Feb
15

Bloomberg: 7 extension will run during term ‘if I have to push it myself’

By

This photo shows the latest progress of construction on the extension of the 7 subway line as of December 6, 2012. This is a view of the future mezzanine of the new station at 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue in west Midtown Manhattan. Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin.

With just 319 days remaining in the final year of Michael Bloomberg’s third term, the rush is on for the mayor to see his pet projects through. An effort to rezone Midtown East and a ban on toxic, carcinogenic styrofoam containers will be among his final pushes, but the mayor also has his eye on the Far West Side.

In comments this morning, Bloomberg spoke about the looming final 10 and a half months, and it’s clear that he wants to take a ride on the new 7 line extension while still in office.

Considering the MTA’s projected timeline, Bloomberg better get those pushing muscles ready. The 7 line extension, once projected for revenue service by December of 2013, is not expected to be in revenue service until mid-2014. Perhaps, as a symbolic gesture for the outgoing mayor, the MTA will be in a position to run a photo-op train from Times Square to 34th St. and 11th Ave., but I’m not holding my breath.

One may be wondering why the mayor cares so much about the 7 line extension when his record on rail-related transit issues has been spotty at best. The 7 line is a tortured part of his legacy, and he wants to point to the new subway line as an accomplishment of his years in office. Fully funded by the city, the 7 was an integral part of the mayor’s failed efforts to bring a stadium and the 2012 Olympics to the Far West Side. Even once the Olympics bid faltered, the mayor pushed forward with the 7 line as a driver of Manhattan’s last undeveloped frontier.

The project, of course, has not been without controversy. Due to rising costs, a second planned station at 41st St. and 10th Ave. that would have served a rapidly growing area with few current transit options was shelved, and only the barest of provisioning was put in place to ensure a build-out if money ever materializes. If the mayor is going to be so keen to embrace the subway extension, we shouldn’t be so quick to excuse him the project’s flaws.

The 7 line extension won’t be, as I once called it, the subway to nowhere. It’s going to spur growth in an area that will soon be filled with mixed-use buildings and office space. Yet, the extension represents missed opportunities as much as it represents growth, and the last missed opportunity will likely be Mayor Bloomberg’s chance to ride the first 11th Ave.-bound train while he’s still in office.



Categories : 7 Line Extension

94 Responses to “Bloomberg: 7 extension will run during term ‘if I have to push it myself’”

  1. Larry Littlefield says:

    Give the man credit. This plan goes back a long way, and Bloomberg adopted it and pushed it through.

    And while I’m not one to give Sheldon Silver credit for anything, the city will gain more from its investment without the Olympic Stadium there.

    As Bloomberg himself put it, the city is going to end up with most of the correlative benefits normally associated with an Olympics without them and (my words) the cost and white elephants of actually hosting them.

    • Bolwerk says:

      I’m aware Olympics are almost never profitable, but for that to be true they would have to not even net pay anything back. I didn’t want them, but all the same they could have spurred some public investment.

      • Phantom says:

        The West Side stadium by the Lincoln Tunnel was the most ill conceived idea ever. Thank God it will never be built.

        • Someone says:

          The stadium would just be built elsewhere.

        • Nyland8 says:

          I beg to differ – and for a number of reasons. Granted, building a stadium on that site just for the Olympics would be over the top. But building the Jets their own stadium is not.

          It’s location would have been directly adjacent to the Javitts – by any standard, among the more anemic convention centers in the country. There are a host of major shows that can’t even be held there because it’s too small. Which means that NYC couldn’t bid for those shows even if it wanted to. Ergo, those revenues go to other cities.

          The stadium would have effectively augmented the size of the convention center – which is actually a stroke of genius. Since professional football would never occupy it more than 10 days out of 365, it could have been utilized as an extension of the Javitts – something other stadiums around the country can’t do. That would make it more active – more of a money maker – than other football-only venues.

          Is there any other state in the country whose two professional football franchises not only have to share a stadium, but they have to play out-of-state? It’s absurd that New Yorkers have to leave the state to watch their teams play.

          Well designed stadiums can beautifully augment the skyline of their cities – and a great stadium over the yards – in the foreground – would look terrific with the Empire State building, and the rest of the skyline, rising behind it.

          It’s right by the ferry terminal, a heliport, a tunnel and the West Side Highway – and now it would have soon had a subway stop at it’s base.

          Madison Square Garden’s paranoia about competing with it as a venue was not a good enough reason to ditch the plans – but that is effectively what happened. MSG has no competition in the borough – and it should. At least for some uses, that stadium would have provided that. But it wouldn’t put it out of business, because it would have never taken the Knicks, the Rangers, or most concerts away.

          I think a stadium over the yards wasn’t such a bad idea at all. The space has been fallow for generations.

