Today, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) reopened the Bedford Avenue entrances of the Nostrand Avenue A-C subway station in Bedford-Stuyvesant. For the last 30 years, all customers at the station had to use the Nostrand Avenue entrance, a good distance away.
The reopening of these entrances will help reduce crowding and promote social distancing, as well as cut down on customer commute time.
The entrances provide a direct connection to the B44 bus station on Bedford Avenue, as well as an in-station transfer between the northbound and southbound train platforms. Elevators will also be coming to the Nostrand Avenue station as part of a 2020-24 MTA plan to make stations more accessible.
When the station was originally completed in 1936, the Bedford Avenue entrances were immediately boarded up. After community members pushed for reopening, they were used from the 1950s through 1981, during which the station was listed as the most deteriorated in the MTA, and the entrances closed. The station’s passageways were closed in 1991 after a rape at a Manhatten station prompted further safety precautions.
While many people have advocated for the reopening of the entrances, others have been conflicted over safety issues.
Ebony, who has used the train station for decades, told us a year ago that while using the entrance was more convenient for her and her family, she was “taught not to go in that way.”
“That was then, and this is now,” Sarah Meyer, Chief Customer Officer for NYC Transit, said during the conference earlier today. “The city is a much safer place. The subway is a much safer place.”
LED lighting and cameras have been installed within the entrance, and NYPD officers will also be deployed at the Nostrand Avenue station, Kathleen M. O’Reilly, NYPD Chief of Transit informed.
“In terms of keeping this station particularly safe, we’re going to be deploying people on the platforms, on the mezzanine, and riding the trains as we always do,” O’Reilly said.
Although according to O’Reilly, crime has decreased within the MTA system, the NYPD has begun deploying more officers within stations in light of recent high-profile crimes that have occurred on subways and in stations.
O’Reilly also stated that officers deployed will not be “plain-clothed” and instead in uniform, in order to be easy to identify and provide a sense of safety.
“I want to assure our customers that the MTA, along with our partners at the NYPD, are committed to providing riders with a safe experience in the transit system,” said Meyer today.