BY JON CRONIN
The MTA says that the 67th Avenue station on the Rego Park/Forest Hills border will be shut down completely for as much as two months while it is revamped and brought into the 21st century.
Kevin Ortiz, an MTA Spokesperson, said it is one of the stations that will be renovated as part of the Governor’s Station Enhancement Initiative. He noted that right now, “It is too early to get into the scope and schedule of the project.”
He said that they couldn’t tell when the work will be done, but it will take between 6-12 months to complete and there is a possibility that there will be a full station closure of approximately six to eight weeks.
Some of the updates seen in this initiative will be the installation of Wi-Fi hotspots, mobile payments and ticketing to replace the MetroCard. The new station will also provide USB ports on subway trains, buses and in stations to allow customers to charge their mobile devices.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo released this information in at a press conference last week in Brooklyn. A statement from his office said it is his goals to “modernize and fundamentally transform the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, dramatically improving the travel experience for millions of New Yorkers and visitors to the region.”
At last week’s press conference Cuomo said, “You know what the future is? Mass transportation. You want this region to grow? The answer is not more people getting in cars and getting on the road and driving. That is not the answer. We’re not building any more roads. The roads are congested. Gasoline is expensive. We’re polluting the environment. You can’t park. The traffic is terrible. The gridlock is terrible. That’s not the future. The future is mass transit. Now how do we get people out of the cars, into mass transit? Mass transit has to work.”
Cuomo added that they will shut down 30 stations all at once design and build whole new stations, “let people walk in there and say, ‘Wow, this is the MTA.’ This is the train station – amazing. Yes, we can.”
“The transportation system determines the economic growth of the future. When they designed this system originally, they had one million riders, they designed it for 10 million riders,” said Cuomo. He noted that he wanted to expound on their foresight with these updates.
The seven subways stations that will be closed in Queens are:
30th Avenue in Astoria
Broadway in Astoria
36th Avenue in LIC
39th Avenue in LIC
Parson’s Boulevard in Jamaica
67th Avenue in Rego Park
Northern Boulevard in Woodside.
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin