The 3 Seventh Avenue Express is a rapid transit service in the A Division of the New York City Subway. Its route emblem, or "bullet", is colored red since it uses the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line through most of Manhattan.
The 3 operates at all times. Daytime service operates between 148th Street in Harlem, Manhattan and New Lots Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn, making express stops in Manhattan and all stops in Brooklyn. Late night service short turns at Times Square–42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan.
On July 1, 1918, the entire IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line was completed. 3 trains were rerouted south of 42nd Street from the IRT Lexington Avenue Line to this new line, making all stops to South Ferry.
As of 1934, 3 service operated between 145th Street and South Ferry except late nights, when service operated between 145th Street and 96th Street, making local stops.
Under the New York City Transit Authority
On January 3, 1955, late night two-car shuttle service between 145th Street and 96th Street, between 12:12 and 6:57 a.m. was discontinued due to low ridership. As a result, 145th Street was closed overnight. In addition, some 3 trains started running express in Manhattan during rush hours. These trains were extended to Flatbush Avenue; a few layups and put-ins ran to New Lots Avenue. However, from December 20, 1957, 3 trains were rerouted to New Lots Avenue during rush hours. On February 6, 1959, all trains except late nights made express stops in Manhattan as part of the "West Side Improvement" and ran to Flatbush Avenue.
Starting April 8, 1960, 3 trains were rerouted from Flatbush Avenue to New Lots Avenue, and weekday evening service between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. was cut to a shuttle between 145th Street and 135th Street. Before the change, 3 trains had run between 145th Street and Flatbush Avenue between about 5:30 a.m. and 12:45 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays and from about 7:15 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. on Sundays. This service had been supplemented by additional service to and from New Lots Avenue.
However, on April 18, 1965, 3 service started to run to Flatbush Avenue again. On October 17, 1965, weekend evening service was also cut to a shuttle between 145th Street and 135th Street.
On May 13, 1968, trains were extended to the newly completed 148th Street–Lenox Terminal. Later that year, on November 12, late night shuttle service was implemented between 148th Street and 135th Street. On May 23, 1976, the current practice of starting Sunday service late (9 or 10 a.m.) began.
On July 10, 1983, the 2 and 3 trains swapped terminals in Brooklyn, with 2 trains terminating at Flatbush Avenue and 3 trains terminating at New Lots Avenue. These changes were made to reduce non-revenue subway car mileage, to provide a dedicated fleet for each service, and to provide an easily accessible inspection yard for each service. The change allowed the 2 to be dedicated to 239th Street Yard and allowed the 3 to be assigned to Livonia Yard. With the rerouting of 3 trains, train lengths along the New Lots Line were reduced from 10 cars to 9 cars, within acceptable crowding levels, and train lengths along the Nostrand Avenue Line were increased from 9 to 10 cars, reducing crowding.
Beginning on August 5, 1990, late-night shuttles between 148th Street and 135th Street were discontinued and replaced by shuttle buses. On September 4, 1994, late-night shuttles between 148th Street and 135th Street were resumed, but were discontinued again on September 10, 1995. This was a cost-saving measure due to low ridership.
After September 11, 2001, the 3 service became a local in Manhattan. After a few switching delays at 96th Street, service was changed on September 19, 2001. All 3 trains began to operate express in Manhattan and terminated at 14th Street instead of New Lots Avenue; daytime 1 trains was extended to Brooklyn to cover 3 service. Also on this date, 3 trains began to permanently use consists of 10-car trains as a result of equipment sharing between Livonia Yard (the maintenance facility in Brooklyn where subway cars assigned to the 3 are based from) and 240th Street Yard (the maintenance facility in the Bronx where subway cars assigned to the 1 are based from).  Service returned to New Lots Avenue on September 15, 2002.
On July 27, 2008, late night 3 service was restored, operating express between 148th Street and Times Square–42nd Street. In addition, late morning weekday service was increased from running every 6 to 8 minutes to running every 5 to 7 minutes to reduce crowding on the 2. These increases were made as part of an $8.9 million package of systemwide service enhancements.
The Clark Street Tube underwent planned repairs on weekends from June 17, 2017, to June 24, 2018, due to Hurricane Sandy-related damage. The 3 operated only in Manhattan between Harlem-148th Street and 14th Street with 4 trains providing service in Brooklyn.
