Gov. Hochul and MTA Announce Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 Moves Forward

January 6, 2022

Governor Hochul and MTA Announce Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 Moves Forward

Grant Request for Phase 2 of Subway Extension to 125th Street Moves to Engineering Stage

Extension Will Include Three New Subway Stations, at 106th St, 116th St and 125th St, with Connection to Metro-North

Governor Kathy Hochul and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority today announced that the Second Avenue Subway expansion project that would extend the Second Avenue line to 125th St in East Harlem has moved to the Engineering phase of the project timeline. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed by President Biden in November provided $23 billion in new grant opportunities for transit expansion, a historic level of funding that doubled the amount of grants available for major projects like Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway (SAS2).

The MTA submitted a request to the U.S. Department of Transportation to allow Phase 2 of the expansion to move forward and remain eligible for funding. Phase 2 will include the construction of three new subway stations, at 106th St, 116th St, and 125th St in East Harlem. The Federal Transit Administration has advanced SAS2 into the Engineering phase of the grant process, bringing the project one step closer to reality and allowing preliminary work to move forward.

“Earlier this afternoon I spoke with Secretary Buttigieg who shared the exciting news that the U.S. Department of Transportation is making a huge step forward on Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway expansion, which will unlock incredible potential for the people of East Harlem in expanding transit equity and economic opportunity,” Governor Hochul said. “This moves us into the home stretch towards full funding and the start of construction on this incredibly important project. Last month I toured the site of the extension with MTA leadership and elected officials seeing firsthand the sheer grandeur of this exciting project. We made a clear commitment then to the people of East Harlem that we would keep this project moving swiftly, and now we see the first element of making that vision a true reality for so many New Yorkers. I want to thank Secretary Buttigieg, our Congressional leadership, and the MTA for their tireless advocacy for this project, and I can’t wait to get the trains running.”

Approximately 70 percent of East Harlem residents use public transportation to get to work, much higher than the citywide average of 55 percent. The expansion of Second Avenue Subway would help advance the Biden Administration’s and New York State’s goal for transportation equity and would improve the local community’s access to jobs, health care, and other services, while reducing congestion, both on the streets and on the Lexington Avenue subway line and improving air quality.

MTA Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “The East Harlem community has been waiting for the Second Avenue Subway for decades. Phase 2 will serve an area with one of the largest concentrations of affordable housing in the country where 70 percent of residents rely on public transportation to get to work. The new line extension will build on the success of Phase 1 and bring the total Second Avenue Subway ridership to 300,000, which is equivalent to the entire Philadelphia rail system. A big thank you to the FTA for moving the project to the next stage. My team is ready to go.”

Phase 1 of the project extended the Q line from 63rd St to 96th St and was New York City’s biggest expansion of the subway system in 50 years. Service opened on January 1, 2017, with additional stations at 72nd St and 86th St. Since its completion, the Second Avenue Subway has carried more than 130 million passengers and carried more than 200,000 passengers on a pre-pandemic day. A tunnel segment that will be used for Phase 2 was built in the 1970s from 110th St to 120th St along Second Avenue.

Fast Facts to Know

This phase of the project will extend train service from 96th St north to 125th St, approximately 1.5 miles.
There will be new stations at 106th St and 116th St on Second Ave and 125th St at Park Ave.
Phase 2 will provide direct passenger connections to the Lexington Avenue (4/5/6) subway line at 125th St and an entrance at Park Ave to allow convenient transfers to the Metro-North Railroad 125 St Station.
Each station will have above-ground ancillary buildings that house ventilation mechanical, and electrical equipment. These will include space for possible ground-floor retail.
Expansion will serve an additional 100,000 daily riders.
Will provide three new ADA accessible stations – raising the bar for customer comfort and convenience.
Increased multimodal transit connectivity at the 125th St station – with connections to the 4/5/6, Metro-North trains and the M60 Select Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport, allowing convenient transfers to other subway and commuter rail lines, facilitating smoother, faster transportation across the city and region.
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer said, “The Second Avenue Subway Phase II project advancing into project engineering is great news for the people of East Harlem and all of New York City. Long envisioned – but unfortunately too long delayed – the project is now full-speed ahead. I was pleased to secure the historic $23 billion in grant funding for mass transit capital projects in the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs law, and will fight to ensure this critical project gets its fair share.”

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “This federal investment would make a real difference in the lives of East Harlem residents, and I’m very pleased that Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway project has moved forward in the grant process. The expansion of the Second Avenue Subway line would ease commute times, reduce congestion, create local jobs, and connect the community more seamlessly with the rest of the city. I’m proud to have worked to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that provided the funding to make projects like this possible and I’ll keep fighting for resources for New York’s straphangers.”

Representative Jerrold Nadler said, “This is fantastic news for New York City Subway riders. The extension of the 2nd Avenue subway line to 125th Street in East Harlem will serve communities that so desperately need expanded subway service and will alleviate crowding and congestion on the Lexington Ave line. I am thrilled that this project is moving forward and I am especially proud to have supported the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that has made this phase of the extension possible. I want to thank Governor Hochul for her partnership on this project and I look forward to continuing to work with her to improve New York City’s infrastructure”

Representative Carolyn Maloney said, “I am thrilled that Secretary Buttigieg and the FTA are prioritizing 2nd Avenue Subway expansion by shepherding the project into the engineering phase and bringing it one step closer to federal funding approval. Bringing the Q Train to 125th Street will be a game changer for our City as we rebuild from the COVID-19 crisis, and it will help reduce transit deserts by connecting East Harlem to midtown, lower Manhattan, and Brooklyn. It will reduce the dangerously overcrowded Lexington Avenue line while also committing to the City’s century-old promise to our people to create another east side line. I was proud to lead the fight to build Phase 1, and I thank Governor Hochul, Secretary Buttigieg, Congressmember Espaillat, and MTA CEO and Acting Chair Janno Lieber for their continued partnership in completing this vital project.”

Representative Adriano Espaillat said, “As New York City continues to rebuild while working towards economic recovery and addressing the inequalities faced by communities of color that were exacerbated during the pandemic, investing in transit equity improvements is critical and today’s announcement to begin the Second Avenue Subway extension will have resounding effects throughout New York State and particularly in New York City. Successfully expanding services and reliable transportation to this region will support the livelihood of over 100,000 East Harlem residents who currently experience barriers to job opportunities, educational advancement, and access to hospitals and medical care due to lack of public transportation – and will ultimately reshape the fabric of our neighborhoods along the way.”

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