40th Anniversary


On July 4th, 1976, a group of New York City Transit employees opened the “New York Transit Exhibit” as part of the United States Bicentennial celebrations. Housed in the  decommissioned IND Court Street Station in Downtown Brooklyn, the exhibit allowed visitors to climb aboard fifteen vintage subway and elevated cars and explore a variety of exhibits dedicated to the rich and sprawling history of mass transportation in New York City. Only meant to last two months, the Exhibit was so popular that its run was continually extended – for the next thirteen years.  In 1989, the Exhibit was officially established as the New York Transit Museum.

The New York Transit Museum has grown substantially in the ensuing years, with the addition of the Grand Central Gallery Annex and Store in 1999, a major renovation to the Museum’s Court Street Station home completed in 2003, and the opening of the Gabrielle Shubert Research Center in 2015. Not only has the Museum expanded its physical footprint and the extent of its historic collections, but its educational, public programming, and growing exhibit offerings have flourished as well – providing nostalgia, entertainment and information for the benefit and enjoyment of New Yorkers and transit-lovers young and old.

As we mark our 40th Anniversary we know it would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of dedicated volunteers, Board members, sponsors, donors, and MTA employees and Museum staff, both past and present. And of course, we could not have survived without the support of you – our visitors, who turned a temporary exhibition into the thriving cultural institution the New York Transit Museum is today.

Join us this summer in celebrating our 40th anniversary with three action-packed events featuring our vintage fleet of buses and train cars!




Sunday, June 12th, 9am – 11am | Tickets start at $35

Bring the whole family for private early access to the Museum in Downtown Brooklyn, breakfast and birthday cake, crafts and dancing, and unlimited rides on the Museum’s vintage R 1/9 subway cars from the 1930s. They’ll even take you for a spin on a vintage bus!





Sunday, June 12th, noon – 5pm | FREE

The Transit Museum is pulling out all the stops with an all-day, all-ages block party up above the Museum’s subway-station home in Downtown Brooklyn. Schermerhorn Street will be closed to make way for transportation games, entertainment, and… beep-beep… a selection of vehicles from the Museum’s vintage bus fleet! Admission to the Museum will be free all afternoon.




Saturday June 25 and Sunday, June 26, noon – 4pm | FREE with the swipe of a MetroCard!

The Museum’s vintage train cars are headed on a special trip to the end of the line – the BMT Brighton line, that is! Ride the rails in historic style by hopping on and off a selection of the Museum’s vintage fleet at the Brighton Beach station B/Q platforms, including BRT/BMT “Standards,” BMT D-Type Triplex,  IND R1/9s, and the Train of Many Metals, consisting of R38, R40 Slant, and R42 cars. A pop-up retail shop and hands-on activities for the whole family round out this day of fun at the Brighton Beach station!




To celebrate the Museum’s 40th anniversary, artist Julia Rothman has created a collection of handmade paintings depicting the Museum and its extensive collection, entitled 40 Years, 40 Objects. The original paintings will be on view in an upcoming exhibit at the Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn, opening on June 12th.