R143 subway cars have a computerized feature to
regulate train speed, which will allow trains to run
closer together in the future.

Serves: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and - through MTA Staten Island Railway -
(SIR) Staten Island.

Subway ridership rose in 2005 and continues to grow in 2006!

In 2005, average weekday subway ridership was 4.7 million, about 1.449 billion a year. Ridership has increased to 4.8 million in 2006, and in March 2006 reached 4.9 million trips a day – the highest number in more than 35 years.

Routes: Numbered routes include the
Lettered routes include

The 26 subway routes are interconnected, and many lines feature express trains,
and across-the-platform transfers to local trains, and "skip-stop" express service.

There are three permanent shuttle services: Franklin Avenue, Rockaway Park,
and 42 Street. The Grand Street Shuttle will end when Manhattan Bridge work is completed.

NYC Transit's Rank Among the World's Subway Systems 2005

Annual Subway Ridership

1. Toyko
2.819 billion
2. Moscow
2.603 billion
3. Seoul
2.340  billion
4. New York City
1.449 billion 
5. Mexico City
1.442 billion  
6. Paris
1.336 billion
7. London
970 million
8. Osaka
912 million 
9. Hong Kong
858 million
10. St. Petersburg
821 million

Number of subway cars: Roughly 6,200.
Number of train trips: 2,682,097 in 2005.
Subway car mileage:
The fleet traveled 352,784,000 miles in 2005

Number of miles traveled by an average subway car between repairs:
April 2005-March 2006

Longest Rides

With no change of trains: the train from 207th Street in Manhattan to Far Rockaway in Queens (more than 31 miles).

With a transfer: the train from 241st Street in the Bronx, with a transfer to the Far Rockaway-bound Train (more than 38 miles).

Between stations: the train between the Howard Beach/JFK Airport and Broad Channel stations in Queens (3.5 miles).

The train(shown in Utica Avenue Station, Brooklyn)
can take you more than 38 miles for only one fare.



From the original 28 stations built in Manhattan and opened on October 27, 1904, the subway system has grown to 468 stations, most of which were built by 1930. Their design represents three distinct styles since two private companies the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) and the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT) and the city-owned Independent Rapid Transit Railroad (IND), built them.

The primary difference among the three types of stations is platform lengths. IRT stations have platforms that are 525 feet long; BMT platforms are 615 feet long, and IND platforms are the longest some measuring 660 feet.

Over the past 20 years, NYC Transit has rehabilitated or upgraded almost half the stations in the system, making sure to rebuild the distinctive tile mosaics of the stations. In addition, MTA Arts for Transit has commissioned and installed artwork in dozens of stations since 1985.

DID YOU KNOW? NYC Transit - with 468 subway stations - has only 35 fewer stations than the combined total of all other subway systems in the country.

Types of stations: Underground (about 60 percent); elevated, embankment, and open-cut. *

Highest station:
Smith-9 Sts in Brooklyn, 88 feet above street level.

Lowest station:
191 St in Manhattan, 180 feet below street level.

* An open-cut station is built below street level, in a trench-like depression, or "cut." Unlike a station built in a tunnel, most "open-cut" stations are exposed to the outdoors.
Example: Parkside Avenue station in Brooklyn.


The Flatbush Avenue station, Brooklyn before....

and after station renovation.

Track and Power

Track Gauge: (distance between rails) is 4 feet 8.5 inches, the same as that of major American railroads.

Miles of Track: Approximately 660 in passenger service. Counting track used for non-revenue purposes (e.g., in subway yards), the number is more than 840 miles.

DID YOU KNOW? Laid end to end, NYC Transit train tracks would stretch from New York City to Chicago.

Power sources: Substations receive as much as 27,000 volts from power plants and convert it for use in the subway. The third (contact) rail uses 625 volts to operate trains.

Types of power: Alternating current (AC) operates signals, station and tunnel lighting, ventilation, and miscellaneous line equipment.

Direct current (DC) operates trains and auxiliary equipment, such as water pumps and emergency lighting.

DID YOU KNOW? The NYC Transit subway system uses enough power annually to light the city of Buffalo for a year.


Back to Back to top

Machine translations are imperfect. This service is intended to provide basic understanding of MTA website
content, but the translation is literal and may misrepresent names and idiomatic expressions.