10004337005_6452cfbc04_zA vintage double decker bus of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company. Image Source: Flickr.com by the MTA

Fifth Avenue has it all: opulent retail, national embassies, corporate headquarters–but no Subway line. Why is this? Not only is there no line now (and no plans for one in the future), but no elevated trains or trolleys have ever operated on one of the world’s grandest thoroughfares. In fact, the avenue’s transit history is one of the most complex of any street in New York City. (more…)



In this installment of Fun Maps, we looked at a 1970’s New York City subway map we had lying around the Untapped HQ and we found subway relic of the past. On September 23rd, 1978, amidst struggles to put into place rebuilding projects from the 1960s and an impending train operator strike, the Transit Authority introduced the “Train to the Plane” or the “JFK Express.” The ride charged premium fare and featured higher quality train cars. The train was actually slower than the A service, though many residents of Howard Beach, Queens were happy to pay extra for a more comfortable ride to work or home.


380360934_1cf8341149_zSource: Flickr.com by Herman Yung

We’re following up our profile of the differences between New York and London cabbies with another breakdown of transit operators. This time, we look to the unsung heroes of the subway: the operators and conductors. They drive the city (and nearly 7.5 million people) along each weekday, with 1.7 billon trips made last year alone. But a year’s work just barely opens you up to the MTA’s benefits package. If you’re considering an illustrious career in the tunnels (and elevated and at-grade tracks) of the busiest and most expansive rapid transit network in North America, then be sure you meet the following requirements and are up to the challenge.


londoncab-hackney-untapped-citiesA traditional London hackney carriage… Image Source: The Atlantic.

untapped-cities-nyc-yellow-taxi-1…Versus New York’s Yellow Medallion Taxis. Source: Wikimedia Commons

No two cities associate iconoclasm and uniformity with their taxi cabs like New York or London. While most assume the differences stop at color–yellow for New York, black for London–a stark contrast exists in who drives the cabs and what those drivers know. Prerequisites, the application process, the tools they use, and even the culture of the cabbies differ between the cities. We detail exactly where these differences exist–just remember that the word “knowledge” for a London cabbie is spelled with a capital “K” and is preceded with a definite article.


NYC taxi cab vintage photo Untapped Cities Sabrina Romano
Image via Flickr by Don O’Brien

The yellow taxi cab is an iconic image synonymous with the hustle and bustle of New York City. But when hailing a cab in the typical New Yorker rush, you probably don’t think about all the different types of cabs that have come before. The original taxi cab is a far cry from today’s modern versions. Over the past century, at least ten popular cab models have pounded through the city’s intersections. Here is a brief look into how the taxi cab industry and its industry have changed over the past century.


Second Av Subway_New York_Bhushan Mondkar-006

Over the past four years we have steadily documented the progress of the Second Avenue Subway. On our annual pilgrimage into these surreal caverns, we once again descend into the “Thunderdome” 200 feet under one of America’s densest neighborhoods. Our tour was led by the MTA’s energetic President of Capital Construction Dr. Horodniceanu and Amitabha Mukherjee, Engineering Manager from Parson Brinckerhoff.  (more…)