The 4 Lexington Avenue Express is a rapid transit service in the A Division of the New York City Subway. Its route emblem, or "bullet", is colored forest green since it uses the IRT Lexington Avenue Line in Manhattan.
The 4 operates at all times. Daytime service operates between Woodlawn in the Bronx and Utica Avenue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, via the IRT Jerome Avenue Line in the Bronx, express via the Lexington Avenue Line in Manhattan, and the IRT Eastern Parkway Line in Brooklyn; limited rush hour service, as well as late night service, is extended beyond Utica Avenue to/from New Lots Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn via the IRT New Lots Line. During rush hours in the peak direction, 4 trains skip 138th Street–Grand Concourse.[a] Late night service makes all stops except for Hoyt Street. For up to an hour after evening events that are held at Yankee Stadium, a special downtown-only express service runs between 161st Street–Yankee Stadium and Bowling Green.
Under the Interborough Rapid Transit
Service on what was later known as the 4 began on June 2, 1917, as the first portion of the IRT Jerome Avenue Line opened between 149th Street—Grand Concourse and Kingsbridge Road. Since the extension of the IRT Lexington Avenue Line between 149th Street and Grand Central was not yet open, this section was served by shuttle trains using elevated train cars. On April 15, 1918, with the extension of the Jerome Avenue Line to Woodlawn, shuttle service was also extended. On July 17, 1918, the Lexington Avenue Line local tracks were opened, allowing another shuttle service to run between 149th Street–Grand Concourse and Grand Central. On August 1, 1918, the entire Jerome and Lexington Avenue Lines were completed and the connection to the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line at 42nd Street was removed. Trains began running between 167th Street and Bowling Green, with shuttles to Woodlawn.
On December 11, 1921, Lexington Avenue–Jerome Avenue subway trains began running north of 167th Street at all times, replacing elevated trains, which ran to Woodlawn during rush hours, but from then on terminated at 167th Street during non-rush hours.
At a hearing of the New York State Transit Commission on October 15, 1924 about where it planned to allocate the second hundred of 350 new steel cars, it was announced that service on the IRT Eastern Parkway Line from Atlantic Avenue to Livonia Avenue was almost certainly going to be increased by 25 to 50% in the coming six to eight weeks. Two options were discussed at the hearing. The commission, in response to intense requests from riders on the line, called for the introduction of express service between Atlantic Avenue and Utica Avenue on tracks which had been unused since the line's opening in 1920. It proposed extending half of 4 trains from Atlantic Avenue to New Lots Avenue, running express to Utica Avenue. The introduction of express service would have made it possible to run 30 more trains per hour east of Atlantic Avenue (27 trains per hour had been operating), decreasing overcrowding from 325% to 185%. The plan preferred by the IRT was to place 70 cars on the West Side Line for service to Flatbush Avenue, and Pennsylvania Avenue and New Lots Avenue, and 40 additional cars for service along Eastern Parkway.
On November 17, 1924, the Transit Commission ordered the IRT to use 100 new subway cars to increase service by no later than December 1. Among the changes in service ordered was the operation of through service on the 4 between Kingsbridge Road and Woodlawn, eliminating shuttle service. This change was made possible by 20 of the new cars. The Transit Commission headed the IRT's recommendation not to have half of 4 trains run express due to the dangerous operating condition it would have created. The IRT stated that two minutes would not be enough time to turn around trains terminating at Atlantic Avenue while maintaining the headway between trains and that this service pattern would risk train collisions. Operating this service pattern would have required 2 minutes and 45 seconds to turn around trains, which would reduce capacity by 25%. While operating all 4 trains to Utica Avenue would have obviated the problem, the IRT did not have enough cars to run such a service. Instead, the Transit Commission accepted the IRT's plan to allocate 70 new cars to West Side express service to Brooklyn. Express service along Eastern Parkway would start at the earliest in February 1925 when additional new cars arrived.
Beginning on November 4, 1925, 4 trains were extended from Atlantic Avenue to Crown Heights–Utica Avenue during rush hours, from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 5 and 7 p.m., allowing for the introduction of express service along this section of the IRT Eastern Parkway Line. This extension was made possible by the delivery of the last of 350 new steel cars. The increased service required 80 cars, or eight trains of ten cars each.
On November 23, 1927, evening 4 service was extended from Atlantic Avenue to Utica Avenue between 7:14 and 8 p.m.. After the Transit Commission determined that this was not a sufficient increase in service, it announced on November 26 that evening 4 service to Utica Avenue would continue until 1 a.m.. This change took place on December 5, and increased service between Atlantic Avenue and Utica Avenue by 100%. The following year, midday 4 service also went to Utica Avenue.
As of 1934, 4 trains ran from Woodlawn to Utica Avenue weekday rush and Saturday morning peak and afternoon, to Atlantic Avenue weekday midday, Saturday morning after the peak, and late nights, and to South Ferry evenings and Sundays. Trains ran express in Manhattan except during late nights, and in Brooklyn. This was the first time the 6 became the Pelham Shuttle between Pelham Bay Park and 125th Street–Lexington Avenue.
On August 20, 1938, Saturday morning after the peak service was extended to Utica Avenue.
Under the New York City Board of Transportation
Beginning on May 10, 1946, all 4 trains were made express during late nights running on 12 minute headways as the 6 went back to Brooklyn Bridge during that time. Previously 4 trains ran local from 12:30 to 5:30am. At this time 4 trains terminated at Atlantic Avenue.
Beginning on December 16, 1946, trains were extended from Atlantic Avenue to New Lots Avenue during late nights, running express between Atlantic and Franklin Avenues.
The New York City Board of Transportation, a predecessor to the New York City Transit Authority, began to introduce replacements to older subway cars beginning with the R12 cars in 1948. With these cars, numbers were publicly designated to the former IRT lines. Lexington–Jerome trains were assigned the number 4. By 1964, all cars had the route numbers on them.
During 1950, Saturday morning service was cut back to South Ferry.
Starting on December 15, 1950, four 4 trains began operating during rush hours to Flatbush Avenue on the Nostrand Avenue Line. Also on that day, weekday midday service was cut back from Atlantic Avenue to South Ferry. Additionally, on January 18, 1952, 4 service to Atlantic Avenue during weekday middays was restored.
Under the New York City Transit Authority
On March 19, 1954, late-night service in Brooklyn became local, but resumed operating express between Atlantic and Franklin Avenues on June 29, 1956.
On May 3, 1957, the weekday rush trains to Flatbush Avenue were discontinued, while at the same time evening, Saturday and Sunday afternoon trains were extended to Utica Avenue, while Sunday morning trains were extended to Atlantic Avenue.
Starting on March 1, 1960, late-night 4 trains resumed making all stops in Manhattan; this was the first time the 4 and 6 ran local in Manhattan together late nights. This arrangement ended on October 17, 1965, when the 4 went back express in Manhattan late nights.
Beginning on April 8, 1960, nearly all AM rush hour 4 trains ran to Flatbush Avenue, and PM rush hour 4 trains alternated between Flatbush and Utica Avenues. During weekday evenings and late nights 4 trains also went to Flatbush Avenue, making all stops in Brooklyn.
As a result of the opening of the main portion of the Chrystie Street Connection along the Manhattan Bridge on November 26, 1967, the 4 train was color-coded magenta under the first color scheme. The color coding of lines was introduced as a matter of having a universal system of signage and nomenclature.
By 1972, the 4 began to skip 138th Street weekdays during rush hours in the peak direction which it continues to do (AM to Manhattan and PM from there). At that time, the 4 went to Atlantic Avenue at all times, but was extended to Utica Avenue rush hours running express in Brooklyn along Eastern Parkway. Select 4 trains also ran to Flatbush Avenue rush hours as well running express between Atlantic and Franklin Avenues, and late-night service made all stops in Brooklyn to Flatbush Avenue.
On May 23, 1976, Sunday morning trains were extended to Utica Avenue, running express in Brooklyn.
Effective June 1979, the 4 train assumed its current line color of forest green as a result of a nomenclature update to assign colors to a trunk line, plus line colors not serving Manhattan.
Beginning on January 13, 1980, all 4 trains resumed operating local in Manhattan during late night hours to replace the 6, which again became the Pelham Shuttle between 125th Street and Pelham Bay Park. This service cut affected 15,000 riders, and was criticized by Manhattan Borough President Andrew Stein as no public hearing was held.
