History of the New York City Subway


A period subway map pasted up inside one of the museum’s vintage cars.

“The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system that serves four of the five boroughs of New York City, New York: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. Its operator is the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA), which is controlled by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York. In 2016, an average of 5.66 million passengers used the system daily, making it the busiest rapid transit system in the United States and the seventh busiest in the world. The first underground line opened on October 27, 1904, almost 35 years after the opening of the first elevated line in New York City, which became the IRT Ninth Avenue Line. By the time the first subway opened, the lines had been consolidated into two privately owned systems, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT, later Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation, BMT) and the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT). After 1913, all lines built for the IRT and most lines for the BRT were built by the city and leased to the companies. The first line of the city-owned and operated Independent Subway System (IND) opened in 1932; this system was intended to compete with the private systems and allow some of the elevated railways to be torn down. However, it was kept within the core of the city because of the low amount of startup capital provided to the municipal Board of Transportation by the state. This required it to be run ‘at cost’, necessitating fares up to double the five-cent fare popular at the time. In 1940, the city took over running the previously privately operated systems. Some elevated lines closed immediately while others closed soon after. Integration was slow, but several connections were built between the IND and BMT, which now operate as one division called the B Division. Since IRT infrastructure is too small for B Division cars, the IRT remains its own division, the A Division. The NYCTA, a public authority presided over by New York City, was created in 1953 to take over subway, bus, and streetcar operations from the city. The NYCTA was under control of the state-level MTA in 1968. Soon after the MTA took control of the subway, New York City entered a fiscal crisis. It closed many elevated subway lines that became too expensive to maintain. …”
Wikipedia, W – New York City Subway map, W – Program for Action
THE ORIGINAL 28 SUBWAY STATIONS Part 1, Part 2
NYC’s Most Insane Abandoned Subway Stations
****NY Times: The Case for the Subway


R32 cars – 1964

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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