Governor George E. Pataki, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg were joined by representatives from Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Downtown Alliance, Association for a Better New York, Partnership for New York City and other Lower Manhattan business leaders today to mark the commencement of construction on the first phase of the MTA’s Fulton Street Transit Center (FSTC).
“The Fulton Transit Center complex, coupled with the new World Trade Center Transportation Hub, will connect virtually every mode of transit in Lower Manhattan – from ferry service at the World Financial Center’s North Cove to the west, to eleven MTA subway lines that serve Lower Manhattan as far east as William Street,” Governor Pataki said. “This project fulfills the promise we made to the business community after 9/11 – to make getting around downtown easier and more seamless. In addition to dramatically improving travel into and out of the nation’s third largest central business district, this project will make the complex accessible to the disabled and will ensure Lower Manhattan’s rightful spot as the financial capital of the world. We are particularly grateful to President Bush and to Congress for having provided the necessary resources to make this project a reality.”
“The new Fulton Street Transit Center will vastly improve Lower Manhattan’s connections to the rest of the City and to the entire region, and will be pivotal in realizing our Administration’s vision of transforming Lower Manhattan into a vibrant, 24-hour neighborhood,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “When this federally funded project is completed some three years from now, it will make access to the streets and the station platforms, and transfers from line to line, vastly simpler and more convenient for hundreds of thousands of people every day. With leadership from the Governor, and with the cooperation of our partners in Washington and in the private sector, this project and every element of our vision is becoming a reality. By continuing to work together, we are ensuring that the best days for Lower Manhattan and all of New York are still to come.”
MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow said, “Today marks a critical milestone in our efforts to improve mobility in Lower Manhattan. The start of construction on the Dey Street Concourse marks the beginning of one of the most comprehensive intermodal transportation projects in the history of New York City.”
The Dey Street concourse is the first of several elements to commence construction as part of the overall Fulton Street Transit Center. Other elements include the renovation of the Fulton Street 2/3, 4/5 subway stations; the creation of new ADA street entries to the FSTC complex; the construction of a new Transit Center entry building and the incorporation of the restored historic Corbin Building into the Center, a feature that will create a dramatic and dignified entrance to the subways on John Street.
The 2/3 and southern portions of the 4/5 station rehab are expected to be completed in 2006, and the Dey Street concourse will be open to the public in 2007. When fully completed in 2008, the Fulton Street Transit Center will provide improved light, air and an easy way finding for the over 275,000 daily riders who use the Fulton Street 2/3, 4/5, A/C and J/M/Z station complex every day. As it exists today, the complex is the busiest in Lower Manhattan, and the number of daily riders is expected to swell as the World Trade Center site takes shape.
As currently configured, the complex is a jumble of subway lines built by competing transit companies in the early 20th century, resulting in a tangle of subsurface corridors, stairways, ramps and narrow passageways that are difficult and confusing to navigate, even for the most seasoned travelers. Adding to the confusion are passengers transferring among the lines who are distributed unevenly on platforms, creating boarding and service delays, particularly on the busy Lexington Avenue 4/5 lines.
Above ground, the many narrow, congested and poorly identified subway entrances, either opening to the street or inside buildings, will be corrected. The completed project will also provide relief to the congested sidewalks and streets that now afford the only links from subways to the World Trade Center site and World Financial Center.
Federal Transit Administrator Jennifer L. Dorn said, “We have worked side-by-side with City and State officials to better connect the different subway lines that serve this important area and make it easier for the thousands of commuters who rely on Fulton Street to get into and out of the station. Better connecting passengers to New York’s subway system is key to our efforts to rebuild Lower Manhattan.”
Alliance for Downtown New York Acting President William Bernstein said, “The new Fulton Street Transit Center will greatly enhance Downtown’s transportation infrastructure, accommodating over 275,000 daily passengers. Downtown workers, residents and visitors will all benefit from the transformation of the current maze of intersecting lines into a station that will be easy to navigate and will connect to the new WTC Transportation Hub.”
Association for a Better New York Chairman William C. Rudin said, “The Fulton Transit Center plays a critical role in the ongoing redevelopment of Lower Manhattan, by helping to make a smoother and more efficient commute for hundreds of thousands of residents, workers and visitors. Transportation infrastructure is of the highest priority in order to keep Downtown’s competitive advantage.”
Brookfield Properties President & CEO Ric Clark said, “The connectivity and accessibility of Downtown’s critical transportation lines is a very important step in the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. The Fulton Transit Center will be invaluable in allowing the business community to tap into one of Downtown’s inherent advantages, extensive subway services.”
Construction of the Fulton Street Transit Center will be overseen by the MTA Capital Construction Company. Renderings, additional information and schedules are available at www.mta.info and www.LowerManhattan.info.