In early 1999, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) prepared their plans for the long-postponed Second Avenue Subway, RPA unveiled MetroLink, our four-borough new transit system using the Second Avenue Subway as its base. The MTA plans, made public soon thereafter, called for a limited, three-mile segment of the line in upper Manhattan. Through an ambitious outreach program and the support of many elected officials, most notably Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and New York City Councilman Gifford Miller, the MTA revised their thinking. Governor George Pataki directed the MTA to move forward on the entire Manhattan portion of the Second Avenue Subway from 125th Street to the Battery.
After 9/11, the value of the extending the Second Avenue Subway to the Battery became more obvious, confirming the wisdom of the decision. Interest in better connecting Lower Manhattan to Kennedy Airport and for Long Island Rail Road commuters has heightened. RPA's MetroLink proposal, designed to accomplish those objectives, is one of a number of options now receiving attention by the City of New York and the MTA.