Here’s one announcement from Jimmy Van Bramer’s MTA Town Hall that didn’t really make it into the news. In addition to closing the Steinway Tunnel for sixteen weekends this year and not running a bus through the Midtown Tunnel, the MTA will close the Court Square station from January 21 through April 6 – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The E, G and M trains will stop in the subways, but when the #7 is running to Times Square it will cruise right by Court Square without stopping.
At the town hall, Peter Cafiero, Chief of Operations Planning for the authority, said that workers would replace almost every part of the station, including the platforms and windscreens. It’s kind of hard to board a train with no platform there, and unlike the Metro-North stations where they’ve replaced platforms recently, there’s nowhere else to build a new platform. This makes sense, but as with the weekend closing of the Steinway Tunnel, the alternatives are bad.
On weekdays while the Court Square platforms are closed, the MTA will offer no additional service. Passengers who want to take the #7 are advised to take the E or M trains. That’s it.
People who used to transfer from the G to the #7 will have to walk to the E or M instead, or else go the other way and transfer to the already crowded L train at Metropolitan.
Since they’re going to shut down the station completely, I wish they could build another staircase at the north end of the platform so that we can transfer directly from the #7 to the E and M trains. The existing transfer at 45th Road takes you to the G train, but transferring to the E or M involves walking another block underground. At 44th Drive north of the 53rd Street tunnel there’s just a parking lot now. It would be relatively cheap to build a staircase (and even an elevator, to be ADA accessible) connecting the el to the subway.
If they don’t do it now, they should at least require anyone who builds on that parcel to put in another transfer.