Instructor: S. Schwartz

MetroCard Solution

In order to allow commuters to transfer between the B, D, Q, and F lines at Broadway-Lafayette station, and the Uptown #6 subway line at Bleecker Street station, we propose that an electronic transfer system be implemented using the MetroCard. Below is a description of this 'MetroCard Solution'.

The MetroCard solution is designed for quick and easy implementation, and very low cost. Once the decision has been made to use the solution, it should take only a few months to implement it. Total cost should remain under one million dollars.


The first step to implementing the MetroCard solution is upgrading the software at the Bleecker Street Uptown entrance. This is done simply by installing the software used by bus MetroCard readers. This software already supports transfers, and should allow some restrictions to be placed on the transfers as well. In order to allow commuters to transfer to a bus after using the Bleecker Street MetroCard transfer, the software would be slightly modified, and instructed not to record subway-to-subway transfers on the card. Thus, the transfers have the following characteristics:

Data gathered by the turnstyles at the Bleecker Street Uptown entrance could be utilized by the MTA to help determine future policy on subway-to-subway transfers throughout the city.


Now that the transfer exists, the issue becomes how to get the commuters from Broadway-Lafayette station to the Bleecker Street Uptown entrance. Without involving extensive construction, there are several possible routes. We have selected the route we beleive to be the most comfortable for the commuters. Our decision is to build a roof, and route people from the Broadway-Lafayette Crosby Street exit to the Bleecker Street Uptown entrance.

The map below shows the area to be covered by the roof highlited in red. The lower left hand marker is the Broadway-Lafayette station Crosby Street exit, and the marker on the upper right is the Bleecker Street Uptown entrance. The Bleecker Street downtown entrances are near the end of the highlighted route, at the intersection of Bleecker Steet and Lafayette.

The proposed roof is made of transparent plexiglass, and will be supported by existing buildings on one side, and support pillars at approximately 12 foot intervals on the other. The roof should be approximately 12 feet above the ground to provide optimal shelter, and lighting fixtures will be placed at regular intervals. Standard subway transfer signs would be placed under the roof to direct people to the Bleecker Street station. Advertisements placed under the roof would be used to generate revenue, and pay for the costs of construction. In addition, as the adjacent businesses will benefit from the increased foot traffic, they may provide an additional source for funding.

Commuter Patterns

Based on a 1994 study of subway riders transferring between Broadway-Lafayette and the Bleecker Street Downtown #6 line, approximately 12,500 riders transfer to the Broadway-Lafayette station from the Downtown #6 line every day. In the opposite direction, however, only about 2500 riders transfer, one fifth of the number transfering from the Downtown #6 to Broadway-Lafayette. It is reasonable to assume that those same riders wish to transfer to the Bleecker Street Uptown #6 line when traveling in the other direction, and therefore, the 5 to 1 ratio would apply. Thus, 5 times as many riders wish to transfer from Broadway-Lafayette Station to the Bleecker Street Uptown line as those wishing to transfer from the Bleecker Street Uptown line to Broadway-Lafayette. In order to minimize the incidence of 'illegal' transfers, those involving riders who are using the transfer to re-enter the subway system for free after reaching their destination, we are limiting the transfers to the Bleecker Street Uptown entrance only. This satisfies 5 out of 6 commuters wishing to transfer, and ensures that revenue lost to illegal transfers is at a minimum.

If you have any questions/comments on this web page, please send mail to: walfis@cooper.edu

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