NEW YORK — The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and also known as MTA New York City Transit.

The first underground line of the subway opened on October 27, 1904, almost 35 years after the opening of the first elevated line in New York City, which became the IRT Ninth Avenue Line. The oldest structure still in use today opened in 1885 as part of the Lexington Avenue Line, and is now part of the BMT Jamaica Line in Brooklyn.

The oldest right-of-way, that of the BMT West End Line, was in use in 1863 as a steam railroad called the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Rail Road. The Staten Island Railway, which opened in 1860, has no links to the rest of the system and is not usually considered part of the subway proper.

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