Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ridgewood Intermodal Terminal Opens to Riders

MTA NYC President Thomas Prendergast at the opening ceremony with elected officials.
By Eric Yun

A confusing mess of bus and subway transfers at the Myrtle/Wykoff subway stop, which serves the L and M lines, was improved last Friday. Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials and local politicians held a press conference introducing the new Ridgewood Intermodal Terminal.

Previously, the Q55, Q58, B13, B26, B52 and B54 busses all made stops in various locations near the station, which caused confusion among riders. Now all busses will stop at the new terminal, which is on Palmetto Street north of Myrtle Avenue, making transfers to the L/M subway lines and other busses simpler.

There were also cosmetic changes made to the area to make riders more comfortable. A canopy was erected under the elevated tracks to shield waiting customers from the elements and new benches and lighting were installed.

“This facility creates a much improved transfer point, making it easier for our customers to transfer between our bus and subway services,” said Thomas Prendergast, NYC Transit President.

Residents of Ridgewood have clamored for improved bus service for many years. Ted Renz, executive director of Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District, has been working with the MTA and community activists to make transit options in Ridgewood better. “I’m glad it was finally completed. It will make transfers to bus and subways more convenient,” he said.

Gary Giordano, District Manager of Community Board 5, said the new benches, canopy and sidewalk repaired will make trips more comfortable for the community’s riders. He believes the MTA could make some more changes to make bus rides better. Giordano wants a system in place where bus dispatchers alert bus drivers to wait at the station because a train is coming. This will help riders from being stranded, especially at night, waiting for the next bus.

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Ridge- wood) helped fund the terminal with $4 million dollars from the state’s capital reserve fund. Rep. Nydia Valázquez (D-Bushwich)also allocated $485,000 of federal funds.

Nolan said the new terminal will “benefit our Ridgewood community,” and she fought hard to secure funding because she believes “mass transit is the economic and environmental lifeblood of our city.”

Valázquez added, “Residents of Ridgewood deserve reliable and effective transportation.” She also believes the bus terminal will help bring more visitors to the neighborhood.

Renz hopes the new intermodal terminal will bring visitors and businesses. “We believe it will be a catalyst for private development,” he said. A simple and clean transportation hub in Ridgewood increases the possibility that business and residential development could occur around the new terminal.

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