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Possibly one of the most distinctive icons of New York City, equal in status to the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, the New York Subway is a labyrinth of lines and routes that sprawl across the city, commuting millions of people each day and easing congestion in one of the major locations of the world. The New York Subway is one of the ten busiest systems in the entire world, even beating cities such as London and Mexico City in terms of how many boardings are recorded each year. Made up of nearly 470 passenger stations, and covering 230 miles of routes, the New York Subway enjoys a long and interesting history that is intertwined with the story of the growth of New York City into one of the largest metropolitans in the world today. The New York Subway is owned by the City of New York and is always in the process of development. Interestingly, and despite its name, the New York Subway is not only about underground transport, with just over 40% of its routes running above ground. The New York Subway was created out of a number of individually constructed routes that aimed to take the earlier inhabitants of New York to various locations on the outskirts of the core city.
When several whole counties and some of others united to form the City of Greater New York in 1898, city planners decided that the most important form of transport would be the underground subway. The first subway was built on a route running from City Hall to the Bronx in 1904, followed by numerous extensions over the years. A series of contracts signed between the city and the private companies IRT and BRT (Brooklyn Rapid Transport Company) from 1913 onwards ensured that the lines continued to grow at a rapid pace, joining existing lines and improving on others. In later years, the city decided to build and operate its own new system with investment from the private sector, which let to the creation of the Independent Subway System.
Lines continued to be built around New York, although many stations were not maintained and their conditions began to reach dangerous levels in the 1980s.
Despite being a unified company, the New York Subway stations are divided by traditional early company operators, namely IRT Lines, BMT Lines, IND Lines and Staten Island.
The New York Subway uses, and has used, a large number of cars according to the needs of the system. B Division cars, also known as lettered lines, comprise a large number of cars that are currently being used.

The majority of users today use the prominently displayed numbers or letters that appear on the cars, following an effort made by the city to get people to move away from referring to the lines by their station names.
The easiest and most common way of riding the New York City subway is through the purchase of a MetroCard.
Subway users simply swipe the MetroCard through the turnstile of the subway and walk through when the screen reflects the word GO. The following is a subway map of New York City that shows the extents of my wanderings from September to mid- October, 2008. Wade Shepard is a traveling writer who has been traveling the world for the past 16 years, going to over 60 countries.
From wood-paneled exteriors with ceiling fans to advertisements from the early 1900s, we've collected our favorite photos so you can travel back in time.
Nearly 6.5 million people use the system each and every day, and these figures are expected to rise as the price of fuel increases in the world.
At present, a section of the subway in the Upper East Side of Manhattan is being constructed. However, in densely populated areas such as Manhattan, the tracks run almost exclusively below ground, saving precious space and ensuring that the local population can travel conveniently and fast to their required destinations. Railroads that were created as a means to take people to the entertainment area of Coney Island, as well as tracks that ran in Manhattan and Brooklyn made up the first routes. However, the cost of creating such a huge project was well beyond the means of the city or a single private company. The IND system, as the new system came to be known after the city acquired BRT and IRT in 1940, was the latest and most innovative subway development of its time.
Reconstruction and refurbishment began in the mid 1980’s and work continues to be done on many lines even until today.
Essentially, the cars used are divided into A Division (numbered lines) and B Division (lettered lines).

This card enables users to pay for their fares on the subway and also save money in the process. Passengers can check how much fare money is left on their card at any MetroCard reader in any station, although the balance is also displayed at the turnstile after every use. Where once the subway had a reputation for being unsafe and dingy, today it serves millions upon millions each year in safe, convenient and clean conditions. He is the author of Ghost Cities of China, and his articles appear on Reuters, Forbes, CityMetric, the South China Morning Post, The Diplomat, and many other publications. As such, the city contracted with the privately owned IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit Company) with an agreement to share the profits. Unfortunately, however, old habits are hard to break and New Yorkers still feel most comfortable with signage that is referred to by letters and numbers.
While fares per line traditionally cost around $2, the cost is reduced with the use of a MetroCard. There is no doubt that the subway continues to be the favored and most effective way for locals and visitors alike to get around this great city. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Reuters, Forbes, CityMetric, the SCMP, The Diplomat, and other publications. This is his personal blog where he collects the stories, anecdotes, and observations from his travels that don’t fit in anywhere else.

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