Going Underground: The History of the New York Subway System

By Karen Harris
The New York City subway system, which opened in 1904 and is the world's largest rapid transit system serving over 5.7 million daily riders on weekdays. Source: (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New York City’s subway system is such an integral part of the city that it is hard to image the Big Apple without it. The city would have a much different look if the underground transit system had never been built and elevated railcars were used instead, as was originally planned. It took a debilitating natural disaster to prove to the people of New York that a subway system was a viable option. Let’s go underground to look at the conception and construction of the New York subway.