New York Transit Museum
- Annual Report (PDF format, 6.9 MB)
- Birthday Parties
- Calendar of Events
- Children and Family Programs
- Donate Now
- General Information
- Group Tours
- Hours, Admissions, and Directions
- Long-term Exhibits
- Museum Rental
- New Exhibits
- Program and Special Event Reservations
- School Visits
- Services for Visitors with Disabilities
- Transit Museum Store
- What's New
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Learn more about the art, architecture, and history of New York City's subway stations with our downloadable podcast tours. Just click here, or subscribe through iTunes.
The New York Transit Museum, one of the city's leading cultural institutions is the largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history, and one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world. The Museum explores the development of the greater New York Metropolitan region through the presentations of exhibitions, tours, educational programs, and workshops dealing with the cultural, social, and technological history of public transportation. Since it's inception over a quarter century ago, the Museum, housed in a historic 1936 IND subway station in Brooklyn Heights, has grown in scope and popularity. As custodian and interpreter of the region's extensive public transportation networks, the Museum strives to share, through its public programs, this rich and vibrant history with local, regional, and international audiences.
The New York Transit Museum's mailing address is: 130 Livingston Street, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201
If you wish to join our mailing list click here or call 718-694-3451.
The New York Transit Museum's galleries feature popular exhibits such as Steel, Stone, and Backbone, which recounts the tale of building New York City's 100 year-old subway system, and many highly interactive exhibitions such as On The Streets, an in-depth look at New York City's trolleys and buses. Also of interest are the museum's age-appropriate education workshops and computer resource center.
The New York Transit Museum operates a gallery annex in Grand Central Terminal that presents changing exhibitions. The gallery annex is located just off the Main Concourse in the Shuttle Passage, next to the Station Master's office. Please go to What's New on this web site for information on the gallery annex's current exhibition.
Devotees of the Museum's unique transportation-related merchandise may shop at our two Museum Stores in Grand Central Terminal and in Brooklyn Heights, as well as online at www.transitmuseumstore.com. Museum Members receive a 10% discount (excluding MetroCards and limited-edition merchandise.) To become a member online, CLICK HERE Discounts are available only on purchases made at Transit Museum retail stores.
HOURS, ADMISSIONS, AND DIRECTIONS
New York Transit Museum
Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Children 2 – 17 years of age $5
Senior Citizens (62+): $5 - Free Wednesdays*
Museum members: Free
Children under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult
*Groups are not eligible for complimentary admission on Free Senior Wednesdays. Please contact group tours for visiting information.
Located at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn Heights
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*Weekdays rush hours only
Bus: B25, B26, B38, B41, B45, B52, B54, B57, B61, B62, B63, B65, B67, B103 all stop within 1 to 2 blocks of the museum.
Car: From Manhattan: take the Brooklyn Bridge, proceed straight on to Adams Street. Adams will become Boerum Place. Go two blocks to Schermerhorn Street. For more detailed directions and for directions from other boroughs, Long Island or New Jersey please call 1-718-694-1873
New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store
Monday – Friday: 8 AM to 8 PM
Located just off the main concourse in the Shuttle Passage, adjacent to the Station Masters' Office
to Grand Central Terminal
to Woodside, Queens, then to Grand Central Terminal
to Grand Central Station.
M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M42, M98, M101, M102, M103, M104 to Grand Central Terminal.
On Tuesdays through Fridays, our guided school programs provide students from Pre-K to grade 12 the opportunity for hands-on learning in various subject areas. Led by a staff of skilled educators, school programs complement curricular exploration of the social history of New York City, the engineering sciences, the mathematics and art of subway and station design, the history of immigration in New York City, and the urban landscape. Guided programs for special needs students ensure that all learners benefit equally from a Transit Museum visit. Teachers should mention any special needs when making a reservation.
The on-line Teacher Resource Center provides step-by-step instructions for planning and reserving a class trip to the Museum. Please review these instructions prior to calling our School Reservation Coordinator at (718) 694-1848. Explore the Teacher Resource Center for educational activities and games that support the content of your museum visit. Please keep in mind the following details as you plan your trip:
- Group reservations are confirmed when a Reservation Agreement provided by the Museum has been signed by the group leader and received by the Museum. The Museum CANNOT accept personal or company checks, vouchers or purchase orders. Acceptable forms of payment are cash, Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. Class visits to the Museum may last no more than two hours.
