South Ferry – Whitehall Street (New York City Subway)

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South Ferry – Whitehall Street
New York City Subway rapid transit station complex
Whitehall Street - South Ferry.JPG
South Ferry station canopy
Station statistics
Address South Street & Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004
Borough Manhattan
Locale Battery Park and Financial District
Coordinates 40°42′09″N 74°00′46″W / 40.702472°N 74.012833°W / 40.702472; -74.012833Coordinates: 40°42′09″N 74°00′46″W / 40.702472°N 74.012833°W / 40.702472; -74.012833
Division A (IRT), B (BMT)
Line       BMT Broadway Line
      IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line
Services       1 all times (all times)
      N late nights (late nights)
      R all except late nights (all except late nights)
Other information
Opened March 16, 2009; 6 years ago (2009-03-16)[1]
Passengers (2013) 6,192,660 (station complex)[2] Decrease 21.3%
Rank 68 out of 421

South Ferry – Whitehall Street is a New York City Subway station complex in the Manhattan neighborhood of Financial District, under Battery Park. The complex is shared by the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line and the BMT Broadway Line. It is served by the:

  • 1 train at all times
  • R train at all times except late nights
  • N train during late nights only

Formerly two unconnected stations, the 2009 completion of the new South Ferry IRT terminal added a free transfer between the 1, N and R trains at the older Whitehall Street station. In 2013, the MTA also added a connection to the old South Ferry station while the new station was closed.

This station complex is the third on the site to bear the name South Ferry. The second, opened from 1905 to 2009, served the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line and Lexington Avenue lines. The first was an elevated station opened from 1877 to 1950, and served the former IRT Ninth, Sixth, Third, and Second Avenue lines.

Station layout[edit]

G Street Level Exit / Entrance
(Elevator at SW corner of Whitehall and State Streets. Note: Elevator out of service)
Loop platforms
Side platform, not in service
Separating wall
Inner loop NYCS 5 does not stop here (Bowling Green is the next stop)
Outer loop NYCS 1 toward Van Cortlandt Park – 242nd Street (Rector Street (Seventh))
Side platform, doors open on the right for the first five cars only
Mezzanine to entrances/exits, station agent, MetroCard vending machines
B2 Mezzanine Passageway between platforms
Broadway Line platforms
Northbound NYCS R toward 71st Avenue (Rector Street (Broadway))
NYCS N toward Ditmars Boulevard late nights (Rector Street (Broadway))
Island platform, doors will open on the left
Center track No regular service
Island platform, doors will open on the left
Southbound NYCS R toward Bay Ridge – 95th Street (Court Street)
NYCS N toward Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue late nights (Court Street)
Seventh Avenue Line platform
Track 4 No regular service
NYCS 1 (planned) toward Van Cortlandt Park – 242nd Street (Rector Street (Seventh))
Island platform, not in service Handicapped/disabled access
Track 1 No regular service
NYCS 1 (planned) toward Van Cortlandt Park – 242nd Street (Rector Street (Seventh))

IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line platforms[edit]

Old South Ferry station loop platforms (1905–2009, 2013–present)[edit]

South Ferry
New York City Subway rapid transit station
Outer loop platform on reopening day (April 4, 2013).
Station statistics
Division A (IRT)
Line IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line, IRT Lexington Avenue Line
Services       1 all times (all times)
Structure Underground
Platforms originally 2 side platforms, the inner platform is walled off
Tracks 2 balloon loops
Other information
Opened July 19, 1905; 109 years ago (1905-07-19) (outer loop)
July 1, 1918; 96 years ago (1918-07-01) (inner loop)
April 4, 2013; 23 months ago (2013-04-04) (outer loop reopening)
Closed March 16, 2009; 6 years ago (2009-03-16) (outer loop)
February 13, 1977; 38 years ago (1977-02-13) (inner loop)
Station succession
Next north Rector Street: 1 all times
Bowling Green: no regular service
Next south (Terminal): 1 all times
New passageway built in 2013 leading to the old South Ferry station
Track map pre-2009 (closed platforms in pink)

