Bay Ridge R train riders are seeking some sort of resolution to a plan of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s that would see not only an overhaul of one of the neighborhood’s four subway stations, but also its closure for at least half a year.
“While we are glad to see that Bay Ridge Avenue will be included as part of the MTA’s Enhanced Station Initiative, we are concerned about the impact that the projected closure will have on riders who use the station,” wrote concerned resident and avid R train rider Andrew Gounardes in a letter addressed to both MTA President Veronique Hakim and Governor Andrew Cuomo that will be sent alongside signatures from a subsequent petition. “Closing this station will force riders to travel an additional [half of a] mile to either 77th Street or 59th Street just to ride the R train.”
Gounardes and company are calling on the MTA either to run shuttle bus service between Bay Ridge Avenue and 59th Street or temporarily boost bus service on three nearby buses – the B9, B37 and B63 – while the Bay Ridge Avenue station is closed for repairs.
“This will help mitigate the impact that the station closure will have on R train riders and provide continuity of service as we approach a season of inclement weather,” said Gounardes, who is certainly not alone in this fight.
On Tuesday, January 17, a bevy of local legislators announced that they have penned a letter to Cuomo and Hakim, requesting the same thing.
“As the second busiest station servicing commuters in Bay Ridge, the R train is a critical and affordable transportation resource for students, working professionals, and seniors on a fixed income traveling to and from the neighborhood,” wrote the group, which includes State Senator Marty Golden and Assemblymembers Nicole Malliotakis, Felix Ortiz and Pamela Harris. “Additionally, the Bay Ridge Avenue station serves as a vital transfer point between the R train and the B64 and B9 buses.”
According to the pols, the shutdown will require nearly 8,379 commuters on average to travel to another stop to catch the R on a daily basis.
Once reconstruction is complete, the revamped Bay Ridge Avenue station will feature enhanced lighting throughout, as well as improved signage to make it easier for straphangers to navigate their stops. It will also include at least one countdown clock, improved cell service, new art and a real-time navigation system.
The Bay Ridge Avenue station is just one of 31 stops citywide that will see such an overhaul, as announced by Cuomo over the summer. According to government officials, the station will close in April.
Click here to sign Gounardes’ petition, which will be sent to Hakim and Cuomo come February 15.