Attractions in Brooklyn, New York
The New York Transit Museum is a museum which displays historical artifacts of the New York City Subway and bus systems; it is located in the unused Court Street subway station in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood of New York City. There is a smaller satellite annex in Grand Central Terminal, Manhattan
On July 4, 1976, the New York City Transit Exhibit opened in the unused station as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration, with one subway token for admittance. Old cars which had been preserved, as well as models and other exhibits were displayed. Plans were to close it after the celebration, but it proved to be so popular that it remained open and eventually became a permanent museum.
The Transit Museum entrance is located at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street. The Museum includes subway memorabilia and other exhibits including heritage signage, models and dioramas of subway, bus and other equipment, and lectures and seminars. Tours and programs are available at the Museum for all ages. The Museum also offers offsite programs which consist of guided tours of MTA facilities, subway stations, artwork and architecture, and New York neighborhoods, as well as opportunities to ride vintage railway and bus equipment.
The museumís mezzanine (upper) level contains the majority of the exhibits, restrooms, water fountains, a screening room, and even a dining space for visitors who have brought their own food or drink. Artifacts from historic subway and bus operations, as well as NYC transportation, are on display. The exhibits on the upper level frequently change.
On the platform (lower) level, two working subway tracks contain many historic examples of New York City Subway and Elevated railway equipment as a permanent display. Preserved subway cars date as far back as the predecessor companies that came before the New York City Transit Authority, such as the BMT and IRT private companies and the city owned and operated IND. In addition to the subway cars, there is a large motor truck display, a working signal tower exhibit, and several other artifacts that highlight subway signaling, station signage, and station artwork.
Most of the subway cars in the Transit Museumís fleet are operable, and museum cars are frequently used for subway excursions run by the Museum, New York City Transit, and other parties (notably by NYCT Division C as a fundraiser benefiting The March of Dimes) on various parts of the system. Tickets for Transit Museum excursions (called "Nostalgia Trains") are sold in advance while tickets for the March of Dimes excursions are sold on the day of the excursion. New York City Transit excursions (such as Holiday specials at the end of most years, and Yankee/Met specials) are available for anyone to ride, so long as theyíve paid the regular subway fare. Since mid 2005 the March of Dimes excursions were suspended although no official reason has been given.
In addition to the subway cars stored in the Transit Museum, there are also some Museum cars that are kept in the Coney Island Complex and 207th Street Yard that are either awaiting restoration, undergoing restoration, or not currently being displayed.
Besides subway cars, the Museum has a sizable vintage bus fleet. However, there is no area set aside for their permanent exhibition at the Museum, and therefore they are stored in various Bus depots around the city. They are brought out for special events, such as the Museumís annual "Bus Festival," which is held annually in conjunction with the Atlantic Antic street fair. The Bus Festival began as an annual tradition in 1994. During the Bus Festival, the Museum opens its doors for free.
The Museum also maintains a sizable archive. Documents, photographs, and artifacts are stored both in the Museum and in the nearby Archives, adding to the goal of preserving the legacy of transportation in New York. Historians and researchers who wish to visit the Archives are able to do so through the Museum.
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Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn Heights, New York 11201
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