On November 17, 2019, New York City Transit made adjustments to weekday evening 3, 4, and 5 service in order to accommodate planned subway work. Late night 3 service to Times Square started an hour earlier, at 10:30 p.m. instead of 11:30 p.m.; to replace 3 service, 4 service was extended to New Lots Avenue. This change, which was approved by the MTA Board on June 27, 2019, was expected to save the agency $900,000 annually.
The following table shows the lines used by the 3, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:
|all ex. nights||late nights|
|IRT Lenox Avenue Line (full line)||Harlem–148th Street||Central Park North–110th Street||all|
|IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line||96th Street||Times Square–42nd Street||express|
|34th Street–Penn Station||Chambers Street|
|IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line, Brooklyn Branch||Park Place||Borough Hall||all|
|IRT Eastern Parkway Line (full line)||Hoyt Street||Crown Heights–Utica Avenue||local|
|IRT New Lots Line (full line)||Sutter Avenue–Rutland Road||New Lots Avenue||all|
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 during the day|
|Stops rush hours only|
|Stops rush hours in the peak direction only (limited service)|
|Stops rush hours in the reverse-peak direction only (limited service)|
|Time period details|
|Station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act|
|↑||Station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act|
in the indicated direction only
|Elevator access to mezzanine only|
|Lenox Avenue Line|
|145th Street||Access to and from first five cars of southbound trains, and from first five cars of northbound trains only; no northbound entry.|
Some southbound a.m. rush hour trips begin at this station
|125th Street||2||M60 Select Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport|
|Central Park North–110th Street||2|
|Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line|
|96th Street||1 2 |
|72nd Street||1 2 |
|Times Square–42nd Street||1 2
7 <7> (IRT Flushing Line)
A C E (IND Eighth Avenue Line at 42nd Street–Port Authority Bus Terminal)
N Q R W (BMT Broadway Line)
S (42nd Street Shuttle)
B D F <F> M (IND Sixth Avenue Line at 42nd Street–Bryant Park, daytime only)
|Port Authority Bus Terminal|
M34A Select Bus Service
|34th Street–Penn Station||1 2 ||M34 / M34A Select Bus Service|
Amtrak, LIRR and NJ Transit at Pennsylvania Station
|14th Street||1 2
Out-of-system transfers with MetroCard/OMNY:
F <F> M (IND Sixth Avenue Line at 14th Street)
L (BMT Canarsie Line at Sixth Avenue)
|PATH at 14th Street|
M14A/D Select Bus Service
|Chambers Street||1 2 |
A C (IND Eighth Avenue Line at Chambers Street)
E (IND Eighth Avenue Line at World Trade Center)
R W (BMT Broadway Line at Cortlandt Street)
|PATH at World Trade Center|
4 5 (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
A C (IND Eighth Avenue Line)
J Z (BMT Nassau Street Line)
|PATH at World Trade Center|
|Wall Street||2||M15 Select Bus Service|
Staten Island Ferry at Whitehall Terminal
|Clark Street||2||NYC Ferry: East River and South Brooklyn routes (at Old Fulton Street and Furman Street)|
4 5 (IRT Eastern Parkway Line)
R W (BMT Fourth Avenue Line at Court Street)
|Eastern Parkway Line|
|Hoyt Street||↓||2||Station is ADA-accessible in the southbound direction only.|
|Nevins Street||2 4 5|
|Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center||2 4 5
B Q (BMT Brighton Line)
D N Q R W (BMT Fourth Avenue Line)
|LIRR Atlantic Branch at Atlantic Terminal|
|Bergen Street||2 4|
|Grand Army Plaza||2 4|
|Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum||2 4|
|Franklin Avenue–Medgar Evers College||2 4 5
S (BMT Franklin Avenue Line at Botanic Garden)
|Nostrand Avenue||2 4 5||B44 Select Bus Service|
|Kingston Avenue||2 4 5|
|Crown Heights–Utica Avenue||2 4 5||B46 Select Bus Service|
|New Lots Line|
|Sutter Avenue–Rutland Road||2 4 5||B15 bus to JFK Int'l Airport|
|Saratoga Avenue||2 4 5|
|Rockaway Avenue||2 4 5|
|Junius Street||2 4 5
Out-of-system transfer with MetroCard/OMNY:
L (BMT Canarsie Line at Livonia Avenue)
|Pennsylvania Avenue||2 4 5|
|Van Siclen Avenue||2 4 5|
|New Lots Avenue||2 4 5||B15 bus to JFK Int'l Airport|
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