Wikipedia logo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at New York City Transit Authority. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Metro Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

The New York City Transit Authority (also known as NYCTA, Transit, NYCT for New York City Transit or simply the TA for Transit Authority) is a New York State authority that operates buses and subway trains in New York City. Seven million of the eight million people in New York City use it, making the busiest transit system in North America.



As part of a public image campaign, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has assigned "PR" names to each of its affiliates and subsidiaries. These popular names differ from the legal names, which are used in all contracting and legal matters, and are used on public notices, maps, publications, vehicles and stations. The PR name of the New York City Transit Authority is MTA New York City Transit. Current plans are to split MTA New York City Transit into MTA Subways (which would also take over MTA Staten Island Railway) and MTA Bus Company (which would also take over MTA Long Island Bus, and has already taken over from several private operators). In fact, there is no legal connection between the New York City Transit Authority (TA) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The MTA is able to control the TA because the governor and the mayor have agreed to appoint only members of the MTA board to the TA board. Other than the interlocking boards, there is no legal connection between the authorities. Further, the subway system is owned by the City of New York and leased to the TA as the successor to the Board of Transportation, as the operating entity. The mayor may cancel the lease on 365 days notice.


The subway system consists of the lines built by the Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) company of August Belmont, The Brooklyn Manhattan Transit (BMT) and the Independent (IND), depression era system built by New York City. The IRT and BMT systems were acquired by the city after they went bankrupt. All of the subways are now owned by NYC, and leased to the Transit Authority for operation. The Transit Authority, a public benefit corporation, was created in 1953 pursuant to Title 9 of Article 5 of the Public Authorities Law, as amended (the "TA Act"), for the purposes of acquiring the transit facilities then operated by the City and operating them "for the convenience and safety of the public." These facilities included the surface lines (buses and, until 1956, streetcars) and the IRT, BMT, and IND subways; before that date these services were managed by New York City's Board of Transportation. A major impetus of the formation of the NYCTA was to remove transit policy, and especially the setting of the transit fare, from City politics.

The subway system has almost always been able to pay its operating costs from the farebox, but as with all public transportation in the U.S., requires assistance for its capital needs. Historically, the TA's capital requirements were met by the city and state jointly, but this support was withdrawn, primarily by Governor Rockefeller, in the 1960s. He eventually forced the city to turn over effective control of the TA to the state and put his long time assistant, William Ronan, in charge by the creation of the MTA. This was much the same technique that he used to impose tuition on the free city colleges - initially, the City College, now City University of New York (CUNY),

In 1968 the NYCTA, and its subsidiary, the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA), were placed under the control of, and are now affiliates of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), a public benefit corporation chartered by the New York State Legislature in 1965.

Management structureEdit

Although the Chairman and Members of MTA, by statute, are also the Chairman and Members of the Transit Authority and Directors of MaBSTOA, and the Executive Director of MTA is, ex officio, Executive Director of the Transit Authority, the Transit Authority has its own management structure which is responsible for its day-to-day operations. The executive personnel of the Transit Authority and MaBSTOA report to the President of the Transit Authority.

Decline and RevivalEdit

A policy of deferred maintenance (in which infrastructure was repaired only when absolutely necessary) instituted in the 1950s came home to roost by the early 1970s when fires, collisions, and derailments became more common. Public perceptions of deteriorating service were not helped by spray-painted graffiti. A persistent but minor problem since around 1970, it rapidly spread throughout the subway system from 1972 to 1974, by which time much of the system's trains and stations had been tagged with graffiti. While credible arguments have been made that some of it had artistic merit, the sheer volume and discordance of graffiti on both the interiors and exteriors of subway cars reinforced an impression for many that the entire system had slipped out of control. Perhaps the system's nadir was reached in 1981, when one day, approximately one-third of all subway cars in the system were not fit enough for service to leave the yards.

An ambitious series of capital programs begun in January 1982 (and continuing to this day) ended the policy of deferred maintenance and began to restore the system to a state of good repair. Although little visible progress was evident in the first Capital Program's early years, from 1984 to 1989 it gradually became evident that the subway system's reliability was improving and that graffiti -- due to an expanding policy which forbade trains from leaving their terminals with any graffiti on them -- was diminishing from view. Over the years, NYCTA has continued to upgrade its network image, including safer trains and stations, new MetroCard vending machines, easier-to-read maps, and cleaner trains. Cars also tend to be better maintained and have more reliable air-conditioning and heating than they used to. However, the decline of graffiti has been matched by the rise of scratchiti, where scribers, keys, razor blades or other sharp instruments are used to etch markings on windows and interior surfaces of the cars. While less noticeable and objectionable to some, it is a more permanent form of vandalism.

Upgrading the rail fleet includes replacement of older cars. The IRT Division phased out the 1959-1963 vintage Redbird cars in 2001-2002. The oldest cars remaining on the IRT lines are now the R62 model from 1983-1985, which are only at mid-service life. In the BMT and IND Division, planning is underway for the selective replacement of cars in the 1964-1974 R32, R38, R40, R40M, R42 and R44 cars.

Future NYCTA plans include the extension of the IRT Flushing Line to Manhattan's West Side by 2012, and a Lower Manhattan Transportation Center at the new World Trade Center. The 2nd Avenue Subway line is also in the advanced stages of planning and engineering and contracts for the construction of the first segment from 96th Street to 63rd Street along 2nd Avenue in Manhattan are expected sometime in 2006, with an expected opening date of 2012.


