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March 1, 1962 - The Day That Began Changing Everything

 
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W.B. Fishbowl



Age: 56
Joined: 02 Oct 2014
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Location: New York, New York, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 11:44 am    Post subject: March 1, 1962 - The Day That Began Changing Everything Reply with quote

Today is the 60th anniversary of an event that would change the course of New York City above-ground transit history: the TWU strike against Fifth Avenue Coach Lines, Inc. and its Surface Transit, Inc. subsidiary, one which permanently knocked them out of their hold on much of bus transit in Manhattan and essentially all of it in the Bronx.

This was in the wake of the hostile takeover of FACL on Feb. 14-16 by Harry Weinberg who installed his own crew, including Lawrence Weisman as VP and Roy M. Cohn (of McCarthy and Studio 54 infamy) as one of its board members. This strike was precipitated by the company laying off 29 "light duty" employees aforehand, which Weinberg carried out in retailiation against Mayor Wagner refusing his demand for a fare increase from 15 to 20 cents. In pulling the rug out from FACL and ST, Wagner followed through on a threat during an earlier strike from Jan. 1-4, threatening them with the revocation of all their franchises unless (at the time) they went back to the bargaining table.

What followed was a seizure of all routes, garages and fleets; plus the establishment of a non-civil service 'Tee-Yay' subsidiary to be called the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA, colloquially referred to on occasion as 'OA'). When the strike ended March 23, only the NYCO Division and Surface Transit routes were initially the ones on the road. It wasn't until March 28-29 that three FACO Division routes per day were resumed (3, 4, 5, 15, 16, 20), and July 1 that the last remaining two (2 - 5th and 7th Avenues and 6 - 72nd Street Crosstown) came back to the respective streets. Disappearing forever was FACO Division's 1 - Fifth Avenue, administered for the last several years as a one-trip-per-day route to maintain their franchise; FACL claimed perpetual franchise on that route and prevailed upon a judge to legally prohibit MaBSTOA from resuming it (so that, when Fifth and Madison Avenues each became one-way in 1966, it was the NYCO Division's 1 which had its southbound route between 135th and 40th Streets shifted one block west to Fifth - Wiki be d---ed). Also wiped out in all that were:
- 19 (FACO Division) Fifth Avenue - Riverside Drive: A rush-hours only route since Dec. 6, 1942. (It was the only one to see something resembling a resumption of service years later when, on Dec. 6, 1965, its route path became another branch of the 5 route, and for the same period in time; it would be finally discontinued for good in 1988.)
- 22 (NYCO Division) Pitt & Ridge Streets: One of two routes taken over by NYCO on Aug. 26, 1940 (along with 21 - Houston Street-Avenue C) after a strike against Triangle Bus, it had been discontinued as a regular route on Dec. 1, 1942, resumed as a rush-hours only route after the war, then its route made a branch of the 21 and, finally, as a stand-alone route, likewise a once-a-day franchise in its last years.
- M-105 (Surface) 10th Avenue: Since 1948, did not run on the avenue mentioned, but rather Eleventh and West End Avenues; was cut back from 125th to 73rd Street and Broadway in 1954, and operating as a once-a-day franchise since 1957.
All three of those routes were plagued for years with extremely low ridership. As well, all pre-war fleets - the oldest being rebuilt Yellow 740's, the others predominantly TD-4502's and TD-4505's - were left behind, only a few being used for "Snow Fighter" service in the winter months.

This proved to be the first shot in a series of changes to the 'Noo Yawk' landscape as far as the transit scene was concerned that occurred within the year. In September we would see the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad (H&M), after years in bankruptcy, throw in the towel and its entire network taken over by a new entity, the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH). In their first years, PATH were legally prohibited from ordering new cars, thus they were stuck with rolling stock whose oldest dated back to the first H&M runs in 1908, and the more recent being the air-conditioned 'K' class which was intermixed with 'Pennsy's' MP-52's; not until 1965 with the first PA-1's would their roster begin to be modernized (as MaBSTOA would be in just its first year, 1963, with the first 255 out of a total of 1,560 that would be ordered up to 1967).

