In case you'd forgotten, Governor Cuomo has big plans for the subway. What? No, not increasing service in any way that would make your crowded platform experience any less hellish. Getting crushed in a sea of bodies will be more aesthetically pleasing soon though, thanks to improvements planned for 30 subway stations around the city. The first work on the project begins this month on a Sunset Park R station, with another two R stations nearby slated for work in the spring and summer.

The 53rd Street R train station will completely close in both directions for six months starting March 27th, according to a press release from the MTA, which elaborates that the station will undergo "infrastructure work such as concrete and steel repairs; new platform edges; waterproofing; upgraded electrical and communications systems; track wall and platform wall repairs; new granite flooring; new stair finishes; glass barriers in station mezzanines; new LED lighting; and improved station signage."

After the 53rd Street station closes, the Bay Ridge Avenue stop will follow suit on April 29th, and the Prospect Av station will close on June 5th. The MTA (and Cuomo) argue that closing the stations for six months straight with one contractor will ultimately save time and money, as opposed to doing the work piecemeal and running trains through the stations on a limited basis.

“These first three stations to be renovated represent the start of a new age for our subway system. By using the design-build method, we are putting the onus on one contractor to get the work done seamlessly and on time,” MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim said.

When the station emerges from its cocoon, it will be a beautiful butterfly (note: the preceding language is not in the press release) containing brighter lighting, USB ports, more security cameras and Help Points and digital screens with real-time arrival information. In the mean time, commuters who rely on those stations can use nearby R stations on 4th Avenue, or the B37 and B63 buses, which run on 3rd and 5th Avenues respectively.