NEW YORK — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) 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, officials said.
“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,” New York Gov. David A. Paterson said. “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.
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 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.