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168th Street station (New York City Subway)

168th Street (formerly Washington Heights–168th Street) is an underground New York City Subway station complex shared by the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line and IND Eighth Avenue Line. It is located at the intersection of 168th Street and Broadway in Washington Heights, Manhattan and served by the A train at all times,[5] and the C train at all times except late nights.[6]

 168 Street
 "A" train"C" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station complex
168th Street stair.JPG
Entrance at 169th Street.
Station statistics
AddressWest 168th Street, Broadway, and
St. Nicholas Avenue
New York, NY 10032
LocaleWashington Heights
Coordinates40°50′28″N 73°56′23″W / 40.841022°N 73.939791°W / 40.841022; -73.939791Coordinates: 40°50′28″N 73°56′23″W / 40.841022°N 73.939791°W / 40.841022; -73.939791
DivisionA (IRT), B (IND)
LineIND Eighth Avenue Line
IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line
Services      A all times (all times)
      C all except late nights (all except late nights)
Transit connectionsBus transport NYCT Bus: M2, M3, M5, M100, Bx7 (M4 on Fort Washington Avenue)
Bus transport Short Line Bus: 208
Other information
OpenedFor the transfer point, July 1, 1948 (71 years ago) (1948-07-01)[1]
Station code605[2]
AccessibleThis station is partially compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Partially ADA-accessible; accessibility to rest of station planned (IND Eighth Avenue Line platforms only)
Wireless serviceWi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[3]
Former/other namesWashington Heights–168th Street
Passengers (2018)8,150,537 (station complex)[4]Increase 2.6%
Rank41 out of 424

The 1 train normally stops here at all times, but will not stop here from January 5, 2019 to early 2020 due to construction.[7]

Station layoutEdit

G Street level Exit/entrance
B1 Mezzanine Fare control, station agent
  Elevator on SE corner of 168th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue for A and ​C trains only; elevators to 1 train are not accessible
Platform level
Northbound express   toward Inwood–207th Street except nights (175th Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right  
Northbound local   termination track
  toward Inwood–207th Street nights (175th Street)
Southbound local   toward Euclid Avenue except nights (163rd Street–Amsterdam Avenue)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right  
Southbound express   toward Far Rockaway or Lefferts Boulevard (all except nights), or Rockaway Park (PM rush hours) (145th Street)
  toward Far Rockaway nights (155th Street)
B3 Crossover Crossover over Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line platforms; to elevators
Platform level
Side platform, temporarily closed
Northbound   temporarily does not stop here (181st Street)
Southbound   temporarily does not stop here (157th Street)
Side platform, temporarily closed

The IRT portion of the station is very deep and requires the use of elevators to reach the platform after fare control, which is on a full length mezzanine above the higher IND portion. Another set of elevators connecting the IND platforms and tracks to the mezzanine, and an elevator between the mezzanine to the street, make that portion handicapped-accessible. The IRT section is not ADA accessible since the platforms have no elevators (reaching the elevators to fare control requires climbing short staircases).


The full-time fare control area is at the center of the mezzanine, and has a turnstile bank, token booth, and one staircase and one elevator going up to the southeast corner of West 168th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue. The part-time side at the north end of the mezzanine has HEET turnstiles and three staircases, two to the southwest corner of Broadway and 169th Street and one to the northwest corner. An exit-only turnstile in the middle of the mezzanine, near the corridor leading to the IRT platforms, leads to a staircase going up to north end of Mitchell Square Park on the south side of West 168th Street between Broadway and Saint Nicholas Avenue.[8]

The passageway leading to the IRT elevators is just beyond the full-time fare control area. There are two exit stairs past this part-time fare control area, both of which diverge in opposite directions near the southwest corner of Broadway and 168th Street.[8]

The southernmost portion of the mezzanine, which is outside fare control, is closed. It features one passage on the east side of the IND station with two exits to the southeastern corner of 167th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue.[9][10] It also features a passage on the west side of the IND station with two exits to Mitchel Square Park. There is a single staircase on the west side of the IND station that leads to the west side of St. Nicholas Avenue at 167th Street. The closed mezzanine area is now used for New York City Transit employees only. The whole area was closed in the 1980s for safety reasons.[10]

IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line platformsEdit

 168 Street
Temporarily closed New York City Subway station
Station with 1 train approaching
Station statistics
DivisionA (IRT)
Line      IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line
Platforms2 side platforms
Other information
OpenedApril 14, 1906 (113 years ago) (1906-04-14)
ClosedJanuary 5, 2019 (10 months ago) (2019-01-05)
Rebuilt2020 (1 year's time) (2020)
Station code302[2]
Accessible  ADA-accessible to mezzanine only; accessibility to platforms planned
Wireless service [3]
Station succession
Next north181st Street: no regular service
Next south157th Street: no regular service

168th Street Subway Station (IRT)
MPSNew York City Subway System MPS
NRHP reference #05000232[11]
Added to NRHPMarch 30, 2005
Track layout
Looking at footbridge between platforms

168th Street on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line has two tracks and two side platforms.[12]


The West Side Branch of the first subway was extended northward to a temporary terminus of 221st Street and Broadway on March 12, 1906 with the station at 168th Street not yet open.[13] This extension was served by shuttle trains operating between 157th Street and 221st Street until May 30, 1906 when express trains began running through to 221st Street.[14][15] The 168th Street station opened for service on April 14, 1906.[16]

In 1948, platforms on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line from 103rd Street to 238th Street were lengthened to 514 feet to allow full ten-car express trains to platform. Previously the stations could only platform six car local trains. On April 6, 1948, the platform extension opened for stations from 103rd Street to Dyckman Street, with the exception of 125th Street.[17][18]

On December 28, 1950, the New York City Board of Transportation issued a report concerning the construction of bomb shelters in the subway system. Five deep stations in Washington Heights, including the 168th Street station, were considered to be ideal for being used as bomb-proof shelters. The program was expected to cost $104,000,000. These shelters were expected to provide limited protection against conventional bombs, while providing protection against shock waves and air blast, as well as from the heat and radiation from an atomic bomb. To become suitable as shelters, the stations would require water-supply facilities, first-aid rooms, and additional bathrooms.[19]

Between July 5 and September 8, 1997, trains did not stop at the station while the elevators were modernized.[20]

In 2005, the station was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Starting January 5, 2019, until early 2020, the station would be closed so the elevator cars can be replaced, and elevator shafts, mechanical components, and the stairways are upgraded. During this time, a free out-of-system transfer will be provided to the A train at Inwood–207th Street, from both 207th Street and 215th Street. After the station reopens, a rear passageway at the lower mezzanine level will be reopened to allow passengers to board and alight on different sides of the elevator cabs. It is unclear whether the elevator operators will keep their jobs after the elevators' replacement.[21][22]

Station designEdit

This deep station has a high arched tiled ceiling and white globe lights on ornate fixtures hanging from the walls and ceiling on the north half. The south half, where the platforms were extended in the 1950s, has a much lower ceiling and large marble columns with alternating ones having the standard black station name plates in white lettering, but the name tablets and trim line are the same as those on the north half of the station. There is a closed stairway on the extreme northern end of the northbound platform leading to an unknown location.

Near the north end of the station, there are two pedestrian overpasses above the tracks, each of which has two staircases going down to each platform. On the western side of the bridges, several steps above the southbound platform, there is a lower concourse area with four elevators, one of which is staffed. They lead to an unstaffed fare control area on an upper mezzanine level, where a turnstile bank leads to two staircases going up to the southwest corner of Broadway and West 168th Street. A corridor within fare control leads to the IND mezzanine.

The northern open bridge and northbound platform features a passageway east of the northbound side to an eastern elevator shaft. This shaft contained the original elevators to and from the platforms, but was partially destroyed when the IND platforms were built. There is an emergency exit in this shaft, though it is currently closed for renovations.[23]

Elevator operatorsEdit

In 2004, the number of elevator attendants at the station was reduced to one per station as a result of budget cuts by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The agency had intended to remove all the attendants, but kept one in each station after many riders protested. The change saved $1.2 million a year.[24] In November 2007, the MTA proposed savings cuts to help reduce the agency's deficit. As part of the plan, all elevator operators at 168th Street, along with those in four other stations in Washington Heights, would have been cut.[25] On December 7, 2007, the MTA announced that it would not remove the remaining elevator operators at 168th Street, along with those in four other stations in Washington Heights. The move was intended to save $1.7 million a year, but was not implemented due to pushback from elected officials and residents from the area.[26] In October 2018, the MTA again proposed removing the elevator operators at the five stations, but this decision was reversed after dissent from the Transport Workers' Union.[27]

The elevator attendants served as a way to reassure passengers as the elevators are the only entrance to the platforms, and passengers often waited for the elevators with an attendant.[28] The attendants at the five stations are primarily maintenance and cleaning workers who suffered injuries that made it hard for them to continue doing their original jobs.[29]


