NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT ROUTES

MANHATTAN

CONCISE HISTORY

In New York City, all bus route numbers are preceded by a letter indicating the borough.

In Manhattan, most surface transportation was eventually operated by the Fifth Avenue Coach Co. and its subsidiaries. Fifth Avenue Coach Co. was formed in 1886, first operating horse drawn omnibuses on Fifth Avenue, later expanding onto other streets which did not have streetcar routes.

Most of the streetcars were operated by New York Railways (NYRys), which in 1925 was acquired by Fifth Avenue Coach Co. as a subsidiary. Also in 1925, Fifth Avenue Coach Co. formed another subsidiary, New York City Omnibus Co. (NYCO), to operate the bus routes which would replace the streetcars. That company actually began operating buses in 1936, the year when all of the New York Railways streetcar routes were converted.

A few New York Railways streetcar routes were converted in earlier years, with buses operated independently.

In addition, the Third Avenue Railway Co. continued to operate streetcars in Manhattan, which were subsequently replaced by operated by subsidiary Surface Transportation Corp. In 1956, the Third Avenue Railway Co. merged with the Fifth Avenue Coach Co. And in 1962, the city took over the Fifth Avenue Coach Co. operations with the city. A separate entity, the Manhattan & Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA), was formed to operate the routes. This was to isolate any legal complications of the takeover from the main New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA). MaBSTOA continues to exist as a separate operating entity, although perceived by the public as part of the same system as NYCTA.

A few smaller companies also operated some streetcar and bus routes independently. These routes eventually became the only Manhattan routes actually operated by NYCTA.

The Hamilton Bus Company began operating the Houston St/Avenue C route in 1929, was sold to the Triangle Bus Co, in 1935, and to New York City Omnibus Co. in 1940.

Beginning in 1919, several bus routes began operation, operated by independent owner operators granted permits by the New York City Department of Plant & Structures (DP&S). DP&S routes were assigned numbers in the order in which they were introduced, in all five boroughs. Some routes did not survive long and are not listed. In 1933 these routes were assumed by Green Bus Lines, and received "M" route numbers.


Route   Route                DP&S       Buses       Present
Number  Name                 Route No.  Introduced  Route No.

M1  Madison/Chambers St          1       9/21/19    M22
M2  Delancy/Spring St            2       9/21/19
M3  49/50 St Crosstown         new      by 1930     M50
M4  79 St Crosstown             71      11/30/21    M79
M5  86 St Crosstown (west)       8      11/ 3/19    M86
M6  96 St Crosstown             60       7/ 4/21    M96

Green Bus Lines was a major operator of buses in Queens until 2005. In 1935, the Madison/Chambers and the 49/50 St Crosstown route franchises were awarded to the Comprehensive Omnibus Co. And in 1936, the remaining Green Bus Lines route franchises in Manhattan were awarded to the New York City Omnibus Co. At that same time, Green Bus Lines was permitted to expand significantly in Queens.

The East Side Omnibus Co. operated buses originally to replace the streetcars operated by the Second Avenue Railroad. In 1948, the East Side Omnibus Co. and the Comprehensive Omnibus Co. were acquired by the city.

After the Dry Dock East Broadway & Battery Railroad failed in 1932, the Avenue B & East Broadway Transit Co. began operating buses over that route. That remained the last independent bus operation in Manhattan, until the NYCTA took over the route in 1980.

Where no streetcar company is listed, route started new as a bus route.

Where no present route number is indicated, route has been discontinued.

Around 1989, the crosstown routes were given new numbers corresponding to the numbered streets.

Effective 1/8/2017, the M5 route was split at Midtown Manhattan, with the south segment becoming route M55.



Route   Route                   Old Route  Streetcar  Private Bus  Buses Introduced
Number  Name                    Number     Company    Company      Streetcars Disc.

M   1   Fifth Av                        1  -----      Fifth Av.    1886
M   1   Madison Av                      1  NY&H       Madison       3/  /36
M   2   Fifth/Madison/Powell Blvd       2  -----      Fifth Av.     2/23/01
M   3   Fifth/Madison/St Nicholas       3  -----      Fifth Av.     2/23/01
        Convent Av                      3  -----      Fifth Av.     1/13/39
        49/50 St Crosstown          M   3  NYRys      DP&S         by 1930
M   4   Fifth/Madison/Broadway          4  -----      Fifth Av.     8/ 5/00
M   5   Fifth Av/6 Av/Riverside         5  -----      Fifth Av.     8/ 5/00
        7 Av                            6  NYRys      NYCO          3/ 6/36
        57/72 St Crosstown              6  -----      Fifth Av.     2/23/01
M   7   Columbus/Amsterdam/Lenox        7  NYRys      NYCO          3/25/36
M   8   8/9 St Crosstown               13  NYRys      NYCO          3/ 3/36
M   9   Avenue B/East Broadway             Dry Dock   Av B/E Bwy    7/30/32
M   9   Avenue C                       21  -----      DP&S          9/21/19
M  10   7/8 Avs/Douglass Blvd          10  NYRys      NYCO          3/  /36
M  11   9/10 Avs                       11  8&9 Av     NYCO          3/  /36
M  12   11/12 Av                    -----  -----      -----         8/31/14
M  14   14 St Crosstown                14  NYRys      NYCO          4/20/36
M  15   First/Second  Av            M  15  Second Av  East Side     6/25/33
M  20   7/8 Avs/Hudson St
M  21   Houston St                     21  -----      Hamilton      3/  /29
M  22   Madison/Chambers St         M   1  NYRys      DP&S          9/21/19
M  23   23 St Crosstown                15  NYRys      NYCO          4/ 8/36
M  31   57 St/York Av               M  11  Second Av  East Side     6/25/33
M  34   34 St Crosstown                16  NYRys      NYCO          4/ 1/36
M  35   Randall's Is./Ward's Is.       TB
M  42   42 St Crosstown             M 106  Third Av   Surface      11/17/46
M  50   49/50 St Crosstown          M   3  NYRys      DP&S         by 1930
M  55   6 Av (south)                    6  NYRys      NYCO          3/ 3/36
        Broadway                        6  NYRys      NYCO          3/ 6/36
M  57   57 St Crosstown                20  -----      Fifth Av.     4/17/34
M  60   La Guardia via 125 St       Bx 29  Third Av   Surface       8/ 5/41
M  66   66/67 St Crosstown          M   7  -----      Compreh.     1933
M  72   72 St Crosstown                 6  -----      Fifth Av.     2/23/01
M  79   79 St Crosstown                17  -----      DP&S         11/30/21
M  86   86 St Crosstown (east)         18  NYRys      NYCO          6/ 8/36
M  86   86 St Crosstown (west)      M   5  -----      DP&S         11/ 3/19
M  96   96 St Crosstown                19  -----      DP&S          7/ 4/21
M  98   Washington Hts/Midtown
M 100   Amsterdam/Broadway/125 St   M 100  Third Av   Surface       6/22/47
M 101   Third/Lexington/Amsterdam   M 101  Third Av   Surface       5/28/47
M 102   Third/Lexington/Lenox Av    M 102  NYRys      NYCO          3/  /36
M 103   Third/Lexington Avs
        59 St Crosstown             M 103  Third Av   Surface      11/10/46
M 104   Broadway/42 St              M 104  Third Av   Surface      12/15/46
M 106   96/106 St Crosstown         M 107
M 116   116 St Crosstown               20  NYRys      NYCO          4/ 1/36


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