181st Street (IND Eighth Avenue Line)

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181st Street
New York City Subway rapid transit station
Ny subway A181 uptown platform.jpg
Station statistics
Address West 181st Street & Fort Washington Avenue
New York, NY 10033
Borough Manhattan
Locale Washington Heights, Hudson Heights
Coordinates 40°51′03″N 73°56′18″W / 40.850891°N 73.938289°W / 40.850891; -73.938289Coordinates: 40°51′03″N 73°56′18″W / 40.850891°N 73.938289°W / 40.850891; -73.938289
Division B (IND)
Line       IND Eighth Avenue Line
Services       A all times (all times)
Transit connections Bus transport NYCT Bus: M4, M98
Bus transport GWB Bus Station
Structure Underground
Platforms 2 side platforms
Tracks 2
Other information
Opened September 10, 1932; 84 years ago (1932-09-10)[1]
Wireless service Wi-Fi[2]
Other entrances/
Fort Washington Avenue & 181st St, Overlook Terrace & 184th St, east side of Fort Washington Avenue
Passengers (2015) 3,628,174[3]Increase 5%
Rank 144 out of 422
Station succession
Next north 190th Street: A all times
Next south 175th Street: A all times

181st Street Subway Station (IND)
MPS New York City Subway System MPS
NRHP Reference # 05000233[4]
Added to NRHP March 30, 2005

181st Street is a station on the IND Eighth Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. It is located on Fort Washington Avenue and 181st Street, one of the main shopping districts of the Hudson Heights neighborhood of Washington Heights, and served by the A train at all times.

Station layout[edit]

Track layout
to 190 St
to 175 St
G Street Level Exit/Entrance
(Elevator at Bennett Park exit. Note: Platforms are not accessible)
M Mezzanine Fare control, station agent, MetroCard vending machines, tunnel to Overlook Terrace at north end
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Northbound NYCS-bull-trans-A.svg toward Inwood – 207th Street (190th Street)
Southbound NYCS-bull-trans-A.svg toward Lefferts Boulevard, Far Rockaway, or Rockaway Park (175th Street)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

This underground station, opened on September 10, 1932,[1][5] has two tracks and two side platforms and is deep below the surface due to the area's hills. In fact, the highest natural point on Manhattan Island is in Bennett Park, adjacent to the station exit on Fort Washington Avenue between West 183rd and 185th Streets (there is no West 184th Street there).

Because of the station's depth, escalators lead to 181st Street at the south end, and elevators at the north end of the station carry passengers to the Bennett Park exit. The elevators were formerly only open during the daytime, and required the payment of a fare to use.[6] Since 1957, the elevators have been available for use by pedestrians going between Overlook Terrace and Fort Washington Avenue without paying a fare; a similar situation exists at 190th Street, the next station uptown,[7] as well as at 191st Street, on the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line.[8]


  • Exit at Overlook Terrace and West 184th Street[9]
  • Exit at Fort Washington Avenue across from Bennett Park, between West 183rd and 185th Streets[9]
  • Exit at Fort Washington Avenue at 181st Street[9]

Overlook Terrace entrance at West 184th Street
Fort Washington Avenue entrance between West 183rd and 185th Streets

Bus service[edit]

The station and the nearby George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal are served by ten local MTA Regional Bus Operations routes and various interstate bus routes.[10][11]

Route Operator North/West Terminal South/East Terminal via notes
Local Bus Routes
M4 New York City Bus The Cloisters or Fort Tryon Park Penn Station Broadway and Fifth Avenue Bus only runs to the Cloisters when the museum is open; it only runs to Fort Tryon Park at all other times.
M5 New York City Bus Broadway at West 179th Street South Ferry Riverside Drive, Fifth Avenue, and Broadway
M98 LTD New York City Bus Fort Tryon Park 68th Street/Lexington Avenue Harlem River Drive and Lexington Avenue Bus only runs during rush hours.
M100 New York City Bus West 220th Street/Broadway, Inwood East 125th Street/First Avenue, East Harlem Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues
Bx3 New York City Bus 238th Street station, Riverdale, Bronx West 179th Street east of Broadway University Avenue
Bx7 New York City Bus West 263rd Street/Riverdale Avenue, Riverdale, Bronx 168th Street station Broadway, Johnson Avenue, Henry Hudson Parkway
Bx11 New York City Bus West 179th Street west of Broadway Simpson Street station, Longwood, Bronx 170th Street
Bx13 New York City Bus West 179th Street west of Broadway Bronx Terminal Market (extended to Third Avenue/163rd Street, rush hours) Ogden Avenue and Yankee Stadium
Bx35 New York City Bus West 179th Street east of Broadway Simpson Street station, Longwood, Bronx 167th & 169th Street's
Bx36 New York City Bus West 179th Street west of Broadway Olmstead Avenue/Seaward Avenue, Castle Hill, Bronx 174/180th Streets
Other bus routes
George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal routes Various George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal

In popular culture[edit]

The upper mezzanine's elevator bank
  • The station is mentioned in the title song of the Broadway musical In the Heights by Lin-Manuel Miranda, where Usnavi says to take the A train "even farther than Harlem to Northern Manhattan and maintain, get off at 181st and take the escalator. I hope you're writing this down I'm gonna test ya later".[12]
  • On September 13, 1980, aspiring pianist Eric Kaminsky was robbed and stabbed to death in the station. His murder became the basis for his mother's book The Victim's Song.[13]



  1. ^ a b "List of the 28 Stations on the New Eighth Ave Line", The New York Times (September 10, 1932), p.6
  2. ^ "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  3. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  4. ^ "NPS Focus". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved November 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ Crowell, Paul (September 10, 1932). "Gay Midnight Crowd Rides First Trains In The New Subway: Throngs at Station an Hour Before Time, Rush Turnstiles When Chains are Dropped". New York Times. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "FREE ELEVATORS IN SUBWAY FOUGHT". The New York Times. August 7, 1939. p. 13. Retrieved July 29, 2016. 
  7. ^ "2 IND ELEVATORS OPEN TO FREE USE". nytimes.com. The New York Times. September 6, 1957. p. 19. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  8. ^ Kurtz, Josh (1991-08-12). "Washington Heights Journal; A Subway Passageway Just for the Courageous". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  9. ^ a b c "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Washington Heights" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2016. 
  10. ^ "Manhattan Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-29. 
  11. ^ "Bronx Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-29. 
  12. ^ "Lin-Manuel Miranda – In the Heights". Genius. 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2016-07-16. 
  13. ^ Kaminsky, Alice. The Victim's Song. Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1985. ISBN 0879752920.

External links[edit]