Looking at a NYC subway map, I suddenly noticed that there no subway lines going west to NJ. Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens get lines under the East River. So it’s not like they won’t go under a river to build a line.
So why won’t the MTA extend the subways to New Jersey? Is it a political thing?
Because it’s the NYC subway system, a metropolitan service, and while “NYC” extends under the East River it doesn’t extend under the Hudson. While NY/NYC/NJ share a number of services, I’d guess that tradition, funding issues, admin issues and more keep the NYC subway completely NYC.
Geographically, but politically, Long Island is outside the city limits. At the time the subways were being built, there weren’t enough people on Long Island outside the city to make a subway a working proposition.
What, he shut down the whole tunnel project, not just a few lanes? How’s the study going?
Actually, the subway system is more complex than that. There used to be 3 separate subway companies with franchises to provide service inside New York City. Eventually they were going broke, IIRC, and had to be merged to the one authority.
(For example, they are in the process of extending the #7 train - however, when the #7 was first built, the rival subway company deliberately built a deeper station directly in the way on 8th Ave. to block such expansion.)
Meanwhile, the “Port Authority” is an interstate group responsible for all operations of the port area. As the commuter trains and ferry terminals began to get overlaoded, they decided to build the PATH trains to connect NYC and the Jersey cities across the river.
There already are two under-the-river train lines that go from New York to New Jersey. You use your MetroCard, same way you do to get on the subway. Years ago, the Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH) was cheaper than the subway, so people would hop on a PATH train to save some money instead of paying the higher MTA fare.
Many subway entrances are also PATH train entrances. That’s probably why they don’t stick out to you.
The first one stops at 33rd St (right near Macy’s), used to stop at 28th St but they closed that station, 23rd St, 14th St, 9th St and Christopher St before it goes under the river to New Jersey. You use your MetroCard, same way you do to get on the subway. It was a lot cooler years ago when you could see an abandoned subway station along the way.
The second line goes from the WTC to New Jersey.
This article isn’t completely accurate, but it’s pretty good:
NYC subway lines are all you’re going to see on an NYC subway map. All of NYC subway is with the city limits. Perhaps the difference is that DC is tiny in land area, only 68 square miles; NYC is more than 300 square miles. People come from outside DC because DC is a rinkydink little town. In addition, NYC has waaaaaaaaay more population than DC - more than ten times the population. NYC subway moves people around NYC… That’s what it’s for. As noted, metro-north, PATH, and LIRR serve commuters.
Around here, if you say Long Island, you’re always referring to the political entity, which consists of Nassau and Suffolk counties only. Nobody ever uses the term to refer to the geographical island. (In fact, I don’t know of a commonly used term that refers to the island, as opposed to the Island.) It took me a while to get used to that when I moved here, but now it’s ingrained.
Someone who knows the history better than I: When the subways were originally built, did the City yet contain Queens and Brooklyn? Did the subways extend outside of what was then NYC?
It did. The IRT project began in 1904; the consolidation of what are now the five boroughs began in 1898.
But there were other railroad and streetcar lines in Brooklyn and Queens which predated the consolidation, though, and were absorbed into the subway companies via mergers and acquisitions. The right-of-way for the Brighton Line (where I live) was originally built in 1878. It is now part of the BMT, serving the Q and B trains, having been grade-separated by the 1920s.
I think NYC’s subway must be a little different, because it’s so much older than most and was conceived as an urban transit system. New York was and is a major rail center, and the needs of what suburban commuters there were in those days were already being met by the intercity rail lines that converged in Manhattan. For many in LI and elsewhere, the intercity routes still serve their needs.
Elsewhere local transit is typically operated by a county or multi-county agency and is often more suburban in character. BART, for instance, has many more miles of track outside of SF proper than it does within it; to a significant degree it’s more about getting people into and out of SF. There aren’t that many routes or stations within the city. What there is of a subway in L.A. is entirely in the city limits for now, but the other rail lines and most of the bus routes go outside the city.