New York Celebrates Second Avenue Subway Opening
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo celebrated the on-time arrival of the Second Avenue Subway – the system’s first major expansion in more than 50 years – with the line’s inaugural ride on New Year’s Eve.
The new line’s first ride and celebratory party were cohosted by MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast and attended by Second Avenue Subway and MTA workers, local community members, dignitaries, local elected officials and members of President Obama’s Cabinet. Attendees rode to each of the new stations and will ring in the New Year with a celebratory countdown and toast at the 72nd Street station.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, said:
“After nearly a century, the Second Avenue Subway is no longer a dream that only a few still believe is possible. Thanks to the dedication and tireless efforts of thousands of great New Yorkers, the stations are open, the trains are running and it is spectacular”
“With this achievement, we have recaptured the bold ambition that made the Empire State so great, proving that government can still accomplish big things for the people it serves. New Year’s Eve is all about starting anew and I am proud to ring in the New Year on the Second Avenue Subway and welcome a new era in New York where there is no challenge too great, no project too grand, and all is possible once again.”
The inaugural ride, in a train specially wrapped with Second Avenue Subway logos, included celebratory stops at the new 86th and 96th Street stations, which were previewed to the public at open houses last week. At each of the new stations, participants of the inaugural ride were greeted with the words “Excelsior” and “E Pluribus Unum,” permanently displayed on beams there as New York’s message to people who ride the subways. Guests also had an opportunity to view the public art in each station, part of the largest public art installation in New York State history.
The celebration was attended by many of the workers who helped build the new line’s massive underground tunnels and stations, as well as the workers who will operate the system. Community residents, local merchants, and elected officials also took part in the festivities, along with members of President Obama’s cabinet — U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Chairman Prendergast added:
“This is a grand celebration befitting a truly historic occasion and a proud moment for the MTA”
“We worked around-the-clock to meet Governor Cuomo’s deadline, and tomorrow the public will reap the benefits of this commitment. We thank the men and women who worked so hard on this massive project, and we hope all New Yorkers enjoy this new line and vastly improved commute.”
During the evening, attendees enjoyed a performance from the cast of “In Transit,” the subway-themed Broadway musical, as well as music by Sunnyside Social Club, a jazz band that’s part of the MTA’s “Music Under New York” program. Food and beverages served at the event were provided by several different local producers from throughout New York State.
The event was co-hosted by the Association for a Better New York, Blasters, Drillrunners and Miners Local 29, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, Central Park Conservancy, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Municipal Art Society of New York, the Museum of Modern Art, New York Historical Society, the New York Mets, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Transit Museum, Partnership for New York City, Real Estate Board of New York, Regional Plan Association, NYC Sandhogs Local 147, Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
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