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New York City Subway

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Entrance to a Subway station
An underground New York City Subway station
A map of the Subway.

The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system that is in New York City, United States. It is one of the biggest rapid transit systems in the world, with 468 stations.[1] It has 229 miles (or 369 km) of routes on 656 miles (or 1056 km) of track. The New York City Subway never closes; the trains always work.[2]

The first trains started working on October 9, 1863, and the first underground trains started working on October 27 1904. The IRT main line, which is considered to be the first New York City "subway" line, opened in 1904; however, the Ninth Avenue Line, a predecessor elevated railroad line, operated its first trial run on July 3, 1868[3] and the West End Line railroad opened in 1863. A small portion of the latter line's original right-of-way is still in daily use near Coney Island.[4]

Subway stations

There are subway stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. About 40% of the tracks are above ground and the other 60% are below ground. Every day about 5,076,000 people take rides on the subway.[1]


There are many routes on the subway. Many people who have never ridden on the Subway get confused because there are so many routes going to so many different places. The Subway has signs that hang from the stations' ceilings to show the routes and where they go. These are the routes of the Subway:

A Division (IRT) consists of:
Route Name
NYCS-bull-trans-1.svg Broadway-Seventh Avenue Local
NYCS-bull-trans-2.svg Seventh Avenue Express
NYCS-bull-trans-3.svg Seventh Avenue Express
NYCS-bull-trans-4.svg Lexington Avenue Express
NYCS-bull-trans-5.svg Lexington Avenue Express
NYCS-bull-trans-6.svg NYCS-bull-trans-6d.svg Lexington Avenue Local
NYCS-bull-trans-7.svg NYCS-bull-trans-7d.svg Flushing Local/Express
NYCS-bull-trans-S.svg 42nd Street Shuttle
B Division (BMT/IND) consists of:
Route Name Route Name
NYCS-bull-trans-A.svg Eighth Avenue Express NYCS-bull-trans-L.svg Canarsie Local
NYCS-bull-trans-B.svg Sixth Avenue Express NYCS-bull-trans-M.svg Sixth Avenue Local
NYCS-bull-trans-C.svg Eighth Avenue Local NYCS-bull-trans-N.svg Broadway Local
NYCS-bull-trans-D.svg Sixth Avenue Express NYCS-bull-trans-Q.svg Broadway Express
NYCS-bull-trans-E.svg Eighth Avenue Local NYCS-bull-trans-R.svg Broadway Local
NYCS-bull-trans-F.svg Sixth Avenue Local NYCS-bull-trans-S.svg Franklin Avenue Shuttle
NYCS-bull-trans-G.svg Crosstown Local NYCS-bull-trans-S.svg Rockaway Park Shuttle
NYCS-bull-trans-J.svg Nassau Street Local NYCS-bull-trans-Z.svg Nassau Street Express


Subway riders used to be able to pay for their ride with a token, but the subway stopped using tokens in 2003. Now riders must pay with one of these cards:

The subway started using MetroCards in 1994. Riders can buy MetroCards from the station booth or from vending machines that are in the stations.

The fare is $2.50 with a MetroCard, $2.75 without.


Small moving platform fills a gap in a curved station

Riders are allowed to take pictures using cameras, but are not allowed to take pictures with cameras that flash or with cameras that are on tripods.

Subway police can search riders to make sure they do not have weapons or other items that could be used to hurt other people.

When riders get hurt, usually it is because they slip when they are getting on or off the train. This is because there is a gap between the train and the platform. In recent times, workers have made the gaps smaller to prevent people from slipping. Often messages are played from loudspeakers that say "Please watch the gap when entering and exiting the train".