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Recent New York Transit History

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The 1980s was a period of slow decline for the subways. Graffiti was everywhere, like on this 1960 R-27 car at Rockaway Parkway Yard.

1940s

New York, Westchester, and Boston Railway
This pioneering but short-lived electric railroad in the Bronx and Westchester County contributed the Dyre Avenue branch to the subway system in 1940. This was the first acquisition or construction of new lines since the IND subway work in the 1930s.

1970s

The Second Avenue Subway
New York's most famous never-built subway line is described in engineering and environmental reports, and an MTA brochure which calls Second Avenue "the line that almost never was".

The New York Transit Authority in the 1970s
The 1970s marked the first decade in the history of the subway system that real, physical mileage was lost and not replaced. No new extensions or lines were built, but the 3rd Avenue El in the Bronx, the Culver Shuttle in Brooklyn and the Jamaica Avenue El in Queens north of Queens Blvd closed, with no rail lines replacing them. In the 1970s, the Transit Authority (the TA) was an agency under the umbrella of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, whereas before it was its own agency reporting to no other entity. Examine the effects the MTA and deferred maintenance had on the subway in this article by Mark S. Feinman.

1980s

The New York Transit Authority in the 1980s
The 1980s could be summarized as the "Jekyll and Hyde" period of the subway system. As the decade began, it had the filthiest trains, the craziest graffiti, the noisiest wheels, and the weirdest passengers. By the end of the decade, it had cleaner trains, no graffiti, quieter wheels -- and the weirdest passengers. Examine this "Jekyll and Hyde" period of subway system developments and missteps in this article by Mark S. Feinman.









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