Manhattan Bridge, made March 23rd, 1909
Marine terminal in foreground; bridge under construction in background.
H127329 U.S. Copyright Office.
Copyright by Irving Underhill, New York.
The history of New York City's transportation system. New York City is distinguished from other U.S. cities for its low personal automobile ownership and its significant use of public transportation. New York is the only city in the United States where over half of all households do not own a car (Manhattan's non-ownership is even higher, around 75%; nationally, the rate is 8%). New York City has, by far, the highest rate of public transportation use of any American city. New York City also has the longest mean travel time for commuters (39 minutes) among major U.S. cities. The Second Industrial Revolution fundamentally changed the city – the port infrastructure grew at such a rapid pace after the 1825 completion of the Erie Canal that New York became the most important connection between all of Europe and the interior of the United States. Elevated trains and subterranean transportation ('El trains' and 'subways') were introduced between 1867 and 1904. Private automobiles brought an additional change for the city by around 1930, notably the 1927 Holland Tunnel.