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Sutphin Boulevard station (IND Queens Boulevard Line)

Sutphin Boulevard is a local station on the IND Queens Boulevard Line of the New York City Subway. Located at Sutphin Boulevard and Hillside Avenue in Jamaica, Queens, it is served by the F train at all times, and the <F> train during rush hours in the peak direction.

 Sutphin Blvd
 "F" train"F" express train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Platform at Sutphin Boulevard station, December 2017.JPG
Eastbound platform at Sutphin Boulevard station in 2017
Station statistics
AddressSutphin Boulevard & Hillside Avenue
Queens, New York
Coordinates40°42′21″N 73°48′35″W / 40.705726°N 73.809714°W / 40.705726; -73.809714Coordinates: 40°42′21″N 73°48′35″W / 40.705726°N 73.809714°W / 40.705726; -73.809714
DivisionB (IND)
LineIND Queens Boulevard Line
Services      F all times (all times) <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction (two rush hour trains, peak direction)​
Transit connectionsBus transport NYCT Bus: Q20A, Q20B, Q43, Q44 SBS, X68
Bus transport MTA Bus: Q40
Platforms2 side platforms
Other information
OpenedApril 24, 1937 (82 years ago) (1937-04-24)[1]
Station code257[2]
Wireless serviceWi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[3][4]
Passengers (2018)1,303,795[5]Decrease 2.6%
Rank317 out of 424
Station succession
Next northParsons Boulevard: F all times <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction
Next southBriarwood: F all times <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction
A red-painted arrow at the station directing riders to the Long Island Rail Road.

This station opened on April 24, 1937 as part of an extension of the Independent Subway System's Queens Boulevard Line. In 1953, the platforms at the station were extended to accommodate 11-car trains. Ridership at this station decreased sharply after the opening of the Archer Avenue lines in 1988. This had been the closest subway station to the Long Island Rail Road's Jamaica station after the removal of a portion of the Jamaica Elevated in 1977.



The Queens Boulevard Line was one of the first built by the city-owned Independent Subway System (IND), and was planned to stretch between the IND Eighth Avenue Line in Manhattan and 178th Street and Hillside Avenue in Jamaica, Queens.[6][7] The line was first proposed in 1925.[8] Construction of the line was approved by the New York City Board of Estimate on October 4, 1928.[9] On December 23, 1930, the contract for the construction of the section between 137th Street and 178th Street, Route 108, Section 11, was let. This section included the stations at 169th Street, Parsons Boulevard, and Sutphin Boulevard.[10] The contract for this section was awarded to Triest Contracting Corporation.[11] The line was constructed using the cut-and-cover tunneling method, and to allow pedestrians to cross, temporary bridges were built over the trenches.[12]

The first section of the line opened on August 19, 1933 to Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights.[13] Later that year, a $23 million loan was approved to finance the remainder of the line, along with other IND lines.[14] The remainder of the line was built by the Public Works Administration.[15] In September 1933, the Sutphin Boulevard station was completed, far ahead of schedule. The other two stations in this section were completed more than a month earlier.[11] In 1934 and 1935, construction of the extension to Jamaica was suspended for 15 months and was halted by strikes.[16] Construction was further delayed due to a strike in 1935, instigated by electricians opposing wages paid by the General Railway Signal Company.[17]

In August 1936, tracks were installed all the way to 178th Street, and the stations to Union Turnpike were completed. However, the stops to the east, including Sutphin Boulevard, still needed to be tiled and did not have stairways, turnstiles and lighting installed.[16] A 3.5-mile (5.6 km) extension from Roosevelt Avenue to Kew Gardens opened on December 31, 1936.[18] In March 1937, the extension to 169th Street was expected to be opened on May 1, requiring work to be finished by April 3, and fully approved and tested by April 20. As of this point, minor station work remained, including the installation of light bulbs, with the only major work left to be completed being the final 200 feet (61 m) of track in the 169th Street terminal.[19]


On April 9, 1937, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia announced that the operation of the $14.4 million extension to Jamaica and express service would begin on April 24. The extension to Hillside Avenue and 178th Street, with a terminal station at 169th Street opened as planned on April 24, 1937.[20][21][22] Service was initially provided by E trains, which began making express stops from 71st–Continental Avenues to Queens Plaza during rush hours on the same date, and by EE local trains during non-rush hours. The express service operated between approximately 6:30 and 10:30 a.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.,[15][23] and ran every three to five minutes.[24] This extension was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Parsons Boulevard station and with a parade along Hillside Avenue.[25]