          And does anybody really think Manhattan needs another office building? Or more luxury condos?? Maybe what it really needs is more reasons to want to live in the city to begin with. A stadium might have done that.

          • AG says:

            i disagree…

            yes it’s true the Javits is too small for some shows… but its not at all “anemic”… it actually has one of the highest percentage of booked days of any convention center in the U.S. (which is why when Cuomo understood that he got rid of the dumb idea to build one near JFK). Fact is that NYC is expensive – so some shows just will never come here. That is actually fine… the Javits is no failure economically. The convention business itself is anemic.. and NYC has the lowest hotel vacancies in the nation…. so it’s not really losing anything.

            the space was “fallow for generations”??? Huh? Up until the late 60’s that was some of the busiest waterfront in the world.. and industry served that area.

            does it need more offices and condos??? well according to the marketplace (ppl willing to pay) – then the answer is definitely yes. NYC has almost “too many” things to do already… saying a stadium would have brought more activity just doesn’t make sense. Barclay’s at Atlantic Terminal makes sense… but a Jest stadium on the west side of Manhattan didn’t. Barclay’s has over 200 booked days a year (still less than MSG)… a football stadium would NEVER see that amount of usage (conventions are held in halls – rather than stadiums for a reason).

            Btw – the reason the Jets and Giants play in Jersey is because Jersey was desperate and gave them whatever they wanted. The city never really fought because football stadiums aren’t good investments (they are rarely money makers like smaller venues can be).

            • Nyland8 says:

              “the space was “fallow for generations”??? Huh? Up until the late 60?s that was some of the busiest waterfront in the world.. and industry served that area.”

              Uh … no. There has never been anything built over the Yards. That space has been fallow for generations. Period. And the reason that football stadiums rarely make as many bookings as “smaller venues” is because they don’t double as convention centers. This one could have.

              And I have no problem taking half of Giant stadium’s business back into New York City – or ALL of it – WHERE IT BELONGS!! I guess you have no response to my question about what other state has two of its pro football franchises playing in another state. There is none. As a New Yorker, I, for one, would like to be able to take the subway to see my teams play. And that stadium would have been a whopping three blocks away from Penn Station – making it easily accessible to every fan from Trenton to Montauk. It was a PERFECT location for a stadium.

              And citing Javitt’s bookings is meaningless data. B.B. Kings is booked almost every night of the year – because it seats less than 600 people. It is ALWAYS easier to book a smaller venue. But if the Javits were bigger, it could book bigger. Instead, the larger shows go to Vegas, Orlando, etc.

              As for more offices and condos – those can always be built anywhere on much smaller footprints of land. But when will you ever find the acreage of the Yards walking distance from midtown? Not in our lifetimes.

              It was a mistake to not build a stadium there – in my less-than-humble opinion.

              • AG says:

                oh well if you just mean the rail yards… as opposed to the entire neighborhood then you are correct. Except – whatever you build would affect the surrounding areas.

                The Giants once played at Yankee Stadium and the Jets at Shea… They NEVER had their own stadiums happen. The baseball teams don’t want them. Formula 1 wanted to hold a race in NYC for many years – but they couldn’t so they went to the Jersey waterfront (for next year). Why? That’s where there is space. NYC will still be host of most of the events – just like it will for the Super Bowl next year. NYC is not like other cities that are sprawling. Also in case you didn’t know – the Cowboys don’t play in Dallas – and the 49ers are actually moving to the suburbs. L.A. doesn’t even have a team. Do I need to go on?

                Citing Javits booking is very relevant – even though it doesn’t fit your narrative. The convention business is NOT growing. It’s receding. And again – they go to Vegas and Orlando because they are cheap and warm. Talk to anyone in the industry and they will verify the things I just said. Also – aside from maybe E3 and Consumer Electronics – a lot of those aren’t really that cosmopolitan – which again negates the need to be in NYC. NYC leads the nation in tourism – with a small convention center – no casinos and no gambling.

                • Nyland8 says:

                  “Also in case you didn’t know – the Cowboys don’t play in Dallas – and the 49ers are actually moving to the suburbs. L.A. doesn’t even have a team. Do I need to go on?”

                  No need to go on. You’ve made my point quite well. The Cowboys play in Texas, the Niners play in California, LA’s lack of a team has no bearing on the issue … and the New York Giants and New York Jets still play … where? Do I need to go on?

                  Likewise, the fact that baseball stadiums don’t want to host football teams has no bearing on the issue. And as far as the Meadowlands having space for Formula 1 – again, no bearing on the issue whatsoever. I’m not proposing road racing on the west side of Manhattan. There’s plenty of space in South Dakota too – but that wouldn’t be a good reason to relocate the Jets and Giants there. All you’re doing is citing the reasons why New Jersey built the stadium where it did – not reasons why one shouldn’t have been built over the Yards.

