MTA Press Releases

Press Release
March 16, 2009
MTA Opens New South Ferry Subway Terminal
New Intermodal Center Links Ferry, Bus and Subway to Improve Transit Services

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today opened the new South Ferry Subway Station in Lower Manhattan. The first new subway station to open since 1989, the station will become one of New York's true intermodal centers linking the ferry, subway and bus services.

Governor David A. Paterson presided over the ceremony. He was joined by U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Representatives Jerrold Nadler and Michael E. McMahon, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro, New York State Assembly Member Michael Cusick, and New York City Council Members Alan Jay Gerson and Thomas White Jr., as well as MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot G. Sander and MTA Chairman H. Dale Hemmerdinger.

"This station represents not only our joint city, state and federal commitment to rebuilding Lower Manhattan, but also our commitment to mass transit in New York State," said Governor Paterson. "This station is vital to the residents, commuters and tourists who pass through it each day, by allowing for increased subway service, better connections and spurring economic growth in Lower Manhattan. I thank our Congressional delegation for pushing for this funding in Washington. Projects like the South Ferry Station keep New York's mass transit system among the best in the world."

The new station makes many improvements to the existing structure. First built in 1905, it had just one exit and could only accommodate the first five cars of each train, requiring passengers to move forward at the Rector Street Station and affecting service on the No. 1 line.

Now with multiple exits, seven escalators and two Americans with Disabilities Act compliant elevators, passengers will be able to easily access the street, and Battery Park, as well as neighboring office buildings and a new free walking transfer to the R/W subway lines at Whitehall Street-South Ferry Station. The renovations expanded the platform to accommodate ten-car trains, which will improve operations and alleviate platform crowding. The new station also includes sufficient overrun track beyond the main platform to allow trains to safely enter at higher speeds.

The new South Ferry Station was financed through $420 million in federal money to assist in the economic recovery and residential development of Lower Manhattan after the attacks on September 11, and $107 million in local funds for a total project budget of $527 million. The project required the construction team to begin work while both supporting the existing South Ferry Station and No. 4/5 subway tunnels and also minimizing interruptions to passenger service.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said: "We are pleased to have contributed $420 million toward the construction of the new South Ferry Terminal Station. This is a true intermodal facility that connects trains, ferries, and buses shortening travel times, and giving people greater access to Lower Manhattan."

MTA Chairman H. Dale Hemmerdinger said: "The MTA is proud to play a central role in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan along with our many government partners. This new station will dramatically improve service for both daily commuters and tourists, and it is a proud addition to the critical MTA infrastructure that is the lifeblood of our economy."

MTA Executive Director and CEO Elliot G. Sander said: "This is the first new subway station to open in New York City in nearly 20 years, and it is a major milestone in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, as it is the first major public transportation project to open Downtown since 9/11. This artistically beautiful and highly functional station is a tangible reminder that when the MTA is provided with adequate capital funding, we build monumental works that will benefit generations of New Yorkers for many decades to come."

In 2007, MTA Capital Construction received an Environmental Quality Award from the Environmental Protection Agency – Region 2 for protecting and enhancing environmental quality throughout the building process. Construction equipment was retrofitted with diesel particulate filters and fueled with Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel to keep air pollution at a minimum. About 85 percent of the construction waste was recycled and best practices in dust, noise and vibration mitigation were followed. The Discovery Channel chronicled the renovations on its program Extreme Engineering.

Over the course of construction, more than 50,000 archaeological artifacts uncovered including an English-era Battery Wall, spanning a distance of almost 600 feet. A section of the wall has been preserved and installed in the new station for all New Yorkers and visitors to see.

The new station displays the MTA Arts for Transit Permanent Art Program's most recent public artwork installation. Brooklyn-based artists Doug and Mike Starn created a monumental work in bringing the above ground park into the station, titled "See It Split, See It Change." The multi-part, site-specific installation encompasses the entire interior of the new station terminal concourse and consists of a floor-to-ceiling mosaic map of Manhattan, 230 linear feet of silhouetted trees presented in an innovative fused-glass technique, an image of a single leaf in the same fused-glass technique that leads down to the platform, and a Stainless Steel Fence that features a tree motif and separates the entry from the station.

The MTA last opened a brand new subway station in 1989 with the 63rd & Lexington, Roosevelt Island, and 21st St.-Queensbridge Stations on today's F line.

# # #

Additional quotes provided in support of the new South Ferry Station.

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said: "The opening of South Ferry is a milestone in revitalizing Lower Manhattan, maintaining and at the same time improving our subway system and enhancing a critical connection between Staten Island and the entire region."

U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand said: "The new South Ferry Terminal Station is key for the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan. This project was a true federal, state and local partnership for the economic recovery and residential redevelopment of Lower Manhattan. I pledge to work with Governor Paterson, Senator Schumer, Congressman Nadler, Congressman McMahon and our entire congressional delegation to ensure New York City gets its fair share of federal dollars."

