The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “City Hall Subway Station, New York” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1906.
The Interborough Rapid Transit Subway, or IRT, was the first subway company ever in New York City. The company formed as a response to elevated train lines springing up around the city–it was time to go underground and build a rapid transit railroad to help combat street congestion and assist development in new areas of New York, according to NYCsubway.org. And so 116 years ago, on October 27th, 1904, the first IRT subway line opened with the City Hall station as its showpiece. It’s no overstatement to say that after this date, the city would never be the same. And the day was one to remember, with pure excitement over the impressive feat of moving the city’s transit system underground.
Here’s what you need to know about the day
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr
Nearly a quarter of New York City subway and bus workers reported contracting the coronavirus, according to a survey released on Tuesday. Of the roughly 650 Transport Workers Union Local 100 members surveyed as part of a pilot study led by New York University, 24 percent said they had the virus at some point since the start of the pandemic. The new report suggests more transit workers had the virus than previously thought. In May, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said about 14 percent of transit workers tested positive for antibodies.
Courtesy of the MTA
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Tuesday released a new digital map of the New York City subway system that provides service updates to riders in real-time. As first reported by Curbed, this map uses data from the MTA to update as service changes are happening, allowing users to click on stations and individual train lines to see the actual wait time for the next train. When zoomed in on the map, little gray blocks move along the colored lines, depicting the train’s actual movement from station to station. Created by design and technology firm Work & Co., the map modernizes both Massimo Vignelli’s iconic 1972 map and the current map designed by Michael Hertz, combining the geometric and graphic design-friendly Vignelli map with the geographical elements of Hertz. The new live map is the first major redesign of the NYC subway map in 40 years.
Photo credit: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr
Nearly three miles of dedicated bus lanes equipped with transit signal priority technology and enforcement cameras opened in the South Bronx last week, part of the city’s plan to speed up the system’s notoriously slow travel times. The new lanes run along East 149th Street between Southern Boulevard and River Avenue and are used by four heavily-used bus routes, the Bx2, Bx4, Bx17, and the Bx19. The bus improvement project is the fourth to be completed since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his Better Buses Restart plan in June amid the city’s coronavirus pandemic recovery.
Get the details
Interior of the money train via Wikipedia
In order to collect fares from various stations, the MTA created a special armored train that moved all the subway and bus fares collected to a secret room at 370 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn. As Untapped Cities learned, the money trains, which ran from 1951 to 2006, had 12 collecting agents and one supervisor, all of whom were armed and wearing body armor. After the Metrocard arrived, the revenue collection system changed, and the final armored train rode in January 2006 on the same day the Money Room closed.
Find out more
, Thu, September 10, 2020
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr
Riders on public transit in New York who refuse to wear a face mask will now be fined $50, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Thursday. Starting Monday, riders of the city’s subway and buses, the Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North will be subject to the new penalty for not complying with the mandatory face-covering rule, put in place by executive order in April.
Photo: Patrick Cashin / MTA New York City Transit
A recent rule change by the Federal Emergency Management Agency could take away funding for disinfecting subway cars and city schools, Sen. Chuck Schumer said on Thursday. New guidance from the agency says states need to cover the costs of disinfectants, personal protective equipment, temperature scanners, and other cleaning-related items that have been reimbursed by FEMA since March, the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Schumer called the change a “downright dirty decision” made during a time when New York and the rest of the country continues to fight against the spread of the virus.
Photo credit: Billie Grace Ward via Flickr
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday laid out a grim plan detailing service cuts and fare hikes that could be implemented without additional federal aid. Without at least $12 billion in funding from Washington, subway and bus service could be cut by up to 40 percent, a devastating blow to millions of New Yorkers and the city’s economy. During a board meeting on Wednesday, Chair Pat Foye said the coronavirus crisis has had a far larger toll on ridership and revenue than the Great Depression a century prior.
Details this way
Sally Librera, Senior Vice President of Subways, distributing free face masks to transit customers on July 23; Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Sunday asked Apple to develop a more simplistic face-recognition system to prevent riders from removing face coverings to unlock their smartphones while commuting. An update to the company’s Face ID feature is currently in the works, but in a letter to CEO Tim Cook, MTA Chair Pat Foye requested the technology be expedited. “We urge Apple to accelerate the deployment of new technologies and solutions that further protect customers in the era of COVID-19,” Foye wrote, according to the Associated Press.
More this way
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit
In a continued effort to COVID-proof public transportation, the MTA has installed mask dispensers at the entrance to city buses. The pilot program is now on 100 buses in the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, and it will expand to 400 buses in all five boroughs by next month. The free surgical mask dispensers–each of which holds 50 masks and will be refilled daily–are mounted at the front door of express buses and at the front and rear doors of SBS and local buses. Masks are required to ride any bus or subway.