Mets–Willets Point (IRT Flushing Line)

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Mets–Willets Point
NYCS-bull-trans-7.svg NYCS-bull-trans-7d.svg
New York City Subway rapid transit station
Mets 2 vc.jpg
Platforms of the Mets–Willets Point station
Station statistics
Address near 126th Street & Roosevelt Avenue
Queens, NY 11368
Borough Queens
Locale Willets Point
Coordinates 40°45′16.41″N 73°50′44.09″W / 40.7545583°N 73.8455806°W / 40.7545583; -73.8455806Coordinates: 40°45′16.41″N 73°50′44.09″W / 40.7545583°N 73.8455806°W / 40.7545583; -73.8455806
Division A (IRT)
Line       IRT Flushing Line
Services       7 all times (all times) <7>rush hours until 9:30 p.m., peak direction (rush hours until 9:30 p.m., peak direction)
Transit connections Bus transport NYCT Bus: Airport transportation Q48
Railway transportation LIRR: Port Washington Branch (at Mets–Willets Point)
Structure Elevated
Platforms 2 side platforms (local)
1 island platform (express & northbound local)
cross-platform interchange (northbound only)
Tracks 3
Other information
Opened May 7, 1927; 89 years ago (1927-05-07)
Rebuilt April 24, 1939; 77 years ago (1939-04-24)[1]
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access (Northbound side (local) platform only; open only on game days and for special events[2])
Former/other names Willets Point Boulevard
World's Fair
Willets Point–Shea Stadium
Traffic
Passengers (2015) 2,120,859[3]Increase 13.1%
Rank 233 out of 422
Station succession
Next north Flushing–Main Street: 7 all times <7>rush hours until 9:30 p.m., peak direction
Next south 111th Street (local): 7 all times
Junction Boulevard (express): <7>rush hours until 9:30 p.m., peak direction


Next Handicapped/disabled access north Game days & special events only:
Flushing–Main Street: 7 all times
Next Handicapped/disabled access south none; station is not accessible southbound
(Game days & special events only:
Junction Boulevard: 7 all times <7>rush hours until 9:30 p.m., peak direction)

Mets–Willets Point (formerly Willets Point–Shea Stadium) is an express station on the IRT Flushing Line of the New York City Subway. It is served by the 7 train at all times and by the <7> train rush hours in the peak direction or towards Manhattan following most New York Mets baseball games and U.S. Open tennis matches. This station is located in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Willets Point, Queens, on Roosevelt Avenue between 114th and 126th Streets. The station's peak use occurs during Mets games at Citi Field (and at Shea Stadium from 1964 till 2008), located on the north side of the station, and during events at the USTA National Tennis Center, on the south side.

Station layout[edit]

P
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right at all times[note 1]
Southbound local NYCS-bull-trans-7.svg toward 34th Street–Hudson Yards (111th Street)
Peak-direction express NYCS-bull-trans-7d.svg toward 34th Street–Hudson Yards (AM rush) (Junction Boulevard)
NYCS-bull-trans-7d.svg toward Flushing–Main Street (PM rush) (Terminus)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right[note 2][note 3]
Northbound local NYCS-bull-trans-7.svg toward Flushing–Main Street (Terminus)
Side platform, doors will open on the right during game days only Handicapped/disabled access[note 4]
M Mezzanine to entrances/exits, station agent, MetroCard vending machines
Handicapped/disabled access (Ramp to overpass on south side of Roosevelt Avenue; take local train to Flushing–Main Street for other services)
G Street Level Entrances/Exits
Aerial view, with Shea Stadium[note 5] in the background
Citi Field and the Manhattan-bound local platform, as seen from the center island platform

This three-track express station has a layout unique in the system. From compass north to south, it is arranged: southbound side platform, southbound local track, bidirectional express track, island platform, northbound local track, northbound side platform. The Fordham Road station on the IND Concourse Line in the Bronx has a similar layout: a split island platform as well as an unsplit island platform, but the Mets–Willets Point station is the only station in the subway system with this particular setup.

