Thursday Trivia: New York Subway System

A New York City Subway 6 train of R142A stock ...

The 6 train (my current local route) going through the Bronx. (Image via Wikipedia.)

The New York City subway system is extremely important, especially for those who live in or close to Manhattan (the original Random Musings headquarters, however, are in an undisclosed location in Southeast Queens pretty far away from the E, J, and Z trains). It goes all over the place (except for Staten Island – poor, poor Staten Island), and better yet, it runs 24/7/365 (barring service changes).

So it comes as a surprise that very few of the subway systems in the nation have that 24-hour level of service. Two of the four systems that have that frequency of service, further, are in New York – the New York City Subway system and the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) system between midtown and lower Manhattan and Hoboken and Newark. (The other two, for the record, are parts of Chicago’s “L” and the PATCO Speedline between Philadelphia and Camden.)

Four more subway-related facts after the jump!

  • Only 2 of the 468 stations in the City aren’t served 24/7 – the Broad Street and Fulton Street stations in lower Manhattan, served by the J and Z trains (yes, one of the inspirations for Jay-Z’s stage moniker) are not served on weekends, when the routes stop at Chambers Street, two stops to the north. (However, only one of the 423 stations, counting those combined by underground transfers, is closed – that’s the Broad Street stop.)
  • The shortest distance between termini for a non-shuttle route? The M train, which starts in Forest Hills, goes through Manhattan on the 6th Avenue Line, and then follows the J and Z before going its own way after Myrtle Avenue until ending in Middle Village. Between the Forest Hills and Middle Village termini lies only 2.5 miles. (The M is also the only non-shuttle route to have bus routes intersect the train route multiple times – the Q38 three times and the Q58 twice.)
  • There is only one subway-to-bus transfer that can be made without the use of a MetroCard, between the Canarsie-Rockaway Parkway terminal of the L train and the B42. The station has a loop for the bus to enter within fare control, a remnant of the trolley-cars that ran there and throughout Brooklyn in the first half of the past century (which led to the naming of the baseball team in Brooklyn the Trolley Dodgers, and then just the Dodgers).
  • For almost 40 years the subway cost a nickel, and after 5 years of 10-cent fares, it was 15 cents for another 13 years. The longest length of time with the same fare since then? 1995 to 2003 – 8 years – when the fare was only $1.50.

One thought on “Thursday Trivia: New York Subway System

  1. If only they would extend the M and may it a full loop, it would stop by my house and I wouldn’t have to take the bus. But other than agonizing over that, I very much enjoyed the trivia

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