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"Go The Motor Coach Way": FACC musings
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 4294
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another FACC "cameo", this time in "GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT" (1947)......

http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_194390-Yellow-Coach-735-1936.html
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"ON THE TOWN" (1949)......

http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_282239-Yellow-Coach-720-1936.html
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Image from old color stock footage, used in an episode of "THE WALTONS"......

http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_379616-Yellow-Coach-Z-C-201.html
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2011 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In this scene from the old TV series, "THE FALL GUY", we see a magnificently restored YELLOW "Z" closed-topper that clearly is a looooong way from home territory!

http://www.imcdb.org/vehicle_348494-Yellow_Coach-Z-BH-602.html
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All:

Just image....in a PERFECT world.....if the people of New York, circa 1953, had raised their collective voices in affronted outrage, upon learning of the upcoming retirement of the last FACC double deckers.

After all, 5th Avenue without its beloved double-deckers would be like San Francisco without its charmed cable cars!

Just imagine, if the old "QUEEN MARY'S" had been designated National Historic Landmarks (like the cable cars and the New Orleans streetcars), and were still rumbling and lumbering along 5th Avenue today?

Man, I'd move to New York in a flash! Very Happy

Ahhh, it costs nothing to dream....... Rolling Eyes

NYO
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bill937ca




Joined: 03 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going back to the 1950s air conditioning was usually only found in movie theaters and large buildings. Hotels usually only had small window a/c units.

Cars, most buses and subway trains were not air conditioned. Highway coaches had air conditioning, but these were larger underfloor units. The a/c on FACCO 3100 was experimental. Even when GM introduced a/c in August 1958 the cost was $4500 in an era when 40 buses ran $20,000 (CTA order 1958).

The July-August 1971 Motor Coach Age history notes that the fare on Fifth Avenue Coach Lines fare "had always been 10 cents, twice the traditional New York fare". The FACCO fare rose to 11 cents in 1948, 12 cents in 1949 and to 15 cents January 1, 1954. Fares on city-owned lines were also 15 cents as of January 1, 1956, eliminating the fare differential.

Many of the earliest coach operations had always had a higher fare. Trolleys were everywhere, but riding a deluxe bus or especially an open top bus was a novel experience.

Until the late 1930s, Fifth Avenue competed with trolleys on neighboring streets. But by the late 1930s those streets now had buses at 5 cent fares versus FACCO's 10 cent fare. It has been reported this caused a drop in FACCO traffic.

According to MCA, after WWII riding held up reasonably well, but expenses rose rapidly causing FACCO to lose money.

After WWII two-man double-deckers were described as impossibly uneconomical, slow loading and slow to accelerate. The last open-top double deckers retired on December 29, 1946. The remaining closed-top double deckers, built 1936, were retired on April 27, 1953.

This was during the era when John Hertz owned Omnibus Corporation.
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NorthShore



Age: 69
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GM (the real owner of Omnibus Corp.), decided by the late '30's that double deckers were obsolete. GM developed the TD-5501 in 1939 as a high capacity single decker replacement. GM replaced Chicago's Queen Marys in 1948 with TDH-5502's. Fifth Avenue's weren't completely replaced until '53, when GM decided to sell off Omnibus Corp., and turn its energies to Hertz Rent-A-Car.
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NorthShore



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GM (the real owner of Omnibus Corp.), decided by the late '30's that double deckers were obsolete. GM developed the TD-5501 in 1939 as a high capacity single decker replacement. GM replaced Chicago's Queen Marys in 1948 with TDH-5502's. Fifth Avenue's weren't completely replaced until '53, when GM decided to sell off Omnibus Corp., and turn its energies to Hertz Rent-A-Car.
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NorthShore



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:33 pm    Post subject: Re: "Go The Motor Coach Way": FACC musings Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
DOUBLE DECKERS:

The famed double deckers of FACC were doomed after the War, due to a combination of declining ridership and increased labor costs. But, had FACC instead decided to continue with double decker operation, IMHO, I think that, when it came time to retire the old late 1930's YELLOWS, FACC would have had to switch over to single-deckers regardless, as I cannot see GMC building new double-deck coaches.

The ancient, charming, open-toppers, as they required both a driver and a conductor, clearly were, by this late date, simply too expensive to continue operating with their two-man crews.

Too, from the company's standpoint, they were also, quite simply, getting too long in the tooth.

I still recall, back in the 70's, when there was a less-than-successful experiment dealing with attempting to bring the double deckers back to Fifth Avenue.

Given NY's rising crime rate at that time (not to mention the ever-worsening epidemic of transit vandalism/grafitti), as well as the fuel crunch, it would have been quite foolhardy to expect that type of coach to be utilized again on the old FACC routes.

MACKS:

Being that FACC was such a GMC stronghold in the postwar years, I often wonder why the company decided to order MACKS ( C-50-DT's, dating to 1951, numbered in the 2400's).

Though there were only 25 buses in this order, I feel that this order just as easily could have been given to GMC.

FISHBOWLS:

The first Fishbowls ordered by FACC were 10 TDH-5301's, and were air-conditioned. The next order of Fishbowls (the 3100 series) were not air-conditioned.

Why were only the first order of Fishbowls equipped with a/c, and not the newer 3100's?

Appreciate any info.......