- Groups arriving after their reserved time are not guaranteed a guided tour or workshop.
- Cancellations must be made no later than the Monday of the week preceding your scheduled visit. Cancellations made after this time will incur charge.
Experience a local slice of our city's rich history! Guided tours for adults, active seniors, and college groups highlight exhibitions on building New York's subways, the history of surface transportation, and our historic rolling stock, the gems of our collection. Located in a 1936 subway station in downtown Brooklyn, the New York Transit Museum brings to life the city's early days and the transit system that made the city grow.
Guided by expert staff, experience a hands-on collection of antique subway and elevated cars and detailed exhibits that tell this rich story. Reservations for 10 to 45 participants are available Tuesday through Friday afternoons. Take a look at our Guided Tours for Grown Ups for information about reservations and pricing or contact us at (718) 694-1794 or email@example.com
For information about our guided tours for children, please see our School Visits section.
Every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30, programs for our youngest transit fans are offered free with Museum admission. See a complete list of upcoming programs by downloading the most recent Children's calendar. To receive our quarterly children and family calendar by mail, call (718) 694-1792.
SERVICES FOR VISITORS WITH DISABILITIES
The New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store at Grand Central Terminal, and the Transit Museum in downtown Brooklyn are wheelchair accessible.
The New York Transit Museum's wheelchair accessible entrance is located on the corner of Schermerhorn and Court Streets, in Brooklyn Heights. Once there please depress the call button to the left of the gate to speak with the museum's admissions coordinator who will dispatch a staff member to assist you.
Wheelchair lifts are slow by nature and the museum has two levels of exhibits. When planning your visit please factor in an additional 10 to 20 minutes to access both levels.
Note: Our wheelchair lift is not designed for strollers. For safety reasons, all strollers must use the main entrance on the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street.
The New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store in Grand Central Terminal is located in the Shuttle Passage on the Main Concourse level. The Terminal's Main Concourse is accessible from both Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street. It is not accessible from Vanderbilt Avenue.
PROGRAM AND SPECIAL EVENT RESERVATIONS
The museum sponsors many educational tours and special events. For information on these please refer to the Programs section of this web site.
Reservations and advance payment are required for tours and special events. Payment must be received at least one week before the scheduled tour or event. Payment can be made by credit card (MasterCard, VISA, American Express) or by check or money order payable to: New York Transit Museum.
To make a reservation, or for additional information please call (718) 694-1867.
Please NoteEvents are subject to change without notice.
- Tours can require strenuous walking. Wear sturdy shoes and comfortable clothes.
- Some subway tours will require a paid re-entry. Please bring your MetroCard.
- As part of some tours, we will be visiting working and/or de-commissioned facilities that have inherent dangers. For your safety, heed the instructions of the tour guide, stay with the group at all times, and otherwise follow instructions or signs at the facilities.
- By order of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its operating agencies, for security reasons, photography is not permitted inside decommissioned facilities.
Refund PolicyThe Transit Museum will make refunds in the form of a voucher, good for the dollar amount paid, for cancellations that are made at least two weeks before the event. Vouchers are good for one year and can be redeemed for any Transit Museum event. Vouchers cannot be used for Museum admission or purchases at the Transit Museum Stores.
The best way to enjoy the New York Transit Museum is through the benefits of membership. Members help the Museum bring the rich history of public transportation in the world's greatest city to audiences everywhere, and they gain free or discounted access to Museum exhibits, programs and special events for one year.
To become a member over the phone or for additional information please call (718) 694-3451.
As the largest museum of public transportation history in the United States, and one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world, the New York Transit Museum is one of New York City's most unique venues for private and corporate events.
The New York Transit Museum is housed in a 1936 decommissioned, but still operational, subway station - the perfect setting for a museum dedicated to mass transit, and a truly New York special event.
