- 42nd Street–Port Authority Bus Terminal (IND Eighth Avenue Line)
name = 42nd Street–Port Authority Bus Terminal
image_caption = Southeastern stair
accessible = yes
acc_note = passageway to Times Square–42nd Street is not accessible
bg_color = #11117D
line = IND Eighth Avenue Line
service = Eighth south
platforms = 2
island platformson upper level
side platformon abandoned lower level
tracks = 5 (4 on upper level, 1 on abandoned lower level)
passengers = 55.487 million (combined with Times Square)
pass_year = 2006
pass_percent = 2
transfer_custom=NYCS Times Square|time=1 at
Times Square–42nd Street
Port Authority Bus Terminal
September 10, 1932 New York Times, List of the 28 Stations on the New 8th Av. Line, September 10, 1932, page 6] (upper level) 1959(lower level)
north_line=IND Eighth Avenue Line
north_local_service=Eighth 50th local
north_express_station=59th Street–Columbus Circle
north_express_service=Eighth 50th express
north_custom_station = NYCS next|type=Queens Boulevard|station=50th Street|line=IND Eighth Avenue Line|service=Queens 53rd west|acc=southbound
south_station = 34th Street–Penn Station
south_station_acc = yes
south_line = IND Eighth Avenue Line
south_service = Eighth south
42nd Street–Port Authority Bus Terminal is a station on the
IND Eighth Avenue Lineof the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan, it is served by the NYCS|A and NYCS|E trains at all times, and the NYCS|C train at all times except late nights.
It is an express station with four tracks and two island platforms in use. A free transfer to the Times Square–42nd Street complex, the busiest in the subway system, is available via an underground passageway. The platforms here are extra wide, to accommodate passenger volume. In order to fit the wider platforms, they are offset from north to south; the southbound platform extends between 40th and 42nd Streets, and the northbound platform between 42nd and 44th Street. The mezzanine extends from 40th to 44th Street. Ramps are in place for access to the mezzanine, which is unusual in that there are retail stores within the fare control (including a record store), as well as various
New York City Transitoffices. The tile color is dark purple with black border and there is no IND-style tile name tablet.
In addition to the platforms described above, there is an abandoned lower platform on the southbound side (one track, underneath the downtown local track on the upper level, and one side platform underneath the island platform above). The 42nd St station was built in 1932; the lower level platform was completed in the 1950s, and used, from 1959 to 1981, for odd services like the
Aqueduct Racetrackspecial fare trains, and for rush hour NYCS|E for a period during the 1970s. [New York Times April 20, 2008] For many years, a crossunder was open between the upper level platforms using a passageway at the northern end of the lower level. Rearrangement of the mezzanine a few years ago allowed passengers to cross over using the mezzanine within the fare control.
It isn't clear why this lower level was built. It could only be used by trains running from
Queensvia 53rd Street (today's NYCS|E service). Heading downtown on the track from the lower level of 50th Street, switches allow access to the downtown local, downtown express, or lower level of 42nd Street. Departing 42nd Street on the lower level, trains can become local or express prior to entering 34th Street–Penn Station. However, trains departing 42nd Street on the upper level cannot cross over until reaching the Canal Street station. It is likely, therefore, that the extra platform was built to allow some operational flexibility, by permitting trains from 53rd Street to have access to both downtown local and express. Perhaps there was no other suitable location for a crossover switch, or it was thought an extra platform face could allow increased dwell time or time for switches to line up.
An oft-repeated story offers this as a reason the lower level was built: The Independent subway was being built by the city to compete directly with routes owned by the IRT and BMT companies. The
IRT Flushing Lineterminates at Times Square. It is said that the bumper blocks of the Flushing line are directly against or very close to the eastern wall of the lower level of the 42nd Street IND station. The construction of the lower level therefore blocked any potential extension of the Flushing line to the west side of Manhattan. If this is true, it would have been done only in the spirit of crushing the competition, for the IND had no plans to construct a competing crosstown line.
Film producers have used the lower level platform for several movies, most notably Ghost (
1990), starring Patrick Swayzeand Demi Moore.
In 1998 and 1999, all but one remaining entrance to the lower level was sealed (the remaining one is under a lift-up trap door at the south end of the southbound platform). A report in the September 1999 Bulletin of the New York Division ERA reports that the lower level track D-3 from north of 42nd Street all the way to 34th Street is now out of service. It will be demolished as part of the planned IRT Flushing Line extension to Eleventh Avenue.
Some relative depths of stations in the Times Square complex are as follows, +/- 10 feet.
IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line, 40 feet below street
IRT Flushing Line, 60 feet below street
BMT Broadway Line, 50 feet below street
IRT 42nd Street Shuttle, 20 feet below street
IND Eighth Avenue Line, 30 feet below street
*NYCS ref|http://www.nycsubway.org/perl/stations?7:2345|IND 8th Avenue|42nd Street/Port Authority Bus Terminal
*Station Reporter — [http://www.stationreporter.net/timessq.htm Times Square Complex]
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/nyregion/thecity/20port.html?ref=thecity No Whoosh, No ‘All Aboard’, by Alex Mindlin: New York Times April 20, 2008]
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