The South Ferry loops, used by the 1 train as of April 2013, are two side platforms (the inner one is walled off) on curved balloon loop tracks; however, free transfers were unavailable between the platforms and each platform was meant to be served by its own line. The most recent configuration using both tracks consisted of the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line on the outer loop platform and the IRT Lexington Avenue Line on the inner loop platform. Both stations are individually named South Ferry; the name "South Ferry loops" is used to distinguish these platforms from the successor station. The newer station was used by the Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line's 1 service from 2009 to 2012 until it was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The outer loop platform reopened on April 4, 2013, to provide temporary replacement service for the newer island platform station that was closed because of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.[3]

Outer platform[edit]

On July 10, 1905, the outer South Ferry platform was the first of the two platforms to open and was an extension of the original trunk line of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company. The inner track existed when the station was built, but only as a storage track. When the "H" system of the IRT opened on July 1, 1918, Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line trains used the outer platform while the inner platform was opened for IRT Lexington Avenue Line trains which used the original trunk line in Lower Manhattan. Services on the Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line, including the 1 and 9 trains, used the outer platform as a terminal station since its inception, except for two relatively short periods of time. The first period was between September 2001 and September 2002 since the main branch south of Chambers Street was impassable after the September 11 attacks. The second was from March 16, 2009, when the new South Ferry station opened for 1 train passengers, to April 4, 2013, when the outer platform reopened with a transfer to the BMT section of the station complex. The newer station, located underneath this one, allowed a free transfer to the BMT station whereas neither of this station's platforms originally did.[4]

The outer platform accommodates the first five cars of a train. The rear five cars of a 10-car train cannot load or unload. Gap fillers are used to bridge the gap between the platform and the doors. Spray nozzles lubricate the track to reduce the friction caused by the tight curve. The sharp curvature slows train operation and generates a loud metallic scraping noise.[5] In order to eliminate this special operation, the new station was built as a two-track, full (10-car) length island platform on a less severe curve, permitting the operation of a typical terminal station.[6][7] The MTA claimed that the new station saved four to six minutes of a passenger's trip time and 24 trains per hour could run on the entire 1 service during peak hours, as opposed to 16 to 17 trains per hour with the loop station.[8]

The outer platform's only point of egress was within the Staten Island Ferry's terminal building and was not ADA-accessible. By contrast, the successor station is fully accessible (although its transfer to the BMT Broadway Line is not) and has three entrances; the main entrance is across from the ferry terminal building's entrance.[6] After Hurricane Sandy in late October 2012, the outer loop was brought back into service in order to turn trains uptown after terminating at Rector Street, since the replacement station suffered extensive flooding damage and was closed indefinitely for repairs. After a few months, the MTA decided to reopen the loop station as an interim terminal to restore the connection from 1 service to the Staten Island Ferry. The station reopened on April 4, 2013, with a connection to Whitehall Street.[9][10][11]

The outer track is the only track used for passenger service, serving 1 trains at all times.

Inner platform[edit]

The inner platform opened for IRT Lexington Avenue Line passengers on July 1, 1918, as that line's service was moved from the outer platform. This platform has an even sharper curve than the outer platform, and only the center doors opened here, with special arched openings in a wall between the platform and track at the locations of the doors.

In the late 1950s, when the IRT division began to use mostly R-type cars which could not have only the center doors opened, 5 trains (which ended at South Ferry evenings and weekends only) and 6 trains (which ended at South Ferry late nights) were rerouted to the outer loop. The Bowling Green – South Ferry Shuttle, which ran weekdays and at first also late nights, continued to use the inner loop, running to the west platform at Bowling Green until 1977, when the inner platform was closed and Lexington Avenue trains stopped using the outer loop. Specially modified R12 cars were used starting in the late 1960s until the service ended. These cars had two different door controls; the first opened the outer two sets of doors while the second opened the center set of doors only. There was no free transfer between the inner loop and the outer loop platforms.

The inner track is used to turn 5 trains when they terminate at Bowling Green on weekday evenings and weekends.

