R (New York City Subway service)
The R operates at all times. Daytime service operates between 71st Avenue in Forest Hills, Queens, and 95th Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, making local stops along its entire route; one northbound A.M. rush hour trip terminates at 96th Street/Second Avenue in the Upper East Side of Manhattan instead of 71st Avenue. Late night service operates between Whitehall Street–South Ferry in Lower Manhattan and 95th Street.
The R was originally the Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation's 2 service, running along the BMT Fourth Avenue Line in Brooklyn to the Montague Street Tunnel to Manhattan, then running local on the BMT Broadway Line. The 2 became the R in 1961. The R ran local along the BMT Astoria Line in Queens, terminating at Astoria–Ditmars Boulevard until it switched terminals with the N in 1987. After 1987, the R ran via the IND Queens Boulevard Line to Forest Hills, Queens. A variant of the R, from Bay Ridge to Lower Manhattan via the BMT Nassau Street Line, ran from 1967 until 1987.
The current R service is the successor to the original Route 2 of the Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit Corporation. When 2 service began on January 15, 1916, it ran between Chambers Street on the BMT Nassau Street Line and 86th Street on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line, using the Manhattan Bridge to cross the East River, and running via Fourth Avenue local. Service on the BMT Broadway Line, which at the time was only between Whitehall Street–South Ferry and Times Square–42nd Street, began exactly two years later on January 15, 1918. On July 10, 1919, service may have been extended to 57th Street–Seventh Avenue with the opening of that station. The Montague Street Tunnel and the 60th Street Tunnel both opened on August 1, 1920, and at that time, 2 service was rerouted from the Manhattan Bridge to the tunnel, running local from Queensboro Plaza to 86th Street. Bay Ridge–95th Street station opened on October 31, 1925, and became the service's new southern terminal. During this time, rush-hour specials to Chambers Street were added and later removed, only to be added again. At one time, including during 1931, additional midday service operated local between 57th Street and Whitehall Street–South Ferry. The 2 also used the Nassau Street Loop during rush hours, entering Manhattan via the Manhattan Bridge or Montague Street Tunnel and leaving via the other.
On October 17, 1949, the platform edges on the BMT Astoria Line had been shaved back to accommodate the larger BMT trains, and the BMT's Astoria Shuttle was replaced with through service from the 2 Fourth Avenue Line operating from Astoria–Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, Queens to Bay Ridge–95th Street in Brooklyn at all times. On June 29, 1950, special rush hour trains began running between Bay Ridge–95th Street and Chambers Street via the south side of the Manhattan Bridge and/or the Montague Street Tunnel. This was discontinued two years later.
In the winter of 1960–1961, letter designations started to appear on the route with the introduction of the R27s, which featured it on roll signs. The route was labeled the RR "Fourth Avenue Local via Tunnel". This was in accordance with the Independent Subway System's lettering system, which gave double letters to local trains and single letters to express trains. On January 1, 1961, the RR's northern terminal was relocated to its current location at Forest Hills–71st Avenue, via the BMT 60th Street Tunnel Connection, also known as the "11th Street Cut", and the IND Queens Boulevard Line. Night and weekend RR trains still terminated at 57th Street in Manhattan. PM rush hour Fourth Avenue–Nassau trains went back to the routing that was used prior to 1959, in which trains ran from Broad Street to 95th Street via the Manhattan Bridge, and the Fourth Avenue express tracks.
On November 27, 1967, the day after the Chrystie Street Connection opened, the RR was moved back to Astoria–Ditmars Boulevard on the BMT Astoria Line. Replacing it on the Queens Boulevard Line was the new EE service, running weekdays only between Forest Hills–71st Avenue and Whitehall Street (with additional trains terminating at Canal Street). The Nassau Street specials were through-routed from Bay Ridge–95th Street to 168th Street in Jamaica as RJ, along the route used today by the J and Z services. Under the first color scheme, RR was colored green and RJ was red. In the original Chrystie Street routing plans, the TA planned to totally eliminate the RR service, and maintain the RJ route as the main Bay Ridge to Jamaica line.
The RJ designation was only used from November 1967 until July 1, 1968 when it was cut back to Chambers Street and renamed as additional RR rush-hour peak-direction service. Because track connections between the Nassau Street Loop and the south tracks of the Manhattan Bridge were severed as part of the construction of the Chrystie Street Connection, these trains could not run in a loop any more. On August 30, 1976, the EE was discontinued, with the N being extended to Forest Hills on weekdays to replace it. In 1979, the MTA released a revised coloring scheme; RR service was assigned the color yellow (because it used the BMT Broadway Line). Although BMT Nassau Street Line services were colored brown, the rush hour RR service that used the Nassau Street Line was colored yellow, using a diamond bullet. 
