By Sabina Mollot
As crowds spilled into the First Avenue L train station during rushhour on Monday morning, two local City Council members stressed the need for an additional subway entrance on Avenue A.
While last December, the MTA announced that a new entrance was part of its capital plan, Council Members Dan Garodnick and Rosie Mendez said that they want to make sure the project remains a priority for the agency.
“We are raising our voices to make sure it stays in the capital plan. It deserves to stay,” said Garodnick. “Nothing is done until it’s done,” he added.
Late last year, the MTA drafted a $32 billion capital budget, which was rejected by a state board, and it’s currently facing a $15 billion deficit.
Mendez noted that a new entrance has been a priority of hers since she worked for her predecessor in the Council, Margarita Lopez, who also had pushed for it alongside then-State Assembly Member Steven Sanders. On Monday, as commuters continued to file into the station, Mendez gestured their way, saying, “You can see it’s very well needed.”
Due to the growing population in Williamsburg, in recent years ridership on the L line has soared. Since 1998, there’s been a 98 percent increase with 300,000 straphangers riding the train every day. Over 49,000 of those straphangers use the First Avenue or Bedford Avenue station.