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On this day in '62 (and assorted other nostalgia)......
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:45 pm    Post subject: On this day in '62 (and assorted other nostalgia)...... Reply with quote

.......the law which created the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Authority took effect on May 21st, 1965.

It also took over LIRR operations not long afterwards.

The name of the agency itself was changed to the METROPOLITAN TRANSIT AUTHORITY on March 1, 1968, taking over the operations of both the "Tee-Yay" and MaBSTOA.

I'm sure that all astute bus historians are well aware of a certain March 1st, 1962 strike, which resulted in the suspension of all FACO., SURFACE, and NYCO operations (I will admit I need a little reminder on this, myself!)........

"NYO"

(historical info from SubChat/Buschat)


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 6:20 pm    Post subject: Re: On this day...... Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
I'm sure that all astute bus historians are well aware of a certain March 1st, 1962 strike, which resulted in the suspension of all FACO., SURFACE, and NYCO operations (I will admit I need a little reminder on this, myself!)........

That strike marked the end of Fifth Avenue Coach Lines' run in New York. It should be noted that when they were hit with a four-day strike starting January 1, Mayor Wagner ominously warned management that their franchises would be revoked unless they went back to the bargaining table with the TWU. After that strike was settled, the end result was the elimination of transfers that lasted for the first 13 years of MaBSTOA's existence, up to the 1975 fare increase (and the introduction of half-fare 'Add-a-Ride' paper transfers). When the March strike hit, Wagner made good on his threat.

Four routes had their last days of service on March 1, 1962, and would not be resumed under MaBSTOA aegis. An encapsulation:

- #1 (FACO Division) - The first route of FACCo, started in 1886 under its predecessor Fifth Avenue Transportation Co., Ltd. Around late 1958 or 1959, FACL reduced its service to one franchise trip daily. During the long knock-down drag-out fight between them and the city, FACL successfully maneuvered to have MaBSTOA legally prohibited from resuming such service, invoking a "perpetual franchise." The other FACO Division routes were found to have various revocable franchises within, numbered between M-26 and M-39, M-43 and M-44, and possibly M-46 and M-47 (all numbers assigned by the Bureau of Franchises but, like with those for NYCO, were never used as such) as well.
This circumstance makes it all the more ironic viz today's M1, which between 135th and 8th Streets has mimicked the route path of FACO #1 on southbound runs since June 27, 2010 - since operationally the M1 we know today is descended 100% from the NYCO #1 which in 1962 was the Park Avenue South & Madison Avenue line.
- #19 (FACO Division) - Since December 6, 1942, had been confined to rush hours only; had differed from the #5 in that it ran through Riverside Drive as far north as 157th Street rather than 135th Street. It would later be revived "in a sense" on December 6, 1965 as a rush-hours-only branch of the #5, and as such would run until 1988.
- #22 (NYCO Division) - The Pitt and Ridge Streets line was one of two routes taken over by NYCO in 1940 following a strike against prior operator Triangle Bus Corporation. It had a hard-luck existence; the same 1942 Office of Defense Transportation restrictions that confined #19 to rush-hours only status, led to this route being suspended for the duration of the war. After the war was over, it was resumed for rush-hour service, but for most of the 1950's was a branch of the other ex-Triangle route, #21 - Houston Street-Avenue C. Around 1958, #22 as a stand-alone route was relegated to the same one-trip-daily status as FACO's #1 and the next route to be described. No doubt its ridership was among the lowest within the vast FACL complex by the time the strike occurred.
- M-105 (Surface Transit) - It had been referred to as the "Tenth Avenue line," but hadn't actually run on that thoroughfare since the 1948 conversions of Ninth and Tenth Avenues to one-way traffic which led to its route shifted to 11th and West End Avenues. Its ridership kept going down and down with the demise of ferry service on 125th Street and the concomitant reduction of its northern terminus in 1954 to 73rd Street and Broadway; its consignment to one-trip-a-day-to-maintain-the-franchise status on April 15, 1957 was the final blow, and was a dead route running by then. The path between 11th/West End-59th Street and 73rd-Broadway would remain unserved between the March 23, 1962 resumption of bus service under MaBSTOA, and September 8, 1963 when the M-103 - 59th Street Crosstown would be extended there from its prior western terminus of 59th and 11th.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B.:

Thanks for taking the time to post this most interesting (and in-depth) information); one cannot help but wonder today what IF there had been NO strike in March, 1962.

Would FACCo. remained an "independent" company for years to come? (recall "indies" like STEINWAY, JAMAICA, TRIBORO, etc.)

IMHO, Ogden's FACCo. book SHOULD have had a chapter detailing the 1962 strike, as well as its aftermath.

It is no surprise that ridership on the M-105 ("10th Avenue line") declined after the long-established 125th St. ferry (then operated by "ELECTRIC FERRIES") to Edgewater, NJ shut down in late 1950.

