“It wasn’t worth the expense or perhaps the grief,” Ms. Carman, 45, said.
For Caitlin Monahan, 24, the easiest route from her home in Bushwick, Brooklyn, to her work in Midtown Manhattan, where she works as a receptionist at a doctor’s office, will be along the M collection. But the Knickerbocker Avenue M station near her flat closed in July and, along with the local Central Avenue station, is not planned to reopen until planting season. Ms. Monahan instead needs two trains, almost doubling what should be a 25-minute commute.
“I believe the most frustrating component is that it’s sort of like, what’s the idea of living in metropolis if it’s likely to be this ridiculous commute?” she said.
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Transportation authority officials say closing a station entirely is less disruptive than protracted partial closures. In the past five years, 19 stations have been closed six months or longer for repairs.
Riders’ patience for the closings appears to hinge on the reason why behind them. Edwin Eppich, 57, lamented the inconvenience of the station shutdowns along the M collection – his girlfriend, who lives in Manhattan, now visits him in Brooklyn significantly less frequently – but acknowledged that they allowed the replacement of two maturing bridges.
The closing of the Bay Ridge Avenue station, however, provoked outrage. That station, along with the 36th Avenue station, was closed as part of the Increased Station Initiative, which Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who handles the subway, likes to promote. Transit advocates and several passengers said they might much choose that officials give attention to providing reliable service.
“It is fine to get a cleaned up space, in fact it is a nice thing to really have the countdown clocks,” said Jennifer Gaboury, 46, a good professor at Hunter College who lives near to the Bay Ridge station and helped organize a good protest there when it reopened. “But they’re also sort of funny, strange symbol of what’s wrong with what’s happening.”
The countdown clock, she added, “tells you is how longer it’s likely to be until the R train arrives. And when it flashes 23 mins, you almost want to laugh that the M.T.A. has selected to prioritize this.”
Shams Tarek, a transportation authority spokesman, said the improvement plan runs beyond adding amenities and focuses on “essential maintenance, repair, safety and functional improvement job.”
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Those who protested at the reopening of the Bay Ridge Avenue station also noted that the renovations did not include the installing elevators – a common criticism by transit advocates of the stations that are part of the enhancement plan.
“Not only will the Enhanced Station Initiative not really make the trains run any more rapidly, but it also doesn’t allow more persons to drive the terrible assistance,” said Mel Plaut, an application analyst at the Transit Middle, a study group. “People who have disabilities, father and mother with strollers, older New Yorkers would love to be able to access the same terrible assistance as every person else.”
Mr. Tarek stated adding elevators under the enhancement plan would have required substantially additional time and cash, adding that the agency does intend to add elevators at 19 stations.
In Astoria, shop owners around the 36th Avenue station have dealt with the plunge running a business differently.
Mr. Chowdhury stays available two hours afterwards to attempt to attract late-night clients. Leo Rubio, the owner of Leo’s Brick Oven Pizza, closes two hours before, and allow one of his employees head out. Chano Morales, the manager of a cafe called Holy Guacamole is offering more happy hour offers and using special discounts to attempt to lure construction employees from the closed station.
But while their tactics differ their frustration is the same. And so is definitely their response – uttered by each individually, all with the same helpless shrug:
“What can you do?”