The MTA now says the new 7 train station will open this summer.

There's a serious point to be made about the announcement that the opening of New York City's newest subway station has been further delayed, but we can't stop looking at the gorgeous pictures of the all-but-finished 7 train stop at 34th Street and Hudson Yards, so we'll take the sugar before the medicine this time around.

Here's the view from above (via Metropolitan Transportation Authority board meeting documents):

And the slightly-trippy-and-highly-concentric ceiling art:

And a station agent booth sleek enough to double as a boutique mini Apple Store outlet:

And a small army of presumably-not-yet-broken escalators:

And the tricky inclined elevators responsible for some of the delay:

And concourse walls so white they give us hope there's a subway in heaven:

Now then for the tougher lesson. The latest delay comes as a big disappointment to subway enthusiasts. MTA had declared the station "90 percent complete" as long ago as August 2013. Outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who championed the project, took a celebratory trial run that December. The stage looked set for a summer 2014 opening, but now MTA says summer of 2015 is more like it.

That's a hiccup in the grand scheme of things but also another knock against an agency that has long had trouble gaining public confidence. One well-known local transit advocate told the New York Times the MTA "should do a better job of anticipating" potential project complications. Ben Kabak at 2nd Ave. Sagas writes that the delay matters for "credibility's sake":

The MTA is asking for $15 billion for another capital fund, but it can’t open a one-station extension that was supposed to ready for service before 2013 ended.

Credibility matters to any transit agency, and in the case of the MTA, credibility especially matters right now. Fares have just gone up, the agency is seeking billions in funding for a long-term expansion plan, and an encouraging congestion pricing proposal would put the MTA in charge of these new road charges. So riders, voters, and drivers alike must feel assured the agency will spend their hard-earned money wisely.

The good news is that the project does seem to be coming in right on budget, as the chart below from the MTA capital construction committee shows. Actual spending on the 7 line extension (roughly $2.25 billion through January 2015) appears slightly below the planned budget line. There's still time to muck it up, but so far so good:

MTA

If the MTA wants to build public confidence, it should point to this recent display of responsible spending. That or lots more pretty pictures.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Bicycle riders on a package-blocked bicycle lane
    Perspective

    Why Do Micromobility Advocates Have Tiny-Demand Syndrome?

    In the 1930s big auto dreamed up freeways and demanded massive car infrastructure. Micromobility needs its own Futurama—one where cars are marginalized.

  2. a photo of a WeWork office building
    Life

    What WeWork’s Demise Could Do to NYC Real Estate

    The troubled coworking company is the largest office tenant in New York City. What happens to the city’s commercial real estate market if it goes under?

  3. Equity

    Why You Should Say 'Hello' to Strangers on the Street

    On sidewalk psychology. 

  4. Life

    Why Do Instagram Playgrounds Keep Calling Themselves Museums?

    The bustling industry of immersive, Instagram-friendly experiences has put a new spin on the word museum.

  5. A photo of an abandoned building in Providence, Rhode Island.
    Perspective

    There's No Such Thing as a Dangerous Neighborhood

    Most serious urban violence is concentrated among less than 1 percent of a city’s population. So why are we still criminalizing whole areas?

×