BY GRANT LANCASTER
MTA officials plan to build a permanent indoor connector between the Livonia Avenue L station and the Junius Street 3 station in Brooklyn by 2024 and are extending a free transfer program between the stations in the meantime, they announced at a press conference Friday afternoon.
The plan to connect the two stations, which are less than 1,000 feet apart, is part of the MTA’s 2020-2024 Capital Plan, which also includes improvements to make both elevated stations fully ADA accessible, said Sally Librera, New York City Transit senior vice president of subways. The Livonia Avenue station should be fully accessible by 2022 and the Junius Street station by 2024.
The MTA set aside $38.4 million for the project and has already spent $400,000 for pre-design activities, according to an MTA press release Friday. Construction on the accessibility improvements, such as elevators and ramps, are scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2020.
The free MetroCard transfer that customers have been able to use for the past nine months during construction on the L line will continue until the construction at the stations is complete, according to the press release.
Riders have two hours to swipe their MetroCard and make the free transfer.
The transfer program allows people to use both stations without paying twice, Librera said. About 1 million customers use the Livonia Avenue station each year, with about 600,000 annually at Junius Street station, she said.
Sen. Roxanne Persaud thinks that the indoor connection will be a great improvement over the uncovered walkway between the two stations now, despite improvements in lighting on that walkway, she said.
“For many years, it was considered a dangerous walkway,” Persaud said.
MTA Board Member Andrew Albert, chair of the NYC Transit Riders Council, thinks the project will help tie the two stations together in a way that is convenient for citizens, he said.
“This is one of the last places where lines cross, but there is no real connection,” Albert said.
Assembly Member Latrice Walker thinks that, in addition to convenience, the improvement will help reduce fare evasion at stations where people are likely to evade instead of paying double the fare, she said.
“For years my constituents have suffered paying two fares for stations directly across the street from each other,” Walker said. “A free transfer between Livonia and Junius stations will make a huge difference in their daily lives.”