Last week we trudged up the stairs of the Broadway-Lafayette F station and out into the elements to make a transfer to the uptown 6. In addition to being within 200 yards of a Hollister, we were being charged $2.25 for the indignity. As we cursed our cruel fate, we wondered two things: when the hell is the MTA going to finish the new station and why can't the transfer be gratis like it is from Lexington Ave-59th St to Lexington Ave-63rd St?

An MTA spokesman unravels one of life's greatest mysteries:

The walking transfer between Lexington Ave-63rd St and Lexington Ave-59th St was instituted when we implemented the 63rd Street connection and rerouted the F through the 63rd Street tunnel.  The walking transfer was instituted to maintain a transfer between the F and the Lexington Ave line previously available to F riders between the Lexington Ave-53rd and 51st street stations. 

We suppose it was kind of them to keep the transfer free for those who had always had it. But what about extending some goodwill to straphangers who have seen their services cut drastically? Keep telling yourself "it's just the tourists' money" the sixth time you swipe that extra fare. It's (almost) enough to make us turn to Mom & Pop MetroCard vendors to save that extra $.25, or hire (very reasonable) rat sherpas to carry us through the tunnels.

The spokesperson also noted that the station work at Broadway-Lafayette "is scheduled to be completed sometime this spring," with our luck around the time it's warm enough to never have to take the subway.