14th Street–Union Square station

14th Street–Union Square is a New York City Subway station complex shared by the BMT Broadway Line, the BMT Canarsie Line and the IRT Lexington Avenue Line. It is located at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and 14th Street, underneath Union Square in Manhattan, and is served by the:

  • 4, 6, L, N, and Q trains at all times
  • 5 and R trains at all times except late nights
  • W train on weekdays
  • <6> train weekdays in the peak direction
 14 Street–Union Square
 "4" train"5" train"6" train"6" express train"L" train"N" train"Q" train"R" train"W" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station complex
Union Square Subway 3760070985 d4b6a3d4fa2.jpg
Station entrance within Union Square Park
Station statistics
AddressEast 14th Street, Park Avenue South & Broadway
New York, NY 10003
LocaleUnion Square, Gramercy
Coordinates40°44′05″N 73°59′25″W / 40.73472°N 73.99028°W / 40.73472; -73.99028Coordinates: 40°44′05″N 73°59′25″W / 40.73472°N 73.99028°W / 40.73472; -73.99028
DivisionA (IRT), B (BMT)
Line      BMT Broadway Line
      BMT Canarsie Line
      IRT Lexington Avenue Line
Services      4 all times (all times)
      5 all times except late nights (all times except late nights)
      6 all times (all times) <6> weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction (weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction)​
      L all times (all times)​
      N all times (all times)
      Q all times (all times)
      R all except late nights (all except late nights)
      W weekdays only (weekdays only)
Transit connectionsBus transport NYCT Bus: M1, M2, M3, M14A SBS, M14D SBS, SIM7, SIM33, X27, X28
Other information
OpenedJuly 1, 1948 (71 years ago) (1948-07-01)[1]
Station code602[2]
AccessibleThis station is partially compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Partially ADA-accessible (BMT Broadway Line & BMT Canarsie Line platforms only)
Wireless serviceWi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[3]
OMNY acceptedYes
Passengers (2018)33,124,407 (station complex)[4]Decrease 4.1%
Rank4 out of 424

14th Street–Union Square Subway Station (IRT; Dual System BMT)
MPSNew York City Subway System MPS
NRHP reference #05000671[5]
Added to NRHPJuly 6, 2005

In 2016, over 34 million passengers entered this station, making it the fourth-busiest station in the system.[4]

The complex is located on the border of several neighborhoods with popular business, residential and nightlife destination spots, including the East Village to the southeast, Greenwich Village to the south and southwest, Chelsea to the northwest, and both the Flatiron District and Gramercy Park to the north and northeast.

There are three originally separate stations here, which were combined on July 1, 1948. They now share a mezzanine, common entrance points, and unified signage. This complex was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.[6]


In the 1990s, this station underwent a major station renovation. On July 9, 1993, the contract for the project's design was awarded for $2,993,948. As part of the contract, the consultant investigated whether it was feasible to reconfigure the IRT passageway, to reframe the exit structure on the Lexington Avenue platforms to accommodate the relocation and widening of stairs, the construction of a new fan room, the removal of stairs on the Broadway Line platforms, the reframing of the existing structure, and the construction of a new staircase between the intermediate and IRT mezzanines. These were all deemed feasible, and in May 1994, a supplemental agreement worth $984,998 was reached to allow the consultant to prepare the design for this work.[7]:C-57

Station layoutEdit

G Street Level Exit/Entrance
B1 Mezzanine Fare control, station agent
  Elevator at NE corner of 14th Street and Park Avenue S (Union Square E)
B2 Side platform, not in service
Northbound local     toward Pelham Bay Park (  toward Parkchester rush hours and middays) (23rd Street)
  toward Woodlawn late nights (23rd Street)
(No service: 18th Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right
Northbound express   toward Woodlawn except late nights (Grand Central–42nd Street)
  toward Dyre Avenue except nights, or Nereid Avenue PM rush hours (Grand Central–42nd Street)
Southbound express   toward Crown Heights–Utica Avenue except late nights (Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall)
  toward Flatbush Avenue–Brooklyn College weekdays, Bowling Green weekends (Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right
Southbound local     toward Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall (Astor Place)
  toward New Lots Avenue late nights (Astor Place)
Side platform, not in service
B2 Northbound local   weekdays,   weekends and nights toward Astoria–Ditmars Boulevard (23rd Street)
  toward Forest Hills–71st Avenue except nights (23rd Street)
  toward 96th Street late nights (23rd Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right  
Northbound express   toward Astoria–Ditmars Boulevard weekdays (34th Street–Herald Square)
  toward 96th Street (34th Street–Herald Square)
Southbound express   toward 86th Street–Gravesend via Sea Beach weekdays (Canal Street)
  toward Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue via Brighton (Canal Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right  
Southbound local   toward 86 Street via Sea Beach weekends and nights (Eighth Street–NYU)
  toward Stillwell Avenue via Brighton late nights (Eighth Street–NYU)
  toward Bay Ridge–95th Street except late nights (Eighth Street–NYU)
  toward Whitehall Street–South Ferry weekdays (Eighth Street–NYU)
B3 Northbound   toward Eighth Avenue (Sixth Avenue)
Island platform, doors will open on the left  
Southbound   toward Canarsie–Rockaway Parkway (Third Avenue)


