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53rd Street station (BMT Fourth Avenue Line)

 53 Street
 "R" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Reopening of 53rd St ESI Station (36965174321).jpg
Northbound R train arriving at the platform
Station statistics
Address53rd Street & Fourth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11220
LocaleSunset Park
Coordinates40°38′37″N 74°0′55.86″W / 40.64361°N 74.0155167°W / 40.64361; -74.0155167
DivisionB (BMT)
LineBMT Fourth Avenue Line
Services      N late nights (late nights)
      R all times (all times)
      W limited rush hour service only (limited rush hour service only)
Transit connectionsBus transport New York City Bus: B11; B37 (on Third Avenue); B63 (on Fifth Avenue)
Platforms2 side platforms
Tracks4 (2 in regular service)
Other information
OpenedJune 22, 1915 (104 years ago) (1915-06-22)[1]
ClosedMarch 27, 2017; 2 years ago (2017-03-27) (reconstruction)
RebuiltSeptember 8, 2017; 2 years ago (2017-09-08)
Station code034[2]
Wireless serviceWi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[3]
Other entrances/
Fourth Avenue and 53rd Street, Fourth Avenue and 52nd Street (southbound only)
Passengers (2018)2,378,056[4]Increase 100.2%
Rank196 out of 424
Station succession
Next north45th Street: N late nightsR all timesW limited rush hour service only
Next south59th Street: N late nightsR all timesW limited rush hour service only

53rd Street is a local station on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located at 53rd Street and Fourth Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, it is served by the R train at all times. The N train also stops here during late nights, and a few rush-hour W trains stop here in the peak direction.[5][6]


The station before renovation

This station opened on June 22, 1915 as part of the initial portion of the BMT Fourth Avenue Line to 59th Street, one station to the south from here.[1]

This station was overhauled in the late 1970s. The original trim lines were replaced with white cinderblock tiles, except for small recesses in the walls, which contained yellow-painted cinderblock tiles. The staircases were repaired and new platform edges were installed. The yellow cinderblock field contained the station-name signs and black text pointing to the exits. The renovation also replaced incandescent lighting with fluorescent lighting.[citation needed]

Station rehabilitation

Under the 2015–2019 MTA Capital Plan, the station, along with thirty other New York City Subway stations, underwent a complete overhaul as part of the Enhanced Station Initiative and was entirely closed for 5 months. Updates included cellular service, Wi-Fi, USB charging stations, interactive service advisories and maps, improved signage, and improved station lighting.[7][8] From January to May 2016, Grimshaw Architects worked on a design for the station's renovation, with Arup Group acting as a consultant.[9]

The award for Package 1 of the renovations, which covered renovations at the Prospect Avenue, 53rd Street, and Bay Ridge Avenue stations on the BMT Fourth Avenue Line, was awarded on November 30, 2016.[9] Citnalta-Forte Joint Venture was selected to renovate the three stations under a $72 million design–build contract, the first such contract in the subway system's history.[10] The station was closed on March 27, 2017 for these renovations,[11][12][13] and reopened on September 8, 2017,[14] ahead of schedule.[15]

Station layout

Track layout
G Street level Exit/entrance
M Mezzanine Fare control, station agent
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Northbound local "R" train toward Forest Hills–71st Avenue (Whitehall Street nights) (45th Street)
"N" train late nights, "W" train rush hours toward Astoria–Ditmars Boulevard (45th Street)
Northbound express "N" train does not stop here
Southbound express "N" train does not stop here →
Southbound local "R" train toward Bay Ridge–95th Street (59th Street)
"N" train late nights, "W" train rush hours toward 86th Street–Gravesend (59th Street)
Side platform, doors will open on the right
A former station name mosaic

This underground station has four tracks and two side platforms.[16] The two center tracks are used by N express trains during daytime hours.[5] The station walls contain refurbished cinderblock tiles (colored white with small recesses containing black tiles), black and white signs, and fluorescent lights. The 2017 renovation added ADA-compliant platform treads and a gray tiled floor, as well as indirect lighting atop the station wall, relocated from above the platform edge.[citation needed]