On July 10, 1983, rush hour 4 trains were rerouted from Flatbush Avenue to Utica Avenue, and late evening and late night and Sunday morning service was rerouted from Flatbush Avenue to New Lots Avenue, making all local stops.
On August 29, 1988, weekday midday 4 trains were extended from Atlantic Avenue to Utica Avenue, made possible by the termination of 5 service at Bowling Green. In addition, service was increased 50% during evenings between 8 p.m. and midnight, on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. In January 1989, during middays, southbound service resumed operating express between Franklin Avenue and Utica Avenue following the elimination of 5 train layups.
Late night express service was reinstated from January 21, 1990 to October 5 of that year, as a result of the 6 being extended back to Brooklyn Bridge during that time. While late night 6 service to Brooklyn Bridge was permanently restored on October 3, 1999, the 4 continued to run local at those times, providing Lexington Avenue local stations service every ten minutes.
From April 2000 to August 2001, midday 4 service was temporarily cut back from Utica Avenue to Atlantic Avenue to accommodate the rebuilding of the IRT New Lots Line. 3 train service was split into two sections to allow for the line to be rebuilt, with transfers available at Utica Avenue. Work took place on weekday middays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., and New Lots service operated in one of three ways: shuttle buses replaced trains, all trains operated in both directions on a single track, or shuttle trains ran. 4 trains terminated at Atlantic Avenue when shuttle or single-track trains were in operation.
From June 8, 2009, to June 26, 2009, New York City Transit conducted a pilot program for express Jerome Avenue Line service. During a one hour period, four morning weekday rush hour trains from Woodlawn only stopped at Mosholu Parkway, Burnside Avenue and 149th Street–Grand Concourse before resuming regular service in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The express was expected to save riders 3.5 minutes. The pilot was made possible due to signaling upgrades to the line's center track made as part of the 2005—2009 Metropolitan Transportation Authority Capital Program.
On July 6, 2009, select Bronx bound 4 trains began running express from 167th Street to Burnside Avenue to terminate at the latter station before running out of service to the Jerome Yard.
On October 26, 2009, another 4 express pilot program was implemented based on the success of the first and ran until December 11, 2009. This program was the same as the one in June except that express trains stopped at Bedford Park Boulevard–Lehman College. This express service was expected to cut runtime by four minutes.
As a result of planned repairs to Hurricane Sandy-related damage in the Clark Street Tube, which carries the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line, on weekends from June 17, 2017 to June 24, 2018, the 4 was extended to New Lots Avenue on weekends, making local stops in Brooklyn south of Nevins Street in place of the 3.
On November 17, 2019, New York City Transit cut weekday evening 3, 4 and 5 service in order to accommodate planned subway work. This change, which was approved by the MTA Board on June 27, 2019, started late night 4 service to New Lots Avenue, an hour earlier, at 10:30 p.m. instead of 11:30 p.m., replacing 3 service, which was cut back to Times Square–42nd Street. These changes in service were expected to save the agency $0.9 million annually.
The following table shows the lines used by the 4, with shaded boxes indicating the route at the specified times:
|all ex. nights||late nights||rush peak|
|IRT Jerome Avenue Line (full line)||Woodlawn||183rd Street||local||Most trains|
|Burnside Avenue||170th Street|
|express||Limited service (NB only)|
|167th Street||149th Street–Grand Concourse||local|
|138th Street–Grand Concourse|
|IRT Lexington Avenue Line (full line)||125th Street||Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall||Special events (SB only)|
|Fulton Street||Bowling Green||all|
|Joralemon Street Tunnel|
|IRT Eastern Parkway Line (full line)||Borough Hall||Nevins Street||express|
|Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center||Crown Heights–Utica Avenue|
|IRT New Lots Line (full line)||Sutter Avenue–Rutland Road||New Lots Avenue||all||Limited service|
For a more detailed station listing, see the articles on the lines listed above.
