Category Archives: Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Fire alarm systems offline in new Second Avenue Subway

ABC7.COM

Amid the gleaming, spotless Second Avenue Subway stations there are lingering problems. Riders Eyewitness News spoke with said they had no idea that the fire detection system in the new Second Avenue Subway doesn’t work.

And they had no idea that the men pacing the stations are actually fire wardens on hand to report a fire if one breaks out.

“Does that make you feel safer?” Eyewitness News Reporter N.J. Burkett asked.

“No, they’re people, you know?” said Sean Devney, a rider.

“That’s a tremendous deal!” said Kenny Turner, a rider. “What happens if something goes awry?”

MTA officials admit the system has been offline since May.

That’s when a malfunction triggered the sprinkler system in the 86th Street station, damaging several key electrical components.

Engineers are still working to reprogram the detectors.

They chose to shut down the entire fire detection system to prevent another sprinkler malfunction, while keeping the stations open.

“The Second Avenue Subway is open, safe, serving roughly 170,000 riders a day,” said Shams Tarek, spokesman, “and reducing pressure on the Lexington Avenue Line.”

And with the fire wardens, MTA officials insist riders are even safer than they would be, otherwise.

Riders Eyewitness News spoke with weren’t so sure.

“If that man is over there and the fire is at the other end of the platform, or below the platform where he can’t see it, that’s an issue,” Turner said.

The line opened on New Year’s Eve.

Governor Andrew Cuomo was determined to deliver the service on-time, as promised.

But critics say that might have been a mistake, right on down to signs at 72nd Street. That’s where the northeast arrow points riders south, and the southeast arrow points riders north.

“They launched it too quickly, before it was truly finished,” said Deborah Newman, a rider. “It’s just all carelessness. They went too fast at the end.”

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MTA Drivers, Advocates Call For All-Door Bus Entry

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has introduced a new program in hopes of making bus service faster and safer.

Bus drivers and transit advocates joined outside the MTA Headquarters (2 Broadway, New York) to call for all-door boarding.

Brooklyn bus driver James Fuller said he has been assaulted and spat at for asking someone to get off his bus. “We have to divide our attention between a possible assault and driving down the road,” Fuller said.

New Select Bus Service routes have customers pay at a sidewalk kiosk and allow them to enter at any door. Beth Childs takes it from the Upper East Side to Lower Manhattan. She said it has “has cut probably 20 minutes off that trip.”

As the MTA prepares to choose a contractor for so-called mobile ticketing, advocates say ticket readers could be placed at all bus doors.

(Guest article by Ken Kinlock)

 

TRANSIT ADVOCATES AND LOCAL OFFICIALS SLAM MTA COST OVERRUNS

NY1.com

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It’s not just the rising price of a subway ride that frustrates New Yorkers. There’s also the soaring cost of maintaining and expanding the system, which political leaders and advocates say the MTA needs to better control. Transit Reporter Jose Martinez has more.

They’re the diamonds of the city’s subway: three sparkling stations along Second Avenue.

They are priced like gems, too; the Second Avenue line is the priciest subway extension on the planet.

“We don’t need vaulted ceilings at the Second Avenue Subway,” said Assemblyman Bobby Carroll. “We don’t need public art installations. We need new signals, we need new subway cars.”

On Monday, elected officials and transit advocates blasted the MTA for what they called runaway costs on big construction projects.

The not-even two-mile-long Second Avenue line opened on New Year’s Day at a cost of nearly $4.5 billion, a price dwarfing similar transit projects in London and Paris.

“Aside from the excessive amount of time it cost to do it, it cost between four and ten times as much as a comparable subway would cost in comparable, well-developed modern cities,” said David Bragdon with the Transit Center.

Those gathered at City Hall called on MTA Chairman Joe Lhota to create an independent panel to study why the agency’s capital costs are so high.

“Let’s make sure the MTA is spending the money it has wisely,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris. “It is clearly not doing that right now.”

