Talk about an exciting Prospect!
Park Slope straphangers cheered the reopening of the R line’s Prospect Avenue subway station on Thursday, which returned with a snazzy new look that commuters said was worth the nearly five-month-long wait.
“It’s a sight to behold,” said Daren Ingram, who has lived near the stop for 29 years. “Definitely money well spent. It looks fabulous!”
Officials from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority allocated $72.1 million to refurbish several stations along the R line, including Prospect Avenue, which closed for repairs in June.
Riders who visited on its reopening day found a panoply of new digital displays showing travel advisories and train times — including monitors installed above the stairs leading from the street to the underground platforms — along with high-speed wireless internet and cell-phone-charging ports, upgrades that another commuter compared to modern marvels.
“I’m not going to lie,” said Sunset Park resident Jose Tapia. “It looks like the future.”
Workers also installed sleek awnings above the stations’ entrances and waist-high benches on the platforms that fatigued straphangers can lean on and catch their breath.
And a Brooklyn-based artist designed mosaics that decorate both the Bay Ridge and Manhattan-bound platforms and portray nearby destinations such as Sunset Park’s Bush Terminal, which she hopes inspire riders to explore the borough.
“I want them to connect where they are and where they can go,” said Monika Bravo.
But perhaps the most remarkable upgrade is that the once dingy station is now brightly illuminated and — for the time being — pretty clean, according to Ingram.
“Before it was dark, dank, scary, now it’s well lit,” he said. “Dude, I’m super excited.”
Other riders were less thrilled by the cosmetic enhancements, however, arguing that the money should have been spent to ensure the trains arrive on schedule and run smoothly.
“Fixing the signal system and the service aspect of getting on the train are important,” said Reyda Van, who lives near the Prospect Avenue stop. “I want to get to work and get moving.”