Jamiaca Center/Archer Ave Line
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Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer is the terminus of the E, J, and Z trains and the three stop Archer Avenue Extension. A major purpose of the station is connecting people from the subway to various bus routes (theMap Lists 24 connecting bus routes, in its bubble for bus routes at Jamaica Center) that continue out to Eastern Parts of Queens, as well as one Long Island Bus Route (the N4) that can take you all the way out to Freeport, about in the middle of Nassau County, all for the price of a single subway fare. The station's design as a bus connection center is quite noticeable. All of the station's bus stops are along the southern side of Archer Avenue, the embankment that carries the Long Island Rail Road is just above them. Three of the stations five exits serve the line of bus stops. All signs directing people to the various station exits are well marked with connecting bus routes from that exit.

The station itself, along with the two other Archer Avenue Extension Stations, they only opened in 1988, have unusual designs because they're the second newest (the 63rd Street Tunnel is the newest, opened in 1989) subway line to open. The station has two island platforms, an upper one that serves terminating E trains, and a lower one for terminating J and Z trains. No bumper blocks are visible within the station because all four tracks (trains use a crossover switch before entering the station) continue a bit of a distance (enough to lay-up (store when not in use) at least one extra train) beyond the station platforms. These tail tracks that leave the station were built as the beginnings of what has been a long shelved project to extend the subway deeper into Eastern Queens. The overall color scheme of the station with yellow tiled columns and indirect lighting makes it extremely hard to photograph, so my photos are what they are. There are two completely different fare control areas. There are staircases between the upper level E platform and lower level J,Z platform at regular intervals.

The major exit and mezzanine area extends from the very northern (eastern) end of the station platforms. This area isn't even platformed on the lower-level J/Z platform because those trains are only eight-cars long. This portion of that platform has been closed off by a low-fence. At this exit, an escalator and stairs lead up from the E platform, as well as a bank directly up from the lower-level J/Z platform, in addition to the station's single ADA elevator that has three landings serving all three platforms as well as the upper mezzanine. This upper mezzanine level has a single very large bank of turnstiles, and the full-time token booth. Outside of fare control there is a major wide (grand-you could say) staircase and single up escalator out to a small pavilion setback from the street in its own little area at the NE corner of Parson's Blvd. Across from this entrance there is a secondary narrower staircase and up escalator that lead down to the subway system from the Southern side of the street, at the western end of the line of bus stops. The elevator down to the mezzanine is also here at the very western end of the wide sidewalk of bus boarding areas.

The secondary station entrance is towards the middle of the platforms. Two different banks of escalators lead up from the E-platform, and the J/Z-platform (bypassing, but visually seen from the E-platform), there is also a staircase directly up from the upper-level E-platform (there staircases connecting the two levels at regular intervals) to a small mezzanine area. In this mezzanine there is more overlap of walls between fare control and the portion of the mezzanine for the stations exits. This means there is a part time bank of turnstiles in a central place but High Entrance/Exit Turnstiles Provide additional entrances closer to the three staircases up to the street. Two of these banks of staircases (one also has an up escalator, and there wider than normal) lead up to the southern side of Archer Avenue along the sidewalk that is the bus boarding area. One of these staircases (the one with an escalator) has the unusual (but every other entrance on the Archer Avenue extension has it) brickwork design surrounding it, while the other has an ultra-wide but traditional green subway station entrance metal fence. There is a secondary staircase (and the narrowest in the entire station) down from across Archer Avenue at the NE corner with 153rd Street.

Art For Transit at Jamaica Center Arts For Transit at Jamaica Center
Jamaica Center Station Riders, Blue, 1991, Painted aluminum
By Sam Gilliam
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(jamaica_center1) Looking down the lower level J/Z platform at Jamaica Center. A staircase up to the upper level E platform and exit is visible
25 June, 2008
(jamaica_center2) The J/Z train service sign at Jamaica Center with the J/Z single Bullet for skip-stop design that isn't usually used anymore.
25 June, 2008
(jamaica_center3) The only Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer station signs are along the beams that over hang the sides of the platforms and frame the tracks.
25 June, 2008
(jamaica_center4) Approaching the E train platform with another very crowded staircase up to the mezzanine level visible at Jamaica Center.
25 June, 2008
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(jamaica_center5) An overhang on the side of the E train's upper level platform at Jamaica Center. An arrow pointing towards the elevator is also on it.
25 June, 2008
(jamaica_center6) A view on the E train's upper level platform of another staircase up from the J and the escalators up to one of the two exits, this one to Parsons Blvd-Archer Av is at the extreme eastern end of the platforms. The station's elevator is also in the picture.
25 June, 2008
(jamaica_center7) Looking down at an E train stopped at Jamaica Center from the top of the Mezzanine to the exit to Parsons Blvd-Archer Av.
25 June, 2008
(jamaica_center8) The very crowded mezzanine area at Jamaica Center for the exit to Parsons Blvd-Archer Av, the escalator/stairs in view lead directly down to the J/Z lower level platform allowing passengers to bypass walking through the E's upper level platform.
25 June, 2008
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(jamaica_center9) A view of the other less significant mezzanine at Jamaica Center. This one has transfers to all of the various buses that stop at the station.
17 July, 2008
(jamaica_center10) Looking down the J/Z's lower level platform has a train of R160 and R42 each occupy one of the platforms.
22 July, 2009
(jamaica_center11) Service times sign for the J/Z Skip-Stop Expres, and the J's relatively complicated service hours at other times.
22 July, 2009
(jamaica_center12) Another view down the J/Z platform, a R160 J train awaits it's next trip back to Broad Street.
22 July, 2009
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(jamaica_center13) Staircase up to the station's exits via the E platform.
22 July, 2009
(jamaica_center14) The main exit in an area beyond where J/Z trains stop (the station was built to accomidate 10 car trains, even though the rest of the Eastern division can only occomidate eight) Fences help get the message across that passengers must continue walking down past this staircase to reach the portion of the platform where trains stop.
22 July, 2009
(jamaica_center15) A R42 Z train, stopped at Jamaica Center.
22 July, 2009
(jamaica_center16) Looking down the length of the J/Z platform at Jamaica Center.
22 July, 2009
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(jamaica_center17) The back of an R160 J train about to begin a trip back to Manhattan from Jamaica Center.
22 July, 2009
(jamaica_center18) Approaching the escalators up to the mezzanine level at the extreme western end of the J/Z platform at Jamaica Center, the stopped train visible is a R42 Z train that will layover until tomorrow mornings rush hour in the trail tracks beyond the station's platform.
22 July, 2009
(jamaica_center19) A bank of recently refurbished escalators up to the mezzanine level at Jamaica Center.
22 July, 2009
(jamaica_center20) The small but busy and functional main mezzanine area that leads to the full time exit at Jamaica Center, there's an escalator bank straight down to the J/Z, one to the E, and an elevator to both.
22 July, 2009
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Last Updated: 17 January, 2010
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