Jan. 10, 2016 By Christian Murray
Four rundown N/Q subway stations in Astoria are going to be upgraded as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s transportation plan that he announced Friday.
Thirty stations—including the 30th Avenue, Broadway, 36th and 39th Avenue stations—are expected to be modernized by 2018, according to Cuomo. He said the stations will be cleaner, brighter and easier to navigate than at present.
The station revamps will be designed and built by one contractor as a means to reduce costs and increase accountability. There will be an emphasis on getting the job done quickly.
Each station will be closed while the work takes place. On average, the redevelopments should take between six and 12 months. Comparatively, under the previous piecemeal approach, station redevelopments would take two to three years to complete—with workers shutting down stations at night and on weekends.
The station revamps are part of a system-wide MTA upgrade.
Cuomo said that by the end of 2016, all 277 underground subway stations will have WiFi service. Currently more than 140 underground stations have service—including the 7 and R lines in western Queens.
Cell phone service will be available in all stations by the end of 2017.
The governor said that subway and bus riders will be able to pay for their commute via mobile phone or waving a bank card over a device in 2018.
Cuomo said that the MTA will begin installing Countdown clocks on the 7 line and the lettered subway lines this year.