Bloomberg Takes Inaugural Ride on 7 Train Extension to Far West Side
HELL'S KITCHEN — Mayor Michael Bloomberg took the inaugural ride on the newly extended 7 line as one of his last acts as mayor Friday afternoon.
The 7 train extension won't be open to the public until next summer, but the outgoing mayor was allowed the first ride before he ends his term next week.
"If you build it, they will come," Bloomberg said, touting the development around the new station on the Far West Side — from the expanded Javits Center to the upcoming Hudson Yards development, which will include hotels, offices and housing.
The $2.4 billion extension of the 7 train, which now runs from Flushing, Queens to Times Square, began in 2007 and will add a mile to the line, terminating at 34th Street and 11th Avenue.
Bloomberg hopped on a special, six-car train at the Times Square station after riding the regular 7 train from Long Island City.
That train then took its first ride to the new Hudson Yards subway station, which is still under construction.
"Today's historic ride is yet another symbol of how New York City has become a place where big projects can get done," Bloomberg said.
The station, which is 18 stories below the ground, is still an open construction site, with bare concrete walls and temporary lighting. It was originally scheduled to open December 2013, but it was delayed.
On 34th Street, though, the shell of the station's future entrance has started to take shape.
The arrival of the 7 train is a major boost to the Hudson Yards Development Corporation's plans to turn the abandoned rail yards around the new station into the city's newest neighborhood.
The mayor's original plan for the rail yards was to build the West Side Stadium, which would have been home to the New York Jets and an anchor for the city's bid for the 2012 Olympics.
When asked Friday about his failed proposal, Bloomberg remained positive.
"You don't get everything done," he said. "It doesn't mean you walk away."
Bloomberg, who's held three terms as mayor, also spoke about his legacy, which he said is tied to the major construction projects like the extension.
He noted all of the construction along the West Side Highway as well as in Williamsburg and The Bronx.
The city, especially the subway, is vastly different now than when he moved here in 1966, he added.
"The momentum in the city is really the legacy that we're leaving," he said, before getting back on the 7 train and riding away.