New York City’s Second Avenue subway line has been under construction for most of the time I’ve lived on the Upper East Side. The line doesn’t open until late next year (allegedly) but today the MTA has launched a simulator game of sorts at its information center on 85th Street.
The simulated journey starts on the tail tracks north of the new 96th Street station and enables the virtual operator to guide the train through the tunnels, stopping at the 96th, 86th and 72nd Street stations. Virtual operators with the best times in making the complete journey will be able to post their initials on the leader board, but beware, breaking the rules and erratic driving add time to the score. Passing a red light, speeding, overshooting the platform and enabling the wrong doors to open are among the actions that will add time to the score. Stopping or accelerating abruptly will cause the passenger mood indicator to drop, which also can add time to the score, while a positive passenger mood will subtract time. The three new stations in the simulation were created using renderings as well as the actual materials being used in their construction, so the texture of floor and wall tiles and other materials are replicated in the virtual stations as closely as possible to how they will look when completed.
The first phase of the Second Avenue line is expected to carry 200,000 passengers daily and (slightly) reduce the insane overcrowding on the Lexington line, which famously carries more passengers every day than the entire combined rail systems of Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago.