At a news conference at Grand Central Station today, MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow joined Subway Centennial Committee Chairman E. Virgil Conway to announce a yearlong celebration of the New York City subway's centennial.
Chairman Kalikow said, "The subway made New York what it is today and it is only appropriate for all New Yorkers to be reminded of its rich history. It is that history we intend to celebrate over the course of the next year throughout the city."
Centennial Committee Chairman E. Virgil Conway added, "As we approach the 100th Anniversary of the first subway ride, we are planning a number of special events to celebrate this great subway system. The subways belong to everyone, and we want all New Yorkers to join us in the celebration."
On October 27, 1904 the first subway opened from City Hall to Harlem and launched an unprecedented era of growth and prosperity for the newly unified City of New York. The subway allowed New York City and its economy to grow and helped shape and connect its great neighborhoods. It is safe to say that nearly 100 years later, the city's reliance on its 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week rapid transit system has not diminished.
Over the next year, the MTA and all of New York City will celebrate the subway and its storied history with a series of events culminating with the centennial celebration on October 27, 2004. Planned events include a variety of "nostalgia" train runs, exhibits of historic subway materials, Music Under New York concerts, and a special reenactment of the first subway ride. A number of centennial events celebrating the subway's past and its future will also be held in each of the five boroughs.
The New York City subway, operated by MTA New York City Transit, is the largest subway system in North America, moving over 4.5 million customers each day, in 6,400 train cars, over 656 miles of subway track, to 468 stations, on 26 train lines.