M.T.A. says South Ferry may open next year

South Ferry subway station a week after it was badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy.  Photo by M.T.A.

South Ferry subway station a week after it was badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Photo by M.T.A.

UPDATED 2/19/2013: BY JOSH ROGERS | South Ferry is the end of the No. 1 line and transit officials thought it could take three years to open after being ravaged by Superstorm Sandy, but transit officials said last week that at least part of the station should open in two years.

“We can’t have the impacts that people are experiencing today take many months,” Thomas Prendergast, president of New York City Transit Prendergast, also interim executive director of the M.T.A., told members of the City Council’s Transportation Committee Feb. 12.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority would either open the station in stages or reopen the old South Ferry station, said Prendergast.

At one point in his testimony, he said a partially opened station could resume running by this summer, but later backed away from that optimism.

“In the next two, three months we want to get it up and running,” he told the Council.

But immediately after the hearing, he walked the statement back with reporters saying he was “conveying the sense of urgency “of reopening the station that primarily serves Staten Island commuters and tourists visiting the Statue of Liberty, which has also ben closed since Sandy.”

He said he expected to have a plan to reopen the station within a few months. He said fully reopening the station would take about 24 months, but a staged opening would speed up that timeline.

He did not have cost estimates, but initially the M.T.A. estimated it would take about $600 million to open the station.

Prendergast said he expects to get about $8.8 billion in federal money from two Sandy relief funds — one to cover replacement of damaged equipment and one to take steps to mitigate damage from future storms.

He said a shuttle bus to the Rector St. station is not practical because of the throngs of people who use the station after leaving the Staten Island ferry.

It takes about 20 packed buses “swinging low” wih the weight of passengers to make up for one line of subway cars, he added.

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6 Responses to M.T.A. says South Ferry may open next year

  1. Subway riders of the IRT #1 B'way local line–especially southbound passengers going to South Ferry–have no service. Why can't the N.Y.C. Transit Authority run a shuttle bus? Repeated calls to "Sr. Vice President–Surface" [id est, buses] Daryl Irick have gone unanswered and unreturned. The new York City transit Riders Council held a bus forum last year. Irick was there. They found him wanting and not comprehending what the job was all about. "We gave him a 'pass' because he was new at the job" said a T.R.C. executive. Yet Irick worked his way up from bus driver. [An example of the Peter Principle?] T.A. prez Prendergast is known among his senior staff and transit buffs as a placeholder, lacking initiative and a vision for the future. Is this the type of public servants we have?

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