MTA New York City Transit’s old South Ferry loop station reopened this morning at 5 a.m. in time for the first rush of commuters streaming off the Staten Island Ferry. The station had been out of service since the new South Ferry terminal station opened in 2009, but was re-commissioned after the new station was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.
“Reopening the new old South Ferry station means that our customers who live on Staten Island have an easier time to connect to the No. 1 subway rather than walk half a mile up to Rector Street,” said MTA Acting Chairman Fernando Ferrer, who was on hand for the reopening along with MTA Board Member Allen P. Cappelli and MTA personnel. “We don’t want to leave any of our customers behind. This was an important thing to do.”
“I would like to commend our Transit team, who through their hard work enabled us to get the old loop station back into service for our customers,” said MTA Interim Executive Director Thomas F. Prendergast. “We will continue to work with Governor Cuomo and our federal and local partners to rebuild and restore service to the new South Ferry station as quickly as possible.”
Sandy’s storm surge sent 15 million gallons of salt water into the new South Ferry station, destroying all electrical and mechanical systems and components and filling the entire structure from the track level to the mezzanine, a depth of 80 feet. As a result, 1 trains had been terminating at Rector Street until the first through train opened its doors at South Ferry at 5:15 a.m. today.
The reopening came less than a month since Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced March 8 that the MTA would restore service to the old South Ferry loop as a temporary alternative until the new South Ferry Station can be refurbished.
Work to reopen the old South Ferry included opening a new connection point between the new station mezzanine and the old loop station, which will allow a transfer between the 1 and the R Whitehall Street station. The two escalators from the street to the concourse level were also restored in the process.
Other work included refurbishing the moveable platform edge extenders and replacing pistons and other components. Crews also installed electrical feeds, closed-circuit television systems to monitor the platform, customer assistance intercoms, security cameras and radio communications in the dispatcher’s office. Lighting in the station and adjacent tunnels was restored and the station walls were repaired and repainted. Additionally, a new fare control area was created consisting of four turnstiles and one emergency gate leading to the existing staircase at the old loop station.
Customers must be in the first five cars to exit at the old South Ferry loop station because of its short platform, and are urged to exit through the staircase at the center of the platform because of limited space. Customers entering the station should use the main entrance adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry terminal using the new South Ferry station mezzanine, entering the loop station from the newly created connection.
The loop station will be closed during some weekends in the future in order to rehabilitate the moveable platforms, with dates to be announced in the near future.
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