Cool Facts About the NYC Subway System

An entry way into the subway station at Times ...

An entry way into the subway station at Times Square. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

D train, led by car #2590, entering Bay Parkwa...

D train, led by car #2590, entering Bay Parkway on the West End Line. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The New York City Subway System is one of the most famous subways in the world. The subway, which has been in operation for over a hundred years, is rich in history, and you could go on and on with all the interesting facts.

1. It Started in 1904

The automobile had barely been invented when the subway system first opened. In October of 1904 the subway was up and running, and had 28 stations. The first route started at City Hall and ventured to 145th Street and Broadway. Originally, the subway system had both privately owned and publicly owned lines. The New York City Transit Authority was put into place in 1953 to take over the subway and other transportation in the city. In 1968 these operations were put under the control of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

2. Five Cents a Ride

It cost five cents to ride the subway in 1904. It didn’t substantially increase for 44 years until the cost went up to ten cents in 1948. It increased to twenty cents in 1966 and thirty cents in 1970. There was a steady increase through the years, with a single fare coming to $2.50 in 2010. A 30 day card is now $112.

3. City Hall Secret Subway Stop

One of the most beautiful sections of the subway is the abandoned City Hall Subway stop. When riding the 6 train to Brooklyn, travelers should make sure to stay on board as it loops around to go back uptown. There are tiled arches and elegant skylights that look more like art found in a European chapel than a subway system. The gorgeous architecture and intricate designs make it worth the effort to stay aboard and get a glimpse.

4. Millions of Rats

Despite poison, traps, and a variety of other methods that have been employed, it’s still likely that hundreds of thousands of rats call the subway system home. Most people who ride the subway on a regular basis are not shocked when seeing one of these furry creatures. Common knowledge tells us that for every rat we see, there could be hundreds or even thousands lurking at deeper levels. With an estimated 10 million in the entire city, it wouldn’t be surprising if at least a few million were scurrying around the subway system.

5. 160 Feet Into the Earth

At its deepest section, the New York City Subway is over 160 feet down. This section is located on 191st Street. This particular station still has elevator operators working full time. The highest subway station happens to be located at 9th Street in Brooklyn. This station is approximately 88 feet above street level.

Ask any New Yorker, the NYC city subway system may be large, overwhelming and confusing, but one can never describe the hundreds of miles of trains and track as boring.

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