The New York City subway system is unlike any other rapid transit system on Earth. It’s one of the oldest public transit systems—with the first underground subway line having opened in 1904—and also one of the longest, stretching along 665 miles of track.
Last year, over 1.7 billion rides were taken on the NYC subway, making this city’s transit system North America’s busiest, and the seventh-busiest in the world. It’s also one of a handful of subway systems that operate around-the-clock (not even Shanghai or London systems operate 24-hours a day).
But there are some things about NYC’s subway system that are surprising to visitors of the city. For instance, the NYC subway is depicted in movies as an underground-only system, yet there are over 150 elevated stations across the city where trains run along elevated tracks as they did before the concept of an underground subway.
The NYC Subway is a city within a city. It’s loud (research indicates it can even cause hearing loss!). It’s grimy. It’s crowded. It’s fast… but it’s also one of the most incredible transit systems on Earth… sometimes with an accompanying mariachi band.
New York photographer Jordan Ayinde aka metro_ologist knows all there is to know about the subway.
A founding member of The Grind Railers Association, this transit enthusiast shows us the city’s underground and elevated subway lines in a new light. From scenic routes and deserted platforms to crowded trains soaring above the city streets, Jordan’s photography gives us a glimpse of the everyday beauty and madness of this underappreciated rail system.
All Photography © Jordan Ayinde.
See more of Jordan’s NYC subway photography on Instagram.
Want to tour the Old City Hall Station? The NY Transit Museum offers exclusive 90-minute guided tours. Tickets for NY Transit Museum members go on sale in mid-August.
Rachel Ruiz-Oakley is the Managing Editor of Slide Night.