Believe it or not, there was a time in NYC history when complaining about the subway wasn’t a local pastime.

Although it’s hard to imagine New York City without the earthquake-like rumble of trains passing beneath the streets, there were no underground subway lines until 1904. The subway began as three competing systems – the IRT, IND and BMT – before becoming the unified system we know and mostly-love today.

Very Appealing created an animated GIF that charts the evolution of the subway system over 150 years of construction. Watch as each subway line appears in the order in which it was built.

Subway-Map-GIF

Today the New York City subway is one of the world’s oldest public transit systems and the largest in the world by number of stations. It’s also the seventh busiest rapid transit rail system in the world by annual ridership.

If we’re lucky, the GIF will one day have to be updated to include the Second Avenue subway line.

But let’s be real, we’re not holding our breath.

[Featured Image: MTA]


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