In 1953, the platforms at six Queens Boulevard Line stations, including Sutphin Boulevard, were lengthened to allow eleven-car trains. Originally, service was provided with ten-car trains.[a][27] The bid for the project went out in 1951.[28] The project was estimated to be completed in 18 months.[29] The lengthened trains began running during rush hour on September 8, 1953. Eleven-car trains would only operate on weekdays.[30]:37–38 The extra car increased the total carrying capacity by 4,000 passengers. The lengthening project cost $400,000.[27] The operation of eleven-car trains ended in 1958 because of operational difficulties. The signal blocks, especially in Manhattan, were too short to accommodate the longer trains, and the motormen had a very small margin of error to properly platform the train. It was found that operating ten-car trains allowed for two additional trains per hour to be scheduled.[31]

Until the opening of the Sutphin Boulevard–Archer Avenue station on the Archer Avenue lines on December 11, 1988,[32] this was the closest subway station to the Long Island Rail Road's Jamaica station.[33] The opening of the Archer Avenue lines was expected to severely lessen congestion at the Sutphin Boulevard, Parsons Boulevard, and 169th Street stations. Ridership checks conducted before and after the opening of the new line showed that ridership at this station, between 5 and 10 a.m. on weekdays, decreased from 7,282 riders to 2,610 riders, a 64% decrease.[34]

In conjunction with the opening of the Archer Avenue lines, service patterns were changed. E trains were rerouted via the new line, running to Jamaica Center, via the Queens Boulevard Line's express tracks, and began running express east of 71st Avenue.[35][36] However, some E trains continued to run from 179th Street as expresses during the morning rush hour.[37]:9-10 Service at local stations, such as Sutphin Boulevard, was replaced by the R, which was extended to 179th Street from Continental Avenue. The R extension allowed F trains to continue running express to 179th Street.[38][39] The changes in subway service angered riders at local stations east of 71st Avenue because they lost direct Queens Boulevard Express service. Local elected officials pressured the MTA to eliminate all-local service at these stations.[40] On September 30, 1990, the R was cut back to 71st Avenue outside of rush hours. Local service to 179th Street was replaced by F trains, which provided Queens Boulevard Express service, during middays, evenings, and weekends, and local G service during late nights.[41] In 1992, the MTA decided to have F trains run local east of 71st Avenue on a six-month trial basis to replace R service, which would be cut back to 71st Avenue at all times.[42] The test started on October 26, 1992 and was implemented on a permanent basis six months later, eliminating express service along Hillside Avenue.[43][44]

In 2003, Metropolitan Transportation Authority proposed closing 177 part-time token booths, later reduced to 62,[45] across the subway system and replace them with MetroCard Vending Machines and High-Entry/Exit Turnstiles to help cut the MTA's $1 billion deficit. The closure of booths began in August 2003.[46] The station's part-time token booth at 144th Street was closed on August 17, 2003,[47] and automatic entrance to the 144th Street exits was provided at all times.[48]

Station layoutEdit

Track layout
G Street level Exit/entrance
M Mezzanine Fare control, station agent, MetroCard machines
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Southbound local     toward Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue via Culver (Briarwood)
Southbound express   does not stop here (rush hours)
Northbound express   does not stop here (rush hours) →
Northbound local     toward Jamaica–179th Street (Parsons Boulevard)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

This underground station has four tracks and two side platforms. The two center express tracks are used by the limited rush hour E service to Jamaica–179th Street.[49] Some of the black columns separating the local and express tracks have white signs reading "Sutphin" in black lettering.[50]

The platforms have a yellow trim line on a black border while the name tablets read "SUTPHIN BLVD." in white sans serif lettering on a black background and yellow border.[51] Blue I-beam columns run along both platforms at regular intervals with alternating ones having the standard black station name plate in white lettering.[52] At the northern end of the station, there are a few wider columns that are tiled.[53] This station has a full length mezzanine above the platforms and tracks supported by blue I-beam columns, and allows for free crossovers between directions.[54]

144th Street stair


The main fare control area, formerly the station's full-time entrance,[55] is at the east (railroad north) end. It has a turnstile bank, full-time token booth, and three street stairs: two going up to either southern corner of the T-intersection of Sutphin Boulevard and Hillside Avenue, and the other to the northwest corner of 148th Street and Hillside Avenue.[56] On the opposite side of the full-time turnstile bank, there was an unstaffed fare control area that has a single staircase going down to each platform and is now gated off. The staircase to the Manhattan-bound platform is closed (directional mosaic signs still exist),[57] but the one to the 179th Street-bound platform remains open and has an exit-only turnstile.[58]

