by JOE LIGGIO, Asst. News Editor
Stair replacement at the 238th Street station is set to tie up 1 Train riders for the next few months, leaving MC students and staff to look for alternate service options.
The Manhattan-bound platform closed to riders on Sept. 4, and repairs are expected to continue through the Winter, according to the MTA/New York City Transit website. In the meantime, those needing a downtown train will need to board at either the 242nd Street or 231st Street station, posing an inconvenience for many living in or near Overlook Manor and those commuting to and from classes on South Campus.
Temporary MTA signs at the site list repairs consisting of removing and replacing the old stairways entirely, along with the addition of new handrails, stair treads and risers. The stairway canopy, drain pipes and gutters will be also be updated, and new lighting is to be installed.
For some, including Manhattan junior Brendan Hanney, commuting to his job via subway has gotten a bit more difficult as a result of the changes.
“Now instead of getting on the subway at 238th, I have to walk to 242nd, the opposite way from where I’d be commuting to,” said Hanney.
Hanney, who lives on Greystone Avenue, works at the Disney Store in Times Square. He utilizes the 1 Train four times a week to get to and from his stop at the 50th Street station in Manhattan, and points out that the repairs have added a decent amount of time to his trip downtown.
“Usually the commute is 40 minutes, but now that I have to get on at a different stop it’s closer to an hour.”
His trip back to the Bronx has remained unaffected, however, as construction is only affecting downtown service. The uptown platform has remained open and accessible via MetroCard and to passengers getting off the train throughout the repairs.
Rob Walsh, newly appointed Senior Advisor for Strategic Partnerships at Manhattan, hopes that improvements to the 238th Street Station will remain timely and ultimately extend past the stairs alone.
“We want to ensure that this project stays on track and is completed as soon as possible given that a good share of Manhattan College uses this station,” said Walsh in an email statement.
Walsh recognizes the repairs as an opportunity for the college to collaborate further with the MTA beyond initial structural improvements.
“With the capital plan underway to replace the stairs, there is a real opportunity to work creatively with the MTA Arts & Design team. […] As you’re going around the city, you will notice some creative art incorporated into stations. I think at 238th Street and 242nd Street we really have the opportunity to work with the MTA on adding art or preserving and repairing the existing station to enhance the experience of the rider and the visual look of the station.”
Ultimately, Walsh is looking into how these improvements can benefit the immediate area around the station. He has been in touch with the MTA about these ideas.
“If you look up and take a good look at 238th Street station from the street you will notice that with a bit of repair and fresh coat of paint, the station could be a nice attraction on 238th Street. It definitely needs a bit of attention.”
Those who may have trouble getting to a nearby station on foot can board a Bx9 Bus and transfer to the 1 Train for free at either the 242nd Street or 231st Street.