The 96th Street Second Avenue subway station, which was shown off in all of its decades-in-the-making glory on Thursday, was open to the public for two open houses yesterday, one in the morning and one in the evening, ahead of its official opening on January 1, 2017. At the second one, Governor Andrew Cuomo proudly greeted the public, signing autographs, taking selfies and (groan) answering questions from the media.


WNYC editor Kate Hinds eventually did get an answer—Cuomo, who has spoken extensively about his "hands-on" approach to trying to get this project finished, hopes phase 2 goes faster given what they learned. Phase 1 has the Q running from 96th Street down to 63rd Street; Phase 2 will bring the subway from 96th Street to 125th Street and is expected to cost $6 billion, 25% more than Phase 1.

A press release from the Governor's office touts the station's design: "The [96th Street station features high ceilings, column-free design, vibrant lighting, world-class contemporary artwork, and beams with the words 'Excelsior' and 'E Pluribus Unum' - New York’s message to people who ride the subways in New York."

There will be a ceremonial, inaugural ride on the Second Avenue line on December 31, 2016 (details TBD, but apparently there will be a party on the platform). Then, it will open at noon on January 1, 2017, for Metrocard-wielding straphangers, with service ending at 10 p.m.; from January 2 through January 8, the line will run between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., with overnight service beginning January 9.