New York Transit Museum – Over 100 Years of New York Transit

New York City is filled with museums showcasing the most amazing art and history that the world has to offer.  With the size of New York City and its age means that there are many unique aspects of the city that need to be highlighted along with these other museums.  The transit system in New York City is an often complained about and overlooked part of the city of which accounts for millions of riders each and every day and has been around for over 100 years.  Deep in the heart of Brooklyn Heights is a museum highlighting the years of history and what makes the transit system so special to the city of New York.

The New York Transit Museum is slightly different than most museums in the city starting first with its entrance, which is not some grand staircase upwards to giant doors but a stairway descending down into the city streets. The museum is located at a decommissioned Court Street subway stop in Brooklyn that has the museum built below the city streets.  Of course adding to this subway station theme has patrons entering and exiting the museum through subway turn styles and purchasing a ticket from an employee who is in an old subway station booth.

The most unique and interesting sections of this museum is absolutely the bottom floor which features subway cars from every period since the subway was opened over 100 years ago.  From subway cars with actual leather straps hanging from the ceiling to others whose seat coverings are made from what can only be described as wicker twine, being able to touch and walk through 100 years of history gives you a unique perspective on what it was like to commute so many years ago.  The subway cars also have period appropriate advertisements which can be equal parts funny and nostalgic.  The museum also has subway train parts that you can touch and pickup and really understand how large and powerful these machines really are.

The subway cars are not the only exhibits worth visiting here as the Transit Museum doesn’t just focus on the subway but also includes sections dedicated the New York bus system as well as all the electronics that make these massive infrastructures work.

If you are looking for something new and different to do while still getting to view a unique part of New York’s history than the Transit Museum is a must visit.  The museum is a truly immersive experience that not only lets you see history but also lets you interact with it.  All these things make the New York Transit Museum a must visit the next time you are in Brooklyn!

New Yorker Tip: Membership to the Transit Museum comes with some really interesting perks which include tours of the old City Hall subway stop as well as other historic transit and unique transit locations. Being a member is the only way to be able to tour these locations so it makes membership to this museum pretty special.