96th Street (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line)

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96th Street
New York City Subway rapid transit station
96th Street IRT Broadway 1.JPG
Uptown island platform
Station statistics
Address West 96th Street & Broadway
New York, NY 10025
Borough Manhattan
Locale Upper West Side
Coordinates 40°47′39″N 73°58′19″W / 40.7941°N 73.972°W / 40.7941; -73.972Coordinates: 40°47′39″N 73°58′19″W / 40.7941°N 73.972°W / 40.7941; -73.972
Division A (IRT)
Line       IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line
Services       1 all times (all times)
      2 all times (all times)
      3 all times (all times)
Connection NYCT Bus: M96, M104, M106
Structure Underground
Platforms 2 island platforms (in service)
cross-platform interchange
2 side platforms (abandoned)
Tracks 4
Other information
Opened October 27, 1904; 109 years ago (1904-10-27)[1]
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Passengers (2013) 12,582,947[2] Increase 4%
Rank 23 out of 421
Station succession
Next north 103rd Street (Broadway–7th local): 1 all times
157th Street (Broadway–7th express): no regular service
Central Park North – 110th Street (Lenox): 2 all times 3 all times
Next south 86th Street (local): 1 all times 2 late nights
72nd Street (express): 2 all except late nights 3 all times
91st Street (local, closed)

Next Handicapped/disabled access north 231st Street (via Broadway–7th): 1 all times
135th Street (via Lenox): 2 all times 3 all times
Next Handicapped/disabled access south 72nd Street: 1 all times 2 all times 3 all times

96th Street is an express station on the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of 96th Street and Broadway on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, it is served by the 1, 2 and 3 trains at all times.


96th Street station was part of the original IRT subway and opened on the inaugural date of October 27, 1904.[1] At the time, the station served as the terminus of local trains and express service; express trains would run as locals north to 145th Street.[3]

Station layout[edit]

G Street level Fare control
M Mezzanine Crossover
Handicapped/disabled access (Elevators inside station house in median of Broadway; entrances on south side of 96th Street and north side of 95th Street)
Platform Level
Side platform, not in service
Northbound local NYCS 1 toward Van Cortlandt Park (NYCS 2 toward 241st Street late nights) (103rd Street)
(No service: 157th Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right Handicapped/disabled access
Northbound express NYCS 2 toward Wakefield – 241st Street (110th Street)
NYCS 3 toward Harlem – 148th Street (110th Street)
Southbound express NYCS 2 toward Flatbush Avenue (72nd Street)
NYCS 3 toward New Lots Avenue (Times Square – 42nd Street late nights) (72nd Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right Handicapped/disabled access
Southbound local NYCS 1 toward South Ferry (NYCS 2 toward Flatbush Avenue – Brooklyn College late nights) (86th Street)
(No service: 91st Street)
Side platform, not in service

Currently, 96th Street operates in the same manner as other normal express stations in the subway system.[4] There are two island platforms that allow for cross-platform interchanges between local (outer tracks) and express (inner tracks) trains heading in the same direction, in this case uptown or downtown.[4]

During normal service, southbound local trains use track B1 and southbound express trains use track B2. Northbound express trains use track B3 and northbound local trains use track B4. These track designations are not posted in the station, but are used in the chaining of each individual track, used to measure distance by train crews on the subway.[5]

North of 96th Street, the express tracks descend and turn east under 104th Street on their way to the IRT Lenox Avenue Line and the Bronx, while the local tracks remain on the upper level. After the express tracks diverge, a currently unused center track starts at approximately 100th Street. Some last minute design changes added the third track northbound, and a provision for a third track was also built into the lower level Lenox branch of the junction. This accounts for the extra space seen alongside the active tracks in this area.

The station was extended and widened in 1950 to accommodate longer trains. The extent of the original station is clearly visible, as the renovation was not done in the same style. Differences in the walls and ceiling are visible at the south end. The creation of a new entrance at 94th Street led to the closure of the 91st Street station, as it would have been pointless to lengthen it for 10-car local trains with an adjacent station only a few blocks away.[4]

Unused side platforms[edit]

Access to the station was originally from stairways along the sidewalks of Broadway, to the extreme north end of the side platforms, then to the center island platforms via an underpass.[4] As of April 5, 2010, a new headhouse in Broadway's center median between 96th and 95th Streets rendered those entrances obsolete. New staircases and elevators descend to the platforms from the central station building. A former public restroom now being used as a community center in the median of Broadway north of 96th Street is sometimes mistaken for a former subway station headhouse; however, this structure was built decades after the subway station and conforms to the design of other public restroom buildings in New York City[6] rather than to the design of IRT subway headhouses such as 72nd Street.