The 168th Street station on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line is not accessible, despite having two sets of elevators: the elevator from the street to the IND mezzanine and the elevator bank from the IND mezzanine to the IRT mezzanine. As part of the 2017 Fast Forward plan to modernize the subway system, 50 more stations will become ADA-accessible during the MTA's 2020–2024 Capital Program, allowing all riders to have an accessible station within two stops in either direction.[30]:41 To meet this goal, one station in the Washington Heights/Inwood area will have to be made accessible on the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line.[31] The 168th Street station was ultimately selected to be retrofitted as part of the plan.[32]

Service historyEdit

The station was served by Seventh Avenue express trains from 1906 to 1959, after which the station has been served by local 1 trains.[33] From 1989-2005, the 9 service, a skip-stop variant of the 1, went to the station.[34]


IND Eighth Avenue Line platformsEdit

 168 Street
  New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Station statistics
DivisionB (IND)
Line      IND Eighth Avenue Line
Services      A   (all times)
      C   (all except late nights)
Platforms2 island platforms
cross-platform interchange
Other information
OpenedSeptember 10, 1932 (87 years ago) (1932-09-10)[35]
Station code148[2]
Accessible  ADA-accessible (IND Eighth Avenue Line platforms only)
Wireless service [3]
Station succession
Next north175th Street: A  
(Terminal): C  
Next south163rd Street–Amsterdam Avenue (local): A  C  
145th Street (express): A  

Next   north175th Street: A  
none: C  
Next   south125th Street: A  C  
Track layout
Express to 145 St
Local to 163 St

168th Street is an express station on the IND Eighth Avenue Line that opened on September 10, 1932,[36] and has four tracks and two island platforms. Contrary to the usual express station layout, the inner tracks serve the C local trains while the outer tracks serve the A express trains. This is to make it easier for C trains to terminate here, and turn around to make the southbound trip to Brooklyn. South of this station, the outer tracks descend to a lower level below the inner tracks, creating a two-over-two track layout. North of the station, the inner tracks continue north under Broadway to 174th Street Yard while the outer tracks turn sharply under Fort Washington Avenue before continuing to Inwood–207th Street.[12]

Both outer track walls have a reddish purple with a black border, but no name tablets, and small "168" signs below them in white numbering on a black border. This station has a full length mezzanine above the platforms and tracks.

The station is planned to be renovated starting in 2016 as part of the 2010–2014 MTA Capital Program. An MTA study conducted in 2015 found that 48% of components were out of date.[10]

Service historyEdit

When the line opened, this station was served by an AA local train from 168th Street to Chambers Street/World Trade Center.[37] It was discontinued in 1933 when the CC was created to run local along the IND Eighth Avenue and Concourse lines. It was resurrected in 1940 when the BB (later B) was created.[38] The AA, which only ran outside rush hours after 1940,[38] was renamed K in 1985 and completely replaced by the C's midday service on December 11, 1988.[39][40]

The original BB train, beginning with the opening of the Sixth Avenue Line on December 15, 1940, ran as a rush-hour only local service starting at 168th Street–Washington Heights. The designation "B" was originally intended to designate express trains originating in Washington Heights and going to Midtown Manhattan on the IND Sixth Avenue Line.[41][38] On March 1, 1998, the B and the C switched northern terminals, ending B service to this station and bringing C trains to this station at all times except late nights.[41][42]

The A has always served this station since its inception in 1932.[41][10]


Nearby points of interestEdit

Nearby points of interest include NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Fort Washington Park on the Hudson River waterfront, and remnants of the Audubon Ballroom.[8]


