121st Street (BMT Jamaica Line)

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121st Street
"J" train "Z" train
New York City Subway rapid transit station
121st Street Station.jpg
Facing southbound from a bench on the northbound platform in March 2012 at the 121st Street station.
Station statistics
Address 121st Street & Jamaica Avenue
Queens, NY 11418
Borough Queens
Locale Richmond Hill
Coordinates 40°42′01″N 73°49′44″W / 40.700357°N 73.82894°W / 40.700357; -73.82894Coordinates: 40°42′01″N 73°49′44″W / 40.700357°N 73.82894°W / 40.700357; -73.82894
Division B (BMT)
Line BMT Jamaica Line
Services       J all except rush hours, peak direction (all except rush hours, peak direction)
      Z rush hours, peak direction (rush hours, peak direction)
Transit connections Bus transport NYCT Bus: Q55, Q56
Bus transport MTA Bus: Airport transportation Q10
Structure Elevated
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Other information
Opened July 3, 1918 (98 years ago) (1918-07-03)[1]
Passengers (2015) 788,674[2]Increase 2.9%
Rank 389 out of 425
Station succession
Next north Sutphin Boulevard – Archer Avenue – JFK Airport: J all except rush hours, peak direction Z rush hours, peak direction
Metropolitan Avenue (former Jamaica Line station; demolished)
Next south 111th Street: J all except rush hours, peak direction
(Z rush hours, peak direction skips to 104th Street)

121st Street is a skip-stop station on the elevated BMT Jamaica Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of 121st Street and Jamaica Avenue in Queens, it is served by the Z train during rush hours in the peak direction, and by the J train at all other times.

Station layout[edit]

Track layout
to 111 St
to Sutphin Blvd
Platform level
Side platform, being renovated until Summer of 2017
Southbound "J" train to Broad Street does not stop here (111th Street)
"Z" train to Broad Street does not stop here (104th Street)
Center track No track or roadbed
Northbound "J" train off-peak hours ("Z" train PM rush hours) toward Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer (Sutphin Boulevard)
Side platform, doors will open on the right
M Mezzanine Fare control, station agent Metrocard vending machines
G Street Level Exit/ Entrance

This elevated station was opened on July 3, 1918[1] by the Brooklyn Union Elevated Railroad, an affiliate of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company. The station has two tracks and two side platforms, with space for a center express track that was never added.[3][4] This station has beige windscreens and green canopies.

This is the easternmost station on the Jamaica Line. East of here, trains go underground to the BMT Archer Avenue Line. During construction of the Archer Avenue Line, this station was the terminal for the Jamaica Avenue El from April 15, 1985, to December 10, 1988. The remainder of the el was replaced by Q49 bus service until the Archer Avenue Line opened up.

Construction on the ramps to Archer Avenue was completed in November 1987, but since the tunnels were not ready for service until 1988, a double crossover east (railroad north) of the station was installed while the ramps were used for storage. After reaching 121st Street, trains used the crossover to switch from the Jamaica-bound track to the Manhattan-bound one, where they would relay to the platform and begin service to Manhattan. The elevated structure between this station in the vicinity of 127th Street, and the now-demolished Metropolitan Avenue station was torn down to make way for the connecting ramps. The Manhattan-bound platform at this station is closed for renovation until Summer 2017.


There are two exits. The full-time exit is at the west (railroad south) end of the station. One staircase from each platform leads to the mezzanine beneath the tracks. Outside of fare control, a pair of staircases lead down to either side of Jamaica Avenue on the west side of 121st Street.[5]

There is an additional un-staffed exit at the east (railroad north) end of the station leading to the west side of 123rd Street. This exit is split in half due to the closed-off station house beneath the tracks. A single staircase from each platforms leads to a landing that contains a full-height turnstile before reaching the street stairs. The Manhattan-bound side is HEET turnstile access while the Jamaica-bound side is exit-only.[5]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  3. ^ "Construction of Foundations and Structure: Section 1, Jamaica Line" (PDF). New York Municipal Railway Corporation. 1915. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  4. ^ Marrero, Robert (2017-01-01). "472 Stations, 850 Miles" (PDF). B24 Blog, via Dropbox. Retrieved 2015-10-09. 
  5. ^ a b "MTA Neighborhood Maps:Kew Gardens" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 

External links[edit]