New South Ferry station (2009–2012)[edit]

South Ferry
no regular service
New York City Subway rapid transit station
Station condition as of January 2013
Station statistics
Division A (IRT)
Line       IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line
Services no regular service
Structure Underground
Platforms 1 island platform
Tracks 2
Other information
Opened March 16, 2009; 6 years ago (2009-03-16),[1] June 2016 (planned)[12]
Closed October 28, 2012; 2 years ago (2012-10-28)
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access (IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line only; elevator not in service)
Station succession
Next north Rector Street: no regular service
Next south (Terminal): no regular service

Next Handicapped/disabled access north Chambers Street: no regular service
Next Handicapped/disabled access south none: no regular service

The South Ferry station that serves the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line exclusively has two tracks and one island platform. The two tracks end at bumper blocks at the south end of the platform. This station is the newest in the entire transit system, built as a replacement for the loop station, which was relegated to being used for turn-arounds once the new station opened. Unlike the loop station, this station only can access IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line local trains, and does not connect with the Lexington Avenue Line.


In mid-2005, construction commenced on the new station, which is located underneath the loop station. It is designed as an ADA-accessible, two-track terminal, which allows all ten cars of the train to platform and all doors to be opened. The new station offers three street entrances (the loop station originally had only one before it reopened with a connection to the South Ferry – Whitehall Street complex in 2013) and has added a free transfer to the Whitehall Street – South Ferry station on the BMT Broadway Line. Landscaping for Peter Minuit Plaza was completed in May 2010.

On December 8, 2005, New York City authorities announced that builders working on the new station had found the remains of a 200-year-old stone wall.[13] After archaeological analysis, it was widely reported to be the oldest man-made structure still in place in Manhattan. Four walls and over 250,000 individual artifacts were found in the excavation of this subway station. A portion of one wall was placed on temporary display inside Castle Clinton.

On December 11, 2008, the New York Times and the cable news channel NY1 reported that the new station was essentially finished. It features monumental artwork, See it split, see it change,[14] consisting of fused glass wall, stone mosaic, and a stainless steel fence. The artwork by artists Doug & Mike Starn depicting Manhattan topography is installed in the mezzanine.[15]

Originally budgeted at $400 million, the new South Ferry station cost a total of $530 million, with most of the money being a grant from the Federal Transit Administration earmarked for World Trade Center reconstruction.[16] In January 2009, the opening was delayed because the tracks were too far from the edge of the platform. The problem was corrected and the station opened on March 16, 2009.[17][18] It was the first new subway station completed since 1989 when the IND 63rd Street Line stations opened. On April 16, 2009, MTA Capital Construction awarded a $19.2 million contract to Tully Construction Company to reconstruct Peter Minuit Plaza, which is above the station.[19]

After the station opened, a long portion of the excavated historic wall was embedded permanently into the wall of the entrance to the newly constructed station. "This wall most likely is a portion of the gun batteries that once protected the city in the late 17th and 18th centuries and gave rise to the modern park name", said Robert Tierney, chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The city and the New York City Transit Authority plan to work together to preserve the remains, which were described as "an important remnant of the history of New York City".[13]

Hurricane Sandy[edit]

On October 29, 2012, the new South Ferry station suffered extensive flooding damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Salt water filled the station from the track level all the way up to the station mezzanine, turning the station into a "large fish tank," as former MTA chairman Joseph Lhota described it.[20] As a result, this section of the complex was closed until further notice. The MTA estimated that repairs would cost $600 million and might continue until 2016.[20][21] The terminal for the routes serving the station was moved back to Rector Street until the old loop station could be put back into service. The old loop station reopened on April 4, 2013, as a temporary replacement station until the newer, "replacement" station is restored to revenue service.[10][22]

The station is expected to reopen in August 2016 after renovations, signal room relocations, and extensive waterproofing work.[23] The signal room itself could be delayed to 2019. The bid process for the contractor has been awarded as of December 8, 2014.[24]


BMT Broadway Line platforms[edit]

Whitehall Street – South Ferry
New York City Subway rapid transit station
Whitehall Street–South Ferry BMT 121823502 6024ba329b.jpg
Station statistics
Division B (BMT)
Line       BMT Broadway Line
Services       N late nights (late nights)
      R all except late nights (all except late nights)
Structure Underground
Platforms 2 island platforms
cross-platform interchange
Tracks 3 (2 in regular service)
Other information
Opened September 20, 1918; 96 years ago (1918-09-20)
Station succession
Next north Rector Street: N late nights R all except late nights
Next south Court Street: N late nights R all except late nights
R40 4252 on the W train at Whitehall Street before the transfer to South Ferry opened. Both the car model and service route have been retired.