                  The fact is, the space is only needed if you want tens-of-thousands of people to climb into a car and drive there – and what I’d prefer is to discourage that, and for more people to be able to take mass transit. For that, you’d have a hard time finding a better location than the Hudson Yards. It’s practically at the mass-transit epicenter of New York City.

                  Do you work for Madison Square Garden AG? Or are you just addicted to tailgating parties?

                  • AG says:

                    are you really serious?? Are you really that provincial that the name NJ bothers you?

                    so guess what then – tell the teams to turn the names to New Jersey… but that won’t happen. They play 10 miles out of the city… if you can’t support them because of that – then you are not a real fan. My point was – since you didn’t seem to get it is – the Meadowlands is closer to NYC than Arlington (where the Cowboys play) is to Dallas… and they are STILL the DALLAS Cowboys. The 49’ers don’t plan on changing their name when they move to Santa Clara (which is even farther away). Why are they moving? San Fran (the only major city anywhere near as dense as NYC) realizes the waste of space of building a new football stadium in their crowded city (they offered them polluted land at a shipyard). A building that mostly sits empty is not sensible use of space. There are numerous examples of it.

                    Btw – I pointed out to you that they played in baseball stadiums to show you that the Jets and Giants never had their own stadium in the first place for reasons… it was never a sound investment in the city. Sports facilities only makes sense economically when they are used often. Out in swamp lands its fine – but not in the bustling city.

                    actually I don’t even like the sport… I went to one tail gate party in college and was bored. Hudson Yards is not some transit epicenter… I have no idea where you get that. Btw – you can take NJ Transit to the Meadowlands from Penn Station… I’ve done it.

                    • Nyland8 says:

                      Yeah … I’d have no problem changing the teams names to the New Jersey Jets and Giants. It makes more sense, since that’s where the revenues go.

                      “Hudson Yards is not some transit epicenter… I have no idea where you get that.”

                      Here’s what I wrote: “For that, you’d have a hard time finding a better location than the Hudson Yards. It’s practically at the mass-transit epicenter of New York City.”

                      Finding the mass-transit epicenter of NYC would involve drawing a triangle between GCT, PABT and NYPenn and locating the stadium roughly in the middle of it – which also happens to be right in the middle of all the Manhattan subway trunk lines! Where is that? About 6 or 8 blocks away from the Yards? Maybe twice the longest walk in a stadium parking lot!

                      Is there a closer piece of undeveloped land to that point large enough to build a stadium on? Plus there’s a ferry terminal a few blocks north. If access to mass-transit is a legitimate goal, and it is to me, then the Hudson Yards is, by any intelligent measure, an IDEAL location for a stadium!

                      I could draw a map for you – but I’d have zero confidence in you understanding it. Just try pumping 80,000+ people onto NJTransit trains at the end of a game. If you still don’t get my point about that locale being perfect for mass-transit, then you’re just being deliberately obtuse.

                      I wrote this in my first post: “I think a stadium over the yards wasn’t such a bad idea at all.”

                      You’ve made no convincing argument to the contrary. I’ll stand with what I wrote.

                    • AG says:

                      Then you should write a letter to owners and tell them how you feel. As to revenue… do you really think most who come to events from out of town stay in NJ?? The Super Bowl for instance – do you not realize most (though not all) of the NFL events will be in Manhattan rather than Jersey??

                      btw – as to traffic you wouldn’t get close to 80k fans going to games on transit. The Yankees do pretty well percentage wise – but with 30k less capacity. There is always a traffic jam… and you REALLY think the west side would be different?

                      ok – well it’s good smarter heads prevailed. if you don’t why it’s a waste of real estate to have a hulking building that is NEAR to a transit center – which at most is used 30 times in a year… then you wouldn’t make a good real estate investor. It’s not me saying it… but the ppl with the money who are currently investing billions in that area – with no stadium. It is a MUCH better investment to have businesses and residents 365 days a year contributing to the tax base (both real estate, income, and sales). Baseball stadiums while not the best have a smaller footprint – at least can be good for use up to 100 times a year. Even still – it would be dumb to put a baseball stadium in Manhattan also. If they wanted to build the Jets stadium at Aqueduct Racetrack that would have made more sense… but not Manhattan. Yes – it would have meant traffic jams in Southeast Queens… at most that would only happen 30 days out of the year.

                      you can dream – but it won’t become reality.

                    • Nyland8 says:

                      I’m not dreaming – I’m just stating the facts. You can feel free to continue to delude yourself into thinking the reason the stadium was squashed was based on some sound financial precepts – but no revisionist history will erase the fact that it was politics and NIMBY paranoia that actually stopped it.

