Jamaica–179th Street (IND Queens Boulevard Line)
|New York City Subway rapid transit station|
|Address||179th Street & Hillside Avenue
Queens, NY 11432
|Locale||Jamaica, Jamaica Estates|
|Line||IND Queens Boulevard Line|
|Services||E (rush hours)
F (all times)
|Transit connections|| NYCT Bus: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q17, Q36, Q43, Q76, Q77, X68
MTA Bus: Q110
NICE Bus: n1, n6, n6X, n22, n22X, n24, n26
|Platforms||2 island platforms|
|Opened||December 11, 1950|
|Passengers (2015)||6,898,938 1.2%|
|Rank||63 out of 425|
|Next north||(Terminal): E F|
|Next south||169th Street (local): F
Parsons Boulevard (express): E
|Next north||none: E F|
|Next south||Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike: E F|
Jamaica–179th Street is an express terminal station on the IND Queens Boulevard Line of the New York City Subway. Located under Hillside Avenue at 179th Street in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, it is served by the F train at all times, with a few rush-hour E trains also terminating here. The station has 15 entrances, including two at Midland Parkway in Jamaica Estates.
Jamaica–179th Street was opened on December 11, 1950, although it had been planned to be built at 178th Street as early as 1928. At the time, the Queens Boulevard Line was part of the Independent Subway System (IND), but the original IND plans did not provide for constructing the 178th Street station until the line was extended even further to Queens Village. The line opened to 169th Street, the next station south, in 1937. Various changes in plans, as well as material shortages due to the Great Depression and World War II, delayed the project until 1946. Jamaica–179th Street became among Queens' busiest upon its 1950 opening. After a period of deterioration, the station was renovated twice, in the 1980s and the 2000s. As a result of planning for a never-built expansion to Queens Village, the station has 8 storage tracks to its east, giving it the highest peak capacity of any New York City Subway station.
The 179th Street station (drawn up as 178th Street) had been planned along with the rest of the IND Queens Boulevard Line as its original terminus as early as 1928. In December 1930, however, it was planned to construct stations only up to 169th Street, with tail tracks and switches installed up to the foot of the station at 178th Street, along with a provision for the station. The tracks ended at bumper blocks, and the tunnel at a bulkhead. Under these plans, the 178th Street station would be built during a further eastward extension. The Queens Boulevard Line was extended up to 169th Street on April 24, 1937, with the tail tracks and switches used to store and reverse trains.
Calls from the local community to build a new station at 178th Street occurred as early as 1932; several of these requests came from the Jamaica Estates Association. In June 1936, the association petitioned Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia for the extension. As early as 1936, the New York City Board of Transportation (predecessor to the New York City Transit Authority and the MTA) was evaluating construction of the station along with further eastward extensions of the line, with the board's 1940 budget allocating funding for the station. Under the 1940 plans, construction of the station was set to take place between 1941 and 1945. In January 1941, city councilman James A. Burke proposed extending the line to 178th Street, in order to relieve congestion at 169th Street. Burke believed that a station could be built within the existing tunnel and trackage and cost only $100,000, while engineers from the Board of Transportation stated it would require additional tunneling and new relay tracks extending to 184th Street. In July 1941, the Board of Transportation requested funding for a new express terminal station to replace 169th Street. Construction was delayed, however, due to material shortages caused by the Great Depression, and further delayed due to the onset of World War II.
The plans for the station were approved after the war in 1946, in order to "provide a more satisfactory terminal" for the line. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on March 5, 1947, at 182nd Street and Hillside Avenue, with Mayor William O'Dwyer and now-borough president Burke in attendance. A bus terminal accompanying the station, similar to the 165th Street Bus Terminal, was initially planned for the station but never built. The station opened on December 11, 1950, at the cost of over $10 million; Mayor Vincent R. Impellitteri and Queens Borough President Maurice A. FitzGerald attended the opening. It was the last subway station whose construction was funded by New York City, until the construction of the 34th Street–Hudson Yards station on the 7 Subway Extension beginning in 2008. Upon opening, the station became a major transit hub for passengers from south and east Queens and Nassau County, and led to increased development in Jamaica. By 1959, the station was the busiest in Queens.
In 1981, the MTA listed the 179th Street station among the 69 most deteriorated stations in the subway system. Later in the 1980s, the station was renovated and modernized; as part of the renovation, the IND-style purple tile band was removed from the station walls, and a design with intertwining blue and orange stripes was added. During a further upgrade that occurred by about 2000, elevators were installed in the station to make it ADA-accessible. The elevators were opened around 2005. Starting in August 2007, the MTA began installing decorative ventilation grates along Hillside Avenue above the station, and sealing other grates, both in order to combat flooding. At the time, the Hillside Avenue subway was considered the most flood-prone area in the subway system.
