Day 416

The 3 and the L

February 18th, 2013

As you can see, the 3 train passes directly above the L here in East New York/Brownsville. The platforms of the Junius Street 3 station and the Livonia Avenue L station are only separated by one block, but there is no direct connection between them. Passengers wishing to switch from one line to the other have to exit the subway, walk three blocks to/from the far end of the Junius Street station (where the street entrance is), and pay another fare to re-enter the system. Area residents have long desired a free transfer here, but the MTA says it wouldn't be used by enough riders to justify the cost of construction.


  1. Jon says:

    What cost of construction? Isn’t the MetroCard system smart enough to figure out that you’re continuing the same trip and not charge you? I’m not personally familiar with it, but the MTA map shows a “free out-of-system transfer” at Lexington/63rd, so apparently it is. Of course that wouldn’t solve the problem of the exit being at the far end of the station…

    • Matt Green says:

      With an out-of-system transfer, your Metrocard doesn’t actually know you’re continuing on the same trip. It just allows you to swipe in for free at that station if your trip began less than two hours ago. Usually this does mean you’re making a transfer, but you can exploit the system if, say, you’re going to a doctor’s appointment around 63rd and Lexington. As long as it’s been less than two hours since you first swiped your Metrocard on the way to the doctor’s, your return ride will be free.

      Now, there’s not much in the way of doctors’ offices, or businesses of any kind, around Livonia and Junius, but people could take advantage of the system in other ways. For example, anyone who is exiting the subway here and doesn’t need to make the transfer could swipe another rider in for free. Or people who live around the station and need to make a quick trip home could get two rides for the price of one. So there will always be some loss of legitimate revenue (in addition to the money lost by people not having to pay a second time to continue their trip) with the institution of an out-of-system transfer. Whether in this case the loss would eventually exceed the cost of building a platform connection between the two stations, I don’t know.

  2. That has always struck me as a missed opportunity. Looking at the Aerial view it looks like it shouldn’t be so hard to build a passageway the one short-block between these stations . . .

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