Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal says the MTA took a “negligent approach” to telling Upper West Siders that three subway stations — the B-C stations at 110th, 86th and 72nd Street — will be closed for up to six months. In a letter sent to MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, she demanded that the agency halt its plans until they present them at a public hearing. We’ve posted the whole letter below.
Rosenthal says the MTA did not tell her in advance about the station closures in her district and she is “dismayed” that there are “no plans to provide extra M10 and other bus service or trains on nearby lines during the closures.” Rosenthal also criticized the agency’s failure to include elevators in the stations upgrades, given the $111 million price tag (which also includes a station on 163rd Street).
“We’re committed to continuing to work with local elected officials and will respond to the Assemblywoman’s letter directly,” wrote an MTA spokesman in response.
While the state — and particularly the governor — controls the MTA, state legislators have often taken a hands-off approach to the agency, holding few if any hearings into the agency’s notoriously high capital costs, for instance. But with these station closures set to impact tens of thousands of commuters, local legislators have criticized the agency’s process. Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell said the agency’s decision not to include upgrades like elevators for people with disabilities was “shameful.”
New York City Transit Authority president Andy Byford has said that elevators are not feasible at many of the stations receiving upgrades.
West Side Rag broke the story about the planned closures last week after they were detailed at a sparsely attended Community Board 7 Transportation Committee meeting. The first station — 110th Street — is expected to be closed on April 9, just six weeks from now.