Yes, the Second Avenue Subway Did Open as Scheduled on New Years Day

Three new stations on Second Avenue and an upgraded Lexington Avenue station were open for the first phase of the long-awaited subway line, an extension of the Q Line. Here are some observations of the trains and stations from The New York Times.
January 3, 2017, 5am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Some had questioned whether all the new stations would be ready, but they were proven wrong.

"Visitors arriving at the line’s three new stations will find a very different — and far more pleasant — atmosphere than they do in most of the rest of the subway system," observe Emma G. Fitzsimmons, Emily Palmer, Noah Remnick, Daniel E. Slotnik and Jonathan Wolfe for The New York Times.

Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)

"Visitors arriving at the line’s three new stations will find a very different — and far more pleasant — atmosphere than they do in most of the rest of the subway system," note the reporters, though they are quick to add, "Enjoy that while you can."

One inescapable observation from the multitude of photos clearly distinguishes these rides on opening day from commute trips: passengers are happy if not beaming to be traveling on a new line that some have been waiting for generations.

Among the other observations: station art, bathrooms, litter. They also describe the  96-year "tortured history" of the line and the next phases which ultimately will take the train line "8.5 miles along Manhattan's East Side—from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan," per MTA. "It's unclear when the other three phases will be completed or how much they will cost," notes amNewYork.

Amy Plitt, editor of Curbed NYreports on the New Years Eve inaugural ride with the major dignitaries, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo (see video of his speech with introduction by MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas F. Prendergast). Unlike other major subway systems, e.g., Chicago, Philadelphia, the ND Bay Area, it's not the city or the region but the state that is in charge

"The subway is open now, with rides happening until 10 p.m. for the first few days; full service begins January 9," adds Plitt.
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Published on Sunday, January 1, 2017 in The New York Times
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