New York Transit Museum
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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 presentation of exhibitions, tours, educational programs, and workshops dealing with the cultural, social, and technological history of public transportation. Since its inception nearly 40 years ago, the Museum, housed in a historic 1936 IND subway station in Downtown Brooklyn, 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.
The New York Transit Museum’s Lunch Room is available to visitors during the Museum’s public hours. As food is not available for purchase in the Museum, we encourage you to pack a lunch for your visit to the Museum or to purchase food from the many Downtown Brooklyn eateries close to the Museum. Our neighborhood Local Stops business partners offer great options for snacks, lunches, and sweet treats. Click here for a full list of recommendations and a map of their locations.
Our Lunch Room has a limited capacity and we hope to make it accessible to as many visitors as possible. There is a 30-minute limit on table use in the Lunch Room. In addition, visitors in a group larger than 8 persons that would like to use a Lunch Room table must contact the Museum at 718-694-1873 to check availability and inquire about the possibility of reserving a table. The Museum reserves the right to limit the Lunch Room space without prior notice, based on capacity, use considerations and special events.
HOURS, ADMISSIONS, AND DIRECTIONS
New York Transit Museum
Tuesday – Friday: 10 AM to 4 PM
|General Admission||Adults $7
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 must have a reservation. Due to the Museum's space limitations, groups visiting without a reservation will only be admitted as capacity allows.
*Groups are not eligible for complimentary admission on Free Senior Wednesdays.
For information on Group visits follow the links below:
Located at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn Heights
» View Map
*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 visit Google maps
New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store
Monday - Friday: 8am - 8pm
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.
To plan your group program please visit the Teacher Resource Center, which provides step-by-step instructions for planning and reserving a class trip to the Museum. Once you fill out the online reservation request form our Reservations Coordinator will be in touch with you to book your program. Please keep the following details in mind as you plan your trip:
• The Museum requires a $50 deposit to book a program. Programs are not considered booked until this deposit is paid and the Reservation Agreement has been sent by our Reservations Coordinator. The Museum cannot accept personal or company checks, vouchers or purchase orders. Acceptable forms of payment are cash, Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.
• Space in the lunchroom is limited and must be reserved in advance. Space in the lunch room is first come first serve.
• Classes must exit the museum no later than 2 hours after the scheduled beginning of their program.
• Groups arriving after their reserved time are not guaranteed a full program.
If you must cancel your reservation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org no later than two weeks prior to the date of your scheduled visit. Cancellations must be made via email. Your $50 deposit will not be refunded if your cancellation or your request to reschedule your visit is made less than two weeks before your booked appointment or if you do not show up on the day of your scheduled visit.
To start your reservation process, please visit the Teacher Resource Center and fill out the online request form for programs. Should you have questions that cannot be found there our School Reservation Coordinator can be reached at (718) 694-1848.
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 Tour details for information about reservations and pricing. To book a trip, please complete an online reservation request form.
For information about our guided tours for children, please see our School Visits section.
CHILDREN AND FAMILY PROGRAMS
Find out more!
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 Downtown Brooklyn. 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. For the best service, please call Meredith Martin, the Special Education and Access Coordinator at 718-694-1823 (Mon–Fri) a few days before your visit.
- The Wheelchair lift has a total weight limit of 450 lbs and cannot accommodate many motorized wheelchairs
- 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.
- Some of the vintage cars on our platform level are not accessible by wheelchair. You can visit all of our train cars virtually through google maps.
- Wheelchair lifts are 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.
The New York Transit Museum offers Sign Language Interpreters for all of our programs upon request. Requests must be made at least two weeks in advance. Requests for offsite tours and excursion must be made at the time of ticket purchase. Email or call 718-694-1823.
FM assisted-listening devices (headset and neck loops) are available for all offsite excursions.
Service animals are welcome. Most of our objects at the New York Transit Museum, including the train cars, can be touched.
The New York Transit Museum is quietest between 1:00PM–4:00PM, Monday-Friday. Please note that weekends and holidays can be very crowded. A quiet room is offered during our Special Day for Special Kids program.
Accessibility and sensory-friendly toolkits including headphones, visual schedule, and a social narrative are coming soon!
To learn more about programs offered for visitors with disabilities, please visit our Calendar of Events or contact the Special Education and Access Coordinator, Meredith Martin at 718-694-1823 or email.
PROGRAM AND SPECIAL EVENT RESERVATIONS
The museum sponsors many educational tours and special events. For information and to make reservations on these please refer to our Calendar of Events.
Reservations and advance payment are required for tours and special events. Payment must be received at least three weeks 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, please visit our Calendar of Events or for additional information please call (718) 694-1867.
Events 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. To be admitted to some restricted sites participants must sign a release and provide a copy of a government-issued ID immediately after purchasing tickets.
- By order of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its operating agencies, for security reasons, photography is not permitted inside decommissioned facilities.
