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Fifth Avenue/53rd Street is a station on the IND Queens Boulevard Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street in Manhattan, it is served by the E train at all times and the M train weekdays except late nights.

 5 Avenue/53 Street
 "E" train"M" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
5th Avenue - 53rd Street - Downtown Platform.jpg
Upper level platform
Station statistics
AddressFifth Avenue & 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019
LocaleMidtown Manhattan
Coordinates40°45′37″N 73°58′33″W / 40.760326°N 73.975754°W / 40.760326; -73.975754Coordinates: 40°45′37″N 73°58′33″W / 40.760326°N 73.975754°W / 40.760326; -73.975754
DivisionB (IND)
LineIND Queens Boulevard Line
Services      E all times (all times)
      M weekdays until 11:00 p.m. (weekdays until 11:00 p.m.)
Transit connectionsBus transport NYCT Bus: M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, Q32, SIM3, SIM6, SIM6X, SIM8, SIM8X, SIM10, SIM22, SIM23, SIM24, SIM25, SIM26, SIM30, SIM31
Platforms2 side platforms (1 on each level)
Tracks2 (1 on each level)
Other information
OpenedAugust 19, 1933; 85 years ago (1933-08-19)
Station code276[1]
AccessibilitySame-platform wheelchair transfer available
Wireless serviceWi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[2]
Passengers (2018)7,748,504[3]Increase 9%
Rank47 out of 424
Station succession
Next eastLexington Avenue–53rd Street: E all timesM weekdays until 11:00 p.m.
Next westSeventh Avenue (8th Avenue): E all times
47th–50th Streets–Rockefeller Center (6th Avenue): M weekdays until 11:00 p.m.

Fifth Avenue/53rd Street was opened in 1933 as part of the Independent Subway System (IND)'s Queens Boulevard Line. It contains two side platforms on separate levels: southbound trains to Lower Manhattan use the upper level, while northbound trains to Queens use the lower level.



This station opened on August 19, 1933 with the opening of the IND Queens Boulevard Line to Roosevelt Avenue in Queens. Service was initially provided by E trains running via the IND Eighth Avenue Line.[4] On December 15, 1940, the IND Sixth Avenue Line opened between West Fourth Street–Washington Square and 59th Street–Columbus Circle. On this date, F trains began using this station, diverging west of the station onto the Sixth Avenue Line.[5][6][7]

In 1959, a project started to replace the four two-feet wide escalators with new wider four-feet wide escalators–two at the Madison Avenue end of the station, and two at the Fifth Avenue end.[8] The new 94-foot long escalators were intended to increase capacity, and could run at speeds of 90 or 120 feet per minute. On September 8, 1959, the first of the four new four-feet wide escalators was put into place at the Madison Avenue entrance and replaced a two-feet wide escalator. The entire project cost $1,200,000. As part of the project, the lighting at the station was replaced with fluorescent lighting and the stairways at the station were moved.[9]

In 1981, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) listed the station among the 69 most deteriorated stations in the subway system.[10]

Station layoutEdit

Track layout
Superimposed tracks section
(Left track above right one)
to 7 Av
Upper level
Lower level
G Street Level Exit/Entrance
B1 Mezzanine Fare control, station agent
B2 Southbound   toward World Trade Center (Seventh Avenue)
  toward Middle Village–Metropolitan Avenue (47th–50th Streets–Rockefeller Center)
Side platform, doors will open on the left
B3 Northbound   toward Jamaica Center (Lexington Avenue–53rd Street)
  toward Forest Hills–71st Avenue (Lexington Avenue–53rd Street)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

This underground station has two levels, with the upper level serving trains bound for Lower Manhattan and the lower level serving trains bound for Queens. Each level has one track and one side platform.[11] The upper level, built in a tube design, is 59 feet below street level[9] while the lower level is 80 feet below. Staircases connect each level at either ends.[12][13]

There is a junction west of this station that is controlled by a tower on the south end of the upper level platform. E trains continue west along 53rd Street while M trains turn south and enter the IND Sixth Avenue Line.[11]