On May 6, 1985, the MTA eliminated double letters for local service; the RR became the R. Broadway Line R service continued to use a yellow bullet, while the special Chambers Street-Bay Ridge rush-hour service was now signed with a brown diamond with a white R inside, matching the J and M services using the BMT Nassau Street Line.
On May 24, 1987, the northern terminals of the N and R were swapped, placing the R along the IND Queens Boulevard Line to Forest Hills–71st Avenue once again, with the N replacing it in Astoria. The change was made to give the R direct access to the Jamaica Yard (where the train is now assigned to this day), and previously, R trains had to run light to/from the Coney Island Yard. Starting on April 28, 1986, the Nassau Street Line R service was extended to Metropolitan Avenue for layups and put-ins from Fresh Pond Yard. After the N/R swap, the Nassau R used East New York Yard equipment. This rush hour service was discontinued on November 20, 1987.
When the IND Archer Avenue Line opened on December 11, 1988, E service was rerouted along to Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer, and the R was extended to replace the E to Jamaica–179th Street. The extension to Jamaica was short-lived, and the R was cut back to 71st–Continental Avenue outside of rush hours on September 30, 1990, and then was further truncated to 71st–Continental Avenue at all times on October 25, 1992. In its place, the F ran local between 71st Avenue and 179th Street at all times, which eliminated express service along Hillside Avenue.
On September 30, 1990, late-night R service became a shuttle between 36th Street and Bay Ridge–95th Street in Brooklyn. In October 2000, northbound late-night trains began skipping 53rd Street and 45th Street to speed up the relay process.
On September 11, 2001, after the attack on the World Trade Center, the BMT Broadway Line was damaged, and the R service was cut back to run only south of Court Street. On September 17, R service was completely suspended, replaced with J service in Brooklyn and Q service in Manhattan and Queens. All three trains returned to normal service by October 28.
On September 8, 2002, Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue was closed for reconstruction. Late night R service was extended to Pacific Street, running express between that station and 36th Street. Service was cut back to 36th Street when the north side of the Manhattan Bridge reopened on February 22, 2004.
After Hurricane Sandy flooded the system, the Montague Street Tunnel was completely flooded. When service was restored, the R train was split into two sections (between Forest Hills and 34th Street–Herald Square and between Jay Street–MetroTech and Bay Ridge–95th Street). On December 4, the Queens–Manhattan section was extended to Whitehall Street–South Ferry. On December 21, full service was restored between Manhattan and Brooklyn after the Montague Street Tubes were drained.
However, from August 2, 2013, to fall 2014, the tunnel closed again so that extra repairs could be completed, bringing back similar storm changes to the R train. On weekdays, the divided R ran in two sections: one section between Forest Hills and Whitehall Street–South Ferry, and the other between Court Street-Borough Hall and Bay Ridge–95th Street. On weekends, the R train ran its full route via the Manhattan Bridge, skipping all stations between Canal Street and DeKalb Avenue. The weekday service between Forest Hills and Whitehall Street essentially recreated the former EE route from 1967 to 1976. Originally slated to open by October 2014, the tunnel re-opened a few weeks early, on September 15, 2014, and $58 million under budget.
On June 16, 2016, it was announced that late-night R service would be extended north to Whitehall Street in order to provide a one-seat ride into Manhattan. This eliminated the need for northbound trains to skip 45th Street and 53rd Street as R trains no longer needed to relay on the express tracks at 36th Street. The change took place on November 5, 2016. During evenings, many R trains originating from Forest Hills-71st Avenue used to short-turn at Whitehall Street, resulting in long headways along the R in Brooklyn. As part of the changes, these short-turns were extended to 95th Street.
