Whitehall Street-South Ferry is a New York City Subway complex in the Manhattan neighborhood of Financial District, under Battery Park. The complex is shared by the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line, IND Second Avenue Line, and BMT Broadway Line. It is served by the:

  • 1 R and T trains at all times
  • N train during late nights only
  • W and Y trains during weekdays only
  • 9 trains during weekday rush hours only

Station layoutEdit

G Street level Exits/Entrances
Loop Platforms
Side Platform, not in service
Inner loop 5 does not stop here (Bowling Green)
Outer loop 1, 9 towards Van Cortlandt Park (Rector Street)
Side Platform, doors open to the right; first 5 cars only
Mezzanine to entrances/exits, station agent, MetroCard vending machines
B2 Mezzanine Passageway to platforms
Broadway Platforms
Northbound R toward Forest Hills-71st Avenue (Rector Street)
← N toward Astoria (late nights)(Rector Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right
Middle Track W toward Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard (Rector Street)
R toward Bay Ridge (Court Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the right, left
R toward Bay Ridge (Court Street)
→ N toward Coney Island (late nights)(Court Street)
Seventh Avenue Platform
Track 4 1, 9 towards Van Cortlandt Park (Rector Street)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right; out of service
Track 1 1, 9 towards Van Cortlandt Park (Rector Street)
Second Avenue Platforms
Northbound T toward Broadway-125th Street (Old Slip-Hanover Square)
Island platform, doors will open on the left, right
Middle Track Y toward Jamaica–179th Street (Old Slip-Hanover Square)
Island platform, doors will open on the right, left
T toward Rockaway Park (Court Street)


IRT Seventh Avenue lineEdit

On July 10, 1905, the outer South Ferry platform was the first of the two platforms to open and was an extension of the original trunk line of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company. The inner track existed when the station was built, but only as a storage track. When the "H" system of the IRT opened on July 1, 1918, Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line trains used the outer platform while the inner platform was opened for IRT Lexington Avenue Line trains which used the original trunk line in Lower Manhattan.The outer platform only fitted about 6 cars with a sharp loop curve, but the inner platform has an even sharper curve than the outer platform, and only the center doors opened here, with special arched openings in a wall between the platform and track at the locations of the doors.

In the late 1950s, when the IRT division began to use mostly R-type cars which could not have only the center doors opened, 5 trains (which ended at South Ferry evenings and weekends only) and 6 trains (which ended at South Ferry late nights) were rerouted to the outer loop. The Bowling Green–South Ferry shuttle, which ran weekdays and at first also late nights, continued to use the inner loop, running to the west platform at Bowling Green until 1977, when the inner platform was closed and Lexington Avenue trains stopped using the outer loop. Specially modified R12 cars were used starting in the late 1960s until the service ended. These cars had two different door controls; the first opened the outer two sets of doors while the second opened the center set of doors only. There was no free transfer between the inner loop and the outer loop platforms.

Services on the Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line, including the 1 and 9 trains, have used the outer platform as a terminal station since its inception, except for two relatively short periods of time. The first period was between September 2001 and September 2002 since the main branch south of Chambers Street was impassable after the September 11 attacks. The second was from March 16, 2009, when the new South Ferry station opened for 1 train passengers, to April 4, 2013, when the outer platform reopened with a transfer to the BMT section of the station complex. The newer station, located underneath this one, allowed a free transfer to the BMT station whereas neither of this station's platforms originally did.

On September 11, 2001, a terrorist attack destroyed the World Trade Center, located slightly to the north of South Ferry and the Battery. Since the entire WTC site was destroyed in the attacks, this meant that the segment of the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line that ran through the WTC, including the Cortlandt Street station two stops north of South Ferry, was also destroyed. This changed 1, 2 and 3 service and led to reduced service in Manhattan and Brooklyn until the WTC section of the line reopened in September 2002. Concurrent with the rebuilding of that section of the line, MTA officials recognized the need to build a more efficient terminal for the 1 and 9 trains at South Ferry, since it was anticipated that the line would be heavily used in the long-term aftermath of the attacks. This also coincided with the renovation of Battery Park.

