Insert Bleak "Fare" Pun Here: Second Avenue Subway Far Behind Schedule, Far Over Budget, Sadly Far Off

Looks nice, doesn't it? A clean, modern subway station, a train pulling up right on time. Eventually, at some point in human history, something somewhat like the little image you see with this post will undoubtedly occur somewhere under Second Avenue on Manhattan's Upper East Side. For all the things to recommend about Upper East Side apartment listings -- and there are plenty, starting with their relative affordability in comparison to other Manhattan rental apartments -- subway access isn't currently one of them. Sure, the 4/5/6 trains on Lexington Avenue run pretty well, but they're the only trains on the Upper East Side, and can get excruciatingly crowded (and sluggish) come rush hour. News that the long-rumored, longer-awaited Second Avenue Subway was really happening was the cause of much rejoicing both among Upper East Side renters and UES landlords, whose apartments seemed poised to become that much more appealing. Today brought the sad and sadly unsurprising news, though, that the Second Avenue Subway is both behind schedule and over-cost -- and not likely to arrive in time for its original 2016 launch.

In fact, it doesn't appear likely even to be very close. "The Second Avenue Subway may have avoided significant construction mishaps this year, but the troubled project is still far behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget, lawmakers warned yesterday," the Post's Michael Blaustein and Michelle Kaske write. "Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) said the Federal Transit Administration estimates that the first phase of the "T" train running between East 96th and 63rd streets will cost $420 million more than the MTA's $4.5 billion price tag, and wrap up two years later than the agency's 2016 target date."

New York Post commenters being New York Post commenters, the brief article is followed by a host of comments blaming everyone -- from the mild, corporate, high-handed technocrat mayor some commenters obviously have confused a cruel pharaoh, to unions to (somehow/naturally) Barack Obama. Which, while obviously pretty dumb, is easy enough to understand, emotionally -- waiting for the subway is something no New Yorker enjoys, and being told that it will be eight years before the train arrives is a test of patience on a massive scale. (Not to meniton terrible news for the businesses along Second Avenue on the Upper East Side, which have suffered from a loss of business during the construction) The good news is this: the longest we've ever waited for the 4/5/6 is maybe 20 minutes, and that was late at night.