The first subway line in New York City opened about 35 years after the first elevated train line in NYC, October 27, 1904. The subway lines opened in 1904 were owned and run by privately owned companies. They also started some elevated train lines in Brooklyn.
In 1913 New York City built and improved some of the subway lines, they were then leased to the companies. 1932 was when the first line owned and operated by New York City, Independent Subway System (IND). New York City bought the two private systems and closed some of the elevated train lines.
The goal of the NYC Subway trains was to get passengers transported quickly into and out of Manhattan as well as around different areas of Manhattan. Passengers liked the system because it was much faster and cheaper than other options and not affected by bad weather when it was underground. The NYC subway system is very popular serving hundreds of thousands of people every day. (AP)