On the platforms, street signs and arrows leading to the station's exits are painted white on the wall tiles.[17][18] Columns run along the entire length of both platforms and are painted black.[19] Every other column has a "53 Street" sign on it in black with white text.[20] All are rounded except for the ones near the two staircases to the station's main entrance, which was where the platforms were extended.[19]

The 2017 artwork at this station consists of nature-inspired mosaics[15] by Brooklyn-based artist Mickalene Thomas.[14]


The station's main entrance has two staircases to each platform and one to each northern corner of Fourth Avenue and 53rd Street. The mezzanine allows transfer between directions and contains some original mosaic directional and arrow signs.[21][22] The one by the staircases to the southbound platform displays "Ft. Hamilton & Coney Island" while the one by the Manhattan-bound platform staircases displays "Down Town Trains."[23][24]

The southbound platform has an additional entrance near the north end.[25] Two platform-level turnstiles lead to a small landing before a three-flight staircase goes up to 52nd Street and Fourth Avenue. Prior to the 2017 renovation, the entrance was exit-only.[26][22] The landing area contained the original 1915 trim band with a single "53" tiled on it prior to the renovation of the station.[27]

The entrance at 4th Avenue and 53rd Street before renovation, seen during a snowy day. This entrance is located next to a bus stop.
Modernized station entrance
Interactive neighborhood map at entrance, added during renovation


  1. ^ a b "Through Tube to Coney, 48 Minutes: First Train on Fourth Avenue Route Beats West End Line Eleven Minutes". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 22, 1915. Retrieved June 29, 2015 – via
  2. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  4. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2013–2018". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "N Subway Timetable, Effective April 28, 2019" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
  6. ^ "R Subway Timetable, Effective June 24, 2018" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  7. ^ "MTA Will Completely Close 30 Subway Stations For Months-Long "Revamp"". Gothamist. Archived from the original on August 1, 2016. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  8. ^ "MTAStations" (PDF). Government of the State of New York. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. November 2016. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  10. ^ "Three Brooklyn R Stations are First in Major Subway Station Modernization Project". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 22, 2017. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  11. ^ Spivack, Caroline (January 16, 2017). "Shuttle scuttle: Riders demand extra buses during three subway stations' closure". Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  12. ^ "MTA will close these Brooklyn subway stops to facilitate upgrades". Curbed NY. March 22, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  13. ^ "Trains skip 53 St in both directions". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. March 26, 2017. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  14. ^ a b DeJesus, Jaime (September 8, 2017). "Sunset Park's renovated 53rd Street station is open for business". Brooklyn Reporter. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Newly renovated R train subway station transforms into commuter dream with USB ports, countdown clocks". New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV. September 9, 2017. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  16. ^ Dougherty, Peter (2006) [2002]. Tracks of the New York City Subway 2006 (3rd ed.). Dougherty. OCLC 49777633 – via Google Books.
  17. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "A 53 Street platform sign, text and a arrow for 52 St is painted beneath this one". Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  18. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "A 53 Street platform sign, text and a arrow for 52 St is painted beneath this one". Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  19. ^ a b Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "A final view down the Bay Ridge-bound side platform with its narrow columns at 53 Street". Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  20. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "A staircase up to the small mezzanine area and fare control form the Bay Ridge-bound platform at 53 Street". Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  21. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "Looking back towards the entrance turnstiles on the mezzanine level at 53 Street". Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  22. ^ a b "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Sunset Park" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
  23. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "A unique mosaic says Ft. Hamilton & Coney Island and points towards the platform To 95 Street at 53 Street". Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  24. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "The passageway that leads to the two staircases down to the Down Town Trains platform at 53 Street". Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  25. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "Another view approaching the High Exit Gate that leads to 52 St". Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  26. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "A M subway entrance column with red on it on 4th Avenue, and the No Entry staircase down to the exit from 52 Street". Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  27. ^ Cox, Jeremiah (June 9, 2009). "The only 53 tiling in the single band of trim that is still visible after passing through the High Exit gate that leads out to 52 St". Retrieved March 26, 2017.

External links

External video
Enhanced Station Initiative: 53 St Station Grand Opening