15 Surprising Facts About The NYC Subway

What’s your preferred method of public transport? Do you like to take the bus or do you prefer the NYC subway? Either way, you probably already know a few things about the NYC Subway. Here are 10 facts that may surprise you:

Fact #1:

The NYC Subway has a unique logo, which is black with white Helvetica text and a red circle enclosing the letters ‘NYCS’. It was designed in 1970 by Massimo Vignelli to replace an earlier one that was deemed too complex.

Fact # 2:

In February of 2022, the number of subway stations in the NYC system is expected to be 472. This is an increase of 3 stations from the current number of subway stations in the NYC system. The new stations will be located in Brooklyn (at 36th Street and 4th Avenue), the Bronx (near 138th Street and 3rd Avenue), and Queens (near 45th Road and Vernon Boulevard).

Fact # 3:

The NYC Subway is the busiest subway system in the world – it carries an average of 5,985,300 passengers each weekday and a total of 1.76 billion riders per year!

Fact # 4:

One of the busiest subway stations in Times Square at 42nd Street & 7th Avenue which sees 64 million visitors each year.

Fact # 5:

The NYC Subway has 14 underwater tunnels and one station (the 1/2/3 station at South Ferry) that are completely underground. The total length of these underwater tunnels is 29 miles long. They were built between 1904 and 1924, with the exception of two tunnels built-in 1941 for Lines E and G.

Fact # 6:

The MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) has a total of 2468 subway cars that can be used to create 1263 trains. Of those, 1435 are in active service and 833 of them can be found on the lettered lines.

Fact # 7:

The oldest train in operation on the NYC Subway is a 6 car Flivver train that was built for the IRT by the American Car & Foundry company in 1917. An updated version of this model, known as ‘M’, was introduced in 1918 and that model ran until 1955 when it was updated again to become what we know today as the R16, which then ran from 1959 to 2008. The last train of ‘M’ models ran in revenue service on January 8th, 2009, and was retired May 20th, 2009.

Fact # 8:

The NYC Subway is the safest mass transit system in the world: fewer than 14 crimes against people and property were reported for every million passenger journeys made on the subway each year – a standing that has been maintained since 1990.

Fact # 9:

The only station that is outside the boundaries of New York City is located in Roosevelt Island (East 90th Street).

Fact # 10:

The NYC Subway is made up of four-lettered routes: A, B, C & D. The A line runs from the upper west side to Brooklyn via Astoria; the C line runs from the upper east side to Brooklyn via Western Queens; the D line runs from midtown to Coney Island and Brighton Beach, and the B line runs from Bay Ridge to Manhattan via Kensington and lower west side.

Fact # 11:

The NYC Subway was one of the first systems in the world that allowed passengers to use a MetroCard, which is now used by 25 transportation systems in nine states, including Hawaii.

Fact # 12:

The NYC Subway has two tunnels that cross Manhattan – the Lexington Avenue Line and the 42nd Street Shuttle. They are notable because they are used for uninterrupted express service on weekdays from 5:45 am to 10 pm.

Fact # 13:

Despite its length, no single subway line serves all of the city’s boroughs. The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens are each served by three different lines or branches, while the Manhattan and Staten Island are serviced by just one line apiece.

Fact # 14:

The subway system has 830 miles of track and 22.4 miles of the electrified third rail, which powers most of the trains that run on the lettered routes in New York City. A couple of lines are also powered by the 6th rail current, which is a direct current that runs along a metallic strip embedded in the roadbed between the running rails.

Fact # 15:

The NYC Subway runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with trains coming every 2 to 15 minutes depending on the time of the day and what line you are using. A night owl bus service is also available when the subway system stops running each night between 1:30 am and 5 am.