NYO

*I had mentioned that the main reason that FACC did away with double-decker operation was a combination of declining ridership and rising labor costs (this info from "NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT BUSES", by Guy E. Martin); yet, the text also states that:

"......these buses (the double deckers) dominated the scene until 1953, and were only retired because none were manufactured after World War II......."

This statement seems to contradict one made earlier (from the same book):

"......after World War II, increased labor costs and declining ridership made double-decker operation unprofitable......"
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NorthShore



Age: 69
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To answer your reply on two points:
Fifth Avenue ordered Mack C-50's to replace the Queen Mary 720's because GMC was only offering the 5103, a 102-inch wide 40-ft. bus, which was not permitted in NYC at the time. The C-50 was offered in a 96-inch width, which was permitted.(After realizing the mistake GMC had made, it rushed into production the 5104, a 96-inch wide 40-ft. bus the next year).
Concerning the air-conditioned fishbowls, Fifth Aveue was trying to have air-conditioned buses since 3100. In fact, 3100 was the prototype for the later order of 5106's, which were intended to be air-conditioned, like DC Transit.
But 3100 was not completely successful because of frequent stops.So the 5106's were ordered without the A/C units. With the Fishbowls, Fifth Avenue decided to order 10 with air-conditioning as as experiment., before placing a large order of them. If successful, future orders would all be air-conditioned.
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I can wrap this thread up with a pretty little bow by saying that at one time New York was Fifth Avenue Coach and Fifth Avenue Coach was New York!

Enjoy a company battery car from 1900 below.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'

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traildriver




Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 863
Location: Queens, NY

PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Linsky wrote:
I think I can wrap this thread up with a pretty little bow by saying that at one time New York was Fifth Avenue Coach and Fifth Avenue Coach was New York!

Enjoy a company battery car from 1900 below.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'



Great photo, thanks!
Now THAT's what I would call a 'motorstage'........ Smile
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Mr. Linsky
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver,

Thanks - it is a great photo and probably one of the first 'motorized' buses of any kind ever in the City of New York.

Unfortunately, the Fifth Avenue battery cars were short lived only because of the company's long routes and the hilly areas to the north of midtown.

By 1902 it was back to stage coaches until the first foreign made gasoline buses (I believe they were French De Dion - Bouton's with double decked bodies by Brill) appeared on FACCO's routes in 1907.

Here's an interesting fact about those first days of De Dion operation;

Mack Truck had their main office in Manhattan and their chief designer and engineer Alfred Masury and his younger associate lived in Fifth Avenue's posh residential section above 59th. Street.

The two gentlemen happened to be out for a Sunday walk in the park when they spotted one of FACCO's first De Dion's and decided that they would take a ride to see what made it tick.

Mr. Masury was so in awe of the mechanics of the bus that he immediately began to draw plans for a new truck that turned out to be their Model AC Bulldog - the most famous truck ever built!

See battery tray below for the 1900 FACCO cars.

Regards,

Mr. 'L'

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W.B. Fishbowl



Age: 50
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Location: New York, New York, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RailBus63 wrote:
A question for the Fifth Ave. Coach historians on this board:

In the various NYC bus books that have been published in recent years, there are numerous photographs of FACCo buses in the Washington Square vicinity, usually with the Arch prominently in the background. By the 1970's, MaBSTOA buses no longer traveled on the streets through the square. Does anyone know when this routing change was made?

The actual effective date that Washington Square was closed to bus traffic was September 2, 1963 (the same day that the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite was expanded from 15 to 30 minutes, preceding NBC's Huntley-Brinkley Report by one week in doing so). A local politician, Carol Greitzer, had introduced an ordinance to do so, it had passed, and there was a little help from Traffic Commissioner Henry Barnes along the way. At that point, the three remaining ex-FACCo routes that terminated there - 2, 3 and 5 - were shifted to a new southern terminus at 8th Street just east of Fifth Avenue. From there it ran east on 8th Street, north on University Place and then west on 9th Street before running north again on Fifth. That arrangement only lasted till November 10, 1963, when another set of reroutings took effect due to complaints from area residents of bus bunching and accompanying pollution. After November 10 these changes took effect:
- The 2 and 3's southern terminus was pushed further east, to 8th Street and Fourth Avenue; and
- The 5's southern terminus was extended further south to Houston Street and West Broadway (technically, La Guardia Place as it was known north of Houston). This led to this route, south of Fifth and 8th, to travel east on 8th, then south on Broadway and west on Houston to its aforementioned end; then traveling northbound, further west on Houston, north on Sixth Avenue and east on 8th towards Fifth. (This would be a prelude to the ultimate moving of 5's entire northbound route to Sixth between Houston and 57th Streets effective January 14, 1966.) It should be noted that this route change for the ex-FACCo 5 took effect the same day that ex-NYCO 5 was discontinued and its route absorbed into ex-NYCO 6 which, from that 1963 day on to its own demise in 2010, ran north entirely along Trinity Place, Church Street and then Sixth from the Battery to 59th Street.
- Around the time of the November 1963 changes, the Jackson Heights 15 (later QM15, then M32 and now Q32) had its southern (Manhattan) terminus shifted to 8th and Fourth(?), an arrangement that only lasted until the 1966 one-way conversions of Fifth and Madison when its south end was truncated back to 25th Street.
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