NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - It had been a dream for New Yorkers since 1929. On New Year’s Day, the dream became reality. The Second Avenue Subway made its grand entrance into the 72nd, 86th and 96th street stations.
"It feels awesome! It's a great feeling. These stations look so beautiful; I cannot believe I’m so excited,” said train conductor Raul Velasquez.
"I’ve been waiting all my life to ride the 2nd Avenue subway,” said 7-year-old subway rider Orion, who says he has a bit of a train obsession. "I heard about the new line. I’ve been waiting the whole year to ride this," he said.
Hundreds of straphangers piled onto the first train to pull away from the 96th Street Station as Governor Cuomo's voice boomed loud on the speakers -- live from the conductor's station.
"We can reach the Westside a lot quicker now. Usually we had to go to the Lexington stop then take the trains to the west. I'll probably stop taking cabs everywhere,” said one commuter.
"How many people can say they rode the first subway in New York in the last 100 years? Not that many people -- so I wanted to wake up early on New Year’s Day, come out and try it out,” said another.
Cuomo said he kept good on his promise to start the New Year off right for New York City commuters.
"To all the residents who endured many, many years of noise and banging and traffic delays, I hope when you go downstairs, you're really going to feel that it was worth it,” said Gov. Cuomo.
For the first week of January, there will only be service on the 2nd Avenue subway from 6 am to 10pm. Full service will begin next week. The second phase of the project, which would extend service up to 125th street, won't be completed for many years to come.