The other fare control area at the station's west end is un-staffed, containing just full height turnstiles[59] and two street stairs going up to the southwest and northeast corners of 144th Street and Hillside Avenue.[56] Its part-time token booth was removed in 2003.[47]

In popular cultureEdit

In the movie Coming to America, Eddie Murphy's character, Akeem, tries to persuade his love interest to marry him and go to Zamunda, a fictional kingdom in Africa. He follows her onto a New York City Subway train. When the train stops, she tells him "no" and gets off. Akeem stays on, dejected, and as the train leaves the station, "Sutphin" can be seen on the wall tiles.[60]


  1. ^ The subway cars on the IND were built to be 60 feet (18.3 m) long. These cars typically operated in 10-car trains, with an entire train length being 600 feet (182.9 m). When platforms at stations such as Sutphin Boulevard were lengthened to accommodate 11-car trains, the platforms had to be extended an additional car length, or 60 feet (18.3 m), making the platform at least 660 feet (201.2 m) long.[26]:185


  1. ^ "New Subway Link to Jamaica Opened; La Guardia, City Officials and Civic Groups Make Trial Run on 10-Car Train". The New York Times. April 25, 1937. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  2. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  4. ^ More Subway Stations in Manhattan, Bronx in Line to Get Online, (March 25, 2015). "The first two phases included stations in Midtown Manhattan and all underground stations in Queens with the exception of the 7 Main St terminal."
  5. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2013–2018". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  6. ^ * Duffus, R.L. (September 22, 1929). "Our Great Subway Network Spreads Wider; New Plans of Board of Transportation Involve the Building of More Than One Hundred Miles of Additional Rapid Transit Routes for New York". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "Queens Lauded as Best Boro By Chamber Chief". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 23, 1929. p. 40. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "New Subway Routes In Hylan Program To Cost $186,046,000" (PDF). =The New York Times. March 21, 1925. p. 1. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  9. ^ "$17,146,500 Voted For New Subways; Estimate Board Appropriates More Than $9,000,000 for Lines in Brooklyn. $6,490,000 For The Bronx Smaller Items for Incidental Work --Approves the Proposed Queens Boulevard Route". The New York Times. October 5, 1928. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  10. ^ "178th Street Subway Stop Now Assured. Place Is Designated for Station by Transportation Board". Long Island Daily Press. December 1, 1930. p. 1. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "New Subway to Jamaica Ahead of Schedule Time". New York Daily News. September 17, 1933. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  12. ^ Hirshon, Nicholas; Romano, Foreword by Ray (January 1, 2013). Forest Hills. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-9785-0.
  13. ^ "Two Subway Links Opened In Queens". The New York Times. August 19, 1933. p. 13. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  14. ^ "Unfinished Sections of Subway Lines To Be Completed" (PDF). The New York Sun. December 13, 1933. p. 47. Retrieved July 30, 2016.
  15. ^ a b "Trains Testing Jamaica Link Of City Subway". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 10, 1937. p. 3. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Neufeld, Ernest (August 23, 1936). "Men Toil Under Earth to Build Subway" (PDF). Long Island Daily Press. p. 2 (Section 2). Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "City Subway Opens Queens Link Today". The New York Times. December 31, 1936. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  19. ^ "Two Crews Rush to Finish Last 200 Feet of Subwav: Work Must End April 3 to Allow Time for Tests". Long Island Daily Press. March 19, 1937. p. 1. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  20. ^ Kramer, Frederick A. (1990). Building the Independent Subway. Quadrant Press. ISBN 978-0-915276-50-9.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "New Subway Link to Jamaica Opened; La Guardia, City Officials and Civic Groups Make Trial Run on 10-Car Train". The New York Times. April 25, 1937. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  23. ^ "Jamaica Will Greet Subway". The New York Sun. April 23, 1937. p. 8. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  24. ^ "Transit Link Open Today; 8th Ave. Line Extended to Jamaica—Celebration Arranged". The New York Times. April 24, 1937. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  25. ^ "LaGuardia Heads Speakers Marking Subway Opening Ceremonies Planned Saturday Celebrating Hillside Avenue Extension". North Shore Daily Journal. April 23, 2017. p. 3. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  26. ^ Sansone, Gene (October 25, 2004). New York Subways: An Illustrated History of New York City's Transit Cars. JHU Press. ISBN 9780801879227.
  27. ^ a b Ingalls, Leonard (August 28, 1953). "2 Subway Lines to Add Cars, Another to Speed Up Service" (PDF). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  28. ^ Proceedings of the New York City Board of Transportation. New York City Board of Transportation. 1951. pp. 53, 145, 255.
  29. ^ Noonan, Dan (March 6, 1951). "Transit Board To Add 1 Car to Fulton St. IND Trains. 11-Car Units Will Ease Rush Hour Jam In Boro". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  30. ^ Report. New York City Transit Authority. 1953.