                      The record will always show that acreage was available and undeveloped for generations – UNTIL someone finally came up with a good idea for it – AFTER which it suddenly became a fashionable political cudgel to beat up Bloomberg with, under the pretext of west side development.

                      And the litany of pols who lined up to oppose it reads like a who’s who of would-be mayors and would-be borough presidents – all leveraged by a handful of NIMBYs and the financial interests behind Madison Square Garden. It was a bad choice for even worse reasons.

                      In any event, I have no interest in trying to influence the owners – only in reminding people that it was a great idea – and for a lot of reasons. What’s done is done. But your arguments opposing it grow more feeble every time you post.

                      One the one hand, you complain about how infrequently it will be used. On the other, you cite the benefits of having the Super Bowl across the river. How stupid is that? What is rarer than hosting the Super Bowl? And the deepest irony is that if the weather is bad next year, New York may never see another Super Bowl again in our lifetimes!

                      But if a domed stadium had been built over the Yards, New York City might have become a regular in the Super Bowl rotation. Yet another opportunity missed – all the result of narrow financial interests, ambitious politicians, and a gaggle of hysterical NIMBYs.

                      We could have had the most centralized, most mass-transit friendly stadium in the entire country. We could have had a stadium where fans from Baltimore to Buffalo to Boston could have taken a one-seat ride to the game, and walk three blocks from NYPenn. We could have – but for the myopia of a relative handful of people – apparently yourself included.

                      Sadly, that history won’t be rewritten.

                    • AG says:

                      The owners would laugh at you if you tried. As it is now they have a stadium owned by the state of NJ. The Jets still wanted the city to pitch in $600mill for the west side stadium. Why? BECAUSE IT IS NOT A WISE BUSINESS DECISION. Don’t blame me because you can’t grasp that.

                      You bring up ppl travelling from Boston?? LOL. Boston is not dumb either – they let the Patriots play in Foxboro instead of clogging up their city.

                      Yeah being on “Super Bowl rotation” would be cool… but still not worth it. The U.S. Tennis Open is the biggest money making sports event and takes place in Queens every single year. That’s much better than an event that “might” happen every once in a while. On top of it – it’s open to the public the other 11 months out of the year… and it’s in a park – not sprawling in an area could support high density. Sorry – the Olympic/Jets stadium was rightly killed… and now that the area is sparking… no one is really missing it. Neither will the city coffers.

                      I actually think Bloomberg is one of the smartest mayors – but point blank he was wrong about the stadium. He wanted the Olympics here and the stadium was the only way to do it. There was fear that no one would want to develop over there unless there was something to jump start. Well guess what – The High Line – Hudson River Park – and The 7 line extension is what is bringing development there. Billions and billions more than would have been able to take place with that hulking stadium there. These structures will support ppl (who will pay taxes revenue) 365 days a year… not 20 to 30 days like a football stadium. Again – it’s not just my thought. Evidence:

                      http://www.manhattanwestnyc.com/

                      http://www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11.....ilyardsnyc

                    • Nyland8 says:

                      ZZZZZZZZ – zzzzzzz

                      Don’t tell me … you were treasurer of the debating club, right?
                      RIGHT?
                      Like I said, your arguments become more feeble every time you post.

                      First of all, I didn’t bring up the Super Bowl – you did.

                      Secondly, what the other NFL cities are doing and have done is NOT a reason for NYC to do the same. Foxboro has NO mass-transit – so it DOES clog their roads, AND it’s so far out of town that they are not even called the “Boston Patriots”, having changed their name to New England – once again supporting MY point about changing the Jets and Giants to New Jersey’s name. Maybe we should call them the Eastern Seaboard Giants!

                      You cite Boston’s intelligence in building at Foxboro “instead of clogging up their city” when the fact is, Boston didn’t have the equivalent of the Hudson Yards for their football stadium. You’re right – the people of Boston are not dumb – they’ve kept Fenway right in town for the last 100 YEARS !!! . . . and that is despite all of their cramped cite limitations and lack of parking. Thanks for making my point … AGAIN!

                      And lastly, the only reason the 7 Line got extended was BECAUSE BLOOMBERG WANTED A STADIUM THERE! The MTA wasn’t building that extension for economic development. It’s already walking distance from the A,C,E, 1,2,3, B, D, F, M, N, R, Q, the PATH, the ferry and the heliport. It didn’t need a High Line or a Hudson River Park or a 7 Line to develop. My God, it’s only three blocks from Penn Station! And despite it’s proximity to ALL that mass-transit, it was still an undeveloped cite for generations.

                      Like I said, that history won’t be rewritten. Ever.

