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LIC subway station opens

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MTA officials and legislators cut the ribbon Friday on a project that could reduce some straphangers’ MetroCard costs by half.

Three stations located in the shadow of Long Island City’s 50-story Citigroup Building, at 1 Court Square, were combined into one in a recently completed $47.6 million project. The new station, known as Court Square, will allow commuters traveling on the No. 7, E, G or M subway lines to transfer without having to swipe their cards again.

“The creation of this complex will facilitate travel for customers heading to and from Queens and give choices in the case of a disruption on any of the lines,” NYC Transit Authority President Thomas Prendergast said in a statement.

Completed to fulfill a zoning requirement after the development of a 15-story office building north of the subway stops, the transfer cost $47.6 million. NYC Transit covered $13.9 million of the cost while the rest was paid for by Citigroup.

“The public-private partnership between the MTA and Citi should serve as a model for future projects during these difficult budget times,” state Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), who attended the ribbon cutting, said in a statement. “I am thankful to everyone who played a part in making this announcement a reality.”

Maria Veltre, president of Citigroup’s Long Island City site, said they were proud to help the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, of which NYC Transit is a part, with the project.

“Not only has New York City been our home for almost 200 years, but we also have nearly 4,000 people working in Long Island City,” Veltre said in a statement.

The new transfer includes two escalators, a stairway and three elevators compliant with the American Disabilities Association guidelines which will connect the mezzanines of the No. 7 line and a stairway from the No. 7 mezzanine to the northeast corner of Jackson Avenue and 23rd Street. The G station and E and M stations are already connected through a passageway and moving sidewalk. This transfer is expected to benefit 20,000 straphangers a weekday.

These new revisions means the stations known as “Long Island City-Court Square,” which included the G, and “Court Square-23rd Street,” which included the E and M, will be known from know on as “Court Square.” The station known as Court Square originally just included the No. 7 line.

Veltre and Gianaris attended the ribbon-cutting along with state Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Ridgewood), City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 10:50 am, October 12, 2011
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