August 2013-MTA NYC Subway MapAugust 2013 NYC Subway Map by the MTA with Rikers Island

Over the years, the MTA and earlier transit agencies have both included and omitted Rikers Island from its maps, undecided as to how public or private it really is. We’ve taken screenshots of maps going back to 1939 to show the inconsistency.

There is only one way to access the infamous prison, across the Rikers Island bridge. The island facility is comprised of ten jails with a total capacity of 17,000 all-male inmates. It is technically part of the Bronx borough, but it’s part of Queens Community Board 1 and has a Queens zip code. Hazen Street, which begins in Queens at the Grand Central Parkway, continues onto Rikers Island and bisects the space. The MTA runs the Q100 bus over the bridge but private cars require a permit. These connections mean that, unlike the restricted and abandoned North Brother Island, Rikers Island is far more ambiguous in terms of accessibility, especially if you are looking at a city map.

2007 MTA NYC Subway Map2007 MTA Subway Map: No Rikers Island

1994 Subway Map NYC-MTA1994 Subway Map with Rikers Island

1985 NYC Subway Map-0011985 Subway Map with Rikers Island via NYCTransitForums

1972 MTA Subway Map NYC1972 Map: No Rikers Island

1968 NYC Subway MTA Map1968 Subway Map With Rikers Island

1964 NYC Subway Map with Landmarks1964 Map: No Rikers Island

1959 NYC Subway Map1959 Map: No Rikers Island

1948 NYC Subway Map1948 System Map with Rikers Island

1939 IRT NYC Subway Map1939 IRT Map with Rikers Island

Ever wonder what it’s like inside Rikers Island? Check out our behind-the-scenes article about working on a legal workshop for incarcerated juveniles inside the prison.