20 Gritty Photos From The NYC Subway In 1973

These 40 year old photos provide a glimpse into a now romanticized era of the city’s history.

Facts about the New York City Subway system:

The New York City Subway is owned by the City of New York and leased to the New York City Transit Authority.

It is the most extensive public transportation system in the world.

A typical New York City Subway train consists of 8 to 11 cars.

Because of its accessibility and interconnectedness, the subway help spread the growth of graffiti culture.

Fares throughout the 1970s:
$0.30 (January 1, 1970 – December 31, 1971)
$0.35 (January 1, 1972 – August 31, 1975)
$0.50 (September 1, 1975 – June 28, 1980)

Massimo Vignelli designed the subway map used by the MTA between 1972-1979. The very modern design was meet with complaints as for the sake of design, it took to some artistic liberties and was geographically inaccurate.

In the late 1960’s Massimo, along with Bob Noorda, were the design team responsible for the unifying the signage for the subway system. The classic designs are still in use today.

Subway map used from 1972-1979.


125th Street station


A woman waits for A Train at the 79th Street station.


Graffiti on the walls of the 116th Street – Columbia University station.


Subway car at the 42 Street-Times Square station.


34th Street – Herald Square station.


Train leaving the Prospect Park station.

All photos via: The U.S. National Archives, unless otherwise noted.

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