THE START of construction on the 2·4 km extension of New York City Transit's No 7-Flushing line from Times Square to 34th Street & 11th Avenue on the west side of Manhattan was announced on December 3 by Governor Eliot Spitzer and Mayor Michael R Bloomberg.

The extension is a key element in the redevelopment of former rail yards along the Hudson waterfront into a mixed-use neighbourhood. The $2·1bn project, which is being financed entirely with local funds, is due to be completed by the end of 2013.

Meanwhile, the No 7-Flushing and L-Canarsie lines have been selected as pilots for a programme to give each subway line its own manager responsible for all aspects of service operations, from timetabling and train performance to station cleanliness. The line managers will be expected to be more responsive to problems than NYCT's current organisational structure.

According to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Executive Director & CEO Elliot G Sander, 'for the first time, there will be a recognisable face associated with individual subway lines, providing accountability at the local level'. Although both pilot lines are self-contained, NYCT President Howard H Roberts Jr says the line management teams will be grouped into five divisions based around their shared routes.

Greg Lombardi has been named Line General Manager for the L, with Demetrius Crichlow as his deputy. On the 7, Lou Brusati has been named Line General Manager and John P Hoban as deputy. They will report directly to Steven Feil, Senior Vice-President of NYCT's Department of Subways and a former executive with Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.