New center gives glimpse of Second Avenue Subway's future

Sep 22, 2017
In The News

It will likely be more than a decade, at least, before the Second Avenue Subway stretches north of 96th Street. But the MTA is giving Harlem residents a peek at what someday could be. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

The Second Avenue Subway's next phase, which would extend Q train service into East Harlem, now has a small, above-ground presence on 125th Street with the opening this week of the Second Avenue Subway Community Center.

"This community center is a one-stop information center for everything pertaining to the Second Avenue Subway," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, whose district covers parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Exhibits at the center detail the long history of the Second Avenue line, how it was built and point toward its hoped-for expansion to stops at 106th Street, 116th Street and 125th Street.

"It would make a big difference in my life," said one commuter.

"I have high hopes. But it's going to take a lot of money," said another.

The four-station first phase, with stops at 96th, 86th and 72nd streets, plus a connection at 63rd Street, was close to a century in the making and cost $4.5 billion.

For the second phase, only $1.7 billion is now in place, and that is being used for preliminary engineering and utility work. It means actual Q train service north of 96th Street is still billions of dollars and years away.

"Absolutely, it's got to happen," Maloney said. "It took us roughly 100 years to open up the first phase. We do not intend to wait that long. The people need it."

Riders along the line's first stretch on the Upper East Side say its arrival has been life-altering.

"I don't have to go crosstown and uptown and downtown and cross. So it's wonderful," said one commuter.

"I live in the area, so it helps me get to work faster and all. I don't have to go up to Lex to catch the 6, 5 or the 4," said another.

But those lines will get you to 125th Street, where you can catch a glimpse of the Second Avenue Subway's distant future.

The Second Avenue Subway Community Center is open Monday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.