Bowling Green–South Ferry shuttle

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"SS (1967-1979)" train symbol
Bowling Green/South Ferry Shuttle
Bowling Green IRT 005.JPG
Boarded up shuttle platform on the right at Bowling Green station.
Northern endBowling Green
Southern endSouth Ferry (inner loop)
Rolling stockR12
Started serviceFebruary 1909
DiscontinuedFebruary 13, 1977
Route map

"4" train"5" train to Wall St
"4" train"5" train
Bowling Green
"5" train loop
"1" train South Ferry (right)
SF Loops (far left)
"1" train service, lower level
"1" train service, upper level
"4" train"5" train service
Non-revenue tracks

The Bowling Green–South Ferry shuttle was a shuttle service of the New York City Subway system that operated between Bowling Green and the South Ferry inner loop. It operated to provide South Ferry service for IRT Lexington Avenue Line riders during hours when the 5 service did not stop at South Ferry (weekdays during the day and at first also late nights). Because the inner loop station that the shuttle used at the South Ferry station was on such a tight curve, there was no continuous platform; instead four openings in the tunnel wall led into the station. R12 cars (5703-5706) that were used on the shuttle were modified and equipped so that only the center door of each car would open at one of the open spaces.


The shuttle was first operated in February 1909 to allow all rush hour trains to go to Brooklyn; the shuttle only operated during rush hours. Formerly, all Broadway express trains had terminated at South Ferry, with all Lenox Avenue express trains through to Brooklyn. Locals all ended at City Hall.[1][2][3][4][5]

In August 1964, the Low-Voltage cars that were in service on the shuttle were replaced with R12s, which had their door circuits modified so that only the doors which aligned with the portals would open.[5]

In 1967, the shuttle, as with all others, was given the label SS.

Poster announcing the 1977 public hearing which was held to discuss the planned elimination of the shuttle and other service cuts.

The New York City Transit Authority decided that the shuttle was more trouble to operate than the benefit it provided. At midnight between February 12 and 13, 1977, the Bowling Green shuttle was discontinued without replacement, and since then IRT Lexington Avenue Line passengers must walk a relatively short distance from Bowling Green station to South Ferry and the Staten Island Ferry terminal there.[6][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Shuttle Trains in Subway". The New York Times. May 27, 1908. p. 5. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  2. ^ "Want to Run Shuttle Trains". The New York Times. June 7, 1908. p. 18. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  3. ^ "Shuttle Service in Subway". The New York Times. February 25, 1909. p. 11. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  4. ^ "Annual report. 1908/09-1919/20". HathiTrust. Interborough Rapid Transit Company. Retrieved September 6, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b c Cunningham, Joseph; DeHart, Leonard O. (January 1, 1993). A History of the New York City Subway System. J. Schmidt, R. Giglio, and K. Lang.
  6. ^ "M.T.A. Expected to Save Franklin Avenue Shuttle, Once an Austerity Target". The New York Times. February 10, 1977. p. 27. Retrieved July 18, 2010.

External links[edit]