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Second Avenue Subway poised to open by New Year’s Eve

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The MTA is just barely making good on its promise of opening the line in 2016

After a suspenseful few weeks, the Second Avenue Subway finally has an opening date—sort of: the line is set to be finished by—wait for it—New Year’s Eve, meaning that, assuming all goes according to plan, the MTA will technically meet their end-of-year deadline, the Daily News reports (h/t 6sqft). (Update: An earlier version of this post said that the line would begin service on New Year’s Eve, which—as Second Avenue Sagas points out—isn’t quite correct. We’ve amended the post, and regret the error.)

On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo swung by the construction site before taking to Twitter to announce that he was “cautiously optimistic” that the project would wrap before January 1, as had been somewhat arbitrarily promised many years ago.

And Cuomo’s not alone in his measured confidence. Yesterday, MTA Chair and CEO Tom Prendergast echoed the governor’s sentiments, confirming the MTA’s commitment to getting the line up and running by December 31st. It was looking pretty grim for a while there, but Prendergast said the MTA was able to compress the long-delinquent testing schedule so the train would be ready before the end of 2016.

“Maybe I was a little bit of a doubting Thomas for a while, but then I started to see that that change got made and then that's where we started to change our language in terms of saying 'cautiously optimistic,’” Prendergast told reporters after the final MTA board meeting of the year. "We saw a path to an end, a date certain, and an ability to make it."

Back in November, when progress at the new 72nd Street Station was looking particularly iffy, officials told the New York Times that Prendergast had not ruled out “temporarily bypassing a certain station if it is not ready in time.” But as of Wednesday, Prendergast said there would be no partial opening—riders should have access to all stations, entrances and elevators included, starting day one.