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Second Avenue Subway, phase 1

The first phase of the Second Avenue Subway project extended the Q line up to 96 St. It has improved the commute for area residents by creating new stations at 72 St and 86 St.
Updated Apr 1, 2022
Inside a subway station, with two trains on either side of a platform.


  • Location
  • Type
    System Expansion
  • Status

Area Map


  • 1929: First proposal for Second Avenue Subway introduced
  • 2004: MTA proposes Second Avenue Subway line running from 125th Street to Lower Manhattan
  • June 2013: MTA awards tenth and final contract to build Phase 1 of the project
  • April 2007: Ceremonial groundbreaking at 96 St station
  • April 2016: Track installation completed
  • January 2017: Phase 1 of Second Avenue Subway opened for service

About the project

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). 

Read more about Phase 2.

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.

Project benefits

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  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 

Map of the Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 Route