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Interactive via WNYC

A few weeks ago, WNYC released a real-time ‘agony index‘ of subway station ambient heat throughout New York City. The index was quite nice to look at, provided you were safe in the air-conditioned sanctuary of the glorious indoors instead of actually out in the subways, but also offered an interesting visualization of exactly how hot the city’s subway routes became during the worst months of the summer.

This week, WNYC has taken another step and mapped its findings of ambient temperature in the city’s subway stations mostly in Manhattan and south of Central Park. Aiming a temperature sensor at the platform away from the air-conditioned train cars, they found that while some stations are rather bearable at 80 or even 70 degrees Fahrenheit, some stations were upwards of 100 degrees.

straphangers-report-2014-nyc-subway-untappedcities-nick-reale-2Photo by Nick Reale for Untapped Cities

The heat in subway stations varies depending on whether the MTA is able to vent the stations. More often than not, vents are not a possibility because it involves owning what is above the stations, which, in most cases, the MTA does not. Grand Central Station and the new 2nd Avenue subway, however, are somewhat cooler than other stations because of adequate venting.

According to WNYC’s findings, the coldest station by far was the NQR stop on 5th Avenue and 53rd Street at a breezy 68 degrees Fahrenheit, while the hottest was the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall 4,5,6, platform at 106 degrees.

Next, read about the real-time subway agony index. Get in touch with the author @jinwoochong.

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