Home Brooklyn At Jay Street, a new connection for thousands

At Jay Street, a new connection for thousands

by Benjamin Kabak

MTA CEO and Chair Jay Walder, with scissors, celebrates the opening of the new station as Brooklyn politicians join in. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of the Jay St.-MetroTech station rehab and a new connection between the IND and BMT, MTA officials spoke of the thousands of people who will now enjoy the new station. For the first time since 1933, passenger will enjoy a free in-system transfer between the R and the A, C and F trains. It was a distance of barely more than 100 feet that took nearly eight decades to bridge.

“The work we’ve done here acknowledges this station’s importance to Downtown Brooklyn,” Transit president Thomas Prendergast said to a crowd of contractors, politicians and reporters at the station this morning. “From day one, this is going to be a vital transfer point for our customers, creating another transit hub in Downtown Brooklyn.”

A new escalator leads the way up from the old Lawrence St. station on the R. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

With the new connection comes a new name, and while the signs across the complex now say Jay St.-MetroTech, it might be tough for the locals to forget about Lawrence St. and Borough Hall. Still, a new moniker is nothing compared with the overall enhancements at the station. Jay St. is now fully ADA-compliant with three elevators and two new escalators. The fare control areas have been reorganized to better facilitate passenger flow, and a massive Arts for Transit installation adorns the mezzanine level.

“We don’t just do the bare minimum,” MTA CEO and Chair Jay Walder said. “We put in the work, effort and art that will allow us to walk in here and smile when we enter the station.”

For the MTA, this connection is, as Walder says, part of an effort to “correct[] a mistake that was made back in 1933.” As the original tripartite subway system went up, lines operated by different companies crossed, but because of the competition between the IRT, BMT and IND operators, transfers were often omitted. Now, with various projects around the city, the MTA is working to integrate an old system. “The opening of this link as well as two other new transfers to be placed into service next year continues the physical consolidation of a subway originall built and operated as three separate systems,” Prendergast said.

The politicians who took part in the ceremony echoed this drive and pushed for more. Letitia James, City Council representative for the area, called upon the MTA to connect the G with the IRT. Both Borough President Marty Markowitz and Joan Millman, while praising the MTA for finishing the $164 million rehab on time and under budget, urged the authority to address the issues surrounding the former Transit headquarters above. “370 Jay Street,” Markowitz said. “That’s our next chore.”

This morning, they celebrated. This afternoon, they went back to work. “Finally,” Markowitz said, “we have a station worth of Downtown Brooklyn and all Brooklynites.”

Departures and Arrivals fills an artistic gap

Departures and Arrivals (2009), Ben Snead, Jay Street-Metro Tech Station, A, C, F, R lines, MTA New York City Transit. Commissioned and owned by Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts for Transit. (Photo: Collin LaFleche. Click to enlarge.)

As part of the station rehab, the MTA’s Arts for Transit division has installed a 103-foot-long mural along the newly renovated mezzanine. Designed by Ben Snead, the piece is called Departures and Arrivals, and it is a metaphor for the melting pot of the Borough of Kings. It features species of animals that have migrated to Brooklyn and one that is departing.

Snead, who works extensively with animals, had applied to design an installation for two other stations in the Bronx, but the MTA finally came knocking for the space at Jay Street. It is, Lester Burg of Arts for Transit told me, one of the largest installations in the system. It is made out of glass mosaic and ceramic title, and it undulates as the wall does. The art adds another welcoming touch to a station much improved.

After the jump, a slideshow from the unveiling.

You may also like


kvnbklyn December 10, 2010 - 3:51 pm

Not bad for such a tight space. And I love the bird/fish/insect mosaic!

Sara Nordmann December 10, 2010 - 3:57 pm

To celebrate the occasion, I just drew a black “connection” line on the MTA map that hangs on my wall. Hooray for accomplishments in the age of fare increases.

Max S. (WilletsPoint-SheaStadium) December 10, 2010 - 3:59 pm

I wonder if they’re going to move the former Lawrence Street station on the (R) a little to the left to better demonstrate the proximity of the two stations…

Adam December 10, 2010 - 4:09 pm

“The opening of this link as well as two other newe transfers to be placed into service next year continues the physical consolidation of a subway originall built and operated as three separate systems,” Prendergast said.

