MTA Press Releases

Press Release
November 19, 2007
Governor Spitzer and FTA Administrator James Simpson Announce Federal Funding Guarantee For Second Avenue Subway's First Phase

Project is First Major Expansion of New York City Subway System since 1936;
New Segment Projected to Carry 213,000 Riders Daily

Governor Eliot Spitzer today joined James Simpson, Administrator for the
Federal Transit Administration, in announcing an agreement that guarantees
$1.3 billion in federal funding for the construction of the first phase of
the Second Avenue Subway. The first phase of the subway project will run
along Second Avenue north from 63rd Street to 105th Street, creating three
ADA-accessible stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets.

The line will relieve overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue subway line (4,
5 and 6 trains) and is projected to carry 213,000 riders daily. At first,
the line will be served by the Q train, which will continue to Coney
Island, Brooklyn, via the Broadway express and Brighton Beach local lines.

"Today is truly a historic moment for New York," said Governor Spitzer.
"For much of the twentieth century, New York talked about building the
Second Avenue Subway. Today, with the help of our partners in Washington
and Albany, the shovels are already in the ground. This project will
provide much-needed relief for straphangers on the crowded Lexington
Avenue line and will allow us to expand North America's largest public
transportation system to meet anticipated population growth and the
increased demand for transit service."

Lieutenant Governor David Paterson said: "Mass transit is the linchpin of
any economic design for the 21st century. This second avenue subway
project is part of our larger vision of economic infrastructure investment
throughout New York State. This project will be an important source of
jobs, especially for minorities, women, and immigrants who, until Governor
Spitzer's leadership, had not been given a fair shake at the opportunity
to do work for the State."

FTA Administrator James Simpson said: "To the 1.5 million riders who
squeeze onto the Lexington Avenue line every day, I say help is on the
way. The completion of the Second Avenue Subway will relieve much of the
congestion on the Lexington Avenue line, which currently carries more
daily riders than the metro systems of Washington, D.C., Boston, and
Chicago combined."

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said: "In order to meet the transportation
needs of a rapidly-growing population, we must be prepared to invest in
our city's infrastructure. Not only will the construction of the Second
Avenue Subway alleviate significant overcrowding along the Lexington
Avenue lines, but it will also add to the City's economic growth and our
quality of life by getting more people out of their cars and onto public

Senator Charles E. Schumer said: "This historic agreement puts this vital
and long overdue project right on track. New Yorkers have had to wait a
long time for the Second Avenue Subway but with this significant federal
investment and commitment, there is now finally light at the end of the

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney said: "Once a dream deferred, the Second
Avenue Subway is now inevitable. The full-funding grant agreement is a
done deal, construction contracts are being signed, and the spades are
literally in the ground. It took a cast of thousands to get the subway
back on track, but millions in our city and state will benefit from the
effort. New York straphangers should take heart: with a strong federal
commitment, the Second Avenue Subway is coming."

Congressman Jerrold Nadler said: "This project has been a necessity for
decades, and it is a landmark development that the federal government has
finally taken this step. We need to relieve overcrowding on the Lexington
Ave line, provide better connections between residential and business
areas, and reduce travel times. The Second Avenue subway line would do
all that and more. It would also vastly increase subway capacity by
hundreds of thousands riders each rush hour. This line, running south
from 125th Street, mostly under 2nd Avenue, would eventually extend all
the way to my constituents in the financial district. As a senior member
of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee I am proud to have
done my part in Congress to insuring this project takes place, I am
equally as proud to be here at this momentous occasion when the FTA signs
a Full Funding Grant agreement with the MTA to provide billions of dollars
to finally make this project a reality."

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said: "The Second Avenue Subway is one of
the most important and needed transportation projects in the region, which
is why I fought for the initial commitment of state funding to
once-and-for-all get this project moving. I am delighted that the Federal
government has joined us in our commitment to the Second Avenue Subway and
has now guaranteed that funding is in place for the first phase of the
project. In addition to easing overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue line,
the full-build Second Avenue Subway will provide significant benefits to
Lower Manhattan."

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said: "For years, the Second Avenue
Subway line has been a lot like the rumors of alligators living in the
sewers. Today, we move toward making a project that has been more of an
urban legend into a reality. The Second Avenue subway line will ensure
our city's infrastructure keeps pace with both population and economic
growth. It is a project that will benefit nearly every New Yorker."
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said: "It's been a long time
coming, but we're finally on the right track. The Second Avenue Subway is
essential to realizing our 21st Century economic and quality of life
ambitions. I thank my colleagues in government and the many community
leaders and transit advocates who took this plan off of the shelf and
turned it into a reality. This is a great day for mass transit, which
makes it a great day for New York City."

Elliot G. Sander, Executive Director and CEO of the MTA, said: "We are
pleased that our team at MTA Capital Construction is able to undertake the
first major expansion of the subway system in generations, even as we
perform other expansions in the East Side Access project and the 7-train
extension. We are deeply grateful for the Federal commitment and for all
the hard work that New York's congressional delegation has put in to
secure this funding."

Ground was broken for the project in April, and construction is visibly
underway on Second Avenue. Currently, crews are moving utility lines
(sewers, electrical and telephone lines) on the West side of Second Avenue
from 91st to 95th Streets so that a tunnel boring machine can be moved
into place to begin tunneling. During this portion of the project, four
lanes of traffic will remain open for use. As this is completed in the
next three months, traffic will be diverted to the other side of the
avenue to repeat the utility relocation process on the other side.

The line is scheduled to open in 2014. Construction will continue with
three additional phases that will extend the line first up to 125th
Street, where it will connect with the 4, 5 and 6 subway lines and with
MTA Metro-North Railroad, and then down to Hanover Square in the Financial
District. After completion of the third and fourth phases, the line will
carry two trains: the Q and the T, which will run the full length of

When completed, the full-length Second Avenue Subway is projected to carry
560,000 people per day. According to the latest figures from the American
Public Transportation Association, Los Angeles' subway carries 133,200
riders on an average weekday; Atlanta's MARTA, 239,400, and San
Francisco's BART, 365,300, by comparison. New York City's entire subway
now carries nearly 6.3 million passengers on a typical weekday.

Today's announcement demonstrates the Spitzer administration's continued
commitment to investing in the MTA transit system as well as other
critical New York City infrastructure projects such the redevelopment of
Penn Station, the PATH Hub at the World Trade Center, East Side Access,
South Ferry Subway Terminal and the Fulton Street Transit Center.