Sunset got its station back.
R train riders were in for a surprise on the afternoon of Friday, September 8 when the train conductor announced that the next stop on their trip was 53rd Street.
The station closed on Monday, March 27 for massive renovations, with a projected reopening of fall, 2017.
The state-of-the-art station includes many upgrades on the tech side, such as enhanced lighting, countdown clocks, USB charging, digital displays with real-time service updates for trains and buses, and security cameras at turnstiles.
During the morning hours, elected officials checked out the new station. Afterwards, commuters got their chance to explore the space and for the most part, the reviews were positive.
“This looks wonderful. They really made it look gorgeous,” said straphanger Jennifer L., who wasn’t expecting the station to be open. “What I like the most are that service updates are on these huge, nice screens rather than posters. They’re going green. I hope every train station looks like this in the future. I thought it was going to get delayed and open in about November so it’s surprising.”
“It’s gorgeous,” added Mary Luz Collet. “My favorite part is I’m able to charge my phone. I’m really impressed. It’s so clean and I hope it stays like that for a while.”
MTA personnel were outside and inside the station to let locals know their station is back.
“I think they actually listened to the passengers about what they were craving and felt they needed,” said an MTA customer service ambassador. “It’s not just an upgrade, but an uplift to the station. It’s the future of the MTA.
“They are happiest that they have their station back and they don’t have to do that walk to the next station,” the ambassador added. “I spoke with one of the business owners upstairs and she is very happy it’s open because being closed put a damper on her business. The USB station is a favorite already. It’s brighter. There are more cameras. It’s more soothing.”
There is also mosaic artwork by Brooklyn-based artist Mickalene Thomas. According to the information, the collage-like design juxtaposes textile patterns with the imagery of plants found in New York.
Some say they wished that elevators had been installed in the station, but overall, early response has been positive
“It’s really nice and unique especially on the tech side and the Wi-Fi is already working,” said Jason Anthony Pineiro.
The Bay Ridge Avenue station, which also was closed for upgrades, is slated to re-open later this fall.