New Yorkers are ringing in the New Year with the long-awaited opening of the new Second Avenue subway line. The line welcomes three new stations located at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets. On Sunday, the new stations opened to the public at 11:45 a.m. with the first trains running at about noon.
On New Year’s Eve, an invitation-only ceremonial first ride took place about 90 minutes before the ball dropped in Times Square. A tour was led by the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Thomas F. Prendergast. Other city officials attended the event, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, pleased that the New Year’s deadline was met, said:
“We needed to get this done on deadline because we’re New York and when we set the deadline, we’re going to get it done. We needed to show people that government works, and we can still do big things and great things and we can still get them done.”
There has been a lot of anticipating surrounding the opening, mostly because it has been in the works for decades. Initial plans for a Second Avenue subway came to light in 1929. The project was put on hold because of the stock market crash and the Great Depression. In 1972, plans were once again being discussed but put on hold after a fiscal crisis. By 2007, the project was underway and major work finally began.
The new line is being constructed in phases, with these three stations costing over $4 billion alone. Officials hope that the Second Avenue line will relieve some of the existing congestion. The line is expected to carry approximately 200,000 riders a day. New York’s subway system as a whole transports 5.6 million riders on average each weekday. The next step in the plan is to extend the line uptown to East Harlem at 125th Street. It’s estimated that the next step will cost up to $6 billion, which is currently still in the early planning stages.
Featured Image via Twitter/Emmagf