The New York City Subway is a rapid transit system owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). With 468 stations it is the most extensive public transportation system in the world and also the world's oldest public transit system. In 2012, the subway delivered 1.65 billion rides, averaging 5.4 million rides on weekdays, about 3.2 million rides on Saturdays, and about 2.5 million rides on Sundays. Those numbers make, by annual ridership, the New York City Subway the busiest rapid transit rail system in the United States and in the Americas, as well as the seventh busiest rapid transit rail system in the world. Tokyo, Seoul, Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou record higher annual riderships.
Currently, it is one of only five rapid transit systems in the United States to offer rail service 24 hours per days and every day of the year. Overall, the New York City Subway system contains a total of 842 miles of trackage. Its stations are located throughout the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx. The subway system, contrary to what many of its passengers believe, actually is among the most cost-efficient in the country, with the lowest cost per passenger trip and second-lowest cost per passenger mile.
- Contrary to its name, the New York City Subway system is not entirely underground. In actuality about 40% of trackage is at or above ground.
- Since 1987, MTA has sponsored the "Music Under New York" (MUNY) program in which street musicians enter a competitive contest to be assigned to the preferred high traffic locations. That's right... those REALLY TALENTED PEOPLE playing that REALLY GOOD MUSIC most probably have a permit to be there.
- Performers are prohibited in subway cars.
- While the City Hall station hasn't been used since 1945, lucky riders of the 6 train who don't get off at the Brooklyn Bridge stop can get a glimpse of the underground jewel as the train loops back northbound toward the Bronx.
- Track 61, which was used in the 1930s when bigwigs looking for a private entrance to the Waldorf-Astoria were in town. Its most notable passenger, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, used it to hide his disability from the public. The platform was wide enough to fit FDR's armor-plated Pierce-Arrow limousine, which could be driven directly from the train to the interior of the Waldorf. The limousine is still housed inside the old train car today. Operation on the track stopped in 1945 when FDR died. Legend has it that Andy Warhol threw an underground party on the platform in 1965.