Officially "Off-peak Hours" are between 8:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M., but unofficially, things really die down between midnight and 1:00 A.M. depending where on the line you're boarding and which line you're taking. After midnight, trains are much less frequent - especially trains running to the outer boroughs, so you'd likely have fewer passengers then, but many lines decrease the number of subway cars late at night as well - especially if they're not running their normal route, but are acting as a shuttle. The more residential the area, the less people will be taking the train late at night. Areas where there are a lot of single-family homes such as the B, Q, N and R trains going to Brooklyn can get pretty empty at night... The A Line going out into Queens gets pretty empty by the time it gets out to Ozone Park as well... The E, M and R lines can get pretty empty deep out into Queens too. The 2 and the 5 Trains can get pretty empty up in The Bronx if you're way up by Woodlawn and Wakefield, but they don't empty out until soon before that.
I'd probably opt to go with the N or W Line late at night because a lot of the ride is outside after 8th Ave, and the last stop is way out somewhere near Gravesend Bay, so you'd have plenty of time to snap photos. Plus, everybody on the train will be getting off. Nobody boards at any of the stations in Brooklyn after 1 A.M. or so.
· 3 months ago