Beach 105 St-Seaside is the grand loser, of all subway stations, the station has the lowest ridership of any in the subway system that is open 24/7/365. It's number 421 with only 86,444 riders using the station for the entirety 2008, for comparisons sake, #418, the previous station Beach 98 Street had almost triple that total at 232,945 (there 422 separately counted subway stations, the only one worse is Aqueduct Racetrack, open only for uptown trains on racing days). (Source) To put that tiny total into perspective, $1.74 is the price of a subway ride when you buy a MetroCard with more than $7, meaning that an estimate of the revenue generated could be $149,716. The average salary of a Station Agent, according to various sources I found is $51,000, the amount of fares collected aren't even enough to cover the cost of staffing the station, much less actually operating the trains to it. When I was photographing the station the agent was quite loudly (I could hear her in the entire station house) talking on the phone, and I have a feeling it wasn't about any related to her job. The station's name Seaside doesn't give the station the aroma of the sea, the platform more smells like sewage courtesy of the Rockaway Wastewater treatment plant adjacent to the Rockaway Park-bound platform. There are some high rises though (surrounded by quite full parking lots) to the otherside of the station that seems to be the only thing that would provide subway passengers in the area. There is a bit of a view of the sea from the station affirming Seaside in the station's name.
The station itself is the typical Rockaway Line Station on its unique concrete elevated structure, but probably gets the award for being in the worst condition out of them all. It could definitely get a paint job, there is lots of paint peeling in the station, I also wouldn't want to be there in the rain, many sections of the rotting wooden roofs have giant holes over the platforms canopies. There are two side platforms each with two staircases down to a large enclosed by doors mezzanine area station house, where the token booth is adjacent to the turnstiles (only one staircase though seems to be open for passengers, one up to each platform seems to be permanently closed, one sign though says will reopen Nov 10, but there's no year, and the sign has the old MTA logo, so I think many Nov 10ths have passed with the staircase closed). The station house has the standard benches and electric heaters to keep people warm in winter as they wait for the train. The platforms are extra long, designed to fit ten 85-foot LIRR trains. The exits are a staircase down to Rockaway Freeway at varies places along the street that was built underneath the railroad when it was raised from the street to an elevated structure. Two of these staircases down to the street seem to have been abandoned and are fenced off with no sign of them ever reopening.
Rebuilding: The station was completely rebuilt between 2009 and 2011 along with every other elevated stop on in the Rockaways. The signs for funding the rebuilding say 'improvements for 200 daily customers' (an extremely low number since the station has the lowest ridership in the subway system). This rebuilding included replacing the original windscreens with green and cream full-height ones beneath the platform canopies and unfortunately replacing the original low fences with modern full-height mesh windscreens at the ends of the platforms. To allow this rebuilding to occur Manhattan-bound trains skipped from September 14, 2009 to January 25, 2010 and Rockaway Park-bound trains skipped from September 7, 2010 to December 22, 2011.
Closed from October 28, 2012 to May 30, 2013 due to Superstorm Sandy: The station was one of three stations that recieved no train service after Superstorm Sandy for 7 months because the temperary H train Shuttle that ran only from Beach 90 Street to Far Rockaway. The Rockaway Park Yard was flooded and its signaling system too damaged to run regular revenue shuttle service.
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