The station's configuration, with both island and side platforms, is unusual in the New York City Subway. As originally intended, the island platforms facilitated an easy transfer between local and express trains, while the shorter side platforms provided easy access from local trains to the street. This design was also utilized at Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall and 14th Street – Union Square on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line. When the subway first opened, it was possible to open both sides of the train at once. As this is not practical on more modern trains, only the doors facing the island platforms are used (to permit transfers between local and express trains), and the side platforms were abandoned.[4]

Work is currently underway to turn the unused side platforms and former entrance/exits into storage space and offices. Switching system panels can be seen through new windows on the now walled off western side platform.


Headhouse under construction (2009)

As 96th Street is a major transfer point, there are two sets of entrances and exits at the station. For the purposes of this article, entrance and exit are interchangeable. It is important to note that unlike more recent stations with full-length mezzanines, these entrance points are not connected; they can only be reached from the ends of the platforms. These distinctions are noted on the platforms.

  • 95th–96th Street Headhouse: In 2007, construction started on a headhouse on the Broadway median between 95th and 96th Streets. The headhouse opened on April 5, 2010. Entrances are on both the 95th and 96th Street sides of the headhouse. On the 96th Street side, there is a fare booth.
  • Original 96th Street exits: There were two staircases each at the southeastern and southwestern corners of 96th Street and Broadway.[7][8] Although fare control was at platform-level (on the unused side platforms), there was a free cross-under at this end of the station upon entering the paid area. This was due to an important sewer pipe which prevented engineers from building a mezzanine level similar to other express stations. The staircases and cross-under were closed when the headhouse was opened on April 5, 2010.[4][9]
  • 93rd–94th Street exits: There are two staircases each at the southeastern and southwestern corners of 94th Street and Broadway.[7] There is a free cross-over at this end of the station.

Ongoing renovations[edit]

In July 2006, Manhattan Community Board 7 approved an $80 million renovation of the station. Construction started in 2007. A new headhouse opened on April 5, 2010 and replaced the underpass and side platforms. The side platforms will now become office and control space, and the entrances removed to accommodate narrowed sidewalks resulting from the roadway being displaced by the new headhouse and its island.[10] Local residents have voiced dissatisfaction with the significant loss of sidewalks adjacent to businesses.[11] All of the beige tiles installed in the 1950s were removed and either revealed original tiles or were replaced with new tiles. The elevators opened on November 9, 2010 making the station ADA-accessible.[12]

In popular culture[edit]

96th Street Station is the location of a chase scene in The Warriors, however, the scenes were actually filmed at the unused outer tracks of the Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets station on the IND Fulton Street Line in Brooklyn; the exterior shots were filmed at the 72nd Street station.



  1. ^ a b New York Times, Our Subway Open: 150,000 Try It, October 28, 1904
  2. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership". New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  3. ^ Some subway ifs and don'ts New York Times (on NYCSubway) Retrieved 2008-09-01
  4. ^ a b c d e f 96th Street NYCSubway Retrieved 2008-09-01
  5. ^ New York City Subway chaining TheJoeKorner Retrieved 2008-09-01
  6. ^ Forgotten NY New York's Beaux-Arts Bathrooms
  7. ^ a b 96th Street station OnNYTurf Retrieved 2008-09-01[dead link]
  8. ^ Video of one of these exits taken in 1997-1998.
  9. ^ The same corner in 2011. The exit doesn't exist.
  10. ^ MTA presentation to Manhattan community board 7
  11. ^ 96th Street sidewalk models make us believe[dead link] Curbed Retrieved 2007-09-01
  12. ^ Leslie Albrecht (November 8, 2010). "Months After Grand Opening, MTA Says Elevators at 96th Street Station To Open Tuesday". DNAinfo. Archived from the original on 9 November 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010. 

External links[edit]

External video
96 St Station House, Metropolitan Transportation Authority; April 16, 2010; 2:14 YouTube clip