Getting to the Oculus Just Got Much Easier

Ben Jen had mentioned that the connection between the R/W and E subway lines within the fare zone at the World Trade Center has opened—and indeed it has. On the E line’s World Trade Center platform, signage directs you to the R/W trains, via a narrow passageway.

But the bigger news is that the three remaining subway entrances on the east side of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub have also opened. Here’s a map showing what’s new (the red stars) and what’s still to come (white stars).

You know that mezzanine-level Starbucks near the Vesey Street entrance? The hallway beyond it, no longer blocked off, now leads to the subway station (pictured below). I didn’t head out that way, but I’d assume that the E platform is right there, and the A/C and R/W platforms are a short walk north and south, respectively.

At the east end of the Oculus, above where you go to the Fulton Center, is another subway entrance (below), this one to the R/W platforms. It’s on C1M, the level between the Oculus’s two shopping floors.

This is it from the station side.

And at the southeast corner of the World Trade Center, in 4 World Trade Center (beneath the escalators you’d take to get to Eataly), there’s now an entrance to the R train.

If I recall correctly, that leaves just the two subway connections at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, both to the 1 train—the Space Age–looking one in the Oculus (below), and the one in the hallways leading to 4 World Trade. (UPDATE 1/20: There’s a third one. See Andrew’s comments.)

And if you’re more of a video person, here’s Brian Camacho’s walk-through.


  1. It’s only been what, 16 years since 9/11? The 1 train line reopened in September 2002, with trains bypassing Cortlandt Street.

    Station reconstruction work was not even agreed to between PATH and MTA until 2008. The completion date was originally 2011, and then pushed back to 2014, then August 2018 and now possibly December 2018.

    Maybe the MTA will restore 1 train service at Cortlandt Street sometime this decade.

    • According to the latest MTA documents, Cortlandt Street on the (1) will open for revenue service in October 2018. With substantial completion happening in December 2018 and final completion happening in April 2019.

    • Isn’t there a bridge for sale nearby?

  2. In addition to the two #1 entrances inside the WTC, there are outdoor entrances along Greenwich Street, on the memorial side across from Oculus. You can see the stairs—I’ve asked guards about them and they said they’re for the #1 train. The whole Cortland Street station fiasco is an outrage—there is so rarely anyone “working” (mostly one or two guys just standing there) when you go through on the train that it’s hard to believe any predictions.

    Also, the Duane Reade across from the new E train entrance at Starbucks looks ready to open—merchandise on the shelves.

    • There are actually three entrances to the Cortlandt Street (1) Station inside the WTC mall, in addition to the two ground-level entrances on the memorial plaza. Besides the two aforementioned entrances on the upper concourse, both of which leading directly to the northbound platform, there is a larger entrance on the lower concourse’s north side, right under the track bridge, that provides escalator and elevator access to both the northbound and southbound platforms, thus providing as a free underpass as well. This entrance is actually the most important one, as it’s right next to the PATH station, yet remains relatively unknown.

      Basically, if you’re coming down to the WTC from uptown on the (1) train, you’ll use the southern end of the platform for outdoor access, whereas you’ll use the northern end of the platform for mall and PATH access (the opposite of the original station’s layout).

    • Don’t forget the lower concourse entrance next to the PATH terminal that provides (ADA) access to both the northbound and southbound platforms, as well as a free connection between them.

  3. As for why the MTA has taken so long, I recommend reading the following article from the NY Times as it shows the sheer dysfunction and financial negligence of the MTA:

    The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth – NY Times