UPDATE: When the Second Avenue Subway opens on January 1, 2017 at noon, it will operate on limited service for the first week or so with trains running every six minutes and in between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Full service will get underway on January 9.
The race to open the Second Avenue Subway is on, and the latest assurances that it will really, truly make its December 31 deadline comes from none other than Governor Andrew Cuomo himself. In an interview with NBC New York, Cuomo confirmed that the oft-delayed subway line will have its inaugural, ceremonial run on New Year’s Eve, with revenue service—i.e., service for the general public—beginning the next day.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, the Governor was slightly more cautious. “As you can see, it’s not all buttoned up,” he told the Daily News. “Obviously something unforeseen could always happen. But we’re saying that’s going to open on January 1.” But the final tests are underway, and Cuomo seems extra-determined to keep this deadline. “You miss a deadline, it’s a failure. It’s important to tell the people of the state, we can actually take on a big project and get it done.”
City and state officials, including Mayor de Blasio, will take the first ride in New Year’s Eve. (And according to the Daily News, that ceremonial ride “will be sponsored by The Mets, the New York Historical Society and the Central Park Conservancy.” Oh … kay?) All three new stations at 96th, 86th, and 72nd streets will open at once, along with the transfer to 63rd St-Lexington Avenue.
And if you needed more proof that the Second Avenue line is truly gearing up for its debut, subway maps with the Q extension added in have appeared throughout the subway system:
It's happening. The Q train appears along Second Avenue on the subway map. pic.twitter.com/Ppebw1P4Cr— Emma G. Fitzsimmons (@emmagf) December 18, 2016
Of course, this isn’t really the end of the SAS story: planning for the second phase of the line, which would run from 96th to 125th streets, is underway, with initial cost estimates coming in at a staggering $6 billion to get it done.
Still: nearly a century after the idea of a Second Avenue line was first proposed, and a decade after construction actually began, the Second Avenue subway is thisclose to becoming a reality. (But it’s not really done until someone makes that first MetroCard swipe.)
- 2nd Avenue Subway Service to Begin Jan. 1: Gov. Cuomo [NBC New York]
- Gov. Cuomo promises Second Ave. subway will meet deadline, open on New Year's Day [NYDN]
- Second Avenue subway should get federal support before Obama leaves office, officials say [AM New York]
- All Second Avenue Subway coverage [Curbed]