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Second Avenue Subway Phase 1

New York City's biggest expansion of the subway system in 50 years, Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway opened for service on January 1, 2017. It extended the Q line from 63 St to 96 St, with additional stations at 72 St and 86 St. This project is the first phase of a long-term plan to extend the line up to 125 St (Phase 2), and down to Lower Manhattan (Phases 3 and 4).  

Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway delivers: 

  • Service to nearly 200,000 riders a day on the Upper East Side,, the densest neighborhood in New York City 

  • Reduced morning overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue 4/5/6 line by an average of 40%  

  • Shorter travel times—by up to 10 minutes—for riders on the far East Side and those traveling between the Upper East Side to the West Side of Manhattan, and easier access to Brooklyn and Queens 

The Second Avenue Subway’s stations include the following features: 

  • Full ADA-accessibility, with escalators and elevators, platform-edge warning strips, and wide corridors and entranceways 

  • Air-tempered climate control to provide customer comfort during summer months 

  • Column-free construction and high ceilings  

  • Low-vibration track for a smoother, quieter ride 

  • A long-term plan to improve transit access on the East Side of Manhattan 

A Project Decades in the Making

Despite its density, the East Side of Manhattan is relatively poorly served by the subway system. Plans to build a subway along Second Avenue have been on the books for nearly a century, since the tearing down of the old elevated train. This long-term plan has been broken down into four phases. Phase 2 would extend the line from 96 St to 125 St. Preliminary design and engineering are now underway. Click here to learn more about Second Avenue Subway Phase 2. Phases 3 would extend the line from 72 St to Houston St, for a new T train to serve the entire line from Houston to 125 St. Phase 4 would further extend the T train down to Hanover Square.  

When complete, the full-length subway line will provide riders with substantially improved transit including: 

  • Service extending 8.5 miles along Manhattan's East Side—from 125th Street in Harlem to Hanover Square in Lower Manhattan 

  • 16 new stations serving communities including East Harlem, the Upper East Side, East Midtown, Gramercy Park, East Village, the Lower East Side, Chinatown and Lower Manhattan 

  • Modern ADA-accessible station amenities, raising the bar for customer comfort and convenience 

  • Convenient transfers to other subway and commuter rail lines–facilitating smoother, faster transportation across the city and the region 

For more information about the history of the Second Avenue Subway

An integral part of the Second Avenue Subway Phase 1 project was its Community Information Center – a storefront on 2 Ave and 84 St – that welcomed more than 25,000 visitors over 4 years. One of the highlights of the Community Information Center was an interactive exhibit, tracing the history of the Second Avenue Subway from an idea in the 1920s through the planning and construction of Phase 1s. The exhibit highlights the many plans to build the line, including an effort in the 1970s that saw construction of tunnels in both lower Manhattan and East Harlem.