121st Street (BMT Jamaica Line)

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 121 Street
 "J" train"Z" train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
121st Street Station.jpg
Facing southbound from a bench on the northbound platform in March 2012 at the 121st Street station.
Station statistics
Address121st Street & Jamaica Avenue
Queens, NY 11418
LocaleRichmond Hill, Kew Gardens
Coordinates40°42′01″N 73°49′44″W / 40.700357°N 73.82894°W / 40.700357; -73.82894Coordinates: 40°42′01″N 73°49′44″W / 40.700357°N 73.82894°W / 40.700357; -73.82894
DivisionB (BMT)
LineBMT Jamaica Line
Services      J all except rush hours, peak direction (all except rush hours, peak direction)
      Z rush hours, peak direction (rush hours, peak direction)
Transit connectionsBus transport NYCT Bus: Q55, Q56
Bus transport MTA Bus: Airport transportation Q10
Platforms2 side platforms
Other information
OpenedJuly 3, 1918 (100 years ago) (1918-07-03)[1][2][3]
Station code080[4]
Passengers (2017)337,075[5]Decrease 57.6%
Rank413 out of 425
Station succession
Next northSutphin Boulevard – Archer Avenue – JFK Airport: J all except rush hours, peak directionZ rush hours, peak direction
Metropolitan Avenue (former Jamaica Line station; demolished)
Next south104th Street: J all except rush hours, peak directionZ rush hours, peak direction
111th Street: ZZZtemporarily closed for construction

121st Street is a skip-stop station on the elevated BMT Jamaica Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of 121st Street and Jamaica Avenue in Richmond Hill and Kew Gardens, Queens it is served by the Z train during rush hours in the peak direction and the J train at all other times.


This station was opened on July 3, 1918 by the Brooklyn Union Elevated Railroad, an affiliate of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company.[1][2][3]

The Manhattan-bound platform closed for renovations on February 6, 2017[6] and reopened on December 22, 2017,[7] delayed from the summer.[8] The Jamaica Center-bound platform closed for renovations on February 12, 2018 and reopened on November 14, 2018,[9] delayed from its planned reopening in the summer.[10]

Station layout[edit]

Track layout
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Southbound local "J" train toward Broad Street all times except AM rush hours (111th Street)
"Z" train toward Broad Street AM rush hours (104th Street)
"J" train does not stop here AM rush hours
Peak-direction express No track or roadbed
Northbound local "J" train toward Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer all times except PM rush hours (Sutphin Boulevard–Archer Avenue–JFK Airport)
"Z" train toward Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer PM rush hours (Sutphin Boulevard–Archer Avenue–JFK Airport)
"J" train does not stop here PM rush hours →
Side platform, doors will open on the right
M Mezzanine Fare control, station agent, MetroCard machines
G Street Level Exit/ Entrance

This elevated station has two tracks and two side platforms, with space for a center express track that was never added.[11][12] This station has beige windscreens and green canopies.

This is the easternmost station on the Jamaica Line. East of here, trains go underground to the BMT Archer Avenue Line. During construction of the Archer Avenue Line, this station was the terminal for the Jamaica Avenue El from April 15, 1985, to December 10, 1988. The remainder of the el was replaced by Q49 bus service until the Archer Avenue Line opened up.

Construction on the ramps to Archer Avenue was completed in November 1987, but since the tunnels were not ready for service until 1988, a double crossover east (railroad north) of the station was installed while the ramps were used for storage. After reaching 121st Street, trains used the crossover to switch from the Jamaica-bound track to the Manhattan-bound one, where they would relay to the platform and begin service to Manhattan. The elevated structure between this station in the vicinity of 127th Street, and the now-demolished Metropolitan Avenue station was torn down to make way for the connecting ramps.


There are two exits. The full-time exit is at the west (railroad south) end of the station. One staircase from each platform leads to the mezzanine beneath the tracks. Outside of fare control, a pair of staircases lead down to either side of Jamaica Avenue on the west side of 121st Street.[13]

There is an additional unstaffed exit at the east (railroad north) end of the station leading to the west side of 123rd Street. This exit is split in half due to the closed-off station house beneath the tracks. A single staircase from each platforms lead to a landing that contained a full-height turnstile before the street stairs. The Manhattan-bound side uses a HEET turnstile, while the Jamaica-bound side is exit-only.[13]


  1. ^ a b "OPEN NEW SUBWAY TO REGULAR TRAFFIC; First Train on Seventh Avenue Line Carries Mayor and Other Officials ... New Extensions of Elevated Railroad Service … Currents of Travel to Change" (July 2, 1918). New York Times Company. July 2, 1918. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "'L' Trains Now Run Through to Jamaica" (PDF). Queens/Brooklyn, NY: Leader Observer. July 4, 1918. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Report of the Public Service Commission for the First District of the State of New York, Volume 1. New York State Public Service Commission. January 10, 1919. pp. 61, 71, 285, 286. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  4. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2012–2017". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  6. ^ "Jamaica Center Bound Trains". web.mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  7. ^ "J Line - Weekday and Weekend Planned Service Changes". n.v12.net. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "J Line - Weekend and Weekday Planned Service Change". n.v12.net. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. February 2, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  9. ^ "121 St - Full Service Restored". web.mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
  10. ^ "Jamaica Center Bound Trains". web.mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived from the original on February 11, 2018. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  11. ^ "Construction of Foundations and Structure: Section 1, Jamaica Line" (PDF). New York Municipal Railway Corporation. 1915. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  12. ^ Dougherty, Peter (2006) [2002]. Tracks of the New York City Subway 2006 (3rd ed.). Dougherty. OCLC 49777633 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ a b "MTA Neighborhood Maps:Kew Gardens" (PDF). mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2015.

External links[edit]