In 2003, money was allocated for the new station's construction, and in 2005, construction commenced on the new station. The station was originally budgeted at $400 million, with most of the money being a grant from the Federal Transit Administration earmarked for World Trade Center reconstruction. Initially, the station's construction had been opposed because of the high cost and low perceived time savings. However, the FTA issued a Finding of No Significant Impact on August 30, 2004, and the South Ferry Terminal Project was allowed to proceed. During planning, the FTA evaluated several alternatives, including extending the existing loop platform northward; building the terminal with an extra track and platform; building a two-track terminal underneath the loop; building a two-track terminal directly under Water Street, to the east; building a two-track terminal along the waterfront under South Street, to the southeast; building a three-track terminal below the BMT Broadway Line's Whitehall Street station, under the namesake street; and building the terminal diagonally under Peter Minuit Plaza. Of these seven options, the last one was chosen because any other alternative would have been either too expensive or logistically infeasible.

The project was split up into three parts: construction of bellmouths, a fan plant, and track junctions from the existing line; approach tunnels to the station; and the station itself. The bellmouths' construction would require that 270 feet (82 m) of the original tunnel would have to be rebuilt to accommodate the new junction. The fan plant, located to the east of the existing line, would facilitate ventilation from the new deep-level station, which would be located below three exiting subway lines (the loop platform, the IRT Lexington Avenue Line's Joralemon Street Tunnel, and the BMT Broadway Line's Montague Street Tunnel). The two new approach tunnels would be single-track tunnels connecting to a cavern where a double crossover switch would be installed. The new 76,820-square-foot (7,137 m2) station, located at a depth of 50 feet (15 m), would contain a 600-by-25-foot (182.9 by 7.6 m) platform, a new mezzanine level, escalators, and an elevator.

On December 8, 2005, New York City authorities announced that builders working on the new station had found the remains of a 200-year-old stone wall. After archaeological analysis, it was widely reported to be the oldest man-made structure still in place in Manhattan. Four walls and over 250,000 individual artifacts were found in the excavation of this subway station. A portion of one wall was placed on temporary display inside Castle Clinton.

The platform view as seen shortly after opening On December 11, 2008, news sources reported that the new station was essentially finished. In January 2009, however, the opening was delayed because the tracks were too far from the edge of the platform, and the gap between the platform and the train did not meet ADA standards. Other delays were attributed to leaks in the station, which were caused by the station's high water table. The problem was corrected and the station opened on March 16, 2009, a year behind when it was originally set to open. At $530 million, the new South Ferry station ended up being $130 million over budget. It was the first new subway station completed since 1989 when the IND 63rd Street Line stations opened. On April 16, 2009, MTA Capital Construction awarded a $19.2 million contract to Tully Construction Company to reconstruct Peter Minuit Plaza, which is above the station.

After the station opened, a long portion of the excavated historic wall was embedded permanently into the wall of the entrance to the newly constructed station. "This wall most likely is a portion of the gun batteries that once protected the city in the late 17th and 18th centuries and gave rise to the modern park name," said Robert Tierney, chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The city and the New York City Transit Authority plan to work together to preserve the remains, which were described as "an important remnant of the history of New York City."

The station's mezzanine and escalator shafts feature monumental artwork titled See it split, see it change, which consists of fused glass wall, stone mosaic, and a stainless steel fence. The artwork, by Doug and Mike Starn, depicts Manhattan topography and was installed in the mezzanine over a period of three years. At the time of the work's installation, it was the most expensive MTA Arts for Transit work ever installed, with a price tag of $1 million.

