Transit authorities unveiled a shiny new entrance and mezzanine inside the Nostrand Avenue subway stop on the A/C line, following a months-long, $2 million project to restore the long-shuttered Bedford-Stuyvesant entryway.
The new access point on the corner of Bedford Avenue and Fulton Street aims to cut the commute time for people who live west of the station, and reduce crowding at the existing entrances, said bigwigs at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Even a two-minute walk to a different entrance could cause someone to miss the train, said MTA Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer at a Feb. 4 press conference. “That’s taking precious minutes off of someone’s commute, and when that makes a difference between catching a train and missing it, that savings in time adds up even more,” she said.
The Bedford Avenue and Fulton Street access point was closed to the public for over 30 years, after the NYPD transit bureau determined they could not adequately police the corridor when subway crime ran rampant.
“That was then, this is now,” said Meyer. “The city is a much safer place, the subway is a much safer place.”
In the last year, violent crime and instances of vandalism have risen in the subway as the coronavirus pandemic has caused ridership to plummet. However, overall crime is nowhere near the levels seen in the 1970s, which caused entrances like the one on Bedford Avenue to shutter.
The new entrance provides an in-station transfer between the Rockaway-bound and Manhattan-bound platforms, and the mezzanine is well-lit with LED lights. NYPD officials said officers will regularly be stationed on the platform and subway cars.
Although the upgrades don’t come with an elevator to make the station compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Meyer said that the stop is on the shortlist for the 2020 fiscal year to receive accessibility upgrades pending federal funding.
The massive project was funded with $1 million from the MTA, $750,000 provided by former Assemblymember Tremaine Wright, and $250,000 from former state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery.
“I am so pleased and greatly appreciate the work by MTA NYC Transit forces to get this work done in such a short time and in such difficult circumstances,” Montgomery said. “This is a huge win for the Bedford-Stuyvesant community.”