With the new South Ferry station still out of commission after being devastated by Hurricane Sandy—and unlikely to be back in the game for up to three years—the MTA is doing something drastic. Yesterday Governor Cuomo announced that starting the first week of April the "old" South Ferry station will be reopened to the public. Everybody to the first five cars!
"As MTA New York City Transit assessed the extent of damage to the new South Ferry station, it became clear that the time necessary to repair it would be too long a period to deny our customers a direct link to lower Manhattan," interim MTA CEO Tom Prendergast explained of the move the MTA had previously scoffed at. "We are working to ensure that all elements and systems are fully operational, safe and reliable before restoring service to the old station, but our primary goal remains restoring the new South Ferry station as soon as possible."
The reopening of the old South Ferry station is good news for commuters who hate walking the half-mile to Rector Street. And it is also good news for straphangers with a love for quirks. As one of the oldest stations in the system, South Ferry has many. Like the fact that it can only handle five typical train cars (as opposed to 10), requires those scary metal platform extenders and has lots of shall we say, tight fits. Still, a crowded, smaller train station is better than no train station. Is it April yet?
Not quite. So while we wait? Let's all remember just how much of a mess Sandy made in the new station: