The trains might not be running yet, but on Thursday Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled the 96th Street station on the new Second Avenue subway.
He also held an open house for New Yorkers to check out the stop ahead of the Jan. 1 opening, with MTA staff who were available to answer questions, and distribute maps, commemorative items and even cookies.
"With unparalleled architecture and newly installed artwork along the Second Avenue line, we are transforming these stations into underground galleries that encompass the spirit and cultural charm of New York," Cuomo said. "This open house offers a unique opportunity for us to share this important project milestone with New Yorkers, and marks the progress we have made in delivering a new, vital artery to one of the nation’s busiest transit lines. I encourage all New Yorkers to come for a tour and see this new state-of-the-art station for themselves."
An open house is also set for Friday, Dec. 23 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Cuomo boasted about the station’s design, which includes high ceilings andcolumn-free design. The words "Excelsior" and "E Pluribus Unum" — New York City’s message to people who ride the subways — are displayed on the beams inside of the station.
Earlier this week, it was also revealed that all the stations will feature the largest public art installation in state history.
The stations were also made with a two-tiered mezzanine design to improve the flow of riders and reduce crowding on the platform. Modern updates include climate control and computerized signage, as well as the addition of more than 13,000 new subway maps throughout the system.
These state-the-art stations are a long time coming as most New Yorkers know. Just this week news came that Jan. 1 was a hard deadline, with no more delays. The line has taken a decade of construction after it was proposed several decades earlier.
Phase 1 will only include three stops at 96th Street, 86th Street and 72nd Street.
Revenue service will begin at noon on Jan. 1, with trains running every six minutes during peak hours and from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for the rest of the first week. Overnight service will begin on Monday, January 9.