    Station entrance sign
    Two stairs inside Union Square Park on east side of Union Square West at 16th Street[8]
  • One stair at southeast corner of Union Square East and 15th Street[8]
  • One stair inside Union Square Park on north side of 14th Street between Union Square West and Union Square East[8]
  • One stair inside Union Square Park on north side of 14th Street between Union Square West and Union Square East[8]
  • One stair on south side of 14th Street between Union Square West and Union Square East[8]
  • Two stairs at southwest corner of 4th Avenue and 14th Street[8]
  • Two stairs at southeast corner of 4th Avenue and 14th Street[8]
  •   One stair, escalator bank, and elevator at northeast corner of 4th Avenue and 14th Street[8]

IRT Lexington Avenue Line platformsEdit

 14 Street–Union Square
  New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Downtown platform for the local services (left) and express services (right), showing the curvature of the station and the movable platforms
Station statistics
DivisionA (IRT)
Line      IRT Lexington Avenue Line
Services      4   (all times)
      5   (all times except late nights)
      6   (all times) <6>   (weekdays until 8:45 p.m., peak direction)
Platforms2 island platforms (in service)
cross-platform interchange
2 side platforms (abandoned)
Other information
OpenedOctober 27, 1904 (115 years ago) (1904-10-27)[9]
Station code406[2]
Accessible  ADA-accessible to mezzanine only; platforms are not ADA-accessible
AccessibilityCross-platform wheelchair transfer available
Wireless service [3]
OMNY acceptedYes
Opposite-direction transfer availableYes
Station succession
Next northGrand Central–42nd Street (express): 4  5  
23rd Street (local): 4  6   <6>  
18th Street (local; closed): no service
Next southAstor Place (local): 4  6   <6>  
Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall (express): 4  5  
Track layout

14th Street–Union Square, opened on October 27, 1904, is an express station on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line that has four tracks and two island platforms. The uptown and downtown platforms are offset from each other and slightly curved. Gap-filling movable platforms on the downtown side are automatically operated via proximity sensors when trains arrive. The station's mezzanines are located over the platforms.

The station has two abandoned local side platforms; the northbound one is visible through windows, bordered with wide, bright red frames. From the north end of the downtown platform's mezzanine, the adjacent side platform can be seen through a hole in the plywood.

1991 accidentEdit

On August 28, 1991, an accident just north of the station killed five riders and injured 215 others in one of the worst wrecks since a crash at Times Square–42nd Street on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line in 1928 that killed 16 people. The train operator, Robert Ray, was intoxicated and had been overshooting platforms during the entire run from Woodlawn in the Bronx. Just north of this station, his Utica Avenue-bound 4 train was to be shifted to the local track due to repair work on the express one. He was running at 40 mph (65 km/h) at a 10 mph (16 km/h) zone and took the switch so fast that only the first car made it through the crossover. The rest of the train was involved in a derailment that led to a massive pile-up. Cars 1435, 1436, 1437, 1439, and 1440 were essentially scrapped on the site, and the IRT Lexington Line suffered heavy structural damage as a result. Service was disrupted for six days (with trains terminating at 59th Street for the duration) as transit workers cleaned up the wreckage. The entire infrastructure, including signals, switches, track, roadbed, cabling, and 23 support columns needed to be replaced. Ray was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 15 years in prison, but released in April 2002 for good behavior.[10][11]

The wreck occurred at the entry to a former pocket track. Like 72nd Street on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line, this station was built with extra tracks on the approach to the station. These were between the local and express tracks and approximately 300 feet (91 m) long. The idea was to have a "stacking" track where a train could be held momentarily until the platform cleared for it to enter the station. The tracks here and at 72nd Street were rendered useless when train lengths grew beyond these tracks' capacity. When the damage from the 1991 wreck was repaired, the stacking track was removed. A similar track still exists between the northbound tracks south of the platforms.

Image galleryEdit

BMT Broadway Line platformsEdit

 14 Street–Union Square
  New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
  train of R46 cars departing on the local track
Station statistics
DivisionB (BMT)
Line      BMT Broadway Line
Services      N   (all times)
      Q   (all times)
      R   (all except late nights)
      W   (weekdays only)
Platforms2 island platforms
cross-platform interchange
Other information
OpenedSeptember 4, 1917 (102 years ago) (1917-09-04)[12][13]
Station code015[2]
Accessible  ADA-accessible (Transfer to IRT Lexington Avenue Line platforms not accessible)
Wireless service [3]
OMNY acceptedYes
Opposite-direction transfer availableYes
Station succession
Next north34th Street–Herald Square (express): N  Q  
23rd Street (local): N  Q  R  W  
Next southEighth Street–New York University (local): N  Q  R  W  
Canal Street (express): N  Q  

Next   north34th Street–Herald Square: N  Q  R  W  
Next   southCortlandt Street (via tunnel): N  R  W  
DeKalb Avenue (via bridge): Q  
Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center (via bridge bypass): N  
Track layout

14th Street–Union Square, opened on September 5, 1917, is an express station on the BMT Broadway Line that has four tracks and two island platforms.