What other two new transfers?

Benjamin Kabak December 10, 2010 - 4:11 pm

Court Sq. to connect the 7 and G in February and Bleecker St./Broadway-Lafayette in the fall.

Tom S December 10, 2010 - 4:38 pm

Any word on when Bleecker St will be completed?

Benjamin Kabak December 10, 2010 - 4:39 pm

In the fall. Either November or September. I forget which.

John December 10, 2010 - 6:44 pm

Bleecker uptown will be the big one as far as much-delayed transfer connections, since you basically have four diverging routes at Broadway-Lafayette — Culver, West End, Brighton and Myrtle-Broadway — that will now have uni-directional transfer access to the East Side IRT (the B and D of course already have it at Atlantic Ave.-Pacific Street, but since they both bypass downtown via the Manhattan Bridge, you’d probably have to be going at least north of 59th Street to make transferring to the 4/5 there faster than just staying on until B’way-Lafayette and taking the 6).

BoerumHillScott December 10, 2010 - 6:59 pm

Making the transfer from the B/D to 6 at Broadway/Lafayette/Bleecker should also be easier/faster then the transfer from the D or B to the 4/5 at Atlantic/Pacific, since there will not be the passageways and greater number of stairs.

Joe December 10, 2010 - 7:35 pm

I don’t know if it will be that easy. True there will be fewer staircases at Broadway-Lafayette than there at Atlantic-Pacific, but I imagine it’s going to be quite a bit of a walk. The existing connection is at the Southern end of the Downtown 6 platform, and the uptown platform doesn’t start until a few hundred feet further up. It’s definitely a useful transfer, but it’s still going to be a long walk between the BDFM and the Uptown 6.

Benjamin Kabak December 10, 2010 - 7:38 pm

The existing connection is at the Southern end of the Downtown 6 platform, and the uptown platform doesn’t start until a few hundred feet further up. It’s definitely a useful transfer, but it’s still going to be a long walk between the BDFM and the Uptown 6.

The center piece of the Broadway/Lafayette-Bleecker St. rehab is that uptown platform. They’re moving it 300 feet south so it lines up with the station mezzanine and the downtown platform. The transfer will be a piece of cake. I have renderings here and here.

BoerumHillScott December 10, 2010 - 7:39 pm

I am pretty sure they are shifting the uptown platform south a few hundred feet so the two platforms line up, with their south edge being right over the BDFM mezzanine.
The current north part of the 6 platform will be blocked off.

Joe December 10, 2010 - 11:08 pm

Thank you Ben and BoerumHillScott for the answers, I hadn’t been able to tell what exactly the transfer would look like, and I guess I had missed the note that the MTA was lining up the two platforms to make the transfer easier. This was a smart move.

On an slightly related note, is there a reason for some of the IRT stations are not lined up in Manhattan? Bleecker is an obvious culprit, but even Union Square the Uptown and Downtown platforms are offset from each other. I’ve really only seen this on the IRT in Manhattan, anyone know the reason?

BoerumHillScott December 11, 2010 - 8:25 am

I’m not sure whey Union square is offset – it may have to do with the curves there along with a desire to spare certain sections of the park, although other stations were built on/near curves and under parks with the offset.

For Astor, Bleecker, and Spring, I believe one reason is rooted in the fact that local stations were originally much shorter than express stations.

When the MTA extended all the local platforms to 10 car length around 1950, the choose the easiest direction for each platform.

For instance, I read somewhere that there was once a gas station on the east side of Lafayette between Houston Bleecker, so extending the platform that way would have been more expensive and time consuming due to the underground fuel tanks.

Bolwerk December 10, 2010 - 7:10 pm

Marty sure does fake smile well!

Addressing weekend changes and SAS downtime :: Second Ave. Sagas December 10, 2010 - 7:30 pm

[…] « At Jay Street, a new connection for thousands Dec […]

Sara Nordmann December 11, 2010 - 12:53 am

I decided to stop by the new Jay St-Metrotech station this evening to take a gander, and I noticed at least two different people taking photos of the new escalator. Made me chuckle.

