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Transfers At Bleecker Street Are No Longer A Bleak Situation

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TWC News: Transfers At Bleecker Street Are No Longer A Bleak Situation
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has fixed a long-standing transfer problem at a subway station in NoHo, Manhattan, but the full construction was only made possible through contributions from politicians. NY1's Transit reporter Tina Redwine filed the following report.

For the first time ever, subway riders in the NoHo section of Manhattan were able on Tuesday to switch between an uptown 6 train and the other trains that stop at the Broadway-Lafayette and Bleecker street stations.

"The entire car went 'Woo!' It was awesome," said a straphanger.

For more than 50 years, riders going downtown on the 6 coudld transfer for free to the B, D, F or M trains, but not those riding an uptown 6. To go from a downtown 6 to an uptown 6 train, riders had to cross the street and pay a second fare or continue on to another station.

Those days, however, are long gone.

"It feels more fair this way," said a rider.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority had to dig up streets and extend the uptown platform by 300 feet to make this connection.

The project also added five elevators to the complex, making both stations handicap accessible. It renovated the Bleecker station and added an escalator for the uptown transfer.

"Our goal is to make it easier for our customers to navigate through the system to make it more connective and clearly more intuitive," said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota. "But it takes time and and it takes money."

Specifically, it took $127 million and four years, including several months of delays.

Lhota said more such projects are on the drawing board, but starting in three years there are no capital funds to pay for them.

In fact, he said there would be no escalator at Bleecker Street had Assemblywoman Deborah Glick not contributed a million dollars from her discretionary account.

Lhota called on other politicans to do likewise.

"It's what keeps the largest economy in the United States moving," he said.

To keep projects moving, Lhota said the MTA will need an infusion of city, state and federal cash. But considering their budgets problems, that is easier said than done.

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