  31. ^ "16-Point Plan Can Give Boro Relief Now". Long Island Star–Journal. August 10, 1962. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  32. ^ Johnson, Kirk (December 9, 1988). "Big Changes For Subways Are to Begin". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
  33. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (January 3, 2012). "Painted text still says To L.I.R.R. this was the closest IND station to it until the Archer Avenue extension in 1988". Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  34. ^ * "New York City Transit Authority Committee Agenda February 1989". Flickr. New York City Transit Authority. February 17, 1989. p. K-1. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
  35. ^ Johnson, Kirk (December 9, 1988). "Big Changes For Subways Are to Begin". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  36. ^ Alternatives Analysis/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Queens Subway Options Study. United States Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Urban Mass Transit Administration. May 1990. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  37. ^ "Archer Avenue Corridor Transit Service Proposal". New York City Transit Authority, Operations Planning Department. August 1988. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  38. ^ Polsky, Carol (December 11, 1988). "New Subway Line Finally Rolling Through Queens". Newsday.
  39. ^ "Archer Avenue Extension Opens December 11". Welcome Aboard: Newsletter of the New York City Transit Authority. New York City Transit Authority. 1 (4): 1. 1988.
  40. ^ "Service Change Monitoring Report Six Month Evaluation of F/R Queens Boulevard Line Route Restructure" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. April 1993. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  41. ^ "Service Changes September 30, 1990" (PDF). New York City Transit Authority. September 30, 1990. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  42. ^ "Van Wyck Blvd Station" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 1992. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  43. ^ "October 1992 New York City Subway Map". Flickr. New York City Transit Authority. October 1992. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  44. ^ "Service Change Monitoring Report Six Month Evaluation of F/R Queens Boulevard Line Route Restructure" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. April 1993. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  45. ^ "An Examination of the Finances of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority April 2003" (PDF). Office of the State Deputy Comptroller for the City of New York. April 2003. p. 35. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  46. ^ Newman, Philip (August 6, 2003). "Closing of token booths draws near for borough". Queens Courier. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  47. ^ a b Newman, Philip (August 13, 2003). "MTA to close token booths at 9 boro sites". Queens Courier. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  48. ^ Markowitz, Michael (February 24, 2003). "Token Booth Closings". Gotham Gazette. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  49. ^ Dougherty, Peter (2006) [2002]. Tracks of the New York City Subway 2006 (3rd ed.). Dougherty. OCLC 49777633 – via Google Books.
  50. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 2, 2008). "A small, original 'Sutphin' sign along the pillars between the express and local tracks at Sutphin Blvd". Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  51. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 2, 2008). "A name tablet at Sutphin Blvd with the arrowed tiling for 144th St underneath it". Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  52. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 2, 2008). "A view down the Manhattan bound platform at Sutphin Blvd". Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  53. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 2, 2008). "The very western end of the platform at Sutphin Blvd, there are couple of columns that are have tiling around them". Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  54. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (January 3, 2012). "The turnstiles at the opposite end of the overpass are barely visible". Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  55. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (February 9, 2004). "Looking out the doors of a train stopped at Sutphin Blvd with name tablet visible as well as a staircase up to the mezzanine towards the exit at Sutphin Blvd". Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  56. ^ a b "Sutphin Boulevard Neighborhood Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. April 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  57. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (January 3, 2012). "The former secondary staircase to the end of the Brooklyn & Manhattan platform". Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  58. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (January 3, 2012). "The high exit turnstile with a single staircase to the front of the 179 Street-bound platform". Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  59. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (January 3, 2012). "The high turnstiles at the 144 Street end of the station". Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  60. ^ Schreil, Cristina (June 24, 2015). "'Coming To America'". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved April 28, 2016.

External linksEdit