Sunday, December 14, 2008

Unlooped!

With its sharply curved platform along a single loop track, the South Ferry station on New York City Transit's Number One line was a novelty for train buffs looking for something unique. But the screeching wheels and the short platform, which required passengers to ride in the first five cars to get off, made it a nuisance. If you weren't paying attention to the conductor's announcements, you could get stuck and forced to ride back to the next stop, Rector Street. It happened to me once.

The nostalgia and noise is going away. A new station with a straight, center-island platform that can accommodate 10-car trains will open next month. The $530 million project was funded largely with federal funds earmarked for redevelopment of Lower Manhattan after the September 2001 terrorist attacks. With Congress expected to pass a huge economic stimulus package soon, I hope NYC Transit has many "shovel-ready" projects like this on the drawing board so it can get its fair share of the money.

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