Itinerary to ride ALL THE SUBWAYS
July 14, 2013 8:39 AM   Subscribe

My son wants to ride all the NYC subways in one day. He doesn't need to do the full length all-the-stops-on-every-line (whew), just ride a little on each one. What is the quickest / shortest itinerary that will let us do this? Some extra requests inside:

- Assume we are starting on the upper west side on the 1, 2 or 3.
- I would love to include the City Hall Station that you can only see by riding the front of the downtown 6 as it switches to the uptown 6 . We have never done this - any caveats we should know before attempting this (do they try to kick you off if you try to stay on)?
- Our son is 4, so ideally line switches should be not too challenging - up a flight or two of stairs is no big deal, but the labyrinth you have to go through to switch major lines at Fulton Street or the long hallway between the 1 and the F at 14th could be a problem if we have too many of these.
- I am okay if we miss shuttle trains if they make it harder to make other connections.

posted by Mchelly to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (10 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
There might be some interesting info here for you.
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:51 AM on July 14, 2013

To see the City Hall station, just stay on the downtown 6 as it goes through and comes around to the uptown side. You probably won't be the only ones doing it! Also, be sure to check for the abandoned (and spooky) 18th St. station on the 6, and the 91st St. station on the 1.
posted by AJaffe at 8:55 AM on July 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

Here's someone who did it. Don't forget to pick up Staten Island.

When I was shuttling visitors around NYC, I did a variation of this -- try to get around NYC using as many modes of (free or MTA) transportation as possible. So this would include ferries (Staten Island, Governor's Island, IKEA to Brooklyn), buses, subways, trains, rickshaws, the tram to Roosevelt Island, etc.
posted by mochapickle at 8:56 AM on July 14, 2013

Oh! And a taxi of course. I'd skip the central park carriages if I were you. But you can do a rowboat in Central Park from the Boathouse.

Required reading.
posted by mochapickle at 8:59 AM on July 14, 2013

You say you're OK with skipping "the shuttle trains", but you absolutely should not skip the one in Brooklyn if you can swing it at all. It's one of the oldest lines in the city and has a totally different feel from other subway lines. Frankly, I think everyone should ride the Brooklyn shuttle train at least once, four year old MTA enthusiast or not.

You can transfer easily from the Q to the Shuttle on one end, and back to the A/C on the other end, so it shouldn't be that hard to do.
posted by Sara C. at 9:04 AM on July 14, 2013 [4 favorites]

I've gone through the City Hall station. We were the only people on the train, but no one kicked us off. It was a bit of a disappointment though, we couldn't see much at all.
posted by inertia at 1:29 PM on July 14, 2013

Keep an eye out for Myrtle Avenue on the Manhattan-bound B or Q!
posted by bink at 7:45 PM on July 14, 2013

Just for future reference, you can visit City Hall Station. You have to join the NY Transit Museum (one time fees range from $35 for students with ID to $80 for two adults and two children) and then there is a fee for the actual tour ($40) though strollers and children under 5 are not permitted.

Once you are a member you can check this page to see when it is updated with the next scheduled tour then make reservations. The tour is advertised as, "THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN: OLD CITY HALL STATION".

It is breathtaking to see and I recommend it.
posted by mlis at 8:31 PM on July 14, 2013

Oh, here are some links to photos of City Hall Station:

New York's Lovely Abandoned Subway Station

New York City Subway's "Jewel In The Crown" — The Defunct City Hall Station
posted by mlis at 8:36 PM on July 14, 2013

I also went through the City Hall Station with a group of friends, about a year ago. The conductor kicked us off the first train we tried to stay on, but we just unobtrusively got on the next one to come through and nobody said anything that time, so we rode through the turnaround. (Googling around, it looks like policies are kind of inconsistent and up to the whims of the particular employees - see this post and the comments following.) Agreeing with inertia though, it was really dim and we didn't see much of the station.
posted by sigmagalator at 12:29 AM on July 30, 2013

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