The first phase of the Second Avenue Subway cost $2.7 billion per mile. But a new line is being built for the Paris Metro at a cost of just $370 million a mile.

That’s just a start. With the MTA planning to eventually stretch the Second Avenue Subway from 96th Street into Harlem, the politicians and advocates say it’s important to control those costs now.

“We can’t wait any long for cost reform at the MTA,” said Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal.

The MTA claims it is working to contain costs, saying in a statement: “New York has some of the highest construction costs across all industries — which is exactly why the MTA’s new senior management team is laser-focused on this issue.”

The MTA adds it is constantly studying “best practices” to cut costs and that it already “aggressively” holds contractors accountable for delays.

But the cost of a new Long Island Rail Road terminal beneath Grand Central has been like a runaway train.

The MTA now projects the East Side Access project will cost $10.2 billion — about $6 billion more than the original budget.

NYC Pols Want MTA to Be More Transparent About Its Spending

Observer.com

Two New York City Council members are calling on Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota to set up an independent commission to examine the MTA’s runaway costs as the city and state continue to spar over who should fund a plan to fix the city’s subway system.

In August, Manhattan Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal and Upper Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, chairman of the Council’s Transportation Committee, wrote a letter to Lhota requesting the creation of the commission. They said that the MTA has not responded to their request and that they are looking to stress the urgency of the situation.

They noted that independent research has concluded that the MTA has the highest transit construction costs in the world, spending many more times than other cities for similar projects.

“If we really want to have a system that represents the 21st century, if we really want to have a system that’s accessible for everyone, we really wanna have a system that gets out to transit deserts such as far out in Queens and northern Manhattan and the Bronx, then what we need is for the MTA to figure out why it spends four to 10 times more money than any other city,” Rosenthal said.

“As it starts to investigate that issue … their costs will come down and then we can have a 21st century transit system and then we can have a transit system where everyone, where everyone — even if you’re in a wheelchair, even if you use a walker — where everyone can ride the subway to get to work and get home,” she continued.

The Council members said that the request comes amid the MTA’s request that the city pay half of the $836 million short-term renewal project to fix the city’s subway system.

The Council members noted that while Paris was able to build a new line for $370 million, for example, the first phase of the Second Avenue subway cost $2.7 billion per mile.

Rodriguez also noted that the Mario Cuomo Bridge, for example, was built on time.

“This is about … our children and for the new generation,” he said. “We cannot leave New York City behind. We are taking about 8.5 million New Yorkers. Only 1.4 million have cars. And even most of those who have cars, they live in transportation deserts. They live in places where they have to walk 50 blocks.”

The mayor and the governor have clashed in the last few months over who is responsible for the city’s crumbling subway system.

At the end of July, Lhota unveiled a subway turnaround plan that included the short-term plan, which centers on signal and track maintenance, car reliability, system safety and cleanliness and customer communications. The $8 billion second phase is composed of long-term improvements, including better subway cars, updated communications technology and a new signal system.

Lhota proposed that the city and state split the cost of the short-term plan but de Blasio has refused, maintaining that the money to fund the plan is already in the governor’s budget.

The Council members and transit advocates in attendance, including John Raskin of the Riders Alliance, also criticized New York City Transit’s Enhanced Station Initiative, referencing the service problems on the B, D, F and M lines on Monday morning.

State Senator Michael Gianaris, who is the deputy minority leader, reiterated that the MTA is run by the state, not the city.

“The city does not control the MTA. The state controls the MTA … I don’t begrudge the city for saying, ‘I don’t trust the MTA to come take our city money ‘ … This is the state’s responsibility and the state needs to find a solution for it,” Gianaris said.

He noted that the mayor and others proposed the millionaires tax, which would tax wealthy residents to finance subway repairs and reduced fares for low-income New Yorkers. Cuomo, for his part, is currently studying a congestion pricing plan to tackle the problem.

“Let’s get the state on the ball and figure out what the answer is because the state is providing precious few answers,” he continued. “They are the ones that have to step in and are failing.”

