A while back, we brought you a piece about the now extinct “Train to the Plane” on 1970s NYC Subway Maps. In the 70s, the city introduced the “JFK Express” or “Train to the Plane” as a premium fare charged ride with higher quality cars running from 57th Street and 6th Ave in Manhattan to the airport. Despite the extra comfort it offered, it was still slower than A train services. Today, this direct line no longer exists, instead you’d have to take the E to Jamaica or A to Howard Beach/JFK Airport and take the Airtrain from there.
It’s happened to all of us. That moment when you want to know what bus you can connect to, but it’s not on your subway map. In fact, you might have to download a whole separate app to get New York City’s bus map. Well, a Queens resident, Anthony Denaro, has created a master map that includes subways, bus, and AirTrain, called the Bullet Map (h/t Streetsblog).
Frustrated with the New York City subway in general? Or afraid of L-magaddon, the 2019 shutdown of the L subway line from 8th Avenue to Bedford? You can escape into urban planning fantasy with the website, “Brand New Subway” and build your own system. If building an entire transit system seems daunting have no fear. You can start with the existing system today and go from there. You can fast forward to 2025 with its proposed changes. You can go back to 1972, with the map by Massimo Vignelli. There’s a 1936 map that can’t be selected yet, but we assume is coming. Or you can start completely from scratch.
Former entrance under the New Yorker Hotel that provided direct access to Penn Station
Roughly 200 feet beneath the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel lies a secret: an underground tunnel that connected the establishment to Penn Station. It’s mostly forgotten, used primarily as storage, but it once enabled guests to go directly from the subway and trains to an elevator and up into the hotel. A porter would greet you at the entrance and take you the rest of your way. Direct access was popular for the luxury buildings of this time – the Woolworth Building and the Knickerbocker Hotel are other examples.
When you Google the 168th Street Station, one of the top results is “168th street station creepy” and there’s a good reason for that. The Washington Heights station, where the 1 train stops, has been pretty decrepit for years. It was built as a grand station of the IRT subway, the first line in the city, with a tiled tunnel arch and vintage lanterns, it was badly in need of renovation. The exciting news is that the renovation is well underway and you can finally see some of the grandeur peeking through now that the ceiling is done. The contrast between old and rehabilitated is pretty striking and riders can finally get a glimpse of how impressive this station might have looked brand new.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons by
Recently, we reported that the MTA had added the Second Avenue Subway to the subway map. Part of the changes included the resuscitation of the W line from Astoria-Ditmars Blvd to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue. The MTA aims to relieve train congestion and boost Astoria’s population, at an estimated cost of $13.7 million annually, according to a MTA press release.