And then elsewhere along the city, saw the first games played by a new National League expansion team, the New York Mets; and Joe Franklin up and moving from WABC-TV (Channel 7) to the Mets' home through 1998, WOR-TV (Channel 9), where he would hold court until the early '90's.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 17873
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B.:

EXCELLENT "transit news capsule", courtesy of 1962!

Growing up with the Hudson Tubes, I well recall when it went over to "PATH".

We locals (of all ages) STILL used the old handle, "Tubes" (I STILL do, to this day!) Wink

The "K"-Class cars (and their PRR brethern) were not only the last cars on the "Tubes" delivered with single-panel doors, but also, the last with incandescent lighting.

They also were equipped with PRR cab signals.

These venerable cars were retired in 1989, over 20 years after they were replaced by new "PA" cars in the Newark-NYC "joint service", dated back to 1912.

I rode these cars too often to count, over the decades!

Bus-wise in 1962, in Hudson County, the "indies" were then operating a VERY diverse fleet of pre- and postwar buses, hailing fro several different builders.

Too bad Your's Truly was too young to be taking pictures...oh, well! Rolling Eyes

"NYO"
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W.B. Fishbowl



Age: 56
Joined: 02 Oct 2014
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Location: New York, New York, USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep. Back from when H&M was the name of a railroad and not a clothing chain (which Herald Square store, ironically, is a few blocks from the 33rd Street terminus of PATH).
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

W.B. Fishbowl wrote:
Yep. Back from when H&M was the name of a railroad and not a clothing chain (which Herald Square store, ironically, is a few blocks from the 33rd Street terminus of PATH).


W.B.:

I always found that to be QUITE ironic, indeed, especially regarding the location! Wink

I still clearly recall the old signs at Journal Square (and elsewhere) reading "HUDSON RAPID TUBES", the word "RAPID" slanting to the right, to give the effect of "speed".

When PATH took over, the oldest cars were the Class "B" units, which dated back to 1909, the year that "The Tubes" were extended via Exchange Place to the Financial District.

The original 1908 Class "A" cars (which underwent trials on the 2nd Avenue El) had already been retired; unlike the later rolling stock, these cars featured deck-type roofs, atkin to the 1907 deck roof IRT "Hi-V's".....

"NYO"
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X-Astorian




Joined: 19 Feb 2009
Posts: 154
Location: Central NJ

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:


The "K"-Class cars (and their PRR brethern) were not only the last cars on the "Tubes" delivered with single-panel doors, but also, the last with incandescent lighting.


And the first to have air conditioning! - more than a decade before any TA fleet had it.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

X-Astorian wrote:
NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 wrote:


The "K"-Class cars (and their PRR brethern) were not only the last cars on the "Tubes" delivered with single-panel doors, but also, the last with incandescent lighting.


And the first to have air conditioning! - more than a decade before any TA fleet had it.


Exactly!

The new St. Louis-built "joint service" cars were the first air-conditioned rapid transit cars to enter regular service.

Interestingly, prior to the new "PA" cars entering service, PATH renovated/upgraded a train of old "Black" cars, painting the cars blue, installing updated lighting, and installing air conditioning.

One vestibule door was blanked off to allow for the installation of a bulky a/c unit.

After the new "PA" cars entered service, the "Blue Train'" cars were painted yellow, and, along with other old "Black" cars, entered work service, in which capacity they served until 1979....."NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The site of the Henderson St. yards has now been toally buiult ovr; no trace is left of the once-busy yard.

In this nostalgic 1964 photo, we see the "Blue Train" waiting its next call to duty; we rode this unique consist often, back in the day!

Note that "Black" car #439 now sports a solid panel (with vent grills) where a vestibule door was replaced with a solid panel, behind which an a/c unit was installed.

Also, note that the new doors are virtually identical to those on the "K" cars........

https://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?21778

(courtesy: nycubway.org)
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W.B. Fishbowl



Age: 56
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Location: New York, New York, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2022 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It should also be noted that in the wake of the four-day strike at the start of the new year, one of the concessions was the elimination of free transfers from one route to another as had been given out up to that point. This "no-transfer" policy remained in effect through the first 13 years of MaBSTOA's existence, until the 1975 fare increase to 50 cents, upon which a half-fare "Add-A-Ride" system of paper transfers was instituted.
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