|Station service legend|
|Stops all times|
|Stops all times except late nights|
|Stops late nights only|
|Stops late nights and weekends only|
|Stops weekdays only|
|Stops all times except rush hours in the peak direction|
|Stops rush hours only|
|Stops rush hours in the peak direction only (limited service)|
|Time period details|
|Station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act|
|↑||Station is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act|
in the indicated direction only
|Elevator access to mezzanine only|
|Jerome Avenue Line|
|Bedford Park Boulevard–Lehman College||Some southbound rush hour trips begin at this station|
Some northbound p.m. rush hour trips terminate at this station
|Kingsbridge Road||Some southbound p.m. rush hour trips begin at this station|
|Fordham Road||Bx12 Select Bus Service|
|Burnside Avenue||Some northbound rush hour trips terminate at this station|
|↑||Mount Eden Avenue|
|161st Street–Yankee Stadium||B D (IND Concourse Line)||Bx6 Select Bus Service |
Northern terminus of special event express service
|149th Street–Grand Concourse||2 5 (IRT White Plains Road Line)|
|↑||138th Street–Grand Concourse||5|
|Lexington Avenue Line|
|125th Street||5 6 <6>||Metro-North Railroad at Harlem–125th Street|
M60 Select Bus Service to LaGuardia Airport
|86th Street||↑[b]||5 6 <6>||M86 Select Bus Service|
Station is ADA-accessible in the northbound direction for the local platform only.
|↑||↓||77th Street||6||M79 Select Bus Service|
|↑||↓||68th Street–Hunter College||6|
|59th Street||5 6 <6>
N R W (BMT Broadway Line)
Out-of-system transfer with MetroCard: F and <F> N Q R (63rd Street Lines at Lexington Avenue–63rd Street)
|Roosevelt Island Tramway|
E (IND Queens Boulevard Line at Lexington Avenue–53rd Street)
|Grand Central–42nd Street||5 6 <6>
7 <7> (IRT Flushing Line)
S (42nd Street Shuttle)
|Metro-North Railroad at Grand Central Terminal|
|↑||↓||28th Street||↓||6||Station is ADA-accessible in the southbound direction only.|
|↑||↓||23rd Street||6||M23 Select Bus Service|
|14th Street–Union Square||5 6 <6>
L (BMT Canarsie Line)
N Q R W (BMT Broadway Line)
|M14A / M14D Select Bus Service|
D F (IND Sixth Avenue Line at Broadway–Lafayette Street)
N Q (BMT Broadway Line)
J (BMT Nassau Street Line)
|Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall||5 6 <6>
J Z (BMT Nassau Street Line at Chambers Street)
2 3 (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
A C (IND Eighth Avenue Line)
J Z (BMT Nassau Street Line)
|Connection to N R W (BMT Broadway Line) at Cortlandt Street via Dey Street Passageway|
|Bowling Green||5||M15 Select Bus Service|
|Eastern Parkway Line|
2 3 (IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line)
N R W (BMT Fourth Avenue Line)
|Station is ADA-accessible in the northbound direction only.|
|Nevins Street||2 3 5|
|Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center||2 3 5
B Q (BMT Brighton Line)
D N R W (BMT Fourth Avenue Line)
|LIRR Atlantic Branch at Atlantic Terminal|
|↑||Grand Army Plaza||2|
|↑||Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum||2|
|Franklin Avenue||2 3 5
S (BMT Franklin Avenue Line)
|↑||Nostrand Avenue||B44 Select Bus Service|
|Crown Heights–Utica Avenue||2 3 5||B46 Select Bus Service|
|New Lots Line (late nights and select rush hour trips)|
|N/A||Sutter Avenue–Rutland Road||2 3 5||B15 bus to JFK Int'l Airport|
|Saratoga Avenue||2 3 5|
|Rockaway Avenue||2 3 5|
|Junius Street||2 3 5
Out-of-system transfer with MetroCard: L (BMT Canarsie Line at Livonia Avenue)
|Pennsylvania Avenue||2 3 5|
|Van Siclen Avenue||2 3 5|
|New Lots Avenue||2 3 5||B15 bus to JFK Int'l Airport|
- Trains skip 138th Street southbound between 6:52 and 9 a.m. and skip it northbound between 4:50 and 6:25 p.m.
- Only the northbound local platform, served only during late nights, is accessible.
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