                      I can’t wait to see what impotent, after-the-fact argument you desperately claw for next. Feel free to have the last word.

                      You’ll need it.

                    • AG says:

                      Was that supposed to be a mature adult response???

                      Read Bloomberg’s own words form the Times article I copied the link to… he realized himself it was a mistake…. and the city is better off without the stadium there. Did you not read the mayors own words???

                      ASecondly, what the other NFL cities are doing and have done is NOT a reason for NYC to do the same.” Well I’m glad you know that – so stop complaining about the names of the team.

                      You must not have read where I said baseball stadiums are more useful in an urban area… but oh well. never mind – go back and read. Also note that Fenway isn’t in the most dense part of town… sigh.

                      All those attributes you just listed are PRECISELY why it makes more sense to have a mixed use neighborhood than one overwhelmed by a stadium.

                      Ok – the back and forth is over. FACT is that a football stadium there was not the best use of the land. It’s quite fine to say you would have like it there… but you are NOT entitled to make up your own economics.

                      Carry on.

                  • AG says:

                    btw – while you’re at it – you may want to tell the Redskins to change their name to either the Landover or Maryland Redskins since they don’t play in Washington.

  2. Bolwerk says:

    I don’t know that I’m against the 7 extension, but, for the cost of extension, we probably could have had several more modest light rail lines, each spurring just as much development in various parts of the city.

    Instead, our development model is just broken.

    • al says:

      Bloomberg missed several opportunities to reform NYC construction and build subways (and schools, water treatment systems, and other infrastructer) at reasonable (read Tokyo, London, Toronto) costs. It would had set the stage for an affordable, competitive, and livable NYC for 9+ million residents. That’s a legacy that would carry on forever.

      He has one last chance. The New Kosciusko Bridge. Its starting up this summer.

      • Berk32 says:

        well the problem is Bloomberg doesnt have control over the subways to make those kinds of improvements.

        The MTA is a state agency.

        • al says:

          The city is footing the bill. Bloomberg didn’t use that as leverage.

          • Berk32 says:

            and he went thru a lot just to get that extension – what more are you expecting?

            • Someone says:

              A new station at 10 Avenue.

              • Nyland8 says:

                That would be a great legacy for Bloomberg. Build the station at 41st & 10th – and do it completely out of his own pocket.

                He could certainly afford it.

                • AG says:

                  that would be a conflict of interest

                    • AG says:

                      because then everyone would be screaming “oh see he’s in bed with the developers – he’s only doing it to benefit them”. i even see some of those comments on this very page relating to the extension of the line.
                      an incumbent who spends his own money for a public project while in office is only opening calls for favoritism… everyone would have their hand out.

                    • Bolwerk says:

                      A conflict of interest would be Bloomberg spending public money because his friends paid him to. If he spends his own money, even if his friends ask him to, it eliminates the conflict of interest.

                      Anyway, the high costs are because of poison rules more than incidental corruption. He is following the rules to implement a policy he favors, whether his detractors like it or not.

                    • AG says:

                      no sensible incumbent with advisors would recommend they spend their own money on a public works project while they are in office. and something tells me if you dig deep enough – ethics would probably forbid it.

                      he does indeed donate money to private institutions (such as Carnegie Hall) in the city through his charitable fund… but that is very different than an actual public works project.

                    • Bolwerk says:

                      Actually, Bloomberg has spent his own money to make up for things he cut from the city budget. As long as he doesn’t demand his name on the creation (which, in turn, would create a conflict of interest), I don’t see why funding a capital project is any different from the standpoint of ethics. It is different from the standpoint of finance: a capital project is probably several orders of magnitude more expensive than a school program.

                      Most probably, he doesn’t do it because he’d rather keep his money.

                    • AG says:

                      am confused why you noted that he gave money to “make up for things he cut from the budget”… but then said he probably just wanted to keep his money…? i don’t think it’s the money… as the NY Times pointed out a couple of weeks ago he’s given $1 billion dollars over the years to his alma mater Johns Hopkins.

                      again – giving money to a not-for-profit to perform social services is not the same as giving to a public works project. It’s too close to call based on the city code of ethics… but something tells me with the lawyers it wouldn’t pass the “sniff test”:

                      http://www.nyc.gov/html/confli.....e_5_05.pdf

                    • Bolwerk says:

                      Well, for one, millions of dollars is probably a nice charitable write-off for him. Hundreds of millions is a dent even in a billionaire’s pocket.

                      Another possibility is there is no avenue for donating a half billion dollars to the MTA in exchange for a charitable deduction – there is for giving to a university.

