The Busiest Subway Stations in New York City

Some of the busiest subway stations in New York are in proximity of bustling Times Square.

The New York subway is the world’s longest rapid transit system and also the largest in terms of the number of stations. It is managed by the MTA and serves all five boroughs. An average of 5.65 million riders use the system on a daily basis. The following stations are the busiest in order of most ridership.

Subway Stations ranking

Times Square - 42nd Street

With a ridership of 66.4 million in 2015, Times Square at 42nd street is the busiest station in the New York City Subway system and with good reason. It is in direct vicinity of the infamous Times Square and also the Broadway theatre. Its location in midtown Manhattan is the most prime real estate in the city and also one of the busiest metropolitan locale in the world.

Grand Central - 42nd Street

The Grand Central at the 42nd Street comes in second after Times Square on the same street with a ridership of 46.7 million passengers in 2015. The station and its architecture attracts tourists all year long and a visit to the city is deemed incomplete without a visit to the station. The station has 44 platforms (a world record).

34th Street - Herald Square

With a ridership of 39.5 million, the Herald Square station at 34th street comes in at the third place among the busiest subway stations in New York City. Notable nearby attractions include the Empire State building, Manhattan Mall, Herald Square and Madison Square Garden.

14th Street - Union Square

With a ridership of 35.3 million in 2015, the Union Square subway station complex is the 4th busiest in the city. The complex is situated at the border of popular business and nightlife destinations. There used to be three separate stations here until they were unified in 1940. The station is also place on the National Register of Historic Places.

34th Street - Penn Station

The 34th Street - Penn Station is the fifth busiest station with a ridership of 28.3 million in 2015. It is located adjacent to the Pennsylvania station which is the busiest railroad station in the country.

59th Street - Columbus Circle

The 59th Street – Columbus Circle station has a ridership of 23.2 million ranking it as the sixth busiest subway complex in the city. Notable nearby attractions include the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, the Museum of Arts & Design, New York Institute of Technology and also the Fordham University.

Fulton Street

Fulton Street station has a ridership of 21.7 million ranking it seventh busiest in New York city. It is located in Lower Manhattan. The notable nearby attraction include the St. Paul’s Chapel and also the World Trade Center complex.

Lexington Avenue - 59th Street

With a ridership of 21.4 million, Lexington Avenue – 59th Street station is the ninth busiest often exchanging rankings with Fulton Street for 8th place. Its location between Midtown and Upper East Side of Manhattan make it an important and busy junction in the subway system.

86th Street

The 86th Street station is the tenth busiest subway station with a ridership of 20.8 million in 2015. It is very close to the Neue Galerie New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Academy of Design.

The Busiest Subway Stations in New York City

RankStation Name2015 Ridership (Millions)
1Times Square - 42nd Street66.4
2Grand Central - 42nd Street46.7
334th Street - Herald Square39.5
414th Street - Union Square35.3
534th Street - Penn Station28.3
659th Street - Columbus Circle23.2
7Fulton Street21.7
8Lexington Avenue - 59th Street21.4
986th Street20.8

More in Society