The MTA said that the study that the Council members are calling for was already done by the MTA with a blue ribbon panel in 2008. One recommendation made by the panel, the agency said, is bonding changes that are now in use, including on the Long Island Rail Road expansion project, a project that seeks to add a 9.8 mile-third track to the Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville.

In a statement, Shams Tarek, an MTA spokesman, said that the MTA studies best practices and takes “aggressive steps” to build major projects while reducing costs, with approaches such as design-build contracting and holding contractors accountable for delays.

“New York has some of the highest construction costs across all industries — which is exactly why the MTA’s new senior management team is laser-focused on this issue,” Tarek said. “And while ignoring the facts can garner headlines, the fact is that there has been a study on this topic — a 2008 blue ribbon panel on construction at the MTA made a series of recommendations that are paying off.”

Regular ‘ol Monday on Subway

Just now on the greatest Subway in the World

Signal problems at 42nd Street and Bryant Park in Manhattan are disrupting subway service on several lines.

Subway riders who use the A, C, D, E, F, G and M trains should expect delays.

There is no B train service between Norwood-205th Street and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue in both directions.

M trains also aren’t running between Forest Hills-71st Avenue and Broadway Junction.

Southbound D trains are stopping along the C line from 59th Street-Columbus Circle to West 4th Street-Washington Square via the F line to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue.

Northbound D trains are stopping along the A line from West 4th Street-Washington Square to 59th Street-Columbus Circle.

Southbound F trains are stopping along the E line from Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue to West 4th Street-Washington Square.

Some southbound F trains are stopping along the E line from Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue to Queens Plaza then on the G line to Bergen Street.

For the latest updates visit the MTA website.

MTA unveils new Bay Ridge Avenue R station

METRO US

The Bay Ridge Avenue train station that was once a dark and dreary stop along the R line has completed its six-month renovations, the MTA announced Friday.

The 102-year-old station was closed in April so the agency could bring it into the modern age with countdown clocks at all three entrances, Wi-Fi, digital displays, USB ports and an enhanced security system.

Additionally, new lighting, handrails and stair treads have been installed, as have wayfinding floor tiles for the visually impaired.

New tile artwork by Katy Fischer has also been added to the station and pays homage to the area’s Native American, Dutch and Colonial roots.

The Bay Ridge station unveiling is the second of 33 stations across the city that will undergo accelerated renovations and comes just weeks after the 53rd Street R train station reopened.

The 77th Street and Bay Ridge-95th Street R stations are next on the list for renovations to make them ADA-accessible via the MTA’s Capital Plan. In total, the plan includes more than $125 million to make the R line accessible between 2015 and 2019.

“This station opening is a huge benefit for Bay Ridge,” MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said. “We are also proud to announce that our newly amended Capital Plan now includes new funding for four fully accessible, ADA-compliant stations in Bay Ridge, which will deliver a level of accessibility to this neighborhood that has never existed before.”

The Bay Ridge Avenue work was done as part of the Enhanced Station Initiative, a design-build contract that enables a single team to take on both the design and construction work to ensure work is completed as quick as possible. All 33 stations will be done under this initiative.

“Greater investment in our mass transit infrastructure is critically needed across our borough to advance the safety and reliability of service, and this design enhancement campaign is a step toward that larger imperative,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Why are the Second Avenue Subway’s newsstands still empty?

6SqFt.com

When the city first got a look inside the new Second Avenue Subway stations ahead of the line’s New Year’s Day 2017 opening, one of the shiniest, most colorful elements was the collection of newsstands. Ten months later, however, the kiosks still sit empty, decked out in the signature marketing of rainbow polka dots. According to the New York Times, the MTA says it’s selected an operator for the newsstands, and though they won’t reveal who, claim that they’ll open soon. But is the fact that Q train riders seem overwhelmingly unaware and unaffected by the lack of newsstands a sign that they’re not actually wanted or needed in a time when newspapers and magazines have been replaced by tablets and iPhones and candy and sodas with organic oatmeal and Juice Press?

