Subway FAQ: Facts and Figures

From nycsubway.org

Facts and Figures


Underground stations 277
Elevated Stations 153
Embankment Stations 29
Open Cut Stations 9
Total 468
Turnstiles 31,180
Token Booths 734
Fare-Control Areas 735
Elevators (for customer use) 60
Escalators 161

Busiest Stations Annually (1994)

Station Routes No. of Fares
1. Times SquareA,C,E,N,R,S,1,2,3,7,9 35.6 million
2. Grand Central4,5,6,7,S 31.5 million
3. 34th St-Herald SquareB,D,F,N,Q,R23.3 million
4. Penn Station-34th St1,2,3,9 19.3 million
5. 34th St-Penn StationA,C,E 17.2 million
6. 51st St-Lexington E,F,6 16.0 million
7. Chambers St/World Trade CtrA,C,E,2,315.3 million
8. 14th St-Union SquareL,N,R,4,5,615.2 million
9. Broadway-Fulton StA,C,J,M,Z,2,3,4,5 14.0 million
10. 47-50th Sts/Rockefeller Ctr B,D,F,Q13.7 million

Route Miles

Borough Underground Elevated Other Total
Manhattan 67 4 0 71
Queens 15 20 7 42
Bronx 12 18 3 33
Brooklyn 43 28 13 84
Total 137 70 23 230

(Note: "Other" refers to open cut, embankment and surface track)

Mainline Track Miles (for Passenger Service)

Underground: 443
Elevated: 156
At grade/open cut: 57
Total: 656 miles

Including the 186 miles of track in New York City Transit's yards, shops and storage areas, the entire system consists of 842 track miles. If laid end to end, this track would stretch from New York City to Chicago. The subway's track gauge (distance between rails) is the same as that of most major American Railroads: 4' 8 1/2".

Other Track Stats

Bridges 68
Underwater Tunnels 14
Tunnel Length 145 miles
Tunnel Lighting 442 miles
Fan Plants 199
Signals 11,450
Signal Equipment (in miles) 740
Automatic Train Stops 9,800
Relays 250,000
Switches 2,637


Alternating current (AC) operates signals, station and tunnel lighting, ventilation and miscellaneous line equipment. Direct current (DC) is used to operate trains and such auxiliary equipment as water pumps and emergency lighting.

The system's 214 electrical-power substations receive high and low-voltage electrical current from the New York Power Authority. Substations may receive as much as 27,000 volts from the power plants and then convert it for use in the subway. The subway's contact (third) rail requires 625 volts for operating trains. Power is distributed throughout the system via 2,500 miles of cable. These cables pass beneath 7,651 manholes located throughout the city. The power required to operate the subway system during peak hours is about 495,900 kilowatts. Annually, the subway uses 1.8 billion kilowatt hours - enough to light up the City of Buffalo for a year.

Longest Rides

Longest ride on the system with no change of trains: Take the A train (31 miles from 207th Street in Manhattan to Far Rockaway in Queens.

Longest ride on the system with a transfer: Take the 2 train from 241st Street in the Bronx, and transfer to the Far Rockaway-bound A train. You'll travel over 38 miles.

Longest between-station stretch: 3.5 miles on the A train between Howard Beach/JFK Airport and Broad Channel stations (Queens).

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