179th Street served as the full-time northern terminal for both Queens Boulevard express services (the E and F trains), which led to congestion at the station, until December 11, 1988, when the E was rerouted to the Archer Avenue Subway. The R served the station from 1988 to 1992, but only provided rush-hour service after 1990.
|M||Mezzanine||Fare control, station agent
(Elevator at SE corner of 179th Place and Hillside Avenue)
|Track 1||← toward Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue (boarding passengers only) (169th Street)|
|Island platform, doors will open on the left, right|
|Track 3||← toward World Trade Center (boarding passengers, rush hours only) (Parsons Boulevard)
← toward Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue (boarding passengers only) (169th Street)
|Track 4||→ ( rush hours) termination track →|
|Island platform, doors will open on the left, right|
|Track 2||→ termination track →|
This underground station looks like a typical express station, with four tracks and two island platforms. To the east (railroad north) is a large storage and relay yard consisting of two levels with four relay tracks each, extending approximately .25 miles (0.40 km) to around 185th Street.[a] This total of eight storage tracks gives 179th Street the highest peak terminal capacity of any station in the New York City Subway: 63 trains per hour, or one train every 57 seconds, although the station currently operates at a far lower throughput (only 17–18 trains per hour during peak hours).[b] Terminating trains enter on one of the two northbound tracks, then relay to one of the two levels—the upper level if coming from the express track, or the lower level if coming from the local track. They then return on the corresponding track on the southbound side. Due to the switching configuration at the station, the few E trains that begin here always leave from the express track and run express along Hillside Avenue. F trains may leave from either track, switching to the local track east of 169th Street if necessary. Outside of relay operations, the yard provides storage for four trains. It is estimated that the relay tracks east of the station can fit about 600 passenger automobiles.
The configuration of the relay tracks is evidence of the original plans to build an extension of the Queens Boulevard Line further east into Queens. The line would have continued under Hillside Avenue to Springfield Boulevard and Braddock Avenue (both formerly Rocky Hill Road) in Queens Village, with later plans to extend the line to Little Neck Parkway in Bellerose near the Nassau County border. The upper level was to be extended eastward while the lower level tracks were always intended to be relay tracks. The tracks on the upper level are longer than the lower level tracks and the upper level tracks have a wooden partition at the bumper blocks.
The station has beige wall tiles with intertwining blue and orange stripes, representing the two colors of the New York City flag, and the colors of the IND Eighth Avenue and Sixth Avenue lines which serve the station. There are two fare control areas. The full-time area at the east end of the station, between 179th and 180th Streets, has a token booth and a bank of 12 turnstiles and two high-exit-only turnstiles. The part-time exit at 178th Street contains a nine-turnstile bank, two high exit entrance turnstiles (HEETs), and two high exit turnstiles. The two ends are connected by a full-length mezzanine, which features Our Spectrum of Support artwork by Reginald Polynice, a set of plywood cutout figures appearing to hold up the ceiling of the mezzanine. The station also features a control tower. The station is ADA-accessible via an elevator installed at 179th Place on the north side of Hillside Avenue.
The station lies about 3.25 miles (5.23 km) west of the city's border with Nassau County. Until the IND Rockaway Line was opened in 1956, and until the 1958 opening of the line's Far Rockaway–Mott Avenue terminal (which is about 0.5 miles (0.80 km) from the city's border with Nassau County), 179th Street was the closest subway station to Nassau County. New York Magazine described the station's location as being in "a neighborhood so outer-borough it might as well be in another state"—namely, one of "hip-hop’s fertile crescents" where rappers 50 Cent and Ja Rule grew up.
Entrances and exits
The station has a total of 15 staircase entrances and 1 elevator entrance. There are seven full-time entrances at four locations (consisting of six stairs and one elevator), which are indicated in green, and nine other part-time entrances, which are indicated in red.
|Exit location||Exit type||Number of exits|
|NE corner of Hillside Avenue and 178th Street||Staircase||1|
|SE corner of Hillside Avenue and 178th Street||Staircase||1|
|North side of Hillside Avenue and 179th Street||Staircase||2|
|SW corner of Hillside Avenue and 179th Street||Staircase||1|
|SE corner of Hillside Avenue and 179th Street||Staircase||1|
|NE corner of Hillside Avenue and 179th Place||Staircase||2|
|SE corner of Hillside Avenue and 179th Place||Staircase||3|
|SW corner of Hillside Avenue and 180th Street||Staircase||1|
|NW corner of Hillside Avenue and Midland Parkway||Staircase||1|
|NE corner of Hillside Avenue and Midland Parkway||Staircase||1|
|SW corner of Hillside Avenue and 181st Street||Staircase||1|
Nearby points of interest
The childhood home of U.S. President Donald Trump, located at 81-15 Wareham Place, is a few blocks away from the Midland Parkway entrance to the station. Trump's father Fred Trump built the house a year after the station opened, in 1951.
- Some sources state that the relay tracks end at 184th Street. Others state that the tracks extend to 184th Place/185th Street or 186th Street.
- A maximum of 14 to 15 F trains per hour operate from the station during peak hours, while three E trains per hour depart or arrive at the station during peak hours only. Under MTA standards, the station could facilitate up to 15 trains per hour from two full-time services, a total of 30 trains per hour.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jamaica – 179th Street (IND Queens Boulevard Line).|
- nycsubway.org – IND Queens Boulevard Line: 179th Street
- The Subway Nut — Jamaica–179th Street Pictures
- 179th Street entrance from Google Maps Street View
- Edgerton Boulevard — 178th Street entrance from Google Maps Street View
- 179th Place entrance from Google Maps Street View
- 180th Street entrance from Google Maps Street View
- Midland Parkway entrance from Google Maps Street View
- Platform from Google Maps Street View