Refunds are not available for ticketed programs. Should you be unable to attend, the full price of unused tickets may be treated as a donation to the Transit Museum and is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Tickets for Members Only tours are only available to current NYTM members. No refunds will be given to non-members who purchase tickets.
Membership is the best way to enjoy everything the New York Transit Museum has to offer! You’ll enjoy free or discounted access to Museum exhibits, programs and special events for one year. Plus, your contributions helps the Museum bring the rich history of public transportation in the world's greatest city to audiences everywhere.
Membership lasts for one year from the month of purchase, and is available in a variety of levels. Click here to join today!
For additional information, click here or call the membership office at (718) 694-3451.
One benefit of membership is access to our members-only tours of the old City Hall subway station and other historic sites. These tours go on sale several times a year, with upcoming dates announced via the Museum’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Click here for answers to frequently asked ticketing questions.
Please note that members may purchase as many members-only tour tickets as there are people covered by their membership. If you wish to bring a friend on a members-only tour, you must be a Dual 2 level member or higher.
NYTM members currently receive free general admission, with proof of NYTM membership, to:
NYTM also participates in two programs, ASTC Passport Program and Time Travelers, that offer free or reduced price general admission for NYTM members at institutions and museums throughout the US and abroad.
Please note that reciprocal benefits are at the discretion of the offering institution and subject to change without notice. We recommend contacting a specific institution to confirm benefits before your visit.
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) 694-1873, 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, our 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 includes:
- Two Museum staff members, dedicated exclusively to your party and your guests
- Exclusive use of our lunchroom and education center
- A special, kid- and adult-friendly interactive guided tour of the Museum
- Party games and activities (see “Workshops” below for more information)
- Set-up and clean-up assistance
- A 10% discount for current Museum members. Non-members will receive a year-long Family membership, so you can continue to enjoy the Transit Museum all year long!
Your party includes up to 30 guests, in any combination of children or adults. For any additional guests, you will be asked to pay $10 per person.
$525 (Current Museum Members: $472.50)
Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30AM - 12:00PM or 2:00 - 3:30PM
- Parties are 90 minutes and include time for cake in our lunchroom.
$650 (Current Museum Members: $585)
Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30AM - 12:30PM or 2:00 - 4:00PM
- Parties are 2 hours and include enough time in our lunch room for both pizza and cake!
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. (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.
Your party will include one workshop program led by the Museum’s Education staff. Workshop options include:
- Design A Vehicle: your guests will craft plain boxes into fun, colorful buses and trains, with wheels that really roll!
- Miles of Tiles: your guests will create their own mosaics, inspired by art on subway platforms and by their own imaginations!
- Scavenger Hunt: your guests will explore the vintage trains on our platform, seeking out designs and details from past eras!
All parties are followed by a 15-minute clean up period, after which guests are escorted from the party area. You and your guests may remain in the Museum to enjoy our exhibitions.
Not included in the cost of your party are paper goods or party favors. However, a $50 Party Pack is available from our Museum Store, and includes napkins, plates, cups, and tablecloths with a subway-map print. You may also contact the Museum Store to purchase party favors or put together transit-themed goody bags.
Make Your Reservation!
Contact Reservations at (718) 694-1848 for additional information.
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 flyer.
The New York Transit Museum is dedicated to the collection and preservation of materials relating to the region's land based public transportation systems, past and present. As part of this commitment we are pleased to announce that we will soon be moving into a newly outfitted, environmentally controlled storage space. During this complex process the Archives and Collections staff will be focused on assuring that every item in the Collection is packed, tracked, safely moved and stored in the new location. Unfortunately this means that we will not be able to accept new acquisitions to the collection or assist with research requests through Summer 2015. If you have material to donate, please hold it until next year. Researchers can access our online catalog and finding aids. Check back in this space for news of our reopening in early 2015. Thank you for your support of the New York Transit Museum!
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 New Exhibits 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 Sarah[dot]Landreth[at]nyct.com.
Thank you to our generous sponsors!
Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc.
Interactive Elements Inc.
Louis T. Klauder and Associates
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Boyce Technologies, Inc.
CBS Outdoor Group Inc.
CH2M Hill Inc.
di Domenico + Partners, LLP
General Contractors Association of New York
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Granite Construction Northeast, Inc.
Integrated Strategic Resources LLC
Jacobs Civil Consultants
Kratos Public Safety & Security Solutions
Mass Electric Construction Co.
McKissack + Delcan JV
Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels
MTA Bus Company
MTA Capital Construction
MTA Long Island Rail Road
MTA Metro-North Railroad
MTA New York City Transit
Proskauer Rose LLP
Public Financial Management, Inc.
RBC Capital Markets
RSCC Wire & Cable LLC /Calvert Wire & Cable
Samuel A. Ramirez & Co., Inc.
STV Group, Inc.
Wells Fargo Securities
Welsbach Electric Corp.
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