                      But I still don’t see any ethical problem. It actually is an interesting idea. What if we offered billionaires 105% tax deductions to improve infrastructure? :-O

                    • AG says:

                      A 105% reduction? That would be interesting… that MAY pass on the state level… but I have feeling it wouldn’t on the federal… because as we know – most places hate transit. if it was exclusively roads then that may be another story :(

                  • Eric says:

                    A conflict of interest is when you might profit at the public expense. Here, the public would profit at his expense.

                  • Someone says:

                    Why is that?

      • AG says:

        al – there exists a culture here that doesn’t exist in those cities in the same way. Bloomberg is no miracle maker. Btw – Tokyo and London are both more expensive to live in than NYC… so not sure why you used the term “affordable”.

        • Bolwerk says:

          He was talking about construction costs, which are probably usually significantly lower in those cities.

          For cost of living, sure. Outside of Manhattan, New York’s cost of living isn’t that off the charts. Transportation prices (< cost) are downright cheap.

          • AG says:

            even manhattan is less expensive than London or Tokyo. As a matter of fact – Sao Paolo in Brazil even has more expensive office space.

            but as to construction – costs – that was a false dream to think one politician could do that. it will take generations to change.

            • Bolwerk says:

              I’ve never seen Manhattan split out for comparison.

              It could probably take an act of the state legislature to change the construction cost problem. But since nobody seems to know it’s a problem….

        • Alon Levy says:

          Tokyo is not more expensive to live in than New York unless you’re an expat.

          • AG says:

            Well I have admittedly never lived there… but persons I know have and would say Tokyo is more expensive. As an aside – those who make the calculations say Tokyo is more expensive than NYC. I know the one you are talking about from the EIU(for ex-pats)… but that’s not the only one that measures it as more expensive.

            http://www.citymayors.com/feat.....urvey.html

            • Alon Levy says:

              The Japanese people I speak to tell me the rent is lower than the equivalent New York rent, though it’s pretty close. Also, for what it’s worth, Tokyo hotels are cheaper than New York hotels; at least as of a few years ago, 4- and 5-star hotels in Shinjuku charges <$200 per night.

              The measurements you link to raise a lot of red flags. For example, Mercer lists N'Djamena and Luanda as expensive cities (um, not for the locals judging by lack of mass starvation). Likewise, the UBS list ranks Caracas too high, and Caracas's jump from 47th place to 9th over a year is also a red flag. This looks more like a list of cities in countries with overvalued currency than a list of cities with high living costs.

              • AG says:

                Alon – if you have ever lived overseas (my family only came here in the 70’s) in a country with currency fluctuations – then the changes from year to year would not surprise you at all. The reason my family left actually is mainly to do with currency… when your home currency is devalued and you import a lot – it’s like you work harder for nothing because your purchasing power dwindles.
                That said – Tokyo CONSISTENTLY ranks higher on every single one. That’s why I forwarded you that link – which has 4 diff. studies with 4 diff. methodologies. That’s precisely why that site lists – them so the persons researching it get a broad view. The one for UBS includes prices, purchasing power, income… and again they rank Tokyo as more expensive.

                • Alon Levy says:

                  I lived overseas until 2006, including in cities that are supposedly extremely expensive (they are if you expect an expat living arrangement, but not otherwise). Outside Singapore, Hong Kong, and other very small countries, currency fluctuations aren’t that big a deal. In Israel today they’re something you read about in the papers rather than something you see when you try to rent an apartment or buy groceries.

                  The reason Tokyo ranks highly on the charts, like the Swiss cities, is about overvalued currencies. Wages in Switzerland and to some extent Japan are also high. It doesn’t really matter that there are 4 different studies if they all have the same methodological shortcomings. Those studies are produced for people who actually have a choice between living in Tokyo, Zurich, New York, etc., and their cost of living works differently from that of the average Tokyoite, Zürcher, or New Yorker. For example, they’re almost never covered by rent control laws, and so they’d find cities with a large supply of subsidized or rent-controlled housing more expensive than the average resident. They also tend to own a car even in cities where public transit is good enough that it’s not needed, and this makes transit cities look worse.

      • Alon Levy says:

        It’s really sad that New York’s gotten to the point that London, Tokyo, and Toronto look affordable by comparison. Crossrail is the world’s most expensive subway per km outside New York.

    • BrooklynBus says:

      I fully agree. The only reason this is being built is so Bloomberg’s development friends can prosper. Helping the city is secondary. With increasing numbers of jobs being located away from Manhattan, a North Shore Light rail line and a Triboro Rx, perhaps with light rail extension to JFK along Linden Blvd would have also spurred development and be a wiser investment of resources benefiting a larger portion of NYC.

  3. Melissa says:

    They can’t even get the regular part of the 7 line to work smoothly, maybe they should focus on that? When I lived in Queens it was constantly cancelled to Manhattan or severely delayed. I loved that part of Queens, but I couldn’t live in a place that required me to rely on that train.