Though the Transportation Authority doesn’t keep exact records of newsstand numbers, those in subway stations decreased a bit between 2010 and 2015. Today they lease out 111, 20 of which are vacant. Interestingly, though, these kiosks’ revenue has jumped to $86 million last year from $61 million in 2010.

One reason for the uptick may be that the MTA realizes these spaces need “to be relevant and useful to riders today.” For example, in 2015 a start-up called the New Stand, which functions as a sort of curated bodega, signed a 10-year contract with the MTA to operate newsstands in Union Square, Columbus Circle, Brookfield Place, and the ferry system. While they still sell snacks, they also offer items such as collapsible bike helmets, all-natural condoms, fresh-squeezed juice, and designer sunglasses.

Four newsstands were built for the new Second Avenue Subway–one at each of the four stations. But the MTA says the one at the expanded 63rd Street station will be used for other purposes, declining to share any specifics other than that the newsstands will eventually sell both traditional and more trendy offerings.

Of the delay opening, MTA Spokesman Kevin Ortiz said: “We opened the city’s first new subway line in generations knowing that some punch list items would have to be completed after the opening.” And while newsstands are fairly insignificant in the scheme of things, other factors such as safety also fall under this statement. As 6sqft reported last month, when the train opened on January 1st, the fire alarm system had not finished testing and inspections found more than 17,000 defects. And as of August, the train was still operating under a temporary safety certificate

The NYC subway has an accessibility problem—can it be fixed?

ny.curbed.com

Two class-action lawsuits have thrown the subway system’s lack of wheelchair accessibility into sharp relief

Every morning, like many New Yorkers, Chris Pangilinan checks his phone to see if there will be interruptions to his subway commute. There is a mixed bag of possibilities commuters have come to dread: track work, track fires, signal problems, injuries, overcrowded trains, or just unexplained delays.

But Pangilinan’s main concern doesn’t make that list. As he is getting ready to leave for work, he’s thinking about elevators.

As a wheelchair user, elevator accessibility on the subway determines Pangilinan’s movement throughout the city every single day. Pangilinan works near a subway station with an elevator, Bowling Green, and lives near elevator stations at Jay Street-MetroTech and Borough Hall, in Brooklyn. But about once a month, he faces another challenge: One of the elevators between those three stations doesn’t work.

“I’ll arrive to a station and realize the elevator broke while I was on the train, or it just wasn’t reported [on the MTA website],” Pangilinan explains. “I stare at the elevator like an idiot for a couple minutes. I realize it’s broken. I go to the stairs, wait for another train to arrive, and hopefully I can make eye contact with someone who looks strong enough to carry my wheelchair while I walk up. When I get to the top, I get back into my chair, and then hope the next elevator is working.”

“It takes a ton of energy,” he continues. “My job needs to be near an elevator, or hopefully two, and I have to live near two elevators.”

This is a major challenge, considering roughly 80 percent of the city’s subway stations —355 out of 472 stops—are inaccessible to him, as well as the estimated hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who use wheelchairs or have other mobility impairments.

In April, the nonprofit Disability Rights Advocates filed two class-action lawsuits against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, one of which alleges that New Yorkers with mobility impairments are “blatantly denied” access to a high number of subway stations. The other claims the MTA does an “abysmal” job in its management of existing elevators. (MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz told Curbed the agency cannot comment on pending litigation.)

The MTA, the lawsuits note, is “the most inaccessible major transportation system in the nation.” But how did it get to this point?

There are a mess of factors that have created such a dire state of affairs for New Yorkers with mobility issues. Age, of course, is one; many of the subway system’s stations are more than a century old, and were built well before the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, was passed in 1990. (Elevators also were not commonplace in station design in the subway’s early years.)

The early 20th century was also a time when the needs of people with disabilities were not widely considered, or indeed, were even hidden from public life—think President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s efforts to keep his wheelchair hidden. It wasn’t until after the World War I and World War II, with many returning veterans with disabilities, that public sentiment began to change. By that point, though, the NYC subway was already on the decline. Decades of deferred maintenance and budget crises haven’t helped, either.

