Originally published in New York Daily News.
One of Brooklyn’s most cramped subway stations is now one of its most spacious.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials on Thursday reopened a long-closed pair of entrances at the Nostrand Ave. station on the A and C lines — more than 30 years after they were closed due to concerns over crime.
“That was then, and this is now,” said MTA chief customer service officer Sarah Meyer. “The city is a much safer place. The subway is a much safer place”
The new entrances will allow riders to access the station from Bedford Ave., saving some a block-long above-ground walk to catch the train.
The reopened access points also come with a refurbished mezzanine and new fare gates surrounded by cameras.
Before the expansion — and the pandemic — the station served more than 36,000 riders per weekday, MTA data show. Riders were forced to squeeze single-file through a pair of staircases on Fulton St. during rush hour.
Now, straphangers can avoid the crunch by walking 1,000 feet underground to the new entrances, which also provide connections to the northbound B44 Select Bus Service, one of Brooklyn’s busiest bus routes.
Hundreds of other subway entrances remain closed after they were shuttered due to dwindling ridership and rising crime from the 1970s through the 1990s.
A report released by city Comptroller Scott Stringer last year found that in 2015 there were 298 street stairs closed to the public at 119 different stations.
“It is far past time to move beyond that era and invest in a more equitable and accessible transit system,” Stringer wrote at the time.