With Construction over 94% complete, Rep. Maloney Gives 2nd Avenue Subway an A- on 2016 Report Card

May 16, 2016
Press Release
MTA says construction is on track for December 2016 opening date

New York– In recognition of the MTA closing in on the final months of construction for Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) issued a report card today to take stock of the MTA’s progress. As of May 2016, the MTA is reporting that construction on Phase 1 is 94.4% complete, 100% of the 22,000 linear feet of track has been laid, and third rail installation is nearing completion. The project has remained on time and on budget for the December 2016 opening date, and is looking ahead to the start of Phase 2.  In recognition of the significant progress to date, the MTA earns an overall A-, up from a B+ on the last report card. Maloney was joined for the announcement by Community Board 8 Chair Jim Clynes, SAS Task Force co-chair Barry Schneider, local restaurant owner Sammi Musovic, Manhattan Representative to the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA Trudy L. Mason, and the General Contractors Association Director of External Affairs Felice Farber.

Since the project’s inception, Congresswoman Maloney has been an ardent advocate for the Second Avenue Subway and was instrumental in securing the $1.3 billion in federal funding for Phase1.  Phase 1 work includes utility relocation, blasting and excavation of stations, tunnel boring and construction of platforms, station entrances and ancillary facilities between 63rd and 96th Streets.  This critical infrastructure investment has provided needed help to the struggling construction industry in New York and it will continue to bring great economic benefits and improve the ridership experience for commuters.  The report highlights improvements the MTA is making in its effort to start revenue service in December 2016 and urges a seamless transition to Phase 2 so that construction of the next portion of the subway can be completed expeditiously.

“Overall, the project gets an A-.  The project’s merit, its economic benefits, the MTA’s outreach efforts and the pace at which construction is being completed all get high marks.  There are good reasons to award a lot of high grades, but unless the project is completed by December 2016, the MTA could still wind up with a failing grade.  When the MTA broke ground for the Second Avenue Subway in April 2007, there were a lot of skeptics who pointed to the three previous groundbreakings.  With the current progress, I’m certain the skeptics will have to eat their words.  When it is completed, the Second Avenue Subway will provide much-needed relief for commuters on the Lexington Avenue line because there really is a limit to the number of people you can cram into a subway car,” said Congresswoman Maloney.

"Carolyn Maloney is truly the mother of Second Avenue Subway, having tenaciously secured the nearly one and a half billion dollars in federal dollars that the project has received," said Denise Richardson, Executive Director of the General Contractors Association of New York.  "The travel improvements the Second Avenue Subway will provide for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and the thousands of good paying, middle class construction jobs the project has generated, would not have been possible without her personal involvement and relentless advocacy for the project." 

The 2016 Report Card can be found here.

A breakdown of the 2016 Report Card, with explanations for the grades awarded, can be found here.


The Second Avenue Subway construction has been divided into four phases.  Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway project includes 2.3 miles of new track, three new accessible subway entrances at 96th Street, 86th Street and 72nd Street, new connections to the existing 63rd Street station, 11 station entrances, 6 ancillary buildings, a ventilation shaft and a cooling tower structure.  After the completion of all four phases, the Second Avenue Subway will provide a one-seat ride from the Upper East Side to Times Square, lower Manhattan, and Brooklyn.  The first phase of the subway will carry more than 200,000 riders each day and ease congestion on the most overcrowded subway routes in the nation: the 4, 5, and 6 Lexington Avenue IRT trains on Manhattan's East Side.  

The Second Avenue Subway project has created 16,000 jobs, generated $842 million in wages, and produced $2.87 billion in economic activity. In the mid-1990s, Rep. Maloney began a campaign to resuscitate the Second Avenue Subway after the project had lain dormant for decades, and she has worked to include funding for the Second Avenue Subway in appropriations bills.  All of the funding called for under the FFGA has been appropriated. The subway project, as planned, would run primarily through the 12th Congressional District, which Maloney represents.

The federal government entered into a full funding grant agreement with the MTA pursuant to which it is providing $1.3 billion of the $4.451 billion project.  The MTA’s 2010-2014 Capital Plan included all of the state funding needed for the first phase of the project.   Phase 1 is expected to be completed by December 2016.  In 2015, average weekday subway ridership was 5.7 million, the highest since 1948. Annual ridership was 1.763 billion, also the highest since 1948.  The Lexington Avenue line is the nation’s most overcrowded subway line.