Sneak Peek at 96th Street
While the full rehabilitation of the 96th Street station won't be complete until September, riders can now enter the station through the new station building located in the Broadway median between 95th and 96th Streets. Achieving the perfect blend of aesthetics and utility, the new station building is the most visible portion of a station rehabilitation project that will bring numerous benefits to customers when it's complete this fall.
The building is being opened during the rehabilitation to allow customers to continue to access the platforms while work proceeds elsewhere in the station. The overall renovation also includes installation of new lighting, improved ventilation, a new public address system and a new customer information center along with new signage, security equipment and floor and wall tiles, restoration of historic station finishes and mosaics, and the installation of artwork.
Customers can now walk directly down to the platforms instead of walking down below track level and then walking up to the platforms, as with the previous entrances. The new station building also eases multi-platform transfers, and will house elevators that will allow disabled New Yorkers to use the station for the first time.
Monday's opening was preceded by an inspection and walk-through led by MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jay H. Walder and MTA New York City Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast.
President Prendergast said: "We have taken this opportunity to improve access to the subway system for everyone. Eliminating the need to walk down and up extra sets of stairs to reach the train platform is a big plus of the new design. The additions of the ADA elevators, which will be ready for use this coming fall, will help open up the system to riders who find it difficult if not impossible to negotiate stairs."
The station is the 27th busiest in the subway system, with an average weekday customer count of 34,000, not including transfers. It first opened on October 27, 1904, as part of the city's first subway line.