A vintage bus at the Transit Museum’s Bus Festival in 2007. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)
As part of a holiday celebration, New York City Transit is running vintage buses along 42nd St. this month. These buses, which began running last Monday, will run through December during the week. A series of 1950s buses will run the route of the M42 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., surprising midtown workers and tourists a like.
“These buses are a living, breathing part of the city’s history,” Joseph Smith, MTA Bus Company president and Senior Vice President of Buses for MTA NYC Transit, asid. “Riding on these buses is a fantastic counterpoint to the vehicles we operate currently. It’s obvious that we have come a long way since the 1950s and, despite the charm of the older equipment, our customers are benefiting from major advances in bus efficiency, design and accessibility.”
Currently, Transit keeps 19 historic buses on hand. The one shown above is a 1917 wood-bodied double decker operated by the now-defunct Fifth Ave. Coach Company. Although that 90-year-old vehicle will remain up on blocks, so to speak, the MTA will roll out Bus No. 3100, a 1956 GM model that was the first air conditioned bus in the city; Bus No. 9098, a 1958 General Motors specialty that was among the first to feature fiberglass seats; and Bus. No. 2969, a GM from 1948 and one of the city’s first 40-foot-long buses.
Despite the old school wheels, don’t worry about digging out some dimes and nickels to pay the fare. As Transit said, everything but the fare box is original, and these buses will take MetroCards.
Stayed tomorrow for an announcement about the Nostalgia Trains running throughout the month of December.