B (New York City Subway service)
|Sixth Avenue Express|
A train made of R68A cars in B service at Kings Highway, bound for Manhattan.
A train made of R68 cars in B service at Kings Highway, bound for Manhattan.
Note: dashed line shows rush hour only service
|Northern end||Bedford Park Boulevard (rush hours) or 145th Street|
|Southern end||Brighton Beach|
|Rolling stock||R68, R68A|
|Depot||Coney Island Yard|
The B Sixth Avenue Express is a rapid transit service in the B Division of the New York City Subway. Its route emblem, or "bullet", is colored bright orange since it uses the IND Sixth Avenue Line in Manhattan. The B only operates on weekdays from approximately 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. On middays and evenings, the B operates between 145th Street in Harlem, Manhattan and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn via Central Park West Local, 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 on December 15, 1940, ran as a rush-hour only local service between 168th Street – Washington Heights and 34th Street – Herald Square. This service was designated BB as the Independent Subway System (IND) used double letters to indicate local services.
The Chrystie Street Connection and the express tracks of the Sixth Avenue Line opened on November 26, 1967, radically changing service. BB trains were combined with the former T service, which ran on the BMT West End Line in Brooklyn and the BMT Broadway Line in Manhattan. This created a through service from 168th Street to Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue via the Sixth Avenue Line express tracks and the Manhattan Bridge. This service was initially to have been signed BT but was simply signed B instead. However, during late night hours and Sundays B service did not operate, and TT shuttles continued to operate on the West End Line. Starting on July 1, 1968, the B was rerouted to terminate at 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan during non-rush hour daytime hours, extending to 168th Street only during rush hours; also, the West End Line shuttles were now run under the B designation.
Beginning on August 27, 1977, during late nights, B service only ran between 36th Street and Coney Island via the West End Line. A B shuttle also operated during late nights, running between 47th–50th Streets – Rockefeller Center and 57th Street.
The reconstruction of the Manhattan Bridge between 1986 and 2004 affected B service as the Bridge's north side tracks, leading to the Sixth Avenue Line, were closed multiple times. These closures severed the connection between the northern and southern portions of the route. On April 13, 1986, the B was split into two different services. The northern B service ran via Sixth Avenue, using an orange bullet, between 34th Street-Herald Square and 168th Street, rush hours only. The southern B service ran via the Bridge and BMT Broadway Line, using a yellow bullet. It ran from Coney Island - Stillwell Avenue and terminated at Ditmars Boulevard – Astoria rush hours, Queensboro Plaza middays, 57th Street – Seventh Avenue evenings and weekends and 36th Street late nights as a shuttle. The closure of the Bridge's north side tracks essentially caused the return of pre-1967 service patterns, before the opening of the Chrystie Street Connection: The orange B more-or-less duplicated the former BB service, and the yellow B imitated the old T service.
Through B service on the Sixth Avenue Line resumed December 11, 1988, when the Manhattan Bridge's north side tracks reopened. B trains now also terminated at 168th Street on middays and evenings to partially replace the discontinued K service. During late nights, the B continued to operate as the West End Shuttle, running from 36th Street to Coney Island. B service operated to 57th Street during weekends. N service was increased to replace B service to Ditmars Boulevard.
On October 29, 1989, the IND 63rd Street Line opened; B service was extended along the new line from 57th Street to 21st Street – Queensbridge on weekends. Starting on September 30, 1990, evening service was rerouted from 168th Street to Queensbridge to replace Q service; evening A service started running local between 145th and 168th Streets to replace the B. Also on this date, because of N trains running via the Manhattan Bridge, B trains began skipping DeKalb Avenue.
On April 30, 1995, the north side of the Manhattan Bridge closed on middays and weekends until the following November. During this time, B trains ran only between Pacific Street and Stillwell Avenue – Coney Island, running local on the BMT West End Line and express on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line. To let the B terminate there, midday N express trains in Brooklyn ran local for the duration of the closure.
On February 22, 1998, B service was temporarily 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.
On March 1, 1998, the B and the C switched northern terminals, ending the connection between the B and Washington Heights. The B was now routed onto the IND Concourse Line to Bedford Park Boulevard during rush hours. Midday service terminated at 145th Street.
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, the Manhattan Bridge's north side tracks closed and B service over the Manhattan Bridge was split into two services once again, similar to the 1986 changes. However, this time the southern half of the route, running on the Broadway Line, was named the W. B service ran weekdays only, from 34th Street to Bedford Park Boulevard during rush hours and from 34th Street to 145th Street during middays and evenings.
On February 22, 2004, the Manhattan Bridge was fully reopened to subway service. B trains were once again extended through Grand Street station and over the north tracks of the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn. Now service operated weekdays only, between Brighton Beach and Bedford Park Boulevard during rush hours and between Brighton Beach and 145th Street on middays and evenings. The B now served the BMT Brighton Line in Brooklyn as the express (replacing the <Q> there), instead of the West End Line, which it had served in some form since 1967 to combine two weekday-only services.
The following table shows the lines used by the B, 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|
- "mta.info - Line Colors". mta.info.
- "NYCT Line by Line History". erictb.info.
- "The New Subway Routes". The New York Times. 1940-12-15. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-06-20.
- "New Subway Routes Brochure". www.thejoekorner.com. New York City Transit Authority. November 26, 1967. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
- "Service Adjustments on the BMT and IND Lines Effective Midnight, Saturday, August 27 New York City Transit Authority (1977)". Flickr - Photo Sharing!. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
- "System-Wide Changes In Subway Service Effective Sunday, December 11, 1988". Flickr - Photo Sharing!. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
- "Service Changes September 30, 1990" (PDF). subwaynut.com. New York City Transit Authority. September 30, 1990. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- Ronald Sullivan (March 26, 1995). "Bridge Repairs to Disrupt Off-Peak Subway Service". The New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
- "A Subway Map Remade, in Hopes of Matching Routes and Riders". The New York Times. February 20, 2004. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
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