In 1996, Ralph Fasanella's 1950 painting "Subway Riders" was installed. It is one of the few oil paintings in the world permanently on view in a public transportation center. It is located outside fare control in the full-time mezzanine.[14][15]


The station has two entrances/exits. The full-time exit at Fifth Avenue is at the west (railroad south) end. Two 94-foot long escalators[16] and one staircase goes up to a turnstile bank, where a token booth is present. A passageway leads to two staircases going up to either eastern corner of Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street. There is another staircase that leads to the underground shopping arcade of 666 Fifth Avenue, which has an entrance/exit on the south side of 53rd Street west of Fifth Avenue.[17][18][19]

The part-time entrance/exit leads to Madison Avenue and is located at the east (railroad north) end of the station. This exit has a turnstile bank, customer assistance booth, and two staircases, both of which are built within underground shopping arcades, going up to either eastern corner of Madison Avenue and 53rd Street.[17][20] Two 94-foot long escalators connect the upper-level platform and the mezzanine.[21]

This exit is only open on weekdays and Saturdays until 9:45 p.m.[22] The street-level gates to the station were owned by private companies who formerly closed them at 9 p.m. However, MTA workers did not close the platform-level gates until 10 p.m. During the hour in between the two gates' closures, exiting passengers often became trapped after passing through the turnstiles, forcing them to go back into the subway–either paying another fare or jumping the turnstiles. After the MTA was informed of the issue in 2013, it arranged the building owners to keep the exit open until 9:45 p.m. and the signs in the station were updated accordingly.[23]

Notable places nearbyEdit

Image galleryEdit


  1. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  2. ^ "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  3. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2013–2018". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Independent Subway Services Beginning in 1932". ERA NY Division Bulletins. August 21, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2015 – via
  6. ^ Sparberg, Andrew J. (October 1, 2014). From a Nickel to a Token: The Journey from Board of Transportation to MTA. Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-8232-6190-1.
  7. ^ * Linder, Bernard (December 2008). "Sixth Avenue Subway Service Changes". New York Division Bulletin. Electric Railroaders' Association. 51 (12): 2–4. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  8. ^ "New York City Transit Authority Annual Report for the year July 1, 1958 to June 30, 1959" (PDF). New York City Transit Authority. October 1959. pp. 7, 9, 10. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "IND 5th Ave. Station Gets Big Escalator". The New York Times. September 9, 1959. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  10. ^ Gargan, Edward A. (June 11, 1981). "AGENCY LISTS ITS 69 MOST DETERIORATED SUBWAY STATIONS". The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Dougherty, Peter (2006) [2002]. Tracks of the New York City Subway 2006 (3rd ed.). Dougherty. OCLC 49777633 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (December 28, 2008). "Staircase for the Lexington Avenue & Queens platform". Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  13. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 22, 2009). "At the Madison Avenue end of the stations unusual signs for the 5 Avenue exit". Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  14. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (August 16, 2011). "Subway Riders, 1950 Oil on Canvas By Ralph Fasanellas". Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  15. ^ "NYCT Permanent Art Fifth Avenue-53rd Street". MTA - Arts & Design. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  16. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (May 20, 2010). "The two escalators to 5 Avenue/53 Street". Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Midtown" (PDF). Metropolitan Transit Authority. 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  18. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (March 17, 2013). "Unique silver tactile name signs on this privately owned and maintained entrance". Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  19. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (May 20, 2010). "The 5 Avenue entrance across the street from MoMA that requires walking through a shopping arcade". Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  20. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (May 20, 2010). "The entrance inside 509 Madison Avenue with signs about its shopping arcade". Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  21. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (May 20, 2010). "Passengers get off the escalators at the Madison Avenue end of the station". Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  22. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (July 14, 2013). "The Madison Avenue exit, closed on Sundays. The reason is because it leads to a private atrium that isn't open 24 hours a day". Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  23. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (February 27, 2013). "5th Avenue Subway Station Traps Unwary Riders Behind Locked Exit". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 2, 2018.

External linksEdit