It’s the train that many thought would never arrive. After almost 100 years of discussion, the 2nd Avenue Subway line in New York City opened on New Year’s Day, complete with a corny video and inadequate restrooms.
There were no rats in sight as trains started running at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. This is just Phase I of the project and is an extension of the Q-line that includes stops at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets. More than 200,000 New Yorkers are expected to use this extension, which means you will only need to catapult yourself into a sweaty, overcrowded subway car every other morning.Â
The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, couldn’t contain his pride, sharing with his Twitter followers an inspirational video that sounds more like a presidential speech than remarks on the opening of a subway line. If this doesn’t have you smashing out “” as you swing around the train pole, nothing will.Â
“There is nothing that we cannot do in this state when we put our mind to it, and we are not going to take no for an answer,” Cuomo said, to cheers from the audience. A strong mind, 100 years and $4.5 billion dollars and you can do anything, New York!
In the video, Cuomo makes note of the never-ending struggle to make the 2nd Avenue Subway line a reality. During the last century, the project has been called “politically impossible,” “too ambitious” and “technologically challenged,” which led to the the line being dubbed The Line That Time Forgot.
It’s been an on-again-off-again relationship for New Yorkers. The line was originally proposed in 1920, but ground was not broken until 1972. In 1975, due to financial concerns, construction was halted and the project was put to bed. It was revived in 1990 with new plans, but didn’t get off the ground until the early 2000s when a multi-phase plan was created. In other words, Phase I has been a long time coming and at this rate, it is likely we will never see Phase III.
As we have learned by now, all good things must come to an end. Within minutes, things went wrong. Despite the slick look of the subway stations and the art beautifying the space, the NYC subway will always be, well, the NYC subway.Â
I’m on the 2nd Ave subway. It’s stopped at Lex-63 station. Conductor says train is “experiencing some signal problems.” Riders laugh …
â Emily Ngo (@epngo) January 1, 2017