Coffee shop opens on platform of 86th Street subway station in Manhattan

Improvements are percolating in the New York City subway system.

Earlier this month, Winfield Street Coffee opened on the platform of the 86th Street station on the Q line on the Upper East Side. The store is steps away from trains.

Winfield, with another location in Croton and several in Connecticut, plans to expand to the 72nd and 96th Street stations by the end of the year.

Winfield is part of the MTA's effort to burnish its image, according to Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. Lieber says the agency plans to revamp retail offerings at Rockefeller Center, Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

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There's another goal besides caffeinating commuters. Lieber says more eyes on the platform help deter and spot crime.

The hope is that Winfield and other retail outposts like it help bring people back to the subway system where ridership has been hovering at around 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels.