After a lot of waiting and speculation, the long awaited, long delayed Second Avenue Subway will be ready to roll by the end of the year. There will be a ceremonial first ride on December 31, while full service will open to the public at noon on January 1, 2017.
On Sunday night, Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed that the first phase of the subway line—which will bring Q train service to 63rd Street, 72nd Street, 86th Street and 96th Street—will open on time. Which means these new maps are only a little premature:
— Kirk Hovenkotter (@khoven) December 17, 2016
NBC New York reports, "Critical safety tests on elevators, escalators, smoke alarms and fire radios weren't scheduled to be done until right before Christmas... By Sunday, the lead engineer said that the 86th Street station had passed the tests. The 72nd Street station, however, was still being tested."
Last weekend, Cuomo visited the 72nd and 86th Street stations, emphasizing that he was "cautiously optimistic" they would open on time, while touting his "hands on" role in making sure the project was completed on schedule. He invited some media to tour the station, to show off the open design (it's similar to the open feeling at the Hudson Yards station)—at 96th Street, he told WABC 7, "When you get to a place like here, the foot of the steps, you look up, have that ceiling, you have that space—you feel like you can breathe."
Whitetailwatergate aside, Cuomo had a message for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said last week he wasn't sure if he would be invited to the opening of the new subway line: "The mayor, you are invited, the deputy mayor... all New Yorkers, because this is cause for celebration."