    • John says:

      It’s cancelled all the time precisely because they are updating the line. It is undergoing CBTC upgrades every weekend during the beginning/middle of 2013, and this is also the reason it had weekend closings last year.

      • Jerrold says:

        Remember that they always do that stuff with the #7 at this time of year, in order to NOT do it later on during the baseball and tennis seasons.

  4. Someone says:

    It should be opened ASAP as soon as it is ready for service. When I was looking at some old SAS documents, I heard that the first revenue trains would start running up to 6 months after the line was tested for revenue service. The 7 subway extension shouldn’t have that nonsense.

    • al says:

      That is true as long as the lighting, escalators, stairs and elevators are in service. They could have blue plywood all over the place while they finish up. The area isn’t like 2nd Ave Subway Phase 1 with the high destination density bringing in huge volumes (14000 pass/hr) of passengers.

      A big question mark is with the signalling. Is it fixed block or CBTC? If it has fixed block, then they can run conventional trains (R142, R62). If they only have CBTC, then we need R188.

      • Someone says:

        I think it’s going to be CBTC moving block, with a backup wayside signal system. From what I’ve heard, all new lines (including the SAS) will have CBTC.

        • Someone says:

          By the way, the 34 Street station is only expected to carry 20000 passengers daily. The MTA said that 34 Street would be the most used station in 2020, but I do not see how that is possible if there is only 1 island platform.

    • Frank B says:

      If you think that’s crazy, the IND Archer Avenue Line was completed in 1983, one year AHEAD of schedule, but they didn’t open it until 1988!!!

      Maddening. Simply maddening.

  5. John-2 says:

    A century ago, the success of subway expansion spurred calls for new expansion, and that was the standard for the next 35 years. That pretty much got put on the back burner by World War II, and the only real attempt to restart it came in the 1960s, with the Sixth Avenue and 63rd Street work. But those projects came during the period where the idea that the next expressway would solve the traffic problems was still in vogue, and at the same time came during the rise of the modern NIMBY era, where people with the proper financial resources could go to court for years just to avoid new construction inconveniencing them for roughly the same time period the cases were stuck in the legal system.

    The 7 extension and the SAS are the first real expansion efforts since then that will affect the core of the city (Archer affects Queens, but the city’s movers & shakers only end up there by accident). If both do the jobs they’re supposed to do, and the public notices the benefits on the far west side and/or less crowding on the Lex south of 125th Street, that’s the best PR the MTA can get for going ahead with building Phase 2 of the SAS to 125th and adding another station to the 7 extension at 10th Avenue (and on the latter, city, state and MTA officials should be constantly reminded of lower 59th on the Lex, 23rd/Ely/Court Square on the E/M and Lawrence Street/Jay-Metrotech on the R as past examples of subway stations built after the line already was operating, just in case they claim you can’t build a new station after the line is already operating).

    • Someone says:

      Actually, such stations are common elsewhere and are called “infill stations.” NoMa–Gallaudet U in Washington DC is one example.

  6. Rob Stevens says:

    correction: styrofoam is not carcinogenic. It might be or it might not be. And lots of other things might be, too. Or they might not.

    Media reports about non-transit issues are no more accurate than they are abt transit ones.

  7. capt subway says:

    I give Bloomie credit for pushing various transit initiatives, no matter how flawed. Ditto his – and his DOT comish Sadak-Kahn’s bicycle & pedestrian safety initiatives. But when is someone, anyone – a Mayor of NYC maybe – going to get serious about subway expansion in the outer boroughs? We have 63rd St & Archer Ave here in Queens, both of which together, as completed, accomplished absolutely nothing – they enabled the addition of not one single train to the existing system.

    • Someone says:

      Very wrong- when the F was forced to reroute to 63 Street in 2001, the V and W trains collectively added 25 trains to the system. Though, the amount of rolling stock owned by the NYCS remained the same (not counting the R143s).

      • capt subway says:

        Absolutely wrong. There was not a single train added to total train count on Queens Blvd. The V was added at the expense of the G. The G had to be cut back to Court Sq and its slots on the Queens Blvd local tracks given over to the V, now the M.

        And the W had absolutely nothing to do with 63rd St and/or Archer Ave. The W had everything to do with getting back all 4 tracks on the Manhattan Bridge. Previous to that there could have been no W. And now, of course, there is no W. With both the N & R running through Montague St terminating the W at WH would have caused unacceptable congestion southbound on the BMT Bway.

        • Someone says:

          The number of cars rostered for the G during rush hours remained the same before and after 2001.

          The V train put into service 120 more cars during rush hours.

          As for the W, I was wrong. The W isn’t maintained in Jamaica.

