service/convenience.

Don Anon December 5, 2010 - 8:56 pm

I’ve watched the construction for the last couple years, and they’ve made steady and consistent progress. The uptown 6 platform has been extended south to Houston Street. On the downtown side, they’ve just completed what appears to be a widening of the platform. Both of those projects required digging up the sidewalks between Bleecker Street and Houston Street and breaching the IRT tunnel walls.

They recently covered over a gaping excavation in Houston Street that penetrated all the way to the IND station below. Over the last couple weeks, they’ve been excavating in the parking lot on the north side of Houston between Lafayette and Crosby (for an elevator, perhaps?).

Down below, at the far (geographic) east end of the IND station you can see the old, closed off mezzanine that will be re-purposed for the connection.

I usually think the MTA is inefficient and incompetent, but I have to say that this project seems to be an exception.

Farro December 4, 2010 - 3:28 pm

I’d rather have seen Jay St connect to the Borough Hall Complex–it isn’t much farther from Borough Hall surely, than that station is from Court St in the same complex. It would be a far more useful connection, since the F already connects to the R.

Joe December 4, 2010 - 4:42 pm

I disagree, I don’t think a Jay Street connection to the Borough Hall stop is as good an idea and as the Lawrence St/Jay Street connector. The new connection gives a convenient connection between the R and the AC, which doesn’t exist at all anywhere in the system yet, and makes a more convenient and direct connection between the R and the F. The AC already meets the 2345 at Fulton and the F meets the 456 at Broadway-Lafayette, both are already getting improvements. A Jay Street connection to Borough Hall would be excessive.

Plus the stations at Lawrence and Jay Streets already sit on top of each other. I bet it was easier connecting these stations than tunneling across Adams Street to connect into Borough Hall.

AlexB December 5, 2010 - 11:44 am

The F meets the 6 at Bway/Lafayette not the 4/5. A Jay St-Borough Hall connection would be the only real connection between the 4/5 and the F in the whole system and would improve a lot of trips. Now, to get from the F to 4/5 you have to switch to the 6 or the A/C at some point, which can be a royal pain if the trains don’t connect quickly.

Farro December 5, 2010 - 11:53 am

Also, for now at least, that connection is only downtown. What annoys me about subways in Brooklyn, is that there are basically two categories: those that do stop at Atlantic, and those that don’t. With the exceptions of 4th-9th and the Franklin Ave Shuttle (and Coney Island, though for obvious reasons that’s not necessarily the most convenient connection at all), there are no transfers between these two groups of lines. Connecting Jay St to the Borough Hall Complex (and perhaps disconnecting Court St?) would connect the A to the 2 3 4 5 in Brooklyn, and the F to the 2 3 4 5 as well. Connecting Jay St to Metro Center provides a (not all that convenient) connection that’s already in place…

Adam G December 5, 2010 - 12:38 pm

Blame Mayor Hylan…The IND wasn’t designed as a complement to the IRT/BMT systems, it was designed to put them out of business.

Farro December 5, 2010 - 4:18 pm

Actually, the lines I am thinking of are both BMT and IND, namely the A C F G J L and Z

Andrew December 6, 2010 - 9:53 pm

All of the IRT and BMT lines that pass through the area (that is, all of the IRT lines that run to Brooklyn and all of what used to be called the BMT Southern Division) stop at Atlantic-Pacific. The IND passes through the area as well, but it avoids the Atlantic-Pacific complex, and the closest stations are just a bit too far away to be of much use (and the one on a four-track line is a local stop).

Come to think of it, it’s amazing how many IND stations do happen to connect with IRT or BMT stations, yet the IND station is still local: 4th Ave., Franklin Ave., 14th St., 161st St. At least they got Broadway-East New York (now known as Broadway Junction) right: an express stop connecting directly to the primary BMT Eastern Division hub.

Farro December 6, 2010 - 11:20 pm

Yeah, it’s quite annoying then that the Eastern Division trains don’t connect to the trains that stop at Atlantic. I don’t have to use them that often, but when I do, it’s quite annoying.

Andrew December 7, 2010 - 6:00 am

I’m not sure what you’re saying – they connect to the 2, 3, 4, 5, N, Q, and R trains, all of which stop at Atlantic.

Farro December 7, 2010 - 8:11 am

Not in Brooklyn they don’t.

Andrew December 4, 2010 - 7:57 pm

Jay is much closer to Lawrence than to Borough Hall. Also, Lawrence isn’t on the other side of a major traffic artery that feeds into the Brooklyn Bridge.

If a connection to the IRT is warranted, Hoyt is probably closer than Borough Hall, although that misses out on the 4 and 5 trains.

Think twice December 4, 2010 - 9:19 pm

I agree completely. IMO, such a connection would be second only to an Atlantic/Pacific–Fulton/Lafayette connection. It could help take pressure off of the Fulton/B’way–Nassau complex.

BoerumHillScott December 6, 2010 - 11:04 am

In addition to the distance involved, the IRT routes diverging between Jay Street and Borough Hall would complicate the construction of a connection.

Adam G December 4, 2010 - 4:24 pm

Jay St and Lawrence St stations are literally on top of each other. This connection was a no-brainer.

Brooklyn 11211 › Queens, Brooklyn to Enjoy Long-Awaited Subway Connections December 4, 2010 - 9:31 pm

[…] The Court Square transfer from the G train to the 7 train will go live in February, NY1 (via 2nd Avenue Sagas) reports. Queens, Brooklyn to Enjoy Long-Awaited Subway Connections […]

Bolwerk December 5, 2010 - 3:54 pm

So, does this mean new maps will be coming out?

Isaac December 7, 2010 - 11:25 am

I do look forward to the improved transfer at Court Square.

Forgive my ignorance, but wouldn’t it be cheaper for Q trains to just use the existing connection to the 7th Avenue line at the 63rd Street station and use the existing platform? I believe there used to be shuttle service to Queensbridge that ran this way.

It wouldn’t be as convenient as a cross-platform connection, and would, I’m sure, lead to travel delays. It would also require (as the current plan does) a new connection to the Second Avenue line.

The Phantom December 8, 2010 - 4:03 pm

The Jay St MetroTech R /A / C / F train connector is going to be damned handy for some of us.

I live in Bay Ridge and work by the South Street Seaport, and my commute will change a bit for the better now, just in time for winter. Hello, A train.

Court House Square transfer completion delayed until March :: Second Ave. Sagas February 16, 2011 - 3:10 pm

[…] the project would open in January of this year while a New York 1 report in December promised a February opening. As February goes zooming past, though, the entrance has shown no signs of opening any time soon, […]


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