Then there’s simply a lack of political will, and lack of prioritization from the agency itself, at a time when both politicians and the MTA have been under fire for an overall decline in service. Pangilinan, who previously worked with the MTA on issues of subway accessibility, says that the agency lacks “the structure, resources, or accountability within the bureaucracy to make good change happen.” (He’s now the program director at TransitCenter, a New York-based transit advocacy group, as well as a plaintiff in the suit against the MTA.)

“The issue of accessibility often gets lost [in discussions of subway maintenance],” says Michelle Caiola, director of litigation at the Disability Rights Advocates. “Unless you’re affected, or someone close to you is affected by some kind of mobility disability, you don’t think about it as much.”

Indeed, able-bodied New Yorkers may have a different attitude when it comes to subway elevators: avoid them at all costs. They’re often slow, dirty, and can feel rickety and unsafe.

And all signs point to the MTA letting the service fall into decline. A recent audit by the New York City comptroller’s office surveyed 65 elevators and escalators over an 18-month period, and found that the MTA did not perform all scheduled preventive maintenance on nearly 80 percent of the sampled escalators and elevators. Additionally, one third of the MTA’s scheduled preventive maintenance assignments in the sample were completed late, if at all. And on top of that, the MTA does not systematically track whether and how quickly all of the defects found in its elevators and escalators are corrected.

The MTA has also struggled to adapt its existing infrastructure so that it complies with the ADA. Making stations accessible is no easy feat; it requires more than a year of work to obtain sidewalk space, reroute utilities, and reconstruct station components. At some stations, it can be nearly physically impossible due to a lack of space on platforms to install an ADA-compliant elevator, which can cost the MTA upwards of $10 million.

The agency is currently working on satisfying a 1994 agreement with disability advocates that gave the MTA until 2020 to identify busy, “key” stations (such as 34th St–Herald Sq, 125 St, and 14 St–Union Sq) and retrofit them for ADA compliance. Though the agency is on track to retrofit 100 stations by the deadline, disability rights activists say that at this rate, the system will not reach 100 percent accessibility until roughly the year 2100. Beyond those 100 stations, the MTA invested in an additional 31 “non-key” stations to install elevators, and plans to invest in another 11 non-key stations in the next few years.

The MTA’s efforts at compliance have also led to missteps. As pressure to accommodate passengers with disabilities increased, the agency invested in making the bus system more accessible, and also offered paratransit services like Access-a-Ride, which provides door-to-door service to disabled New Yorkers.

But “it turns out that was a horrendously bad decision,” Howard Roberts, a former top official at the MTA told the Wall Street Journal in 2016. “It probably has turned out to be … a hundred times more expensive to go with buses and paratransit than it would have been to bite the bullet and simply rehabilitate the stations and put elevators in.”

Jaqi Cohen, a coordinator with the Straphangers Campaign, says that buses and paratransit do not compare to the subway in terms of frequency of service, or its relative speed in bringing passengers across the five boroughs.

“I hear from [Access-a-Ride] riders who have been stuck in a car for three or four hours waiting to get to their destination, getting picked up late, and carpools that can take up to six hours,” she explains. Access-a-Ride, operated by private carriers in contract with the city, also requires a reservation made 24 hours in advance. Bus service, while more flexible and completely accessible, “is notoriously slow and unreliable,” Cohen says.

While MTA touts buses and Access-a-Ride as the alternative to inaccessible subway systems, “it’s a separate but equal kind of argument,” according to Mel Plaut, a program analyst with TransitCenter.

This summer, TransitCenter released Access Denied, a report outlining both short- and long-term accessibility solutions for New York’s subway system. The report challenges the MTA’s notion that old age stands in the way of retrofitting—both the Boston T and Chicago CTA, both century-old transit systems, have concrete plans to reach 100 percent accessibility. (It’s worth mentioning that neither system is as large as New York’s, nor does either one run 24/7 like the MTA.)

