by BRIAN ASARE, Photography Editor
Stair replacement at the 238th Street subway station finally came to an end earlier this month, wrapping up what was nearly a semester-long inconvenience for Manhattan College students and staff.
Construction began on Sept. 4 and resulted in the closure of the Manhattan-bound platform to 1 Train riders. It was officially reopened on Jan. 12., yet service did not immediately return to normal. The MTA opted to operate the downtown platform at certain times of the day in order to neatly wrap up repairs and construction.
Freshman Chelsea Smith was just one student whose commute was slowed down by the station’s partial closure.
“On a normal day without any delays, it took me about 40 minutes to get on to campus but ever since the competition of the repairs now it takes me almost about 25 minutes and I even get to class with a lot more time to spare before my classes begin,” said Smith.
“Prior to the 238th Street subway repairs’ completion I used the [Bx9] bus and got off at 238th Street bus stop, but times where I would use the train, I would use the Van Cortlandt Park-242nd Street exit … and walk all the way to Leo [Engineering Building] mostly because that was where my first class was. When I was leaving campus, I sometimes used the 238th Street uptown entrance then switched to the downtown side when I get to the last stop because that was the train station I had to walk the least to.”
Rob Walsh, the newly appointed senior advisor for strategic partnerships, hopes that the improvement of the station will not only stop at the stairs but also the surrounding area because of the potential it possesses.
“The 238th Station is one that is heavily utilized by students, faculty and staff at Manhattan College. It will become even more important as we grow and strengthen our South Campus with the addition of a new wing on the engineering building, the new athletic center and eventually more housing,” said Walsh.
“I would like to see the Transit Arts Team get creative and energize the station as they have done in so many others throughout the City – and of course a great big sign pointing riders to our south campus and Gaelic Park.”
While Walsh is hoping for beautification of the station, Smith also commented on the lack of noticeable changes despite the months of work.
“Apart from the stairs, I haven’t really noticed anything drastically different from how it was before mostly because I started school here around the time repairs started,” said Smith. “I feel like they should have focused more on the entrance section of the train station because, in my opinion, it looks really old and outdated.”
According to the MTA’s website, downtown 1 Trains are now making regular stops at the 238th street station.