Commuters are smiling in Lower Manhattan as service is restored at South Ferry Subway Station for the first time since Super Storm Sandy.
Acting MTA chief Fernando Ferrer was on hand with a delegation to greet commuters on a cold Thursday morning saying “It’s good. It means people don’t have to walk a half mile from the ferry to the next stop.”
The reopening of the South Ferry Station some 5 months after the storm plugs a gap in the subway system. It restores the final stop on the Number 1 train and a critical connection for Staten Island Ferry riders. Commuters on the first few trains said they were pleased to once again have seamless service between the subway and the Staten Island Ferry.
Deborah Shands says she and her two kids use the train from 125th Street to get to the ferry on their way to school on Staten Island. She says the stop helps her commute” It’s improved a lot because it was hard for the kids because they had to get up early and walk. Sometimes I had to carry my daughter because she would get tired.”
Reopening the 108 year old station became necessary after the new hub that was opened in 2009 and cost more than $500 million dollars to build was devastated by Sandy. It may take years before repairs are complete and it reopens, and it could cost up to $600 million dollars. In the meantime the M.T.A. has been hard at work opening the old stop that was shut down four years ago.
There are some problems. The M.T.A. will have to go back to the so called five car rule, meaning riders exiting at the station will have to leave through the first five cars of the train because the platform is not long enough to to accommodate 10 car trains. In recent months the M.T.A. has made improvements including the installation of a new entrance , lighting and a closed circuit television system to make it easier for crews to see trains on the curved track.