Alex Goldmark is the senior producer of Note to Self, a storytelling show about how technology is changing society. Subscribe here to get Note to Self shows delivered right to your devices. Follow him on Twitter @alexgoldmark.
NYC Vintage Buses Called into Service -- For Holiday Spirit
Friday, December 07, 2012 - 02:20 PM
The New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a sprawling collection of vintage trains and buses. Many of the rail cars sit on display at the NY Transit Museum. Sometimes they get special assignments like carrying fans to big Yankee games, or to host a rolling costume swing dance party.
Buses are not to be left out. The MTA just released their plans to unleash a fleet of nostalgia omnibuses open to the public. Naturally, they'll run on the tourist filled routes, and through Midtown Manhattan where the average speed of cars -- let alone buses -- is below 10 m.p.h., so it shouldn't be too taxing for the antiques.
From the MTA:
This season’s vintage fleet ranges from 1949 to 1968 and represents models that served New Yorkers from 1949 through 1984. A Mack bus will hit the road as well as a 1956 General Motors bus that, if it could talk, would boast of being the first air-conditioned bus to operate in New York City. Staten Islanders will get a special treat riding one of the first Staten Island express buses. A nice bus for the day, but it’s a far cry from our modern MCI and Prevost coaches in terms of comfort and efficiency.
All of these vintage buses will operate along the M42 (42nd Street Crosstown) Monday through Friday, departing from 42ndStreet and 12th Avenue at 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and again in the afternoon at 2:30 p.m. The fare is $2.25 in cash or swipe a MetroCard, just like our more modern, but far less interesting buses.
Aside from the in-service buses, a static display will be on view between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 6th Avenue and 35th Street and 14th Street at Union Square. Buses will be parked at these locations for the viewing and picture-taking pleasure of New Yorkers who rode them and New Yorkers too young to remember them.
If you take a ride, tweet us a pic of yourself and the bus, to @transportnation.