Many New Yorkers made their first trip to work on the new Second Avenue Subway Tuesday. NY1's Michael Scotto reports on how the line, and its new users, fared on the first big commuting day.
Taina Prado stepped out of her East 72nd Street building at 8:21 a.m. Tuesday, joining an army of Upper East Side residents starting a new commuting routine with the debut of the Second Avenue Subway.
"We'll see how long it takes this morning," she said.
NY1 introduced you to Prado last week, when we documented her old commute.
On Tuesday, instead of trudging six-and-a-half blocks to the Lexington Avenue line, Prado walked just half a block to the new station at Second Avenue and 72nd Street.
Prado is one of about 200,000 daily straphangers expected to benefit from the new $4.5 billion, one-and-a-half-mile line.
On the first work morning since it opened, Prado marveled at the new subway.
"It's bright, it's airy, comfortable. You're not being squished into the stairwell," she said.
It was a sentiment shared by many of her fellow straphangers
"It's like hitting a jackpot," said one commuter.
For Prado, that certainly was the case. Just minutes from her front door, she already was stepping onto a train at 8:27, nearly 15 minutes ahead of her old commute.
"There's never an empty seat on the 6 train," she said.
Thirteen minutes later, Prado's train rolled into the Union Square station, the first leg of her journey complete. In her old routine, she would have just been getting onto a train at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue.
But on Tuesday, there was still no escaping the dreaded Lex line. At Union Square, she had to switch the 4 train. It was overflowing with riders and barely moving, threatening to eat up all the time she had saved.
But 11 minutes later, she arrived at Wall Street, and by 8:58, she was in front of her office, beating her commute last week by 10 minutes.
Over the course of a week, that amounts to 50 extra minutes in the morning.
What does she plan to do with the extra time?
"I don't know," she said. "More coffee. Maybe read some more."
Options for thousands of Upper East Siders who never thought their commutes would grow shorter.