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How Convenient Is the New York City Subway for Residents of Manhattan?

Comedian Steven Wright said that everything is within walking distance if you have enough time, but for many residents of the bustling New York City borough of Manhattan, it's no joke to say that you can get anywhere you want with a minimum number of footsteps. That's because every apartment dweller in Manhattan lives -- at most -- only .8 miles (1.2 km) from a subway station. Researcher Ben Wellington used Metropolitan Transportation Authority maps and information from two residential databases to figure out that the farthest apartment in the borough from a subway station is an approximately $20-million USD penthouse on 84th Street. Putting that in a pedestrian perspective, if you walk at 3 mph (average walking gait), you can get from that penthouse to the public transit station in less than 20 minutes. For the record, New York City boasts the largest subway system in the world, with 27 routes serving 472 stations.

Riding the rails:

  • New York City's subway system is the biggest but not the busiest: Beijing's subway has about twice as many riders every year, with around 3.8 billion trips taken in 2018.

  • You can ride a single subway line for more than 31 miles (50 km), from 207th Street in Manhattan to Far Rockaway in Queens.

  • One Brooklyn subway stop sits 88 feet (27 m) above ground level, making it the world's highest transportation station.

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