Various spaces throughout the museum are available for events, including the platform level where guests may board over 20 vintage and elevated cars.
The New York Transit Museum is also available to the media community for film, video, and photo shoots.
For more information, including rates and availability, and/or to schedule a walk-through of the facility, please call the Museum's Special Events coordinator at (718) 694-1579, fax: (718) 694-1791 or e-mail.
CHILDREN'S BIRTHDAY PARTIES
Celebrate your child's next birthday party at the New York Transit Museum. Led by the Museum's enthusiastic and skilled education staff, parties for children 3 and up, bring to life over 100 years of transit lore. TIME OUT NEW YORK KIDS said we're the "perfect place to throw your kid's bash." So join us in the bus driver's seat, stroll along a platform of vintage cars and swipe through the birthday turnstile for a party your child will never forget!
Your party for 15 children and 6 adults includes...
- Two Museum staff members dedicated exclusively to your party making sure your guests have a great time, plus exclusive use of our lunch room and education center
- A special, kid friendly guided tour of the Museum that's fun for adults too!
- Party games and activities, like Design a Vehicle, Make a Mosaic, Scavenger Hunt just right for your child's age
- A Family membership so you can enjoy the Transit Museum all year long
- Set-up and clean-up assistance
$650 (Current Museum Members $595)
Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am – 1 pm
- Parties are 2 hours and include enough time in our lunch room for both pizza and cake!
- A $15 fee is charged for each additional child, with a maximum of 20 children per party. Additional adults can be added for $10 each.
$525 (Current Museum Members $470)
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2:30 – 4 pm
- Parties are 1 ½ hours and include time for cake in our lunch room.
- A $15 fee is charged for each additional child, with a maximum of 20 children per party. Additional adults can be added for $10 each.
All parties are followed by a 15 minute clean up period, after which guests are escorted from the party area. You may remain in the Museum to enjoy our other exhibitions.
Outside cakes, cupcakes and beverages are welcome. Additional food, such as pizza, bagels or platters, must be supplied by the Museum's approved Local Stop Members or approved museum-approved vendors (click here for form). (Exceptions will be made for individuals with food allergies or special dietary needs.) Alcoholic beverages including beer and wine are prohibited at children's parties.
Make Your Reservation!
A non-refundable $100 deposit is required to hold your requested date. Cancellations must be made three weeks prior to the party date to avoid a cancellation fee of 50%. Cancelled parties may be rebooked for a $75 fee.
The Transit Museum offers a wide range of education programs for school and camp groups, including guided tours and activities for special needs classes. Teachers will find detailed descriptions of program offerings and instructions on how to make a reservation at our online Teacher Resource Center. The Transit Museum's Education Station allows kids at home to connect with our on-line games, activities and more.
Every Saturday and Sunday, families can join us for weekend family programs that are free with paid Museum admission.
The Transit Museum's 10-week after school program for children on the Autism Spectrum is offered in the fall and spring. Take a look at our most recent registration materials.
The New York Transit Museum Archives holds rich collections of photographs, maps, drawings, documents, and ephemera relating to New York's transportation history. It is a non-circulating special reference collection of historical documents and images open to researchers who need to use these primary source and reference materials. Researchers are expected to have familiarized themselves with the secondary source literature about New York's public transportation system and have a well-defined research topic.
Access to the Archives is by appointment only. Researchers should call (718) 694-1068 or email the archivist at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment at least two weeks in advance.
Please allow ten full working days for reproduction requests.
The Archives are open Mon - Fri, 10am - 5pm for appointments.
Steel, Stone & Backbone: Building New York's Subways 1900-1925. This ever-popular exhibition presents a look at the building of New York City's first subway line, various construction methods, and the people who built it. The exhibition features pictures taken over 100 years ago during construction, along with historical artifacts and period videos. The faces of the workers and images of the birth of the subway evoke a sense of awe and appreciation for the dedication, tenacity, and sacrifice of the men who built the subway.
In the art gallery on the mezzanine, the museum presents changing exhibitions of contemporary art works as well as historical subjects. Please click on Programs to find out about our current art gallery exhibition.