Trains running northbound (toward Main Street) normally open their doors on the island platform; the northbound side platform is used only during Mets games and events at the National Tennis Center, such as the U.S. Open. On the south side of the station, a ramp connects the mezzanine and the northbound side platform to a footbridge, known as the Passarelle Boardwalk, which passes over Corona Yard and connects to the Mets–Willets Point station on the Long Island Rail Road's Port Washington Branch, before entering the grounds of the National Tennis Center. A full-length wooden mezzanine is located underneath the tracks and platforms. The north side of the station has a stairway leading directly to Citi Field's Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

Some evening rush hour 7 local trains terminate at this station by using the express track.[4] West of the station, there are switches between the local tracks, the express track, and the northern layup track to 111th Street. East of the station, switches allow trains on the express track in either direction to switch to the local track, but not vice versa.[5]

Accessibility[edit]

In 2009, the northbound side platform became ADA-accessible to passengers with disabilities. The MTA built a $4 million ramp from the south side of Roosevelt Avenue to the station mezzanine; the two existing ramps from the mezzanine to station level were modified to make them ADA-accessible. The ramps are owned and maintained by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.[6]

Ramp to station from LIRR with Citi Field in the background

Some riders with disabilities were unhappy that the station was not made completely accessible during the station's renovation. By contrast, other New York City Subway stations that serve sports venues, including 161st Street–Yankee Stadium for Yankee Stadium, 34th Street – Penn Station at Seventh Avenue and Eighth Avenue for Madison Square Garden, and Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center for Barclays Center, are completely accessible.[7] Northbound local trains open their doors on the side platform during Mets games and special events only, and as a result, disabled passengers who need to take the 7 train southbound during Mets games and special events must actually take a northbound train to Flushing–Main Street to continue their trip.[8] The southbound platform and the center platform are not wheelchair-accessible at all.[8][note 6]

A footbridge had formerly extended north over Casey Stengel Plaza, leading to a long, circular staircase with turnstiles at the bottom, bringing people close to Gate E at Shea Stadium. In 2008, the footbridge and turnstiles were removed and replaced with a wider stairway which is now situated at Mets Plaza, close to Citi Field's Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The arrangement of turnstiles in the mezzanine was also reconfigured to improve the post-game pedestrian flows and allow fans to use all ramps, whether they were using the subway or walking across the Passarelle Boardwalk to reach the Long Island Rail Road station or parking lots in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park.[10]

History[edit]

The entrance/exit stairs for Mets-Willets Point station viewed from Citi Field. The Long Island Rail Road station is at rear left and the USTA National Tennis Center is at rear right.

The original Willets Point Boulevard station opened on May 7, 1927.[11] At that time, it was located at the intersection of Willets Point Boulevard, 126th Street, and Roosevelt Avenue and was a minor, local stop on the Flushing Line, with only two stairways and short station canopies at platform level. At the announcement that the 1939 World's Fair would be held in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, the station was moved west to its current location, converted into a large express station, and rebuilt to handle the expected crowds.

By December 1936 it was planned that for the additional crowds of the 1939 World's Fair that the station would be turned into a 3-platform, 4-track station capable of serving 40 trains per hour in each direction.[12] World's Fair Special express trains began service on April 24, 1939.[13] The northbound side platform and its ramp were added for the 1964 World's Fair, also held in Flushing Meadows; the station was renamed Willets Point–Shea Stadium when the Shea Stadium was built soon afterward. Today, remnants of the original 1927 station can be seen just east of the current station. Ironwork indicates where the old side platforms had been, and parts of the former fare entry area remain. The southbound side platform is also noticeably longer than the 11-car IRT-length trains that serve it; a long segment east of the current passenger waiting area—part of the original southbound platform—has fallen into disrepair and has been gated off.

Turnstiles in the closed portion of the Manhattan-bound platform

Express service to Manhattan at the conclusion of New York Mets weeknight games was first introduced in July 2007, followed by express service to Manhattan at the end of all Mets weeknight and weekend games in April 2008. The "super" express trains run for approximately one hour and only make three stops in Queens before entering Manhattan: 61st Street–Woodside, Queensboro Plaza, and Court Square.[10][14][15] After baseball games, Manhattan-bound local trains stop at the southbound side platform, while Manhattan-bound express trains and Main Street-bound trains both stop at the island platform.

