Queens Surface Corporation

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Queens Surface QM4 bus in Midtown Manhattan. This bus is now retired and scrapped.

Queens Surface Corporation was a bus company in New York City, United States, operating local service in Queens and the Bronx and express service between Queens and Manhattan until February 27, 2005, when the MTA Bus Company took over the operations. The company was known for its orange paint scheme, used since the company's inception in the late 1930s.[1][2]

Queens Surface Corporation was privately held by the Gordon and Burke families.[3] The Queens Surface Corporation facility was located at 128-15 28th Avenue in the College Point neighborhood of Queens.

History

Partial remains of the former Steinway/New York and Queens County Railway car barn in Woodside. Now a Pizza Hut franchise.

New York and Queens County Railway

The New York and Queens County Railway (NY&QC) became the largest trolley line in Queens in 1896, through the consolidating of four previous streetcar operators: Flushing and College Point Electric Railway, Long Island City and Newtown Railway, Newtown Railway, and the original Steinway Railway Company. It served Long Island City, Woodside, Astoria, North Beach, College Point, Jamaica, and even the Queensboro Bridge. Between 1903 and 1922, the NY&QC became an affiliate of the Interborough Rapid Transit Company.[4] On June 24, 1930, the Woodside Car barn was hit with a massive fire that destroyed much of their fleet, along with the fleet of their competitors, the Steinway Railway (see below).[5]

Steinway Railway

The Steinway Railway operated in northwestern Queens in 1892, through the merger of the Rikers Avenue and Sanford Point Railroad and Steinway and Hunters Point Railroad, only to be acquired by NY&QC in 1896. As NY&QC faced bankruptcy in 1922, it began to sell off Steinway as a somewhat independent company. It was actually bought by the Third Avenue Railway System but was allowed to operate under its own name.

Bustitution and re-merging

On February 19, 1926, NY&QC established a bus division called the Queens-Nassau Transit Lines.[6] Queens-Nassau buses replaced all NY&QC trolleys by 1937, with the last being motorized on October 30 of that year.[5] In the Fall of 1938, the Steinway Railway was bought by Queensboro Bridge Railway Company and renamed as Steinway Omnibus. Steinway began operating buses over former Steinway Railway lines on September 29, 1939.[5] Both companies were operated by the same management,[7] and casually referred to as the "orange buses".[1] Queens-Nassau was renamed Queens Transit Corporation in 1957, and Steinway Omnibus became Steinway Transit in 1959.[8] The two companies merged again in 1986 to form the Queens/Steinway Transit Corporation. The joint company was owned by the father Harold, H.E. Salzberg scrap metal and short-haul railways interests, with son Murray M. Salzberg (1915-1984, aged 69) and his grandson Harry Salzberg, which had ripped up the rails, running these two companies until 1988, when the Linden Bus Company acquired the routes from the aging grandson Harry Salzberg. Shortly thereafter and before operations commenced, Linden Bus Company changed its name to Queens Surface Corporation.[8]

On February 27, 2005, the MTA Bus Company took over the operations of the Queens Surface routes, part of the city's takeover of all the remaining privately operated bus routes.[9][10]

Bus routes

Prior to MTA Bus takeover, Queens Surface operated the following routes that are now based in College Point Bus Depot, the LaGuardia Depot (the former Triboro Coach depot), and the Eastchester Depot (the former New York Bus Service depot in the Bronx).[11][12]

