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EE Broadway Local

Do You Remember New York City's Private Bus Lines

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If you remember, and rode, New York City's private bus lines (Liberty, Command, Queens Surface, Triborough Coach, Green, Jamaca, etc.), would you please share your memories (favorite paint schemes, favorite bus types, favorite routes, transferring between different private bus line operated routes, etc.) in this nostalgia thread?

 

I'm not sure how many of you may remember, but in Manhattan, today's M9, until 1980, was operated by The Avenue B and East Broadway company.

 

This was Manhattan's last private bus company (maybe oddly, in Jersey City in Hudson County, private bus companies were generally better known as IBOAs or BOAs).

 

In Queens, Queens Surface at one time was Queens Transit Corporation and Steinway Transit, originally Steinway Omnibus. These two became Queens/Steinway Transit in 1986, and, ultimately, Queens Surface in 1988.

 

I'm sure many will recall that Triborough Coach had a lower fare during Middays

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I grew up in the northwest Bronx so the only PBL I rode on a regular basis was Liberty Lines, in particular the BxM3 and sometimes the BxM1/2. I have a ton of fond memories of the Classics, including one time my family was the only one on the bus headed into Manhattan. I saw a few of the Command RTSs and Orions, but never actually rode one before the takeover; my first non-Liberty Lines ex-PBL ride was on the Q19 in late 2008.

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I remember Command Bus Company's MCI Classics, Orion V CNG, and RTS CNG buses, on the (B100)(B103) as well as BMs 1-4. Those were the days right before the takeover.

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I remember Green Lines and almost everything about it at that time. It was my favorite PBL because I saw and rode it alot and so was Jamaica Buses but I only rode it 3 times on the Q112. All those times I rode on a GMC RTS 04. I even went to the Jamaica Buses(Baisley Park) Depot and got all the maps and I saw a few buses there in 2002. I liked the 1979 GMC RTS's which were numbered 1001-1015 from Green Lines but I only saw them as square backs. They all had the loud and great 8v71 engine except for 1012 which was repowered to 6v92. I remember 1014 had 2 stripes when all other GBL RTS's had 1 stripe on the front when they had they final paint scheme. I remember in 2000 when they retired the 1979 RTS's. I only saw 1 bus in the original Green Stripe paint scheme and I beleive it was 630-1 which was an ex-Triboro 1979 RTS. The 1985-1986 RTS were also good and I liked the 1994 TMC's and the MCI Classics. I remember when the Orion V's from WMATA came in 1997-1998 and more than half of them had no paint scheme. They also had non working Green Destination signs. These were my second favorite GBL buses. I'd also see a few times the 4 ex-NYBS 1 door Orions as NOT IN SERVICE and I've always wanted to ride them. I never seen the Grummans or the Fishbowls in service before. Green Lines I thought wasn't bad until 2004 and all the buses were getting destroyed and in 2004 I rode a 600 series RTS (with working A/C) which was the last bus I rode in a GBL Paint Scheme. I never rode Triboro but I saw them on Woodhaven and Cross Bay many times. The buses looked worse than GBL but they had the RTS CNG and Orion V CNG which I had always wished to ride. MTA Bus sucks with it's Hybrids and now the WMATA GBL Orions are getting scrapped. The only good buses in MTA Bus are the GBL 1997 Orions from WMATA and the Orion V CNG's from QSC, CBC, and cTc. At least there are 2 GBL buses in GBL paint scheme and they are 1012(1979 RTS) and 10001(1985 RTS). 10001 was going to be numbered 221 but we all know the story. I wished they saved 1001-1011 or 1013-1015 because the 8v71 but 1012 was a TRAINING/SPECIAL Bus after 2000 and I guess GBL wanted to train drivers on a retired bus with a 6v92 as the RTS-04's were. Does anyone remember the old maps/schedules from GBL with the picture of the Crowded bus saying that there is always room in the rear, please move back? That notice was also usually above the front window. I also knew the phone number when I was 5 and I still know it (718-995-4700). I also had every 1999-2000 GBL map. I think the people who complained GBL was bad lived in Q21, Q22, Q22A, and Q35 territory as that garage always got the crap buses for years. I heard they got the 1979 RTS's around 1987 and they always got the borrowed buses with the -1 after the number. Sorry about this long post but I had alot to say about Green Lines. If only DOT had more money for new buses and stuff then the PBL's would exist today.

Edited by Green Lines 96

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I grew up with Queens Surface, we used to always go to Flushing and we would always see their buses. I also like their paint scheme, tho I never rode their express routes.

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I grew up with Queens Surface, we used to always go to Flushing and we would always see their buses. I also like their paint scheme, tho I never rode their express routes.

Yes, Same here. Queens Surface was the best, always kept their buses in fine condition. I have fond memories of them.

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Growing up in Far Rockaway I frequently rode GBL, I loved their RTS's with the roll signs and leather wrapped steering wheels. There was also a TMC with red interior seats that frequented the Q22. Ah, and I can't forget the 1 Orion with the baby blue cushion seats...those were the days.

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My favorite was Green Line too. I had the Q-41 on my corner. My first memories was of 1947 GM Old look #925. it always seemed like it was on the 41 everyday back in the early to mid 60`s. I also remember walking up 127th Street to catch a Q-8 to go to richmond Hill HS on the morning of Dec 7, 1971 where I saw GBL 1968 New Look #107 and a blue van collide and ended up wedged between a telephone pole and the building on the SW corner of 127th Street and 101st Ave. moved away to Long Island in 1975, but Green Line was always my favorite.

 

Joe

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Guest MTA Bus

I used to live in Long Island City. I would see TMC from Triboro Coach and Orion CNG from Queens Surface speeding down 21st St.

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I remember Command Bus Company's MCI Classics, Orion V CNG, and RTS CNG buses, on the (B100)(B103) as well as BMs 1-4. Those were the days right before the takeover.

 

 

Favorite MCI Classic buses from Command: 434, 478, 444, 446 (Mostly on the BM1/2. Those buses speeded down the prospect expwy with no problems. Speeds in excess of 60mph or more. The best buses to me.

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ahhh what can i say about good ol Green Lines! I moved to Rockaway in 1990 from the Bx and dicovered buses of every color in Queens. I live a few blocks from the Arvern Garage (now Far Rockaway Depot). My biggest memory to date: seein a bus on the Q22 from 1990 to late 1991 that i havent seen since 1981 when i was 4 and MaBSTOA still had them. An old Fishbowl. Not just your run of the mill Fishbowl, but with the full back window, no rear roof top "A/C"! I wis i remembered its number.

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Does anyone know when the GBL Fishbowls retired? I saw this picture of GBL Fishbowls 604-1, 361, and a GBL RTS 1000 series which could've been 1002 at Nimco.

361_and_604-1_plus_GBL_RTS.jpg

Picture taken by Dennis Shore in an unknown year. Picture from Bustalk.

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Did you ever drive Steinway Transit RTS #2

 

Drove it many times,my Dad drove it when it was brand new. I got it up to 60mph on the Queensborough Bridge.

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