Straphangers react to Cortlandt Street station closing
By Olga Mantilla
Straphangers arriving from all parts of the city at the Cortlandt Street station on the R and W lines had mixed reviews for the Metropolitan Transportaion Authoritys recent announcement of the stations temporary closing optimistic Financial District workers said it was a small price to pay for an improved station, while others had nothing but bitter words for the M.T.A.
Its definitely inconvenient, said Brooklyn resident Debbie Ryan of the Cortlandt Street stations imminent six-month closing.
Ill have to spend more time traveling.
The M.T.A. plans to temporarily close the station starting August 20th for construction of a 150-foot underpass that will link the future redeveloped World Trade Center train station to the Fulton Street Transit Center, a project targeted for late 2007 that will connect the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, M, Z, R, W, and E subway lines in Lower Manhattan. The Cortlandt stop will be bypassed by the R and W lines. It is scheduled to open on February 6, 2006.
Daily commuters that exit at the R/W trains Cortlandt Street stop in the Financial District expressed surprise and annoyance at the stations closing, some accusing the M.T.A. of being thoughtless and inconsiderate of city train riders interests.
[The M.T.A.] has to do what it has to do, said peeved rider Vishal Patel at the news of the decision. Patel, who commutes on the R train to the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University, said that he thought the M.T.A. didnt care much for transit riders convenience or comfort. Its not in [the commuters] hands, he said of the stations closing. They should take the train riders into account, but they dont.
Other straphangers were more accommodating to the M.T.A.s decision, assured by the proximity of eleven other subway lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, E, J, M, Z in the Financial District. Several riders were able to quickly throw down a couple of alternate routes to work while being interviewed in the station Wednesday morning.
Well, I have the Fulton Street stop. The 4 or the 5 is usually faster anyway, Financial District worker Sheila Williams reasoned. It wont be such a hassle Ill just have to walk a couple of more blocks.
Theres alternatives thats why I like taking the trains, she said. The only thing is that itll make the alternative trains more crowded.
Its an inconvenience that we regret, said Deirdre Parker, a spokesperson for New York City Transit, a division of the M.T.A. The station shutdown is a necessary measure for the construction of the new underpass and the larger redevelopment project of the World Trade Center site and the Fulton Street Transit Center.
Straphangers will have a rehabilitated station to look forward to, Parker said.