The value of a property is determined by many things. As any real estate agent will tell you, the more The important variable is “location, location, location”. The location strongly influences the values of the property, because although some aspects of the property, such as its physical structure or its characteristics, can be changed, the location is something permanent.
But what does it mean for a property to have a “good” location? Is it in a neighborhood or a city with high demand? Is it close to shops, parks, good schools and other desirable amenities? Does the property itself offer its inhabitants some breathtaking views?
As you would probably expect, having each of these desirable characteristics can lead to an increase in a property’s value. But one element of the location that is often overlooked is access to infrastructure. And in New York City, there are few components of the city’s vast infrastructure that are more vital than the subway.
According to a study conducted by Urban studies, the leading international journal for urban scholarship, “empirical results indicate that direct savings in transportation costs have been capitalized in the value of housing. Even without delving into this study, it makes sense: when people can easily travel to other parts of the city, and when people can eliminate transportation costs (like owning a car), ownership will inherently have more. valuable.
Recent data indicate that less than half of New York households own a car. In fact, less than 1.4 million households own a car, out of a total population of 3.1 million households. The car-free lifestyle is particularly common in Manhattan and the southern Bronx, where the car ownership rate in some neighborhoods is only twenty percent. Unsurprisingly, these are also the areas where the use of the metro and other types of public transport is the highest.
When you compare a map of New York City real estate values to a map of the subway system, the correlation between access to transportation and ownership is clear. With this in mind, many real estate investors will be looking for properties near busier metro stations. Below, we’ll take a look at the ten busiest subway stations in New York City, using data collected by the Metro Transit Authority (MTA).
Times Square and 42sd Street
Times Square has been dubbed “the heart of civilization” and while the heavily visited neighborhood is often avoided by some locals, there’s no denying that the neighborhood plays a vital role in New York’s cultural scene. In 2020, this station experienced a traffic volume of 20,341,240, which was far more than any other station. In addition to the centralized location of the stop, its popularity is also due to the fact that it has many different lines including the N, Q, R, W, S, 1, 2, 3, 7 and A lines. , C, E. By getting on the subway here, you can easily reach almost any part of New York City.
Grand Central and 42sd Street
Grand Central Station is not only a beautiful work of architecture, it also plays a very important role in the city’s transportation infrastructure. Located near the Chrysler Building and just south of Midtown, the station plays an essential role in connecting Manhattan with other boroughs. Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx are all directly accessible via this station, making it particularly common among daily commuters. The station provides access to lines S, 4, 5, 6 and 7. In 2020, its ridership was 13,162,826. Grand Central also offers relatively easy access to LaGuardia Airport.
34e Rue and Place Herald
The 34e and Herald Square station, located to the south and a little more central than the stations mentioned above, recorded a traffic volume of 12,826,841 during 2020. The station is not only located near the very center of South Manhattan, but it also connects to some of the more popular routes to Brooklyn. As Brooklyn’s western neighborhoods continue their ambitious development – with downtown Brooklyn currently booming – it has proven vital to have a reliable connection between the city’s two economically active boroughs.
14e Street and Union Square
In 2020, the metro station located at 14e Street and Union Square recorded a traffic volume of over 10.8 million. Located further south of Manhattan than any of the busiest stations, the station is located at the intersection of two of the city’s busiest subway lines: the Green Line and the Yellow Line. From one location, cyclists can access lines L, N, Q, R, W, 4, 5, and 6, making it easy to access almost anywhere in East Manhattan, as well as nearby from Brooklyn. Additionally, property values in the neighborhood are kept high due to the stop’s proximity to Greenwich Village and other desirable locations.
The Fulton Street subway station is the busiest station in downtown Manhattan. Last year it saw a traffic volume of 8,855,302 – a number which, interestingly, is very close to the total population of New York City. The station is located near the World Trade Center, Wall Street, and the rest of the Financial District. Fulton Street usage is heavily dependent on weekday commuters, which means it could climb the rankings once COVID closures completely subside.
34e Street and Penn Station (1, 2, 3)
Penn Station effectively has two metro stations in one location, allowing it to claim both sixth and seventh places in the MTA’s annual report. If Penn Station were counted as one station, it would rank second. Lines 1, 2, 3 run north into the Bronx and south into Brooklyn, allowing easy movement between boroughs. In 2020, this station had a passenger volume of 8,103,809.
34e Street and Penn Station (A, C, E)
Like its nearby counterpart, the A, C, E lines exiting Penn Station provide passengers with easy access to areas both outside and inside Manhattan. The station, which saw a passenger volume of 8,010,472 last year, also benefited from the development of Hudson Yards, the more Expensive real estate development never happen in the United States. As the project progresses over the next decade, ridership is likely to increase further.
59e Street and Columbus Circle
Last year, the metro station at 59e Street and Columbus Circle recorded a volume of 7,618,925 passengers. The resort is located just off the southwest corner of Central Park, a mixed-use neighborhood where the hugely commercialized Midtown meets the much more residential Upper West Side. The proximity to several museums, shops and restaurants keeps traffic constant, even on weekends.
74e and Broadway
The 74e and Broadway Station, located in Queens (near the Brooklyn border), was the busiest New York subway station outside of Manhattan. Last year, the station recorded a traffic volume of 7,523,538, largely because it was commonly used by people traveling to LaGuardia or looking to switch between lines. The presence of lines 7, E, F, M and R has made this station one of the most important in the city.
Flushing and Main Street
Although Flushing and Main Street station is served by only one line – the 7 – the fact that this station is a terminal has made it rank among the busiest in the city. The station is a frequent destination for people living in Queens, as well as for those living beyond the city limits of Long Island. As you will see with many terminal stations, there are many parks and attractions nearby. If the line were ever extended – an idea that was started around the MTA – property values further down the line would likely increase.
Notes on our analysis
This list contains the ten busiest New York subway stations as of 2020, a year very different from almost anything we’ve ever seen before. Last year, metro ridership was much lower than the previous year. Many of these stations saw passenger volumes up to three times higher in 2019 (MTA). However, even with that in mind, the list of the top ten busiest stations has remained relatively unchanged. These stations play a very critical role in New York City, the New York subway system is the largest and busiest in the country. By taking the time to understand the intricacies of this city’s huge metro system, you can improve your bottom line as a real estate investor (or, at the very least, find a better route to get to work). Consult our annual metro rent map to find out how much you can charge or have to pay in rent at your metro station.