MTA marks 110 years of New York subway service

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor

October 27th, 2014, marks the 110th anniversary of the New York City Transit subway system. The first train ran north from City Hall to 145th Street and Broadway. Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) notes that the New York City Transit system that now benefits 5.8 million daily customers sprang from a single line that didn't leave the confines of Manhattan.


The system has grown into a four-borough operation that each day moves more than double the population of Chicago. Trains running along 24 lines feed the city’s schools, businesses and recreational venues.

For a period in the 1970s and 1980s, however, the subway slipped into a state of decay. A prolonged lack of investment caused an historic level of deterioration. Track fires, train derailments and equipment breakdowns were daily events. MTA said a fresh leadership team demonstrated a commitment to improving the moribund system. The resulting resurgence was funded by the first of the MTA’s Capital Plans. The combination of vision and cash, $100 million so far, managed to reverse the downward trend and breathe new life into the transit system.

Today, the MTA is working on future improvements and expansion projects that will carry it through the next 100-plus years. The city’s population is growing and transit ridership is rising right along with it. In fact, there were five days in September, 2014, when ridership broke the six-million customer mark.

Currently, there are several projects to push the system forward, either in progress, nearing completion or in the planning stages. The extension of the 7 to the West Side of Manhattan, Fulton Center Complex, the installation of new signaling systems and the ongoing Superstorm Sandy Fix & Fortify program work all combine to further strengthen the system so that it will support the city’s future needs.

A new generation subway car is now on the drawing board, which will introduce vehicles with greater capacity, higher levels of reliability and increased levels of customer comfort over current trains.