MTA opens new First Avenue L train entrance

A wooden construction fence still surrounds the new First Avenue station entrance. (Photos by Alex Mitchell)

Two commuters let out a yell of excitement after learning that a new, more eastbound entrance to the First Avenue L train station had opened in Manhattan this morning.

The MTA officially unveiled this new entranceway on the southwest corner of East 14th Street and Avenue A in Stuyvesant Town as part of its extensive L train tunnel rehabilitation — also announcing that a street-to-platform elevator will be completed by June in addition to other upcoming amenities for the station.

Commuters navigate through the new Avenue A entrance.

MTA Chief Development Officer and President Janno Lieber called the improvements a milestone on the L Train project, which he also noted was moving ahead of schedule by some months. 

“More importantly, it’s a milestone that delivers something for the commuter,” Lieber said.

Prior to the new access point, commuters coming from any of the lettered avenues had to hike all the way to First Avenue and 14th Street to catch the only subway service in that neighborhood.

While this new entrance is for Brooklyn-bound travelers only, the MTA is expected to open in June a second portal for Eighth Avenue-bound customers on the northwest side of the same intersection.

As part of the MTA’s rehabilitation of the L’s Canarsie tunnel, the authority is also improving station accessibility along the L at Union Square and Sixth Avenue, in Manhattan, and Bedford Avenue, in Brooklyn. Both Sixth Avenue and Bedford will also receive new elevators. Riders have endured a series of service changes on the line–on top of the L “slowdown”–in order to accommodate construction around that work. 

Even though the new Brooklyn-bound entryway is open, as of Monday morning, a wooden construction fence (painted green) remained surrounding most of the staircase on Avenue A.

Upon entering it, customers can find two separate staircases leading down to the station, along with two MetroCard vending machines.

The new entrance will be closed nights and weekends as part of the overall station work, according to the MTA.

Alex Mitchell