For all of the problems that the MTA has had this year (too many to enumerate here), at least one of the transit agency’s efforts has been going as planned: the $72 million Enhanced Station Initiative, which began earlier this year, has brought upgrades to two stations so far—Bay Ridge Avenue and 53rd Street, both on the R line—with 28 more to go by 2020.
Now, the latest station to benefit from the program has reopened: Prospect Avenue, also on the R line, is officially back in service after receiving a good cleaning, some cosmetic enhancements, and tech-friendly upgrades.
The station originally opened in 1915, and by the time it closed in June for its makeover, it was looking slightly worse for wear—here’s a before photo:
And now, the shiny and new station:
Among the changes—aside from the general shininess and newness of the station—are countdown clocks (both within the station and at its entrances); Wi-Fi and USB ports; digital signage; spiffed-up entrances; and more. There’s also a new, colorful mosaic, designed by Brooklyn artist Monika Bravo, that was installed as part of the MTA’s Arts & Design program.
It’s not quite identical to the two other refurbished stations, but many of the new additions are the same, including slate gray tile, digital boards displaying subway maps and planned service changes, and new seating (including the so-called “leaning bars” that have proven to be somewhat unpopular).
The next batch of stations getting these upgrades are in Queens; last month, the 30 Ave and 36 Ave stations in Astoria closed to facilitate repairs, with those changes expected to be completed in about eight months.