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Born on this day
Sir Arthur Harden
Sir Arthur Harden was an English biochemist and a Nobel Prize winner
41st week in year
12 October 2017

Important eventsBack

The first underground New York City Subway line opens27.10.1904

Wikipedia (18 Oct 2013, 14:17)

The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It is the most extensive public transportation system in the world by number of stations, with 468 stations in operation (421, if stations connected by transfers are counted as single stations). The New York City Subway is also one of the world's oldest public transit systems. Overall, the system contains 209 mi (337 km) of routes, translating into 656 miles (1,056 km) of revenue track; and a total of 842 miles (1,355 km) including non-revenue trackage. In 2012, the subway delivered over 1.65 billion rides, averaging approximately 5.4 million rides on weekdays, about 3.2 million rides on Saturdays, and about 2.5 million rides on Sundays.

By annual ridership, the New York City Subway is the busiest rapid transit rail system in the United States and in the Americas, as well as the seventh busiest rapid transit rail system in the world; the metro (subway) systems in Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Moscow, Shanghai, and Guangzhou record a higher annual ridership. It is one of only five rapid transit systems in the United States to offer rail service 24 hours per day and every day of the year.

History

A demonstration for an underground transit system in New York City was first built by Alfred Ely Beach in 1869. His Beach Pneumatic Transit only extended 312 feet (95 m) under Broadway in Lower Manhattan and exhibited his idea for a subway propelled by pneumatic tube technology. The tunnel was never extended for political and financial reasons, although extensions had been planned to take the tunnel southward to The Battery and northwards towards the Harlem River. The Beach subway was demolished when the BMT Broadway Line was built in the 1910s; thus, it was not integrated into the New York City Subway system.

The Great Blizzard of 1888 helped demonstrate the benefits of an underground transportation system. The first underground line of the subway opened on October 27, 1904, almost 35 years after the opening of the first elevated line in New York City, which became the IRT Ninth Avenue Line. The oldest structure still in use opened in 1885 as part of the BMT Lexington Avenue Line in Brooklyn and is now part of the BMT Jamaica Line. The oldest right-of-way, that of the BMT West End Line, was in use in 1863 as a steam railroad called the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Rail Road.

By the time the first subway opened, the lines had been consolidated into two privately owned systems, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT, later Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation, BMT) and the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT). The city was closely involved: all lines built for the IRT and most other lines built or improved for the BRT after 1913 were built by the city and leased to the companies. The first line of the city-owned and operated Independent Subway System (IND) opened in 1932; this system was intended to compete with the private systems and allow some of the elevated railways to be torn down, but kept within the core of the City due to the low amount of startup capital provided to the municipal Board of Transportation, the later MTA, by the state. This required it to be run 'at cost', necessitating fares up to double the five-cent fare popular at the time.

In 1940, the two private systems were bought by the city and some elevated lines closed immediately while others closed soon after. Integration was slow, but several connections were built between the IND and BMT, and now operate as one division called the B Division. Since the IRT tunnel segments are too small and stations too narrow to accommodate B Division cars, and contain curves too sharp for B Division cars, the IRT remains its own division, A Division.

The New York City Transit Authority, a public authority presided by New York City, was created in 1953 to take over subway, bus, and streetcar operations from the city, and placed under control of the state-level Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 1968.

In 1934, transit workers of the BRT, IRT, and IND founded the Transport Workers Union of America, organized as Local 100. Local 100 remains the largest and most influential local of the labor union. Since the union's founding, there have been three union strikes over contract disputes with the MTA, 12 days in 1966, 11 days in 1980, and three days in 2005.

The September 11 attacks resulted in service disruptions on lines running through Lower Manhattan, particularly the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line, which ran directly underneath the World Trade Center between the Chambers Street and Rector Street stations. Sections of the tunnel, as well as the Cortlandt Street station, which was directly underneath the Twin Towers, were severely damaged by the collapse and had to be rebuilt, requiring suspension of service on that line south of Chambers Street. Ten other nearby stations were closed while dust and debris were cleaned up. By March 2002, seven of those stations had reopened. The rest (except for Cortlandt Street on the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line) reopened on September 15, 2002 along with service south of Chambers Street.

   
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