HUDSON RIVER DAY LINE steamers, however, continued to dock at 125th St. until after the end of the 1964 season.

Getting back to the buses; had FACCO. not disappeared, it would have also have been interesting to see what their purchases of new buses might have been like.

Would they have only purchased new GMC's? (with or without A/C)

Would they have retained the Old Looks longer, or replaced them earlier than MaBSTOA?

To many younger enthusiasts today, I'm also willing to wager that most would think that FACCo., SURFACE, and NYO were all "independent" companies that had no relationship with each other whatsoever.

IMHO, SURFACE's "Golden Era" began in the later 1940's, when more and more of the Manhattan and Bronx TARS routes were converted to diesel bus; SURFACE buses have appeared in more vintage movies and photographs than you can shake a stick at.

Besides seeing a detailed historical/photographical work on MaBSTOA finally published, I know I would not mind seeing a book put out dedicated to SURFACE.........

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a few old SURFACE photos......

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3334

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?1548

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?1552

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO, easily the most stylish time in MaBSTOA's rich history was back when the buses were still carrying the handsome and stylish "Manhattan And Bronx Surface Operating Authority" legend above the windows....'nuff said! Wink

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?788

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?811*

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)

*This photo is indeed a particularly fine portrait of a classic GMC Fishbowl (note, also, the photo date is at least 10 years off; photo was, clearly, taken about 1971, not 1981!) Shocked
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lexington & 102nd, 1981*......

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?2509

*Pre-MaBSTOA, was the route this straining Flex was operating on a FACCo or SURFACE route?
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS, many decades ago........

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?3626

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?1381
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a few personal opinions......

IMHO, the "old" MaBSTOA era ended when the last of the Fishbowls and Flexies were retired.

Perhaps, it is because both types had been commonplace on MaBSTOA routes since the 1960's, and, also, these buses not only once carried the familiar "MaBSTOA" script over their windows, the buses also once displayed the distinctive and handsome "OA" insignias.

Even with the transition to two-tone MTA blue, and the disappearance of the familiar script over the windows, it somehow seemed that the "old order" was still carrying on.

As we have so often discussed here in previous threads, FACCo (published) history only seems to go as far as the purchase of the Fishbowls, and nothing at all beyond that except, perhaps, the 1962 strike.

No, FACCo history did NOT come to a screeching halt with the arrival of the Fishbowls.

Likewise, a detailed illustrated, well-researched and documented book on MaBSTOA (as I've said many times in the past) is sorely needed, and has been for many a year, now.......

"NYO"
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
Lexington & 102nd, 1981*......

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?2509

*Pre-MaBSTOA, was the route this straining Flex was operating on a FACCo or SURFACE route?

From 1936 to 1960, the buses climbing the hill in that direction - but also heading downhill in the opposite direction - were the #3 and #4 routes operated by New York City Omnibus (1936-56) and then Fifth Avenue Coach Lines' NYCO Division (1956-60); the M-101 took over that chore after Lexington became one-way southbound (and a short-run M-101 route between 125th and 23rd Streets was set up as a de facto replacement for the NYCO #3).


Last edited by W.B. Fishbowl on Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:
W.B.:

Thanks for taking the time to post this most interesting (and in-depth) information); one cannot help but wonder today what IF there had been NO strike in March, 1962.

Would FACCo. remained an "independent" company for years to come? (recall "indies" like STEINWAY, JAMAICA, TRIBORO, etc.)

IMHO, Ogden's FACCo. book SHOULD have had a chapter detailing the 1962 strike, as well as its aftermath.

It is no surprise that ridership on the M-105 ("10th Avenue line") declined after the long-established 125th St. ferry (then operated by "ELECTRIC FERRIES") to Edgewater, NJ shut down in late 1950.

HUDSON RIVER DAY LINE steamers, however, continued to dock at 125th St. until after the end of the 1964 season.

Getting back to the buses; had FACCO. not disappeared, it would have also have been interesting to see what their purchases of new buses might have been like.

Would they have only purchased new GMC's? (with or without A/C)

Would they have retained the Old Looks longer, or replaced them earlier than MaBSTOA?

To many younger enthusiasts today, I'm also willing to wager that most would think that FACCo., SURFACE, and NYO were all "independent" companies that had no relationship with each other whatsoever.

IMHO, SURFACE's "Golden Era" began in the later 1940's, when more and more of the Manhattan and Bronx TARS routes were converted to diesel bus; SURFACE buses have appeared in more vintage movies and photographs than you can shake a stick at.

Besides seeing a detailed historical/photographical work on MaBSTOA finally published, I know I would not mind seeing a book put out dedicated to SURFACE.........

