Transit Museum Stages 20th Annual Bus Festival!

The New York Transit Museum’s 20th Annual Bus Festival will take place on Sunday, September 29th from 11 am to 5 pm as part of the Atlantic Antic street festival. Visitors young and old will have the rare chance to board vintage buses and speak with bus drivers and transit historians. Only on display once a year, the vintage fleet is one of the Transit Museum’s most prized collections, offering a physical, moving record of over eighty years of surface transit in the city.

Over a dozen buses and trucks will be stationed on Boerum Place between State Street and Atlantic Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn, free and open to the public. For those also interested in vintage subway cars, the Transit Museum will offer discounted admission of $1 until 4:30 pm.

This Bus Festival will highlight the lasting connections created by the simple act of sharing a ride. Celebrate a “Bus Fest BFF” by tweeting @NYTransitMuseum and taking part in the #BusFestBFF Photo Hunt, a new activity that encourages friends to take photos on the vintage buses, imagining themselves as bus riders from yesteryear. Museum Educators will also lead fun, hands-on art projects for children.

Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, this year’s special guests include:

  • “Betsy” – A Fifth Avenue Coach Company double decker bus, Betsy ran in Manhattan from 1931 until 1953. It was acquired by the Museum in 2004, and will be the oldest vehicle at the Bus Festival.
  • Bus 3100 - A Fifth Avenue Coach Company prototype bus, this vehicle debuted in 1956 as one of the first air-conditioned transit buses nationwide.
  • Grumman 870 – This infamous “Advanced Design Bus” model made its debut in 1980 with wheelchair lifts and electronic signage, but structural flaws led to it being pulled from service only 4 years later.

Work vehicles on display include:

  • Tunnel Wrecker – Nicknamed “the Monster of the Tunnels,” this unusual emergency truck was built to move disabled vehicles in the Hugh L. Carey and Queens-Midtown Tunnels. Square in shape, it is equipped to handle everything from a compact car to a tractor-trailer.
  • Tunnel Wash Truck – This vehicle is used to wash the inside walls and ceiling at the Hugh L. Carey and Queens Midtown Tunnels.
  • Autocar – From 1936 to 1972, this truck served as a mobile testing laboratory for electric power distribution in the Independent Subway (IND) and, later, throughout the subway system.