New entrances coming to Jay Street-MetroTech: Two entries getting facelifts in NYU revamp of old MTA building

A new look: This decrepit subway entrance to Jay Street-MetroTech station is getting a much-needed makeover.
Community News Group / Lauren Gill

They’re a new way in — and out!

Two entrances to Jay Street-MetroTech station are being made over as part of New York University’s revamp of the old Metropolitan Transportation Authority building Downtown. The $500-million renovation of the structure at 370 Jay Street, between Willoughby Street and MetroTech, will allow for sprucing up the entrances on either side of it, granting easier access for A, C, F, and R train riders, according to a university rep.

“The transit agency approached us about redesigning both entrances on either side of the building to improve traffic flow,” said New York University rep Nicole Huff, at Community Board 2’s general board meeting in May.

But plans for the entrances — which Huff said will include new lighting, expanding the stairways to 12 feet, and installing two new up escalators — could do the exact opposite, said locals who demanded officials go back to the drawing board an include down escalators, too.

“It’s a shame in this day and age to only have two going up,” said Boerum Hill resident Bill Harris, a member of the community board.

The entrances being refurbished are the only escalator-equipped entries to the station, and currently have two moving staircases each — one that goes up for exiting straphangers, and another that goes down for entering ones. Each entrance also has several six-foot wide staircases, and there is an elevator near the Willoughby Street entry.

Work on the entrances has not started, and it is not clear who is paying for the repairs or why the number of escalators is being reduced in the new plan. A New York University rep said it is not footing the bill for the transit agency project and could not be reached for more information regarding the escalators, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority did not respond to requests for comment.

The building’s renovation is nearly complete, however, and it is scheduled to open this summer, according to Huff.

Jay Street-MetroTech’s last refresh came in 2010, when the transit authority connected the hub, once known as Borough Hall-MetroTech, to the Lawrence Street-MetroTech R station.

In its halcyon days, in the 1970s, a grand entrance to the station included a mezzanine level with shops, and a ground floor with more stores and restaurants, according to subway expert Bob Diamond.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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