U.S. DOT Pledges $1.3 Billion for Second Avenue Subway to Relieve New York City Commuters on Congested Lexington Avenue Line

WASHINGTON — The federal government is giving $1.3 billion in tax dollars for New York’s Second Avenue Subway line, which when completed, will help ease congestion for commuters in the nation’s biggest city, officials announced earlier this month.

“It was bold ideas and big dreams that made New York City the place it is today, and it is ambitious projects like the Second Avenue Subway that will keep it that way,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters, noting that this is the second largest transit investment the federal government has made.

The Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) gives an assurance that the federal government will provide $1.3 billion, or 27 percent, of the $4.9 billion Second Avenue Subway Phase I project over a seven-year period.

“To the 1.5 million riders who squeeze onto the Lexington Avenue Line every day, I say help is on the way,” Federal Transit Administrator Jim Simpson said.

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, Simpson said.

Second Avenue Subway Phase 1 consists of 2.3 miles of new subway on Manhattan’s East Side from 63rd Street to 96th Street and will connect with the existing Broadway Line at the 63rd Street Station.

The project will include renovation of the 63rd Street station, as well as construction of three new stations at 72nd, 86th, and 96th streets. Phase I is the initial segment of a planned 8.5-mile subway line extending the length of Manhattan’s East Side from Hanover Square in the Financial District to 125th Street in East Harlem.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Transit (MTA/NYCT) will tunnel from 63rd Street to the existing tunnel, build stations and other facilities, lay new track, install signal and power systems and purchase 68 new rail cars.

The initial phase, scheduled to open in 2014, is expected to carry approximately 191,000 passengers a day, increasing to 231,000 passengers daily by the year 2030.

— Special to Railfanning.org