“These plans and improvements were only possible because elected leaders and senior agency management took a firm position to make accessibility a priority and hold their agencies accountable,” the report states. Boston’s plan, put in place after a lawsuit, does not outline a specific time frame for completion, while Chicago’s plan is due to be implemented over 20 years.

Ortiz, the MTA spokesperson, told Curbed that “currently 117 stations in the transit system are accessible, serving more than 44 percent of subway ridership, and we will continue to make more stations accessible.” Additionally, the 2015-19 capital budget now allocates $740 million for ADA accessibility and $334 million to replace existing elevators and escalators. That funding is enough to make an additional 19 stations accessible, according to Ortiz.

But transit advocates don’t believe that MTA leadership or local politicians have taken a firm enough position on accessibility, and lack both a concrete plan and an allocated budget to make the system fully accessible.

“If senior leadership and the governor prioritized this, it would be part of the culture,” says Plaut. “The political will comes first and everything else follows.”

There are also the “maddening” examples, as Plaut calls it, of subway stations that have been refurbished in recent years, and yet somehow completely miss the mark. There’s a $4 million ramp at the Mets–Willets Point stadium—added during a 2009 refurbishment—that’s only open during sporting events.

Perhaps most head-scratching is the $32 million station rehab of the highest subway station in the world at Brooklyn’s Smith–9th Street. The platforms are located nearly 88 feet above street level, and yet when the station was rehabbed in 2013, it was outfitted with some ADA-required components—handrails, stair risers, etc.—but not elevators that could take passengers in wheelchairs, those with impairments, or with strollers to the platform. The MTA again blamed costs, as well as structural concerns, for the lack of access.

Brand-new stations like the Second Avenue Subway and Hudson Yards offer more opportunity to get it right, and are fully designed to meet ADA requirements. But it isn’t always easy—remember the drama and holdups of the inclined elevators at the 34th Street 7 stop?

“We live in an elevator city,” says Plaut. “It’s something all other building owners have figured out to do. Why can’t the MTA follow the lead on that?”

Perhaps most maddening is how much the conversation persists, nearly 30 years after the passage of the ADA. “A lot of advocates have become exhausted fighting for this,” Plaut notes. “But we’re at a critical moment where the MTA is already thinking about significant changes. It would be a big missed opportunity for the MTA to fix subway operations and not address the accessibility issue, and rather kick it down the road for the next generation to deal with.”

2nd Avenue Subway Scandal Shows The MTA Needs Major Reform

NY POST

Now New Yorkers know why the Q train slows to a crawl when it hits the new Second Avenue tracks: It’s not safe to go full speed.

Oversight reports submitted to the feds tell the sorry tale: In the rush to meet Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New Year’s Day deadline for opening the Second Avenue subway to the public, the MTA skipped final safety testing.

When the station opened for Cuomo’s glitzy New Year’s Eve ribbon-cutting, the fire alarm system was still being tested and some 17,000 defects hadn’t been fixed.

With 7,000 repairs still to go, the line is operating under a temporary safety certificate until at least November.

Unbelievable. But why didn’t the MTA tell Cuomo: “Sorry, meeting your deadline is just crazy”?

“Any suggestion that safety was at all compromised to the deadline to open is patently false,” MTA spokesman John McCarthy told the New York Times, which broke the story.

Fine: The MTA has posted fire watches along the three-station line to keep its nearly 176,000 daily passengers safe. But those inspectors aren’t cheap, and it costs more to do the work with the line operating, too.

We expect that current MTA leadership — No. 1 Joe Lhota and No. 2 Pat Foye — would be willing and able to stand up to the governor. But that’s no guarantee that future execs will say “no” to future govs.

The MTA plainly needs some permanent reform to guarantee a lot more transparency and public truth-telling.

After all, the entire subway system is still downgraded because the agency stretched out its inspection and maintenance cycles after Hurricane Sandy — and never returned to normal in the five years afterward.

