The Wall Street station’s wooden token booth

Before MetroCards debuted in 1997, and tokens hit the scene in 1953, subway riders paid the fare the old-fashioned way.

That meant purchasing a ticket at a manned wooden booth, then handing the paper ticket to an employee at a ticket chopper box.

The Wall Street station still has an original wooden booth (below) and ticket chopper (right), beautifully restored.

The cost of a ride in 1904, when the ticket system (and the subway itself) started: five cents.

Turnstiles that accepted coins were installed in the 1920s, to save money and prevent theft.

In 1953, token-taking turnstiles arrived on platforms. And not long behind, as crime worsened, came the bullet-proof glass, fortress-like token booth we know today.

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2 Responses to “The Wall Street station’s wooden token booth”

  1. modestine Says:

    This post — as well as all the others — underscores how quickly life has changed for us in NYC. The subway station here, sans light bulbs, looks like something out of a Chekhov story.

  2. IrishNYC Says:

    The bullet-proof booths didn’t come THAT quickly! I was born in the early 70’s and I still remember the old style boots, in particular on what is now the N line in Astoria. Back then it was the RR line.

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