Following the closure and demolition of Shea Stadium, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority simply renamed the stop Mets–Willets Point, omitting the corporate-sponsored name associated with the current stadium. The MTA was unsuccessful in achieving a similar naming rights deal and would not post the name for free.[16] Had the naming rights deal been achieved, the station would have been known as Willets Point–Citi Field.[17]

On January 20, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to build an AirTrain LaGuardia people mover, running along the Grand Central Parkway. This people mover would connect the station to LaGuardia Airport.[18][19]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The ramps to this platform are not wheelchair accessible.
  2. ^ Train doors will open on the right for PM (northbound) express trains, and on the left for all other trains; i.e. AM (southbound) express trains and local trains.
  3. ^ This platform is not wheelchair accessible.
  4. ^ At all other times, doors will not open on this platform.
  5. ^ Shea Stadium was replaced by Citi Field in 2009.
  6. ^ The station is not marked as a wheelchair-accessible station on the New York City Subway map, even in the northbound direction.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fast Subway Service to Fair Is Opened; Mayor Boards First Express at 6:25 A.M.". The New York Times. April 25, 1939. p. 1. Retrieved January 16, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Mets - Willets Point Station Service Advisories". MTA New York City Transit. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2016-04-25. 
  4. ^ "7 Subway Timetable, Effective December 6, 2015" (PDF). New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2016-03-07. 
  5. ^ Marrero, Robert (2015-09-13). "469 Stations, 846 Miles" (PDF). B24 Blog, via Dropbox. Retrieved 2015-10-09. 
  6. ^ "Mets-Willets Point Station: A New Name and a Fresh Look" (Press release). MTA New York City Transit. April 10, 2009. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  7. ^ Haddon, Heather (April 12, 2009). "Advocates: make Mets subway station accessible". AM New York. Retrieved April 20, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Mets/Willets Point Station". New York Mets. 2016-07-16. Retrieved 2016-07-16. 
  9. ^ "Subway Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. June 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-12. 
  10. ^ a b "New York City Transit Provides Enhanced Mets Post-Game 7 Express Service" (Press release). New York City Transit. April 9, 2008. Archived from the original on December 29, 2008. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  11. ^ "CORONA SUBWAY EXTENDED; New Service Goes to Within 350 Feet of Flushing Creek Bridge". The New York Times. May 8, 1927. p. 26. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  12. ^ EXPANDED TRANSIT FOR FAIR IS ASKED "State and City Boards Join in Plea for Appropriation of $1,850,000. The Transit Commission and the Board of Transportation sent to the Board of Estimate yesterday a joint request that the city, in order to assure adequate rapid transit facilities to handle World's Fair crowds in 1939, signify now its willingness to appropriate $1,850,000 for that purpose."
  13. ^ "Fast Subway Service to Fair Is Opened; Mayor Boards First Express at 6:25 A.M.". The New York Times. April 25, 1939. p. 1. Retrieved January 16, 2010. 
  14. ^ "MTA New York City Transit Introduces 7 Express Service After Mets Home Games" (Press release). New York City Transit. July 11, 2007. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  15. ^ "7 Post Game Express Now Stops at Court Square on Game Nights" (Press release). New York City Transit. May 9, 2008. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012. Retrieved October 16, 2009. 
  16. ^ Neuman, William (March 11, 2009). "Mets Decline to Buy Name for Subway Station at Citi Field". The New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  17. ^ Neuman, William (March 11, 2009). "Stadium Is Citi Field, but the Subway Stop Has Other Ideas". The New York Times. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  18. ^ Erin Durkin (January 20, 2015). "Andrew Cuomo announces $450M plan to build AirTrain connecting LaGuardia Airport to the subway". NYDailyNews.com. Retrieved January 21, 2015. 
  19. ^ Honan, Katie. "Cuomo Announces AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport from Subway, LIRR". DNAinfo. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 

External links[edit]