Even with Mayor Bill de Blasio naming four members of the MTA board, that damning information somehow never made it to the public until the deferred maintenance caused a systemwide crisis.

De Blasio and Cuomo are still fighting about how to get new money to the agency — but it plainly needs some deeper repairs.

Bay Ridge Avenue subway station set to reopen

Brooklyn Eagle

R train stop is coming back

Bay Ridge residents will soon be getting one of their most vital transportation links back.

The R train’s Bay Ridge Avenue subway station, which has been closed for renovations since April 29, is set to reopen on Oct. 13, according to local officials.

An MTA spokesman told the Brooklyn Eagle via email that he would not confirm the date of the station reopening. But two community leaders in Bay Ridge told the Eagle that a top figure within MTA had informed them of the agency’s plans to reopen the shuttered station.

The Bay Ridge Avenue station, often referred to by local residents as the 69th Street station, is one of the busiest subway stops in the Southwest Brooklyn neighborhood. It is part of a major transportation hub in the neighborhood, with access to three bus lines, the B9, B64 and B70.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last year that the Bay Ridge Avenue station would be one of three Brooklyn subway stations to undergo repairs under MTA’s Enhanced Station Initiative.

Along with Bay Ridge Avenue, the other stations closed for repairs under the project were 53rd Street and Prospect Avenue. The 53rd Street station reopened two weeks ago.

Here are some of the improvements riders can expect when they enter the Bay Ridge station for the first time in nearly six months:

Enhanced lighting throughout the station

Improved signage for easier navigation, including digital, real-time updates on on-time performance at subway entrances, before customers even enter the station

Amenities, such as countdown clocks, cellular connectivity, Wi-Fi, new art and security cameras

John Quaglione, who won the Republican primary earlier this month and is now the GOP candidate for Bay Ridge’s City Council, said the city should be doing a lot more to make life easier for residents until the subway station reopens.

He called on the Department of Sanitation to suspend alternate side of the street parking regulations in the vicinity of the train station for the next two weeks. Under his proposal, alternate side parking would be temporarily suspended from 68th Street to Ovington Avenue, between Third and Fifth avenues until Oct. 13.

“The soon-to-be-completed repairs will make for a more enjoyable subway ride, and we look forward to taking the train from Bay Ridge Avenue again. As the project winds down, I call upon the NYC Department of Sanitation to suspend alternate side of the street parking for the remaining two plus weeks for the sake of those who live, work and own businesses in the area,” Quaglione said in a statement.

Quaglione said he knows firsthand the frustration Bay Ridge residents living near the subway station face when they try to find parking spaces. Last week he had an appointment at the Emphasis Restaurant on Fourth Avenue and said it took more than a half hour to find a parking space.

Justin Brannan, the Democrat running for City Council who has made transit issues a centerpiece of his campaign, recently wrote a letter to MTA Chairman Joe Lhota asking when the Bay Ridge Avenue station would reopen.

“We are eager for service at the Bay Ridge Avenue station to resume and I’m hoping you can provide a timeline for this,” Brannan wrote in his letter.

“In response to my letter, MTA says Bay Ridge Avenue station will officially re-open [the] second week of October,” Brannan wrote on Facebook on Friday.

The Eagle reported on Sept. 22 that Brannan also emphasized in his letter the need for quality subway service over cosmetic improvements. “Right now, people who live in different states can get to Manhattan quicker than we can,” Brannan said.

The renovation project has not gone entirely smoothly.

During the first few days of the station’s closure, riders were confused and angry over the disruption in their daily commute.

MTA opted not to provide shuttle bus service so that passengers would be able to get on the R train two alternative stations, 77th Street and 59th Street.

On May 1, the first workday of the closure, Liam McCabe, a Republican who was running in the GOP primary for City Council at the time, decided to get behind the wheel of his Buick offer free rides to passengers from the Bay Ridge Avenue station to the 59th Street station.

“I figured it’s the least I can do,” McCabe told the Eagle.