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Bx9, "The Bronx & Van"

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N4 Jamaica

Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 629
Location: Long Island

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:31 am    Post subject: Bx9, "The Bronx & Van" Reply with quote

Another thread about articulated buses brought me the memory of my most recent ride (maybe in 2013) on the Bx9, on a low-floor articulated bus northbound under the el pillars on Broadway.
We lived on Marble Hill, but I walked to school in Kingsbridge. We walked to Grand Union and A & P and Jake's fish store. We rode the C car, wooden convertibles on the Bronx & Van, only when we wanted to travel further, towards West Farms Square or to West 262nd St.
In January, 1948, on the last night of streetcar service, Mom, her mother, and I were at West 231st Street when Nan suggested we ride one of the last trolleys to 225th St. What a spender! An extra five cents when we usually walked it! The car was a steel 1200.
The next day, GMC Old Looks took over Bx20. I think they were 1100's.
Fast forward to 2013: In roaming The Bronx, somehow I decided to ride Bx9 on a new low-floor articulated bus and chose a seat near the center exit. The big surprise was that (after 65 years or so) raised safety islands had been placed in line with the el pillars. When buses replaced streetcars, one of the mantras had been, "Buses stop at the curb." No way! The buses stopped one lane out, and passengers boarding or exiting used the el pillars for defense against automobiles that did not yield.
The artic u-turned at West 262nd Street. Shortly after the line received buses, the southbound curb of Broadway was scuffed with tire marks as the Old Looks hit the curb on the U-turn. I haven't been there to see if the tire marks remain.
By the way, the name "Bronx and Van" predates the C route letter. It was only in the early 1930's that Third Avenue Railways added the large route letters to the front of each car.
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