It is the southernmost station in Manhattan with a cross-platform interchange between all four Broadway services. A mosaic on the platform side walls is a depiction of "the junction of Broadway and ... Bowery Road, 1828," as the area was once known. The mezzanine and crossover level has been reconstructed as well. Some former passageways and stairways have been closed off, including one immediately adjacent to the southernmost staircase on the northbound side.

This station was overhauled in the late 1970s. The MTA replaced the original wall tiles, old signs, and incandescent lighting with the 1970s wall tile band and tablet mosaics, signs and fluorescent lights. They also fixed staircases and platform edges. In 2002, the station was upgraded for ADA-accessibility and its original late 1910s tiling was restored. As part of the upgrade, the MTA repaired the staircases, re-tiled for the walls and floors, upgraded the station's lights and the public address system, installed yellow safety treads along the platform edge, new signs, and new trackbeds in both directions. The station now has an elevator on both platforms as well as connection to the station entrances and passageway to the IRT Lexington Avenue Line.

In 2005, an artwork called City Glow by Chiho Aoshima was installed here.

Image galleryEdit

BMT Canarsie Line platformEdit

 Union Square
  New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Station statistics
DivisionB (BMT)
Line      BMT Canarsie Line
Services      L   (all times)
Platforms1 island platform
Other information
OpenedJune 30, 1924 (95 years ago) (1924-06-30)
Station code117[2]
Accessible  ADA-accessible (transfer to IRT Lexington Avenue Line platforms not accessible)
Wireless service [3]
OMNY acceptedYes
Opposite-direction transfer availableYes
Former/other names14 Street–Union Square
Station succession
Next westSixth Avenue: L  
Next eastThird Avenue: L  

Next   westEighth Avenue: L  
Next   eastMyrtle–Wyckoff Avenues: L  
Track layout
to 6 Av
to 3 Av

Union Square on the BMT Canarsie Line opened on June 30, 1924, as part of the 14th Street–Eastern Line, which ran from Sixth Avenue under the East River and through Williamsburg to Montrose and Bushwick Avenues.[14][15] The station has two tracks and one island platform with numerous stairways and exits leading from it. There is one mezzanine attached to this station with entrances on the south side of 14th Street between Broadway and University Place. Other entrances in the complex serve the other services that stop here. The original mosaic band of sky blue, sea green, lime green and yellow ochre stands clearly visible above new green-bordered tile panels. The station has been renovated and is now ADA-accessible with a single elevator going up from the platform to the mezzanine.

As part of the 2015–2019 MTA Capital Program, there are plans to improve circulation and to reduce crowding at this platform. The stairs from the Broadway Line platforms were rebuilt in March 2019; the stair from the downtown Broadway Line platform was reconfigured entirely. Additionally, a new escalator will be installed from the east mezzanine to the platform for $15 million. This work will take place when this portion of the BMT Canarsie Line will be shut down for the Canarsie Tubes repairs.[16][17]


  1. ^ The New York Times, Transfer Points Under Higher Fare, June 30, 1948, page 19
  2. ^ a b c d "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2013–2018". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  5. ^ "NPS Focus". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  6. ^ New York County Listings at the National Register of Historic Places (Structure #05000671)
  7. ^ NYC Transit Committee Agenda May 1994. New York City Transit. May 16, 1994.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Union Square / Gramercy" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  9. ^ The New York Times, Our Subway Open: 150,000 Try It, October 28, 1904
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-03-16. Retrieved 2019-01-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ 44:10-50:10 in this video do a small documentary on the accident: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KKVupF7Uug
  12. ^ The New York Times, Open First Section of Broadway Line, September 5, 1917
  13. ^ The New York Times, Open New Subway to Times Square, January 6, 1918
  14. ^ "Subway Tunnel Through". The New York Times. August 8, 1919. Retrieved February 28, 2010.
  15. ^ "Celebrate Opening of Subway Link". The New York Times. July 1, 1924. Retrieved February 13, 2010.
  16. ^ "Circulation Improvements at Union Square on the Canarsie Line". web.mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 31, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "MTA Capital Program 2015-2019 Renew. Enhance. Expand.Amendment No. 2 As Proposed to the MTA Board May 2017" (PDF). mta.info. May 24, 2017. Retrieved May 24, 2017.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit


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