|IND Second Avenue Line||96th Street||72nd Street||all||One rush hour trip|
|BMT 63rd Street Line (full line)||Lexington Avenue–63rd Street||all|
|IND Queens Boulevard Line||Forest Hills–71st Avenue||Queens Plaza||local||Most trains|
|60th Street Tunnel Connection and 60th Street Tunnel||all|
|BMT Broadway Line (full line)||Lexington Avenue/59th Street||49th Street||local|
|57th Street–Seventh Avenue||express||One rush hour trip|
|49th Street||Canal Street||local|
|City Hall||Rector Street||all|
|Whitehall Street–South Ferry||all|
|Montague Street Tunnel||all|
|BMT Fourth Avenue Line (full line)||Court Street||Bay Ridge–95th Street||local|
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 late nights only|
|Stops weekdays only|
|Stops rush hours/weekdays in the peak direction only (including 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|
|Stations||Subway transfers||Connections and notes|
|Second Avenue Line (one rush hour trip only)|
|N/A||↑||96th Street||N Q ||M15 Select Bus Service|
|↑||86th Street||N Q ||M15 Select Bus Service
M86 Select Bus Service
|↑||72nd Street||N Q ||M15 Select Bus Service|
|63rd Street Line (one rush hour trip only)|
|N/A||↑||Lexington Avenue–63rd Street||F N Q R
Out-of-system transfers with MetroCard:
4 5 6 <6> (IRT Lexington Avenue Line at 59th Street)
N R W (BMT Broadway Line at Lexington Avenue/59th Street)
|Queens Boulevard Line|
|N/A||Forest Hills–71st Avenue||E F M ||LIRR Main Line at Forest Hills|
|63rd Drive–Rego Park||M||Q72 bus to LaGuardia Airport|
|Woodhaven Boulevard||M||Q52/Q53 Select Bus Service|
|Grand Avenue–Newtown||M||Q53 Select Bus Service|
|Elmhurst Avenue||M||Q53 Select Bus Service|
|Jackson Heights–Roosevelt Avenue||E F M
7 (IRT Flushing Line)
|Q47 bus to LaGuardia Airport Marine Air Terminal
Q53 Select Bus Service
Q70 Select Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport
|Queens Plaza||E M |
|N/A||Lexington Avenue/59th Street||N W
4 5 6 <6> (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
Out-of-system transfer with MetroCard: F N Q R (63rd Street Lines at Lexington Avenue–63rd Street)
|Roosevelt Island Tramway|
|Fifth Avenue–59th Street||N W|
|Broadway Line (Queens Boulevard and Second Avenue branches merge)|
|↑||57th Street–Seventh Avenue||N Q W|
|↑||49th Street||↑||N W||Station is ADA-accessible in the northbound direction only.|
|↑||Times Square–42nd Street||N Q W
1 2 3 (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
7 <7> (IRT Flushing Line)
A C E (IND Eighth Avenue Line at 42nd Street–Port Authority Bus Terminal)
S (42nd Street Shuttle)
|Port Authority Bus Terminal|
|↑||34th Street–Herald Square||N Q W
B D F M (IND Sixth Avenue Line)
|M34 / M34A Select Bus Service
PATH at 33rd Street
|↑||28th Street||N W|
|↑||23rd Street||N W||M23 Select Bus Service|
|↑||14th Street–Union Square||N Q W
L (BMT Canarsie Line)
4 5 6 <6> (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
|↑||Eighth Street–New York University||N W|
|↑||Prince Street||N W|
|↑||Canal Street||N Q W
4 6 (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)
J Z (BMT Nassau Street Line)
|Stops on the upper level|
2 3 (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line at Park Place)
A C (IND Eighth Avenue Line at Chambers Street)
E (IND Eighth Avenue Line at World Trade Center)
|PATH at World Trade Center|
|↑||South Ferry–Whitehall Street||N W
1 2 (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line) at South Ferry
Out-of-system transfer with MetroCard on weekends only: 4 5 (IRT Lexington Avenue Line at Bowling Green)
|M15 Select Bus Service
Staten Island Ferry at Whitehall Terminal
Northern terminal for late night trains
|↑||Court Street||N W
2 3 (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line at Borough Hall)
4 5 (IRT Eastern Parkway Line at Borough Hall)
|↑||Jay Street–MetroTech||N W
A C F (IND Fulton Street and Culver Lines)
|↑||DeKalb Avenue||B D N Q W|
|Fourth Avenue Line|
|↑||Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center||D N R W
B Q (BMT Brighton Line)
2 3 4 5 (IRT Eastern Parkway Line)
|LIRR Atlantic Branch at Atlantic Terminal|
|↑||Union Street||D N W|
|↑||Ninth Street||D N W
F G (IND Culver Line at Fourth Avenue)
|↑||Prospect Avenue||D N W|
|↑||25th Street||D N W|
|↑||36th Street||D N R W||Some rush hour trips (southbound in the morning, northbound in the evening) begin their runs at this station|
|↑||45th Street||N W|
|↑||53rd Street||N W|
|↑||59th Street||N W||Some southbound a.m. rush hour trips terminate at this station|
|↑||Bay Ridge Avenue|
|↑||86th Street||S79 Select Bus Service|
|↑||Bay Ridge–95th Street|
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