The New York Transit Museum, one of the city’s leading cultural institutions, is the largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history, and one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world. The Museum explores the development of the greater New York metropolitan region through the presentation of exhibitions, tours, educational programs, and workshops dealing with the cultural, social, and technological history of public transportation.
Since its inception nearly 40 years ago, the Museum, housed in a historic 1936 IND subway station in Downtown Brooklyn, has grown in scope and popularity. As custodian and interpreter of the region’s extensive public transportation networks, the Museum strives to share, through its public programs, this rich and vibrant history with local, regional, and international audiences.
With collections of over 6,000 artifacts and several hundred thousand archival items representing over 100 years of transit history, the Museum strives to share this rich and vibrant history with local, regional, and international audiences.
The mission of the New York Transit Museum is to collect, exhibit, interpret, and preserve the history, sociology, and technology of public transportation in the New York metropolitan region, and to conduct research and educational programs that will make the Museum’s extensive collection accessible and meaningful to the broadest possible audience.
The New York Transit Museum’s galleries feature popular exhibits such as Steel, Stone, and Backbone, which recounts the tale of building New York City’s 100 year-old subway system, and many highly interactive exhibitions such as On The Streets, an in-depth look at New York City’s trolleys and buses. Also of interest are the museum’s age-appropriate education workshops and computer resource center.
The New York Transit Museum’s 60,000 square-foot subway station home in Brooklyn Heights accommodates permanent and temporary exhibit space on two levels. The exhibition philosophy is to engage a broad audience, offering multiple viewpoints; to be scholarly and collection-based but accessible to all; and to provide participatory, enjoyable and informative experiences.
The New York Transit Museum’s Lunch Room is available to visitors during the Museum’s public hours. As food is not available for purchase in the Museum, we encourage you to pack a lunch for your visit to the Museum or to purchase food from the many Downtown Brooklyn eateries close to the Museum.
The Museum’s archives, located across the street from the Museum, includes collections of photographs, maps, film, historical documents, posters, artwork, and engineering and architectural drawings. All items in the archives relate to the history of public transportation in the New York metropolitan region. Admission for researching primary sources on the history of public transportation is by appointment only.
Special events hosted by the Museum include summertime Nostalgia Train rides, an annual Bus Festival where the Museum’s vintage buses are displayed, exhibit openings, poetry readings, and book signing programs.
Its education center hosts workshops for families that include art, history, and science-based activities; presentations by authors, artists, and musicians; and technology-based programs in a computer lab
The New York Transit Museum is located at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn Heights. It is one of only a few museums in the world dedicated to telling the story of urban mass transportation – from the people who developed it and are served by it to the city and region it has helped to shape.