Gary Fonville passes along this photo of a decommissioned token booth at the 50th Street station serving uptown C and E trains. Before actual token dispensing kiosks were constructed in subway stations, they were very small rooms in which cash and a request for however many tokens were desired were slid under a depression in a wooden counter with a glass screen (before that, actual iron bars), upon which the token booth clerk would slide the tokens and change to the customer.

A more thorough preservation of an old school token booth can be found at the downtown Lexington Avenue Line Wall Street station serving #4 and 5 trains.


Categorized in: One Shots Subways & Trains Tagged with:

5 Responses to TOKEN BOOTH, Midtown

  1. Bill Tweeddale says:

    It’s revealing that you should actually have to describe what a token booth was! I remember them quite well from the 50’s-60’s. The agent at the Ave I “D” train (now “F”) station used to have his coin books spread all over the counter. I’ll bet it was the best job a coin collector could ever hope to work!

  2. Fred Mayer says:

    15 cent tokens; what happened? Got mine in Flushing. I remember my grandfather (frequent rider to the city) had a spring loaded pocket dispenser. Something else lost to history. Remember when the large Y in NYC was completely punched out.

  3. Ed Greenberg says:

    I remember walking to the Kingston Avenue station on the IRT (7th Ave Line) with my grandmother. She’d give me 30c to hold and I’d buy the two tokens for our trip.

    I suspect that the best token booth you can find is in the Transit Museum in downtown Brooklyn.

  4. Kiwiwriter says:

    I grew up with these as a kid, and remember them fondly, for the incandescent lights, wooden fixtures, and the seemingly ancient clerks who manned them.

  5. jimmy z says:

    And ya can’t forget the old wooden turnstyles of the IRT. The ones when ya dropped in a token, ya heard a “clunk” lol

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