I wonder if there were people today saying, “Where did the Lawrence St. stop go? Am I on the wrong train?” (Into the Twilight Zone, is where.)

Anon December 11, 2010 - 10:18 am

How about a tranfer between the G & 2/3 in downtown Brooklyn?

Betwixt Hoyt & Hot-Schermerhorn?

Bolwerk December 11, 2010 - 8:23 pm

See for yourself. It might not be the easiest job.

BoerumHillScott December 11, 2010 - 8:43 pm

The Hoyt 2/3 station has no underpass or mezzanine, and the platforms are 1 level below the street, so a new passageway would have to be built under the active tracks and platform.

In addition, there is no way to make a connection easily accessible from the currently open section of the Hoyt-Schermerhorn mezzanine, requiring even more work probably including removing a good chunk of the police substation.

al December 12, 2010 - 2:19 am

The newly opened connection between A,C,F and R allows a relatively short 2 step in Brooklyn transfer between the 2,3,4,5 and G. The R stops at Court St, with a transfer to Borough Hall 2,3,4,5. One stop away is the newly renamed Jay St-MetroTech. 1 stop further into Brooklyn either on the A,C (Hoyt Schermerhorn)or F (Bergen) allows transfer with the G.

Court St-Borough Hall (2,3,4,5,R) Jay St-MetroTech (A,C,F,R)
Jay St-MetroTech (A,C,F,R) Carol St (F,G)
Jay St-MetroTech (A,C,F,R) Hoyt-Schermerhorn (A,C,G)

Another path is transfer between R and 2,3,4,5 @ Atlantic Ave & Pacific St, followed by a transfer to the A,C,F @ Jay St-MetroTech, and then hopping on the A,C 1 stop to Hoyt-Schermerhorn or the F to Bergen

Atlantic Ave Pacific St (2,3,4,5,B,D,N,Q,R) Jay St-MetroTech (A,C,F,R)
Jay St-MetroTech (A,C,F,R) Carol St (F,G)
Jay St-MetroTech (A,C,F,R) Hoyt-Schermerhorn (A,C,G)

Other options are:
>Transfer to Euclid Ave bound C @ Hoyt Schermerhorn, then using the Franklin Ave Shuttle to Franklin Ave (2,3,4,5)
>Fulton St Transit Center (2,3,4,5,A,C,J,Z,R, and 1?) once it opens.
>Unlimited Ride MetroCard, assuming the 18 min has elapsed.

If you are going to build a transfer between the IRT and IND in downtown Brooklyn, do it between the Jay St-MetroTech and Court St-Borough Hall. Yes it would connect the R at 2 stops, but it gives the F a direct connection to the 2,3,4,5 in Brooklyn. G train would be 1 or 2 stops away.

Out with the SubTalk, in with the new :: Second Ave. Sagas December 11, 2010 - 12:46 pm

[…] my way to the Jay St.-MetroTech ribbon-cutting yesterday, I hopped on a Manhattan-bound 3 train at Grand Army Plaza and found myself in a car […]

Jerrold December 11, 2010 - 6:01 pm

[I already posted this on the newest thread, but then I realized that perhaps it belongs HERE]

I took a ride today over to the new Jay St.-MetroTech station to see it for myself.
It lived up to all its billing, except for something I noticed on the former Lawrence St. platform. When you step down from the stairway onto the platform, there is NO sign indicating which side is for the Manhattan-bound trains and which side is for the Brooklyn-bound trains.

Lawrence Velazquez December 13, 2010 - 8:29 pm

I checked it out the other day, too. I have to admit, the IND station is much nicer than the BMT station.

Josh H December 13, 2010 - 12:55 pm

I know this isn’t relevant to anything, but: I love the way Jay Walder towers over everyone else in group pictures.

At renamed stations, a confusion of old and new :: Second Ave. Sagas December 20, 2010 - 1:40 am

[…] most popular stop and combined it with the 286th to create the new Jay St./MetroTech station, they hosted a ceremonial ribbon-cutting replete with reporters, video cameras and local politicians. When the authority renamed a platform […]


Leave a Comment