Template:Main article The current NYCT fare for local and limited stop buses and trains is $2, increased from $1.50 on May 4, 2003. Express Buses are $5.00 one way. The MetroCard is the main form of fare payment, which is a magnetic stripe card that can be in any amount from $4 to $80. There is a 20 percent bonus in place for any MetroCard purchase of or over $10 (example: $10 purchase = $12 Metrocard). Unlimited cards for 1-day (Fun Pass) ($7), 7-days ($24), and 30-days ($76) are also available. Subway turnstiles accept only MetroCards. NYCT Buses, in addition to MetroCards, accept only exact change (no pennies), but not paper bills. The famous token was phased out in 2003 and is now a collector's item.

Most Metrocards allow transfer within two hours after first use from bus to bus, subway to bus or bus to subway only. There is generally no free subway to subway transfer, except where two or more stations are joined by connecting stairways or passageways that are not separated by a fare-control barrier. However, two free "out-of-system" subway to subway transfers are available, both of which involve leaving the subway system and walking to another station:

 ) and the 23rd Street–Ely Avenue (E V  ) / Long Island City–Court Square (G) complex

  6 <6>   N R (1234) W (123a)) and Lexington Avenue–63rd Street (F)

Bus transfers are almost unlimited, but there is no transfer to the same bus line on which the trip began, and there are no free transfers between the following bus routes:

  • Downtown Fifth Avenue and uptown Madison Avenue buses (M1, M2, M3 and M4)
  • Downtown Lexington Avenue and uptown Third Avenue buses (M101, M102 and M103)
  • Southbound and northbound Grand Concourse buses (Bx1 and Bx2)
  • Eastbound and Westbound 49 and 50 Street crosstown buses (M27 and M50)
  • Eastbound and Westbound 57 Street crosstown buses (M31 and M57)
  • Eastbound and Westbound 96 Street crosstown buses (M96 and M106)
  • Eastbound and Westbound Tremont Avenue buses (Bx40 and Bx42)

SingleRide MetroCards costing $2 are valid for one ride within two hours after purchase on local buses and the subway, with one transfer available from bus to bus only.

Fare historyEdit

Below are the fares charged for single boardings on NYCTA transit lines. Different combinations of transfer privileges have altered these fares from time to time and massively increased transfer privileges and pass discounts have lowered the average real fare significantly since 1997. On November 23 2005, a $1.00 holiday fare promotion was instituted by the MTA on behalf of riders, although opposed by the government and passengers themselves.Template:Citation-needed (Express Buses continued to require a $5.00 fare).

  • $0.15 (1953 – 1966)
  • $0.20 (1966 – December 31, 1969)
  • $0.30 (January 1, 1970 – December 31, 1971)
  • $0.35 (January 1, 1972 – August 31, 1975)
  • $0.50 (September 1, 1975 – June 28, 1980)
  • $0.60 (June 29, 1980 – July 3, 1981)
  • $0.75 (July 4, 1981 – December 31, 1983)
  • $0.90 (January 1, 1984 – December 31, 1985)
  • $1.00 (January 1, 1986 – December 31, 1989)
  • $1.15 (January 1, 1990 – December 31, 1991)
  • $1.25 (January 1, 1992 – November 11, 1995)
  • $1.50 (November 12, 1995 – May 3, 2003)
  • $2.00 (May 4, 2003 – ?)
  • $2.50 (?-present)

2005 holiday fare bonusEdit

Single fares were reduced to $1.00 from $2.00 for non-weekday dates during the 2005 holiday season and for the week from Christmas through New Year's holiday week. The dates for these $1.00 fares are as follows. If successful, this may carry on for future holiday seasons.

  • November 24, 2005 – November 27, 2005
  • December 3, 2005 – December 4, 2005
  • December 10, 2005 – December 11, 2005
  • December 17, 2005 – December 18, 2005
  • December 24, 2005 – January 2, 2006


On New Year's Day, in 1966, a 12-day strike was started with the aid of Michael J. "Mike" Quill. This strike started after the union member's contracts had expired, and with large economic demands from the union. After the 1966 New York City transit strike, the Taylor Law was passed making public employee strikes illegal in the state of New York.

Despite the Taylor Law, there was still an 11-day {{subst:Wikipedia reference 2|1980 New York City transit strike|strike in 1980]]. 34,000 union members struck in order to call for increased wages.

On December 20, 2005, another strike occurred. Workers walked off at 3 a.m. and the NYCTA stopped operating. Later that day, State Justice Theodore Jones fined and warned the transit union that there would be a fine of $1 million for each day the TA is shut down. Also for each day the workers missed during the strike they would be fined two days pay. The workers are members of the Transport Workers Union of America Local 100.

At 2:35 p.m. on December 22, TWU Local 100 had told members to report to work immediately[1], even though no contract agreement had been reached. By late afternoon, the strike was over and bus service resumed in the evening and subway service in the morning of the December 23.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Bus: Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority | MTA Long Island Bus | MTA Bus Company | MTA New York City Transit buses

Heavy rail: NYC Transit Authority subways | Staten Island Railway

Commuter rail: Long Island Rail Road | Metro-North Railroad

Roads: MTA Bridges and Tunnels

Other information: MetroCard | New York City Transit Authority | NYC Subway fleet | NYC Subway History | NYC Transit and MTA Bus fleet

Official website:

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.