A ride on the 1 train down to the end of the line is a one-of-a-kind New York subway experience. To exit the train at the South Ferry station, riders must be in the first five cars of the train, where they wait for retractable floor grates to close the gap between the doors and the sharply curved platform before heading up the stairs to use the station’s single exit.
This old-fashioned experience is about to become obsolete, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority spends $450 million of the Federal Transit Administration’s post-9/11 funds to usher the original 1905 South Ferry station into the 21st century.
Work on the revamped station began in late 2004, just as the finishing touches were being put on the neighboring Whitehall Ferry Terminal. The single greatest improvement of the new station is its new platform -- a standard, 10-car platform that’s as straight as an arrow and ADA-accessible. It will connect to the R and W trains at the Whitehall subway station and lead to three separate street exits: one near Whitehall, one at State Street, and one at the north edge of Battery Park.
MTA crews spent more than two years excavating the new station site, with tubes stretching from the north side of Battery Park to Peter Minuit Plaza, directly in front of the ferry terminal. The late 2005 discovery of four 18th-century fort walls caused some delays, with archaeologists removing and cataloguing the walls for preservation to allow excavation to proceed.
Actual station construction was underway by 2006, with new tracks, signal, and utility installation, along with new elevators and escalators preparations.
For more information, including images of the future station and entrance plaza, visit http://www.mta.info/capconstr/sft/.
Click here to see the latest information on the construction of the South Ferry Subway Terminal.
This project was completed in March of 2009, view for more information.
Images courtesy of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.