Whitehall Street – South Ferry[25] on the BMT Broadway Line has three tracks and two island platforms. All trains normally use the outer tracks and continue south into the Montague Street Tunnel to the BMT Fourth Avenue Line in Brooklyn. The center track is used to short turn a few late evening R trains,[26] and merges with the outer tracks at either end of the station. The station is rather deep, as much of it goes under Bowling Green on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line. The fare control area and transfer to the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line platforms are at the extreme south end of the station, with additional exits at the north end. Both platforms are approximately 12–15 feet (3.7–4.6 m) wide, enough to fit several narrow stairways along the platform's length; this is why, although the IRT Broadway –Seventh Avenue Line's island platform is wheelchair-accessible, the BMT Broadway Line's platforms are not.

South of this station, a pair of bellmouths exists, allowing for a connection to a never-built East River tunnel south of the Montague Street Tunnel, going towards the proposed DeKalb Avenue bypass, using the old LIRR Atlantic Avenue Tunnel or under another street in Brooklyn. Further south is a flying junction joining from Broad Street on the BMT Nassau Street Line. Also south of this station, the emergency exit from the Montague Street Tunnel is located in the Nassau Street Connection which means before the Nassau Street Line was built, the emergency exit was actually in the bellmouth for the proposed line. The bellmouth was visible for years until it was used by the Nassau Street Connection when the entire line opened in 1931.

When this station opened, it was the terminal for the Broadway Line until the connection to Brooklyn opened in March 1920.


Notable places nearby[edit]


  1. ^ a b MTA Opens New South Ferry Station Retrieved March 16, 2009
  2. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  3. ^ "Old South Ferry Station to Reopen for Service in early April" (Press release). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 8, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ "MTA Opens New South Ferry Subway Terminal" (Press release). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 16, 2009. Retrieved June 7, 2009. 
  5. ^ MTA South Ferry FEIS, 2004, p.1-5
  6. ^ a b Yates, Maura (December 12, 2008). "New subway station has plenty of upside". Staten Island Advance. Retrieved June 7, 2009. 
  7. ^ Neuman, William (December 11, 2008). "At the Last Subway Stop, a New Exit Strategy". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2009. 
  8. ^ Cuza, Bobby (December 11, 2008). "Brand-New South Ferry Station To Open Soon". NY1. Retrieved June 7, 2009. 
  9. ^ Downtown, Old Stop on Subway to Reopen
  10. ^ a b Old South Ferry subway station to reopen
  11. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (March 8, 2013). "Storm Damage Prompts Return of Old Subway Stop". The New York Times. 
  12. ^ For South Ferry, mitigation and a new signal room
  13. ^ a b "Unearthing Colonial New York: South Ferry Project Yields 65K Artifacts". AM New York. February 26, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ New subway station has plenty of upside, Staten Island Advance, December 12, 2008
  16. ^ At the Last Subway Stop, a New Exit Strategy, New York Times, December 11, 2008
  17. ^ South Ferry Station To Open Next Week
  18. ^ NEW AND OLD DOWNTOWN: Wall Street and South Ferry. Forgotten NY. Retrieved 2014-06-11.
  19. ^ MTA Capital Construction Procurement Website
  20. ^ a b "Flood, Rebuild, Repeat: Are We Ready for a Superstorm Sandy Every Other Year?". Mother Jones. July–August 2013. 
  21. ^ Restoring South Ferry Station
  22. ^ Storm Damage Prompts Return of Old Subway Stop
  23. ^ Kabak, Benjamin (28 April 2014). "Board docs: South Ferry reopening still targeting mid-2016". Second Avenue Sagas. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  24. ^ Donohue, Peter (8 December 2014). "$194 million contract awarded to upgrade South Ferry subway station". Daily News ( Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  25. ^ "Subway Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-07. 
  26. ^ "R Subway Timetable, Effective December 7, 2014". New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2015-01-02. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

External video
MTA Video Release: Old South Ferry Reopening Preparations, Metropolitan Transportation Authority; April 3, 2013; 7:39 YouTube video clip