New York’s Subway Fares, Then And Now
On October 27, 1904 more than a 100,000 people paid five cents each to ride the subway in New York City for the very first time. Today, more than a million people per day rely on the subway to get home, go to work or go to school, paying a grand total of $2.50. The price isn’t the only thing that’s change in past century.
The Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) operated the first few lines for the subway system in New York City. It traveled a distance of 9.1 miles and had a total of 28 stations. It wasn’t until 1968 that the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) company took over. The subway system now has 26 lines and 468 stations.
Originally, people would use they subway by purchasing a ticket. The fare began at five cents a ride, then increased to 10 cents. Turnstiles were installed to enter the subway but became a problem when the fare rose up to 15 cents and tokens were introduced because the contraption could not handle both means of payment.
Tokens were an easy solution to the problem, and also made it easy for people to pay bus fares. The MTA came out with several different types of tokens. Now, using MetroCard pays all subway fares. In 1997 all subway turnstiles began accepting MectroCards. Tokens were last used on April 13.
It used to be scary for non-subway users to use the subway system. When trains stopped at certain locations there used to be no way of knowing exactly where you were unless you were a regular. Some complained it was too late to see where they were by the time the doors closed. Now, digital information boards are placed both inside subway trains and outside on the platform. They announce the station upon arrival and announce the last stop on the route depending on which direction the train is heading.