  1. ^ "Transfer Points Under Higher Fare". The New York Times. June 30, 1948. p. 19.
  2. ^ a b c "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  4. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2013–2018". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  5. ^ "A Subway Timetable, Effective November 4, 2018" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  6. ^ "C Subway Timetable, Effective April 28, 2019" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  7. ^ "1 Subway Timetable, Effective June 24, 2018" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Washington Heights" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved December 31, 2016.
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b c d "Review of the A and C Lines" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 11, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  11. ^ "NPS Focus". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  12. ^ a b Dougherty, Peter (2006) [2002]. Tracks of the New York City Subway 2006 (3rd ed.). Dougherty. OCLC 49777633 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ "Farthest North in Town by the Interborough – Take a Trip to the New Station, 225th Street West – It's Quite Like the Country – You Might Be in Dutchess County, but You Are Still In Manhattan Borough – Place Will Bustle Soon". The New York Times. January 14, 1907. p. 18. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  14. ^ "Express to 221st Street: Will Run In the Subway To-day–New 181st Street Station Ready" (PDF). The New York Times. May 30, 1906. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  15. ^ "Interborough Rapid Transit Company Operating Subway And All Elevated Lines In New York City". Wikimedia Commons. Interborough Rapid Transit Company. 1906. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  16. ^ "New Subway Station Open". The New York Times. April 15, 1906. p. 1. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  17. ^ Report for the three and one-half years ending June 30, 1949. New York City Board of Transportation. 1949.
  18. ^ "More Long Platforms – Five Subway Stations on IRT to Accommodate 10-Car Trains". The New York Times. July 10, 1948. p. 8. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  19. ^ Ronan, Thomas P. (December 29, 1950). "SUBWAY SHELTERS TO COST $104,000,000 PROPOSED FOR CITY; Board Would Build Havens in Present and Proposed Lines or Convert for Defense EXTENT OF U.S. AID IN DOUBT Most of Routes Would Provide Limited Safety 5 Stations Listed as 'Bomb-Proof' Some Federal Aid Expected Would Expedite Work SUBWAY SHELTERS FOR CITY OUTLINED Provide Longer Occupancy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  20. ^ "All Times. 1 9 Trains will not stop at 168 St station while we modernize elevators". New York City Transit. July 1997. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  21. ^ Abramov, Nora; Mocker, Greg (December 18, 2018). "5 subway stations will get replacement elevators". WPIX 11 New York. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  22. ^ "Five Subway Stations in Upper Manhattan to Receive New Elevators". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 18, 2018. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  23. ^
  24. ^ Piazza, Jo (December 7, 2003). "M.T.A. Urged Not to Cut Elevator Jobs At 5 Stations". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  25. ^ Neuman, William (November 30, 2007). "M.T.A. Savings Proposal May Mean Service Cuts". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  26. ^ "Changing Course, M.T.A. Will Keep Elevator Operators On". The New York Times. December 8, 2007. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  27. ^ Krisel, Brendan (October 31, 2018). "Uptown Subway Stations Won't Lose Elevator Operators, Union Says". Washington Heights-Inwood, NY Patch. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  28. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (April 28, 2011). "Subway Elevator Operators Dwindle in New York". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  29. ^ Waller, Nikki (November 23, 2003). "NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: WASHINGTON HEIGHTS -- CITYPEOPLE; Why They Take the A Train (and the 1/9)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  30. ^ "Transform the Subway" (PDF). Fast Forward. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 23, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  31. ^ NYCT Public Event - Discussion About the Next Accessible Subway Stations - 02/06/2019, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, February 7, 2019, retrieved February 11, 2019
  32. ^ Ricciulli, Valeria (September 20, 2019). "MTA announces 48 stations that will get accessibility upgrades". Curbed NY. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  33. ^ Levey, Stanley (January 26, 1959). "Modernized IRT To Bow on Feb. 6 — West Side Line to Eliminate Bottleneck at 96th Street". New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  34. ^ Chan, Sewell (May 25, 2005). "On Its Last Wheels, No. 9 Line Is Vanishing on Signs". The New York Times. Retrieved September 30, 2007.
  35. ^ "List of the 28 Stations on the New Eighth Av. Line". The New York Times. September 10, 1932. p. 6.
  36. ^ Crowell, Paul (September 10, 1932). "Gay Midnight Crowd Rides First Trains in the Subway – Throngs at Stations an Hour Before Time, Rush Turnstiles When Chains Are Dropped – No Official Ceremonies – But West Side Business Group Celebrates Midnight Event With Ride and Dinner – Last Rehearsals Smooth – Delaney, Fullen and Aides Check First Hour of Pay Traffic From Big Times Square Station". The New York Times. p. 1. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  37. ^ "The ERA Bulletin 2011-11". Issuu. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  38. ^ a b c "The New Subway Routes". The New York Times. December 15, 1940. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  39. ^ "System-Wide Changes In Subway Service Effective Sunday, December 11, 1988". Flickr - Photo Sharing!. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  40. ^ "The ERA Bulletin 2011-11". Issuu. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  41. ^ a b c "NYCT Line by Line History".
  42. ^ "March 1, 1998 B C Routes are switching places above 145 St". Flickr. New York City Transit. March 1998. Retrieved October 23, 2016.

External linksEdit