Congressman Jerrold Nadler said: "I'm very pleased that we have put these post-9/11 funds for Lower Manhattan to good use. Reinvestment downtown is extremely important for neighborhood residents, workers and commuters and for the general resurgence of New York City as a whole. This new station will greatly improve the efficiency of the entire Seventh Avenue subway line and maximize access for commuters and tourists alike. The new South Ferry Terminal is a key piece of New York infrastructure and a boon to civic pride."

Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith said: "The opening of the new South Ferry Terminal Station is among the first steps our State is taking to build a new economy. Driven by a commitment to job creation and sound economic development we can bring cities together and help get New Yorkers back to work."

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said: "This is a welcome development for Battery Park City, Lower Manhattan and Greater New York City. The new station will help workers who rely on ferry service into Manhattan by speeding subway commutes and improving rider safety. We urge the MTA to now turn its full attention to the completion of the Fulton Street transit hub."

State Senator Martin Malave Dilan said: "The opening of the new South Ferry Terminal exemplifies the resiliency and determination of New Yorkers. Just as we came back stronger than ever after the events of 9/11, we are continuing to build and improve our great city and state throughout these difficult economic times. In doing so, we will revitalize our economy. Projects like this demonstrate our commitment to continued growth and progress, and as Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, I could not be more pleased to witness the completion of this project."

State Senator Bill Perkins said: "We finally got it right! Riders will no longer have to scramble to the front of the train to get off. As we move ahead with future projects we have to develop checks along the way that will prevent the costly mistakes made on this project that delayed its completion for so long. Congratulations."

State Senator Diane J. Savino said: "One of the markers of a true world class city is a well functioning mass transit system. Today's opening of the South Ferry Terminal Station elevates New York even more by facilitating travel between the two boroughs that I represent, Staten Island and Brooklyn."

State Senator Daniel Squadron said: "Lower Manhattan, like our entire city, thrives on great, accessible transit: subways, bridges, tunnels that link us to people and businesses all over the world. The new South Ferry station is part of our rebuilding and will better connect us to the city and the world. Today marks another step in the renewal of Lower Manhattan and an investment in the future of our city."

Assemblyman Michael J. Cusick said: "The old station only had once entranceway, making entering and exiting the station incredibly difficult and dangerous. The new South Ferry Terminal Station will serve as a gateway to Staten Island and be completely accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, making the commute from Staten Island to Manhattan available to all."

Assemblyman David F. Gantt said: "The completion of the new South Ferry Terminal Station is an important transportation and economic development project for New York. With a new hub connecting ferry, train and bus lines, Staten Island residents can have a speedier trip to work. Especially in these tough economic times, it is important to provide reliable mass transportation."

Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer said: "The completion of the new South Ferry Terminal Station marks the start of a new era in Staten Island transportation. The new, high-capacity terminal will ease congestion to and from Manhattan, promising to make life easier for Staten Islanders on the go."

Assemblyman Matthew J. Titone said: "The new South Ferry Station will be a beautiful state of the art facility. It's truly a station of the future and will help ease train line congestion and cut down on travel time for the thousands of Staten Islanders who rely on train service every day, making commuting a more pleasant experience."

Assemblyman Lou Tobacco said: "With the opening of additional infrastructure like the South Ferry Station, the commute for Staten Island residence will be a little easier. This project demonstrates what can be achieved when federal, state and city government work together. This is a great day for Staten Islanders."

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said: "The South Ferry Station project will not only be a major improvement for commuters and businesses in the area, but it will increase subway access and service for residents of one of the fastest growing residential neighborhoods in the country: Lower Manhattan. I want to thank all our representatives in Albany and Washington for wisely investing these post-9/11 recovery funds in modernizing our mass transit system."

Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer said: "The South Ferry subway station is a daily entry point for thousands of New York transit riders, and – being more than a hundred years old – for too long has been cramped and outmoded. Today's opening demonstrates that our wait for a better station is finally over. On behalf of thousands of subway riders, I want to thank our congressional delegation, Governor Paterson and the MTA for creating this new and beautiful facility for our straphangers."

MTA NYC Transit President Howard H. Roberts said: "It was state-of-the-art more than a century ago, but the old South Ferry station has not been a welcoming facility for decades, forcing customers to enter and exit through only half of a train and completely denying accessibility to many. The opening today of the new South Ferry terminal here in Lower Manhattan, however, puts this vital section of the city within reach of all of our customers offering easy connection to tourist attractions and the Staten Island Ferry. Also, an important benefit for the entire line is that the configuration of the new station vastly improves efficiency, allowing the capacity for future service increases from the current 22 trains per hour to 24."

MTA Capital Construction President Dr. Michael Horodniceanu said: "The new South Ferry Terminal Station was guided by Green design specifications, including energy saving lighting and equipment, as well as the on-demand escalators which are a first in New York's subway system."