B (New York City Subway service)
|Sixth Avenue Express|
Note: dashed line shows rush hour only service
|Northern end||Bedford Park Boulevard (rush hours) or 145th Street|
|Southern end||Brighton Beach|
The B Sixth Avenue Express is a rapid transit service in the B Division of the New York City Subway. It is colored bright orange on route signs, station signs, and the official subway map, since it runs over the IND Sixth Avenue Line in Manhattan.
The B operates on weekdays except nights. Midday and evening service runs between 145th Street in Harlem, Manhattan and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn via Central Park West Local, Sixth Avenue Express, the north side of the Manhattan Bridge, and Brighton Express. During rush hours, the B is extended to and from Bedford Park Boulevard in the Bronx via Concourse Local.
The designation B was originally intended to designate express trains originating in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan and operating in Midtown Manhattan on the IND Sixth Avenue Line. However, the original B service, beginning with the opening of the Sixth Avenue Line in 1940 and continuing until opening of the Chrystie Street Connection in 1967, ran only as a rush-hour local between 168th Street – Washington Heights and 34th Street – Herald Square. This service was designated BB in conformance with Independent Subway System protocol of using double letters to indicate local services.
Subsequent to the opening of the Chrystie Street Connection, the former BB trains were combined with the former T service of the BMT West End Line, creating a through service from Washington Heights to Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue. This service was initially to have been signed BT but was simply signed B instead. Starting July 1, 1968, the B had its Manhattan terminal at 57th Street during non-rush hour daytime hours, bypassing 57th Street and extending to 168th Street only during rush hours.
The partial closure of the Manhattan Bridge to subway service between April 13, 1986 and February 21, 2004 affected B service by severing the connection between the northern and southern portions of the route. Beginning on April 13, 1986, the northern B (via Sixth Avenue, informally called "Orange B") and the southern B (via the BMT Broadway Line, informally called "Yellow B") operated as two different services. The Orange B more or less duplicated the former BB service, and the Yellow B imitated the old T service. The former B service resumed December 11, 1988. On October 29, 1989, the IND 63rd Street Line opened, extending service to 21st Street – Queensbridge. B service ran through this new line on weekends. A year later, it would also run here on weekday evenings.
On April 30, 1995, the north side of the Manhattan Bridge was closed on midday and weekends until the following November. During this time, B trains ran only between Atlantic Avenue – Pacific Street and Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue, running local on the BMT West End Line and express on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line.
On February 22, 1998, B service was cut to 57th Street on evenings and weekends as a result of the reconstruction of the IND 63rd Street Line. Service on that line was replaced by a shuttle to the BMT Broadway Line.
In 2000, B service was taken off of the IND 63rd Street Line for signal and track work. It now ran along Central Park West to 145th Street (Bedford Park Boulevard during rush hours) at all times except late nights.
On July 22, 2001, B service over the Manhattan Bridge was again interrupted and service recast similarly to the 1986 changes. However, this time the West End Line portion of the run was redesignated as the W. B service ran weekdays only, to Bedford Park Boulevard during rush hours and 145th Street during middays and evenings. 
On February 22, 2004, the Manhattan Bridge was fully reopened to subway service. B trains were extended through Grand Street station and over the north tracks of the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn, replacing the Q Diamond as the Brighton Express to Brighton Beach. It B was moved to the Brighton Line instead of returning to the West End Line, which it had run on since 1967, in order to avoid running two separate (B and D) shortened services outside of weekdays. The plan was for the B to run only on weekdays in the Bronx, while the restored service on the Brighton Line (formerly the D) was to run only on weekdays in Brooklyn. Thus, moving the B to the Brighton Line meant it would only be operated on weekdays. In contrast, the D would now provide 24-hour service to the Concourse Line in the Bronx and West End Line in Brooklyn eliminating the need to run late-night and/or weekend shuttles on either line.
The following table shows the lines used by the B service, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:
|IND Concourse Line||Bedford Park Boulevard||155th Street||local|
|IND Eighth Avenue Line||135th Street||59th Street – Columbus Circle||local|
|IND Sixth Avenue Line||Seventh Avenue||Broadway – Lafayette Street||express|
|Chrystie Street Connection||Grand Street||all|
|BMT Brighton Line||DeKalb Avenue||Brighton Beach||express|
For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.
|Station service legend|
|Stops all times|
|Stops all times except late nights|
|Stops weekdays only|
|Stops all times except rush hours in the peak direction|
|Stops rush hours only|
|Stops weekdays in the peak direction only|
|Time period details|
- "A Subway Map Remade, in Hopes of Matching Routes and Riders". The New York Times. February 20, 2004. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
- MTA NYC Transit – B Sixth Avenue Express
- "B Train Timetable, Effective June 8, 2014". New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2014-06-05.