MTA to roll out vintage holiday buses in midtown

Bus No. 9098 will be running for the holidays along 42nd Street in Manhattan. (Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Patrick Cashin)

Bus No. 9098 will be running for the holidays along 42nd Street in Manhattan. (Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Patrick Cashin)

NEW YORK — The MTA is giving commuters the opportunity to catch a ride back in time for the holidays.

Starting on Dec. 5, several vintage buses will run along 42nd Street in Manhattan from river to river.

The fleet consists of buses that were in use from the 1940s to the 1970s.

“Customers who come out for a ride on one of our vintage buses can see for themselves how far our fleet has come and see how our bus designs have evolved over time. Our buses from the 1950s, for example, were the first to have some amenities that customers may recognize, such as push type rear exit doors and fluorescent lighting, or comforts they might take for granted, such as air conditioning and air-ride suspension for smoother rides like the ones we still provide,” said Darryl Irick, President of MTA Bus Company and Senior Vice President of NYC Transit Department of Buses. “Our next generation of buses builds on that legacy of improvement, with high-tech amenities such as digital screens and USB charging ports.”

Commuters will be able to ride the buses on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., until Dec. 21. The buses will be making stops along the M42 route.

The buses were created by General Motors and Mack, two companies that no longer produce buses.

One of the GM buses available is the TDH 5101. Created in 1949, it was known as the Jackie Gleason bus for its resemblance to the one driven by Gleason’s character Ralph Kramden in “The Honeymooners.”

The vintage fleet is only available only if weather permits. The buses will not be in service during snowy, rainy or icy weather.

Subway riders will also have the chance to experience the holiday nostalgia.

From Thanksgiving weekend through the Sunday before Christmas, eight subway cars from the 1930s will grace the tracks of the M line.

The trains will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 27, Dec. 4, Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, running between Second Avenue in Manhattan and Queens Plaza.