On October 29, 2012, the new South Ferry station suffered extensive flooding damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. The station was flooded in up to 80 feet (24 m) of salt water, submerging it from the track level to the mezzanine, and turned the station into a "large fish tank," as then-MTA chairman Joseph Lhota described it. As a result, this section of the complex was closed until further notice. The MTA estimated that repairs would cost $600 million and might continue until 2016. The terminal for the routes serving the station was moved back to Rector Street until the old loop station could be put back into service. The old loop station reopened on April 4, 2013, as a temporary replacement until the new station is restored to revenue service. The connection between the loop station and the rest of the station necessitated the temporary removal of a 20-foot (6.1 m) section of the See it split, see it change artwork.

The station is expected to reopen in the summer of 2017 after renovations, signal room relocations, and extensive waterproofing work. The signal room itself could be delayed until 2019. The $194 million contract was awarded on December 8, 2014, and the station is currently undergoing extensive reconstruction, including the installation of retractable floodgates at exits and entrances; sealing vents, manholes, hatches, conduits, and ducts; and cleaning up the station. The renovation itself costs $345 million. These improvements necessitated the closure of the station complex's main entrance for almost a year starting in October 2015.

BMT Broadway LineEdit

The Whitehall Street station opened on September 20, 1918. It was the terminal for the Broadway Line until the connection to Brooklyn opened on August 1, 1920.

The station is rather deep because of two factors, the line goes under the East River directly southeast of the station, and the station exists just south of the shallower Bowling Green station. The fare control area and transfer to the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line platforms are at the extreme south end of the station, with additional exits at the north end.

South of this station, a pair of bellmouths exists, allowing for a connection to a never-built East River tunnel south of the Montague Street Tunnel, going towards the proposed DeKalb Avenue bypass, using the old LIRR Atlantic Avenue Tunnel or under another street in Brooklyn. Further south is a flying junction joining from Broad Street on the BMT Nassau Street Line (no regular service). Also south of this station, the emergency exit from the Montague Street Tunnel is located in the Nassau Street Connection which means before the Nassau Street Line was built, the emergency exit was actually in the bellmouth for the proposed line. The bellmouth was visible for years until it was used by the Nassau Street Connection when the entire line opened in 1931.

The outer tracks continue south into the Montague Street Tunnel to the BMT Fourth Avenue Line in Brooklyn, and are used by late-night N trains and daytime R trains. The center track, used to terminate late-night R trains from Brooklyn and weekday W trains from Queens, merges with the outer tracks at either end of the station.

On January 6, 1994, Automated Fare Collection turnstiles went into service at this station, and at the Wall Street station.

IND Second Avenue LineEdit

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 25, 1957, with Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. and TA officials in attendance for the new Chrystie Street Line and connection project. It was expected that the project would be finished in around 1965.

The project was projected to cost $175 million, and was projected to provide capacity for over 75,000 more riders an hour between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Lighting, power and signal equipment for the Chrystie Street line had been installed by January 1965. In 1965, the whole project was projected to be completed in 1967. However, the line and the Whitehall Street station opened on July 1, 1968, with the connection to the BMT Broadway Line.

Whitehall Street-South Ferry on the IND Second Avenue Line has three tracks and two island platforms, similar to the BMT counterpart. The outer tracks continue south into the Schermerhorn Street Tunnel to the IND Fulton Street Line in Brooklyn. The center track, used to terminate Y trains from Queens, merges with the outer tracks at either end of the station.

The station is rather deep, being located about 110 ft (33.5 m) below street level and 85 feet (26 m) below sea level. This is because the line goes under the East River directly southeast of the station, and the station exists under other lines passing under the east river in the Financial District.


Entrances and exits are located at the following places:

  • Two staircases at the west side of Whitehall and Stone Streets, east of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House and National Museum of the American Indian
  • One staircase at the northeast corner of Whitehall and Stone Streets
  • Two staircases at the southwest corner of Whitehall and Water Streets
  • Handicapped/disabled access One set of staircase/escalators and one elevator northwest of the Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal
  • One set of staircase/escalator outside of the bus stop at the southeast corner of Water and State Streets
  • One staircase on the southwest side of State Street, south of the intersection with Pearl Street
  • Two staircases at both the east corners of Whitehall and Pearl Streets

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