75th Avenue (originally 75th Avenue–Puritan Avenue) is a local station on the IND Queens Boulevard Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of 75th Avenue and Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, Queens, it is served by the F train at all times, and the E train at all times except weekday rush hours and middays.
The Queens Boulevard Line, one of the first built by the city-owned Independent Subway System (IND), opened on August 19, 1933. The eastern terminus was at Roosevelt Avenue, in Jackson Heights. A 3.5-mile (5.6 km) extension from Roosevelt Avenue to Kew Gardens opened on December 31, 1936. The extension added eight new stations, including one at 75th Avenue.
Early planning documents called for a station at "Queens Boulevard–Puritan Avenue"; Puritan Avenue was the name for 75th Road in Forest Hills Gardens. For the first few years of operation the station was referred to as Puritan Avenue. The design called for a small mezzanine but 75th Avenue was built with a full one as it was cheaper than filling in the excavation.
The construction of the extension to Kew Gardens brought significant growth to Queens, specifically in Forest Hills and Kew Gardens. With the subway providing a quick and cheap commute, Forest Hills became a more desirable place to live, and as a result new apartment buildings were built in advance of the line's opening to accommodate the expected influx of residents. Forest Hills was transformed from a quiet residential community of one-family houses to an active population center.
In 1953, the platforms at six Queens Boulevard Line stations, including 75th Avenue, were lengthened to allow eleven-car trains. The bid for the project went out in 1951. The lengthened trains began running during rush hour on September 8, 1953. Eleven-car trains would only operate on weekdays. The extra car increased the total carrying capacity by 4,000 passengers. The lengthening project cost $400,000.
This local station has four tracks and two side platforms. The F train stops here at all times, while the E train uses the two center tracks to bypass this station weekdays (Manhattan-bound from approximately 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Jamaica-bound from 7:30 a.m. to 7:45 p.m.).
The platforms' color scheme consists of a light sage green trim line on a black border with "75TH AVE" tiled in white lettering on a black border beneath them. The name tablets have "75TH AVE." in white IND-custom font on a black background with a lighter green border as above. Beneath them are directional signs in white lettering on a black border. The platform columns are painted in light Nile Green and the track columns have white "75TH AVE" signs on them in black lettering. The former name of Puritan Avenue was still reflected on platform signage into the 1990s.
The station has a full-length mezzanine above the platforms and tracks. All of the mezzanine is still completely open, with the exception of a tiny closed fenced-off section at the station's eastern end that is accessed from a single closed staircase on the Manhattan-bound platform. However, it is set up in a way that does not allow a free transfer between directions, as the fare control is located in the middle of the mezzanine. The token booth and turnstile banks for either direction are at the center. HEET turnstiles are at either ends near the station's entrances and exits, both of which have two street stairs. The entrance at the west (railroad south) end leads to the northwest corner and southwest corners of Queens Boulevard and 75th Avenue, while the one on the east (railroad north) end leads to southeast corner of Queens Boulevard and 75th Road. Chain-link fences separate the sections of the mezzanine within fare control and the section out of fare control. The section of the mezzanine within fare control used to span across the entire space, but a fare-free underpass under Queens Boulevard now divides the northbound and southbound parts of the mezzanine, and there is no way to make a free transfer between the two platforms anymore.
There are two switches near the western end of this station, one is a diamond crossover in the Queens-bound direction, and one is a regular switch in the Manhattan-bound direction. The diamond crossover switch allows trains to cross-over between the local and express tracks in the same direction. The other switch allows trains heading toward Manhattan on the local track to switch to the express track. This switch is used in revenue service. E and F trains use it to switch from the Queens Boulevard express tracks to the local tracks, allowing them to stop at 75th Avenue. The F uses these switches at all times, while the E only uses them on weekends and during weekday evenings. The stretch of local track between 71st Avenue and 75th Avenue is only used in revenue service during late nights, when the E runs local.
There are also four tracks underneath this station, which are not visible from the platforms. An emergency exit located in the middle of the Jamaica-bound platform leads to this lower level. The two outer tracks lead to Jamaica Yard while the two center tracks are used for reversing trains from Forest Hills–71st Avenue and end at bumper blocks just east of 75th Avenue under the mainline tracks.
75th Avenue is served by the F train at all times, and the E train at all times except weekday rush hours and middays (6:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.). In the 1970s, when the New York City Subway was at an all-time low, following the general trend of a decrease in ridership, the amount of passengers using the 75th Avenue station decreased by 300,000 passengers. In 2015, the station had 1,136,305 boardings, making it the 351st most used station in the 425-station system. This amounted to an average of 3,756 passengers per weekday.