          • capt subway says:

            The bottom line is: on QB before 63 St the train count in the peak was:

            15 “E”
            15 “F’
            10 “G”
            10 “R”

            After 63 St the peak train count is:

            15 “E”
            15 “F”
            10 “M” (orignally “V”)
            10 “R”

            Looks the same to me. Where are the added trains?

            Let me add I was almost 37 years with NYCTA, including a number of years as a Senior Manager in the Schedule Dept. I know how to count trains. It’s not really rocket science.

            • Someone says:

              I actually meant to say that the number of trains in service throughout the entire system had increased. The number of trains running on the QB line during peak hours stays the same, and I’m not arguing with you on that.

              This is the comparison of active rolling stock counts before and after December ’01. In the summer there were 2706 active cars in the B division. In December, that number increased to 2764.

              • Subutay Musluoglu says:

                While your table does not show an increase in Queens Boulevard line capacity, it does show an increase in the number of trains going to and from Manhattan during peak hours, which was the best that could be acheived to realize the best use of the 30 year sunk cost of the 63rd Street Tunnel. Let me be clear that I am not in any way defending the choices that were made. I live on the Queens Boulevard Line and I have plenty of concerns – I miss the G, and I think we have the lousiest weekend local service for a major trunk line. In an ideal world, there should have been a Queens Bypass, and once it was clear that wasn’t going to happen, then a 3 and 1 operation on the QBL could have been the next best thing – it’s one of the reasons whay the 1990s connector project was configured the way it was, to allow that to potentially happen one day. I’m not an operational expert, so unless I’m missing something, the current allocation of services and number of trains appears to be the best that could have been achieved given the usual constraints when it comes to expanding transit in NYC.

                • Someone says:

                  Actually, if the NYC subway had installed CBTC on its trains, the G, M, and R trains can run on the same tracks at the same time, with few delays.

  8. Jerrold says:

    I’d like to see him push a Q train up Second Ave.
    Or better still, a T train.

    • Frank B says:

      He’d rather be driven to the express stop on the IND Second Avenue Line… Oh wait. There aren’t any.

      • Someone says:

        They’re all express stops since the Q is technically an express service.

        • The Q is only express from Canal St. to 57th Street (or really Times Square). It’s definitely not express on the Brighton Line, and it won’t be express along Second Ave.

          • Someone says:

            I know that. I was trying to say to Frank B that with the type of logic that he had, all Q stations might as well be express stops.

            • BrooklynBus says:

              That was the same logic the TA used back in the 1950s on their maps. The stops on the Broadway line in upper Manhattan were all considered local stops on the map because the train was local in Manhattan, but the the local stops on the Bronx Park White Plains line were all mapped as express because the 7th Avenue (#2) trains operated as express in Manhattan.

  9. smartone says:

    Wow are you kidding?
    it is obvious the reason Bloomberg wants the 7 Train Extension. Bloomberg has always been aligned with the real power center of NYC – The Real Estate and Financial industries.

    The story isn’t the failed stadium .It is the current behind the scenes movement to move the convention center to Queens. Why?? Because suddenly there is subway service to the biggest plot of undeveloped land in Manhattan. This land is worth BILLIONS and worth even more if there wasn’t a damn convention center in the middle of it. Not only that but if include the future subway stop at West Chelsea then you are really talking about a wet dream for developers and the banks that fund it.

    • VLM says:

      If everyone had your absurdist conspiracy theory approach to the subway, we never would have had a subway system in the first place. Remove tin foil hat.

    • AG says:

      wrong – the idea to move the convention center to queens was Cuomo’s idea. The Javits and it’s land belong to the state. The developers on the West Side want the Javits to stay. Cuomo was convinced his idea was ridiculous (which was only to favor a casino being built).

      You are also wrong – because the financial industry is contracting… for instance “Coach” is one of the companies moving their headquarters to the Hudson Yards. They are a fashion company – not finance. Technology firms are now the main drivers of office space in the city (see Google buying a building in Chelsea for $2 billion just for themselves).

      • smartone says:

        sorry for my late reply

        finance as in .. the banks that finance the real estate projects

        please read Robert Moses biography – it will explain how real estate and finance powers are the ones behind things happening in this city.

        Once again – a convention center is not a great magnet to draw high end renters business AND apartments

        • AG says:

          I’m very familiar with Robert Moses… we live in a different world now. Money runs this whole world system though – not just here.

          Banks nowadays won’t lend for those types of commercial projects unless you have tenants lined up… hence Coach’s agreement to move there before the building started going up.

          You can see here that most of the developers working in that area are actually glad the Javits stayed and Gov. Cuomo’s plan failed:

          http://www.crainsnewyork.com/a...../301139964

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