"NYO"

Given the direction Harry Weinberg was taking FACL in the nearly two weeks leading to that final strike, he would likely have run it into the ground - given his track record in other cities (Dallas, TX; Scranton, PA; and later, Honolulu, HI). His attitude towards labor unions also made him persona non grata in NYC which was, and is, the ultimate "union town." He had taken over FACL in a hostile bid, and was installed on Feb. 16, 1962 as president and chairman of the board; Laurence I. Weisman as vice-president; and on the board of directors, a certain Roy M. Cohn of particular repute that shall remain unspoken.

One could say that the death of longtime FACL president John E. McCarthy in 1960 was the beginning of the end; his successor before Weinberg's hostile takeover, John A. Moreland, seemed more of a caretaker, treading water. Most of his time as prexy was spent fending off Weinberg and his pack of wolves, which no doubt had a negative effect on profits and revenues.
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W.B. Fishbowl



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for Surface, what may have been a "Golden Era" for bus enthusiasts, was a dark era for the company. The rush to convert old streetcar routes to bus service in the 1946-48 period put such a strain on finances that they defaulted on payment of new Mack buses, a certain portion of which ended up diverted to the Board of Transportation to replace aging buses of East Side and Comprehensive Omnibus upon BoT taking over those companies' routes under the heading of the Manhattan Bus Division. One of their drivers even hijacked an 'Old Look' bus (#1311) to Florida over the wages which were lower than those of FACCo and NYCO drivers. All this hit the fan in June 1949 when Surface and all its affiliates under Third Avenue Transit Corporation, filed for bankruptcy. In that period maintenance fell to such poor status that you had buses that barely worked, if at all; even before the junking of old Surface buses in the 1962-63 period when new MaBSTOA buses were being ordered, much of the Surface fleet were literal wrecks to the point that even after Fifth Avenue Coach Lines' takeover in December 1956 (and TATC's merger with Surface Transportation and reorganization as Surface Transit), old "clunkers" were being replaced with surplus FACCo and NYCO buses (including the infamous Macks assigned to 76th Street-Northern Boulevard depot for service on the #15 - Jackson Heights line). As well, in 1953 the Bx-39 - Sedgwick Avenue line was discontinued. That M-105, despite its lowering ridership after 1950, survived all this is nothing short of an astounding miracle. No doubt most photos of Surface buses show them just totally worn out before their time.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B.:

As usual, greatly appreciate your taking the time to post so much in-depth historical data regarding FACCo. SURFACE, etc....historical "behind the scenes" information such as what you've posted indeed further proves that "there is a lot more going on behind the scenes than one might imagine"!

Nowadays, bus operations in New York is vastly different than it was 60 years back; today, it's all "MTA Bus Operations", and, as is the case in London these days the transit scene is light-years away from what it was even a few decades ago; recall, the buses and the Tube (Underground) were all under the same London Transport umbrella for decades.

Today, it's a vastly different kettle of "fish 'n chips"; to say that bus operations in London today is indeed a diverse melting pot of operators and color schemes is indeed an understatement.

In the wonderfully-nostalgic 1954 children's book, 'BIG CITY TRANSPORTATION" (a MUST for any NYC transit enthusiast!), the rush hour photo on the frontspiece shows 42nd St., in front of Grand Central; the traffic consists of mostly buses and taxis (SURFACE, indeed, dominates the scene!)

There is also a timeless staged photo (my mother recalled the same photo in an 1940's issue of VOGUE) showing a stylish lady boarding Old Look #1707; the bus is signed as follows:

"4TH & MADISON AVENUE/PARK ROW & BROADWAY VIA 42nd ST."

Getting back to the demise of FACCo., unlike the "transit strikes" that crippled both buses and subways throughout the years, there is little documenting the 1962 FACCo strike, in comparison.

Also, IMHO, once the last MaBSTOA bus lost its "OA" insignias and script above the windows. it was, without a doubt, the end of an era........

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"PASSING OF THE TORCH" (1970)........

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?798

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This 1940's photo of #1707 was obviously part of the same photo shoot which I described previously, as seen in the 1954 children's book, "BIG CITY TRANSPORTATION" (this book part of the "BIG CITY" series)

Here, the same lady is seen, but, in this photo, exiting via the rear doors.......

http://bus.nycsubway.org/perl/show?1382

(courtesy: bus.nycsubway.org)
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From: "ACROSS NEW YORK BY TROLLEY" (Kramer).......

".......the city's Board of Transportation wanted the new bus services conducted by large-scale operators capable of providing a unified system. Clearly, they wanted no repeat of the situation which many individual franchises had to be bought out at great profit to the underliers......."

".........with this background, a bus subsidiary was formed to petition for a system of lines in the Bronx. The petition indeed was successful, and, from a modest 12 routes in 1928, an enterprise had been created that would become the world's largest diesel bus fleet by 1942. This huge success bore the asphaltic name of Surface Transportation System......"

"NYO"
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