An exhibit on Fare Collection shows representative examples of various types of collection devices used throughout the subway system's history. Visitors may interact with these devices for a uniquely tactile retrospective experience. The exhibit features the first paper ticket-choppers used in 1904, later turnstile designs that accepted coins and tokens, the MetroCard turnstile currently in operation, and a graphic timeline underscoring milestones in fare collection as well as the fifty year history of the token. Images from the museum's archives not previously displayed show these reliable vintage turnstiles in use in their respective eras.
A gallery dedicated to surface transportation presents, in nine complementing segments, a history of above ground mobility for the last 175 years – from the early 1800s through the 21st Century. The central element of the exhibition On the Streets: New York's Trolleys and Buses is a simulated traffic intersection complete with traffic lights and coordinated walk-don't walk signs, parking meters, fire hydrants, and an array of other "street furniture." Children of all ages will delight in our wheelchair accessible, 12-seat bus; refurbished 1960s "Fishbowl" bus cab; and child-sized trolley. Audio interviews with New York City Transit Department of Buses personnel and a commissioned photo essay A Day in the Life of a Bus complete the streetscape. Exhibition sidebars credit two men who were instrumental in the electrification of streetcars and railcars. Frank Julian Sprague (1857 – 1934), of European descent, often called "the father of electric railway traction" was responsible for the first large-scale successful use of electricity to run an entire system of streetcars in Richmond, Virginia, in 1887-1888; and Granville T. Woods (1856 – 1910), an African-American inventor who patented more than 60 devices over 30 years that sped development of telegraphs, telephones, and electric trains. One of Woods' most significant inventions, a third-rail system for conducting electric power to railway cars – successfully demonstrated in 1892 in Coney Island – made the subway a reality in New York City. The exhibition also tells the story of Elizabeth Jennings Graham (1830 – 1901), an African-American schoolteacher who won a landmark legal decision that defined the rights of people of color to ride any public conveyance on the city's streets. Ms. Graham's victory occurred 100 years before Rosa Parks won a U.S. Supreme Court case in the 1950s, that gave African-Americans the right to sit anywhere in a public bus.
Clearing the Air a highly interactive segment of On the Streets allows visitors to learn about the evolution of fuel technologies and evaluate their environmental impact. At a series of interactive stops within the exhibition, visitors are encouraged to compare old and new technologies and explore the origin of various fuels used over time, as well as understand steps being taken by Transit's Department of Buses to reduce harmful emissions.
On the Streets visitors will also enjoy the Dr. George T.F. Rahilly Trolley and Bus Study Center. The Center features over 50 detailed models of trolleys and work cars created by Dr. Rahilly, a trolley enthusiast whose painstaking depiction of every trolley that ever ran in Brooklyn, is a highlight of the Museum's collections.
On the platform level, Moving the Millions: New York City's Subways from its Origins to the Present provides visitors with an overview of the magnitude and complexity of New York City's rapid transit system. The exhibition uses historical photographs, diagrams, cartoons, period maps, and newspaper clippings to illustrate major issues and events that influenced the development of the largest transportation network in North America. While touring Moving the Millions, museum visitors may board the Museum's vintage collection of subway and elevated trains and visit a working signal tower.
Transit Museum Sponsors
The Transit Museum would like to thank the following institutions for their generosity. Contributions to Friends of the New York Transit Museum, a 501c3, support programs and exhibits. For more information about bequests, sponsorships and other donations, contact Marcia.email@example.com>
Thank you to our generous sponsors!
Five Star Electric
Granite Construction Northeast/G.T.F.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Thales Transport and Security, Inc.
Ansaldo STS USA, Inc.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
CBS Outdoor Group Inc.
CH2M Hill Inc.
Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc.
di Domenico + Partners, LLP
The General Contractors Association of New York
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Interactive Elements Inc.
Jacobs Civil Consultants
Louis T. Klauder & Associates
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
Mass Electric Construction Co.
McKissack + Delcan JV
Mitsubishi Electric/Sojitz Corporation of America
Motor Coach Industries, Inc.
Ramirez &. Co., Inc.
RBC Capital Markets
Siemens Industry, Inc.
Wells Fargo Securities
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