After more than a decade of delays and billions of dollars of excess cost, the first phase of the World Trade Center’s PATH station, called the Oculus, will open Thursday without a grand spectacle, VIPs or a ribbon cutting.

The $4 billion hub has been criticized as a symbol of governmental waste, but some lower Manhattan leaders hail it as a new destination for the neighborhood.

“The public is going to be able to decide for themselves, very soon,” on how they feel about the controversial facility, said Catherine McVay-Hughes, the chair of Manhattan’s Community Board 1.