NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — At long last, the No. 7 train has made its first stop at the Hudson Yards extension.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was on hand for the grand opening and took a ceremonial ride from there to Times Square on Sunday morning.
WEB EXTRA: No. 7 Line Extension Fact Sheet
For the public, the No. 7 trains started running at 1 p.m. at the new station, located at West 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue.
“It will open up opportunities and … will carry an extraordinary 56,000 per day,” de Blasio said. “So it’s a big investment that’ll have a big impact.”
The new 1.5-mile extension goes west from the Times Square stop and is the only line south of 59th Street to provide service west of Ninth Avenue.
The station will serve the area that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration pushed to redevelop.
It will offer more convenient access to new developments such as the Javits Center, Hudson River Park and the High Line, which people could only get to before by walking or taking a bus. It also brings passengers to the new Hudson Yards project, which will include offices, apartments and hotels.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said the station will spur job growth.
“If we build it, they will come,” he said. “And just look over there — they’re coming; jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Commuters were excited about the addition.
“Because right now to get over to the West Side, you take the shuttle, and you’re limited. So having it extend all the way over to Eleventh Avenue, I think is great,” said Edwina Osbourne.
“To get to, for example, the Meatpacking District, you want to be able to go all the way west,” said straphanger Justin Kilo.
“I come to the West Side all the time. Now I can take this to Times Square and jump on the 1 train to go uptown,” Laurie Lombari told CBS2’s Ilana Gold.
“It keeps everybody moving,” one commuter told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs.
The price tag on the subway line extension is $2.4 billion, almost entirely funded by the city.
The project started in 2009 and was delayed several times and was ultimately completed two years behind schedule.
But the wait for the 21st-century station is over.
“It’s a brand new station with modern amenities, beautiful artwork,” said Kevin Ortiz, spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
“I think it’s been worth the wait…I think it’s going to help the whole city,” said de Blasio.
The station is air-conditioned and features high-tech elevators that travel at an incline like escalators, 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern reported.
The station can handle tens of thousands of extra passengers. And while some have concerns about already-crowded No. 7 trains becoming more congested, neighborhood leaders are thrilled to finally get subway service that could help the West Side thrive.
“I’m sure a lot of people on Tenth Avenue are going to migrate this way,” one woman said.
Some, however, said they wished the city did not abandon plans for a stop at Tenth Avenue and West 41st Street.
“A lot of people live over there in those towers,” one woman told Stern. “So it’s of no help to them.”
The subway station is the first new one to open in the city in more than 25 years.