nyc subway

History, maps, Transportation

The 1904 map via Martayan Lan Gallery

New Yorkers have used maps to navigate the city’s subway system since the first year the system opened 114 years ago. And one of only two known examples of the Interborough Rapid Transit’s first guide is for sale for $12,000, the New York Times reported. That 1904 transit guide, along with many more historic maps of New York, can be found at the Martayan Lan Gallery, which is kicking of its  “New Amsterdam to Metropolis: Historic Maps of  New York City 1548-1964” exhibit on Nov. 9.

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Featured Story

Features, History, Transportation

Photo by Phil Roeder / Flickr

This summer, Mayor de Blasio closed all of Central Park’s scenic drives to cars, finishing a process he began in 2015, when he banned vehicles north of 72nd Street. But not all Mayors have been so keen on keeping Central Park transit free. In fact, in 1920, Mayor John Hylan had plans to run a subway through Central Park.

Hylan, the 96th Mayor of New York City, in office from 1918-1925, had a one-track mind, and that track was for trains. He had spent his life in locomotives, first laying rails for the Brooklyn Union Elevated Railroad (later the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, or BRT), then rising through the ranks to become a conductor. In that capacity, he was involved in a near-accident that almost flattened his supervisor, whereupon he was fired from the BRT. Nevertheless, Hylan made transit his political mission, implementing the city’s first Independent subway line and proposing that it run from 59th Street up through Central Park to 110th Street.

So, what happened?


Bedford L Train

Photo via Flickr cc

L train riders, be warned. You have exactly six months until all hell breaks loose. The MTA announced that the line will officially cease running between 8th Avenue and Bedford Avenue for 15 months on April 27, 2019 (a Monday, in case you were wondering) so that the Canarsie Tunnel can be repaired from damaged sustained during Hurricane Sandy. For many, however, the L-pocalypse has already begun; the line was not running between Manhattan and Brooklyn for most October weekends, weeknight service has been suspended through November, and more weekend suspensions are to come in February, March, and April.

All the info

Art, Transportation, Upper West Side 

86th street, joyce kozloff, nyc subway art

Photo © 6sqft

The 86th Street B, C station reopened last week after five months of renovations and upgrades. The improved Central Park West station now features six colorful mosaic and ceramic murals translated from artist Joyce Kozloff’s “Parkside Portals” artwork, which depicts different perspectives of the neighborhood. The art shifts from aerial views of Central Park to close-ups of Beaux-Arts and Art Deco elements found on the iconic facades of surrounding buildings.

See the murals

Policy, Transportation

MTA’s five-year spending plan could double to $60B

By Devin Gannon, Fri, October 26, 2018

nyc subway, subway, 34th street

Via Roman Kruglov Flickr

Fixing the Metro Area’s mass transit system may cost $60 billion in a five-year spending plan, Politico New York reported this week. The capital spending plan includes system-wide repairs for the subway, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North, and the bridges and tunnels overseen by the authority. This updated price tag is nearly double the MTA’s existing five-year plan of roughly $33 billion.

More here

Policy, Transportation

Via Dan Phiffer Flickr

During the L train shutdown, 1,000 new alternate roundtrips will be added every week, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Starting in April, extra service will be added to the A, E, F, J, Z, M, and G lines, NBC reported. The L train will not run between 8th Avenue and Bedford Avenue for 15 months while the Carnarsie Tunnel, heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy, is repaired. About 275,000 of the L train’s 400,000 daily riders are expected to be affected by the temporary shut down.

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Via rhythmicdiaspora on Flickr

To find innovative solutions for New York City’s crumbling subway and bus system, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is turning to tech companies. The MTA launched on Wednesday the nation’s first “transit tech lab,” an accelerator designed to find and test new transit technology, as first reported by the Verge. The agency is seeking answers to two major challenges: How can we better predict subway incident impacts and how can we make buses run faster and more efficient?
More here

Art, Celebrities, Transportation, Upper West Side 

72nd Street, MTA, yoko ono

The MTA has reopened the 72nd Street B, C station on the Upper West Side after five months of extensive upgrades. In addition to the new digital signs and energy-efficient lighting, the station now features a ceramic mosaic designed by Yoko Ono. Titled “SKY,” the design includes six separate mosaics on platforms and mezzanines that show a blue sky with clouds, with hidden messages of hope written throughout. Yoko has lived in the Dakota, the famed co-op building above the subway station, since 1973. Strawberry Fields, the memorial dedicated to her late husband John Lennon in 1985, is located across the street.

See the mosaics


Via Dan Phiffer on Flickr

Signal problems caused subway train delays during morning rush hour every weekday during the month of August except one day, according to a report released last week by the Riders Alliance. Between 6 am and 10 am each weekday morning, except on Thursday, Aug. 23, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority issued a delayed train alert. Every line except the L train experienced signal and/or mechanical problems during one or more of the 23 morning rush hours last month, WNYC reported.

More here


Delayed train? MTA is on it (within the next 5 to 10 years)

By Devin Gannon, Fri, September 14, 2018

Via rhythmicdiaspora on Flickr

In August, Twitter users shamed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for vaguely announcing a tunnel closure on Twitter in the middle of Monday morning rush hour. And this month, the MTA is facing backlash after being too honest with its commuters. One straphanger tweeted at the agency, “The @MTA really needs to get its shit together. People got places to go.” In response, whoever was running the agency’s NYCT Subway Twitter promised they are working on “fixing things within the next 5-10 years with our Fast Forward Plan.” That post did not bode well.

Not so Fast Forward


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