MTA Rolls Out Subway Centennial Map Subway History

NEW YORK – The MTA is putting a little history back into its subway maps.

With an up-to-date subway map on one side and a collection of vintage system guides on the other, subway riders can now use the new special-edition Centennial Map to find out how to get where they’re going, while at the same time, learning where the system has been.

The Centennial Map is part of the MTA’s yearlong celebration of the New York City Subway Centennial (1904–2004) and commemorates the history of the New York City Subway. More than 1 million of the maps were available for distribution beginning June 1, 2004.

“This map is a tangible piece of subway history everyone who uses the system on a daily basis can carry with them,” MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow said.

“Through reproduction of the old maps depicting the original independently owned subway lines, New Yorkers can see how the subway system and the City nourished each others great expansion,” Kalikow added. “It is that unprecedented growth that we hope to build on as we continue to move forward.”

Subway customers will find the traditional subway map on the front of the Centennial Map and six historic subway maps featured on its reverse side. A short history of the subway system is also provided. It explains how three independently owned systems, the IRT, BMT, and IND, were eventually merged into what is now the system that we are so familiar with.

The front side of the map includes the latest changes in subway service, including the May 23rd, 2004 restoration of F and Q train service back into the Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue Terminal after a more than an 18-month-long rebuilding effort. Other changes include improved graphic representations of part-time subway line extensions as dotted lines and the clarification of the diamond route symbols, showing them as indicators of additional express service only.

“This map is a tangible piece of subway history everyone who uses the system on a daily basis can carry with them,” Kalikow said.

To learn more about the history of the New York City Subway and for a complete list of Centennial activities and events, log on to

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