Posts Tagged ‘Subway tokens’

The Wall Street station’s wooden token booth

August 2, 2010

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.

Subway tokens: Gone but not forgotten

June 20, 2008

2008 marks the five-year anniversary of the demise of the token, phased out forever in May 2003 on trains and in December¬†2003 for buses. Yeah, the Metrocard is convenient, but it just doesn’t cut it as a city icon, unlike the pentagram-style token shown here. It was the last token ever introduced.

Before 1953, tokens didn’t even exist; they were created when the fare rose to 15 cents and it wasn’t possible for a turnstile to accept both nickels and dimes.¬†Note the turnstiles in this pre-1953 photo, which look awfully easy to jump.