Bloomberg Takes Ceremonial First Ride On No. 7 Subway Extension
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It takes a very special man to score a ride in a private train car to an unfinished subway station.
Any guesses who that man was and where he was going? Well, if you guessed Superman you’d be wrong. The great train robber Jesse James? Wrong again.
Not even President Barack Obama could get the No. 7 train to roll into an unfinished station on the West Side.
But that caped crusader Michael Bloomberg did, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Friday.
Who says that the outgoing mayor has lost his mojo? Maybe that will be the case in 11 days when he’s out of office, but on Friday the billionaire mayor, who had the bright idea to extend the 7 line from Flushing to 34th Street and 11th Avenue, got the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to give him the victory lap of a lifetime — a train ride from Times Square to the unfinished station that won’t open until next fall.
Who else has that much pull?
“Welcome to the first subway extension funded by the city in some 60 years. The last underground extension financed by the city was opened in December 1950, when, for the record, I was 8 years old,” Bloomberg said.
“Today’s historic ride is yet another symbol of how New York City has become a place where big projects can get done,” Bloomberg added. “This project is the linchpin of an ambitious transit-oriented, mixed-use development that is already transforming Manhattan’s Far West Side, and it demonstrates our administration’s commitment over the past 12 years to invest in infrastructure that will allow our city to grow for generations to come.”
The mayor fought tooth and nail for the new $2.4 billion line. And it was personal. He even named the machines used to bore the new tunnels for his daughters, Emma and Georgina. And for his troubles the head of the MTA’s capital construction, Michael Horodniceanu, gave him a memento that the deep-pocketed mayor is sure to cherish.
“This is a piece of the rock that was excavated on No. 7 and I’m sure it will make it somewhere on one of your shelves,” Horodniceanu told Bloomberg.
Of course, the mayor declined to say what shelf. He has so many — shelves in the library, the kitchen the bathroom, and, of course, the basement.
But for the mayor it really was a big day because it helped to support and spur development of the West Side, which, once the Hudson Yards are developed, will feature a huge complex of businesses, apartments and parks in what is now a desolate area of the city.
When asked where the accomplishment ranks in his mayoral pantheon, he got uncharacteristically modest.
“I’d love to tell you they were all my ideas,” Bloomberg said.
Since the 7 extension is part of Bloomberg’s legacy, Kramer wondered if the MTA will name the station after him or, perhaps, an entire line.
In addition to the B-M-T, the I-R-T and the I-N-D, the city would have the M-R-B — for Michael R. Bloomberg.
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