Travelling around the city during the holidays usually leaves much to be desired. But this year the MTA, in addition to its usual increase in service, is giving riders a chance to ride into the past on a vintage bus or a “nostalgia train.”
With the holiday season comes an increase in tourists, shoppers, and traffic, not only in Manhattan but in the five boroughs as well. The MTA started increasing the number of trains on the weekends December 4th and 5th, and will continue the increased service every weekend until December 18th and 19th in order to shorten the usual wait time for passengers and accommodate the influx of people in and out of the city.
The best part of the increase comes in the form of buses and trains from the city’s vintage collection. This year marks the first time the vintage buses will run in all five boroughs. The B1 and B65 bus lines in Brooklyn, the S61 bus line in Staten Island, the Q13 and Q46 lines in Queens, the M34 and M42 lines in Manhattan, and the Bx7 and Bx30 lines in the Bronx are all running buses from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Even if you usually drive everywhere, or if you’re one of the lucky ones who have already finished shopping, this is a fun, inexpensive experience for you and your kids, especially if you’re a lover of technology. You can see the progression of technology through the years, and compare them to what the buses are like now.
Another treat comes in the form of the “nostalgia train,” running along the M train line in Queens and Lower Manhattan. Running only on Sundays, from now until December 26th between the hours of 10am – 5pm, this train takes you even further into the past. First put into service in 1932, you’ll experience something most New Yorkers haven’t seen since 1977, like wicker seats and ceiling fans. A real blast from the past, this is one train you really shouldn’t miss.
If you’re looking for a way to avoid traffic while shopping this holiday season, be sure to take advantage of the MTA’s increased service, and take a break from reality for a little while. It’s also a great way to teach your kids a little history about New York. What better way than to actually show them what it was like taking public transportation well over thirty years ago?