Another reason not to sell the 370 Jay Street building

                                                                                                                                                                                              Although the movie of the same name was a little far-fetched in a lot of ways, some of it was actually fact based. From 1951, when the building was completed, until 2006 the vast majority of the NYCTA fare collection was done underground, at night, with heavily guarded "money trains". The money would be brought to and processed at NYCTA's money room at 370 Jay Street . Inside of vaults that were heavily guarded, cashiers would work around the clock processing millions of dollars in cash and tokens. At first the money was collected in change form. In 1953 the TA switched to a system using tokens and the 370 Jay Street facility evolved with that change. In the 1990's, when the metrocard card came into being, new card counters and money counting machines ushered the facility into the digital age. And still it was all being collected by the money trains.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     IB Image                                                                                                                                                                                                            These trains would go from station to station, making un-scheduled stops, collecting money from token booths, ticket selling machines, etc. The terminus for ALL of these collections was one central location...the "Transportation Building" at 370 Jay Street. All three divisions, the BMT, the IRT and the BMT, were tied together through a series of specially designed tunnels that led directly from the trains, to the central money rooms.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   IB Image                                                                                                                                                                                     The collections were done in the wee hours of the morning so most people were never even aware it was happening. This system survived intact for many years, from the age when tokens were being collected out of the turnstiles by token booth clerks, to the more recent age of boothless platforms, inhabited by Metrocard Vending Machines.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          IB Image                                                                                                                                                                                       This system worked great for many, many years. SO...as so often happens at the NYCTA, someone said " Hey, it's not broke...LET"S FIX IT!"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         IB Image                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       In 1998 they started building a huge collection facility out in Maspeth Queens. It is a monster of a building and if ever a building can be called an "eyesore" it is this one. It looks like a prison because it was designed by the same people that design prisons, in exactly that mold. It sits behind huge barbed-wire, electric fences and it has a huge parking lot that houses the fleet of armored trucks that do all of the revenue collections now. At a cost of over $300 million dollars to build, It is hard to see how building this huge complex, out in Queens, was a cost saving measure. Jay Street, being a major  transit hub, is easily accessible by train and that is how most of the workers got there when it was the main revenue collection facility. There are no local train stops that are close to the new facility so most of the 650 or so employees that work there, drive to the huge complex. Not exactly green thinking, is it? It is also hard to see how switching to collections by vehicles is either green thinking or a cost saving measure.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             IB Image                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Lets compare, shall we? At over $200,000 per vehicle, these vehicles are not cheap and now we have a whole fleet of them. The money trains were made from old trains that were going to be scrapped anyway when that fleet or series of trains was retired. So the cost per train to the NYCTA? After some slight modifications and a fresh coat of yellow paint with black stripes...$0. The money trains ran on the rails using the electric power supplied by the system. The armored cars use diesel fuel at $3.80 cents a gallon and get about 5 miles to a gallon. The money trains collected late at night, mostly un-observed. The armored vehicles tie up traffic and the streets and sidewalks as they make their collections. By making these few comparisons we can see that the way that they used to do fare collection made a lot more sense. Of course, not all fare collection can be done by the money train. There are collections to be done at Bridge and Tunnels, and Buses that must be done above ground. However, the lions share of collections are in the subways, and these can be done more economically by "money train". If the NYCTA ever realized this and decided to go back to collection by train there is only one facility in the system that is suited to this...370 Jay Street.                                                                                                                                                                                If you feel that the MTA should not be giving up this valuable resource, please write to your politicians now and tell them how you feel. By placing a convenient button on the spacebar above, we have made it all easy for you. It won't take more than a minute of your time. We also implore you to sign, and ask your family and friends to sign, the petition that we have created in conjunction with the Workers Family Party. This petition is asking the MTA to give up their expensive office tower at 2 Broadway and re-occupy 370 Jay street.                                                                                                                                                                                                         If the TA were ever made to come to their senses, let's hope that it happens soon. Because once this great building is gone...it is gone forever.