Route Terminal A Major streets of travel Terminal B Notes/History
FORMER QUEENS SURFACE CORPORATION BUS ROUTES
Bronx and Queens Local
QBx1 Flushing
Main Street and 39th Avenue
near Flushing – Main Street ( 7   <7> ​ trains)
Whitestone Expressway, Hutchinson River Parkway,
Bruckner Boulevard, Co-op City Boulevard
Co-op City, Bronx
Earhart Lane and Erskine Place
Limited Stop Service; most service ran exclusively between Pelham Bay Park and Co-op City. Interborough service is now called the Q50. Co-op City shuttle service is now the Bx23.
Queens Local
Q25 Jamaica
Sutphin Boulevard and 94th Avenue
at Sutphin Boulevard – Archer Avenue – JFK Airport ( E ​ ​ J  Z  trains) and Jamaica LIRR / AirTrain Station
Parsons Boulevard, Kissena Boulevard, 127th Street College Point
Poppenhusen Avenue and 119th Street
  • Originally owned by Flushing Heights Bus Company, service began in 1928.[13]
  • Acquired by Queens–Nassau Transit, Inc. on May 25, 1933.[6]
  • Weekdays, Q34 also provides service between Flushing and Jamaica.
  • The original Q25 terminus was in Flushing; it was combined with the then-Q34 route into College Point.
  • Southern terminus moved from 160th Street and Jamaica Avenue to Parsons Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue in 2005;[14] extended to Jamaica LIRR station on Sutphin Boulevard in 2006.[15]
Q34 Parsons Boulevard, Kissena Boulevard, Union Street Whitestone
Willets Point Boulevard and 149th Street
  • Service began in April 1933.[13]
  • Weekday service only.
  • The original Q34 route was the College Point segment of the Q25; it was later rerouted to its current alignment in Whitestone and then extended along the Q25 route.
  • Southern terminus moved from 160th Street and Jamaica Avenue to Parsons Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue in 2004;[14] extended to Jamaica LIRR station on Sutphin Boulevard in 2007.[15]
Q65 164th Street, 45th Avenue,
College Point Boulevard
College Point
14th Avenue and 110th Street
  • Service started on August 10, 1937 to replace Flushing–Jamaica Line and College Point Line streetcar service.
  • Southern terminus moved from 160th Street and Jamaica Avenue to Parsons Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue in 2004;[14] extended to Jamaica LIRR station on Sutphin Boulevard in 2007.[15]
Q65A Forest Hills
Queens Boulevard and 71st Avenue
at Forest Hills – 71st Avenue ( E  F  M  R  trains)
Jewel Avenue Electchester
164th Street and Jewel Avenue
  • Service started in 1951.[13]
  • Renumbered as Q64 in 2007.
Q66 Long Island City
28th Street and Queens Plaza South
at Queensboro Plaza ( 7   <7> ​​  N  W  trains)
and Queens Plaza ( E  M  R  trains)
21st Street, 35th Avenue,
Northern Boulevard
Flushing
Main Street and 39th Avenue
near Flushing – Main Street ( 7   <7> ​ trains)
  • Service started on September 5, 1937 to replace streetcar service.[13]
  • Original terminus was at 51st Street in Woodside; extended to Queens Plaza in 1989.
Q67 21st Street, Borden Avenue,
55th Avenue, 69th Street
Ridgewood
Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road
  • Service started on October 30, 1937 to replace streetcar service.[13]
  • Middle Village terminal replaced by Ridgewood's Fresh Pond Road terminal after the Metro Mall in Middle Village was built, and opened in 1974, and since the buses cannot continue to turn around, after the new Metro Mall now sits on some of the side streets that were formerly used to turn around the buses, the buses were extended several blocks west to Fresh Pond Road, and uses Cooper Avenue to turn around back on to Metropolitan Avenue.
Queens-Manhattan express
QM2 Midtown Manhattan
6th Avenue
Manhattan: 34th Street, 6th Avenue (or 3rd Avenue), 57th Street (Manhattan bound), 59th Street (Queens bound)
Queens: Whitestone Expressway service road (weekdays only), Parsons Boulevard (weekends only), Cross Island Parkway service road
Bay Terrace
Bay Terrace Shopping Center
  • Bayside-Whitestone Express, via 6th Avenue or 3rd Avenue
  • Operated by Queens Transit from 1969 until June 30, 1988.
  • Operated by Queens Surface Corporation from July 1, 1988 until MTA takeover in February 27, 2005.
  • Last Manhattan bound dropoff is at 57th Street and 3rd Avenue.
  • Last Queens bound pickup is on 59th Street and Lexington Avenue.
  • Rerouted away from Whitestone Expressway Service Road to serve Parsons Boulevard on weekends on April 6, 2014.
  • Rerouted away from 57th Street onto 59th Street in the Queens bound direction on August 24, 2015.
  • 3rd Ave route spilt off to new route QM32 in early September 2016
QM2A Manhattan: 34th Street, 6th Avenue, 57th Street (Manhattan bound), 59th Street (Queens bound)
Queens: Willets Point Boulevard, Utopia Parkway, 26th Avenue
Bay Terrace
Corporal Kennedy Street and 23rd Avenue
  • Clearview, Linden & Mitchell Express
  • Weekday service only.
  • Operated by Queens Transit from 1971 until June 30, 1988.
  • Operated by Queens Surface Corporation from July 1, 1988 until MTA takeover in February 27, 2005.
  • Last Manhattan bound dropoff is at 57th Street and 3rd Avenue.
  • Last Queens bound pickup is at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue.
  • Rerouted off of 57th Street and onto 59th Street in the Queens bound direction on August 24, 2015.
  • Renumbered to QM20 from QM2A in September 2011.
QM3 Manhattan: 34th Street, 6th Avenue, 57th Street (Manhattan bound), 59th Street (Queens bound)
Queens: Northern Boulevard, Little Neck Parkway.
Little Neck
Little Neck Parkway and Horace Harding Expressway
  • Deepdale-Douglaston Express
  • Originally Operated by Queens Transit from 1970 until 1988.
  • Temporarily operated by Caravan Transit from 1988 until 1990.
  • Operated by Queens Surface Corporation from 1990 until MTA takeover in 2005.
  • Last drop off is on 57th Street and 3rd Avenue.
  • Last pick up to Queens is on 59th Street and Lexington Avenue.
  • Queens bound buses taken off 57th Street and put onto 59th Street on August 24, 2015.
QM4 Manhattan: 34th Street, 6th Avenue (or 3rd Avenue), 57th Street
Queens: Jewel Avenue
Electchester
164th Street and Horace Harding Expressway
  • Jewel Avenue Express
  • Operated by Queens Transit from 1971 until 1988.
  • Operated by Queens Surface Corporation from 1988 until MTA takeover in 2005.
  • Last dropoff is at 57th Street and 3rd Avenue.
  • Former 3rd Avenue service relabeled to QM44 on July 5, 2016.
FORMER STEINWAY TRANSIT BUS ROUTES
Queens Local
Q101 East Midtown, Manhattan
East 61st Street and 2nd Avenue
Northern Boulevard, Steinway Street,
20th Avenue
Steinway
77th Street and Hazen Street
  • Service started on November 1, 1939, to replace Steinway Street Line streetcar service.[5]
  • Formerly operated by Steinway Transit until 1988, and then by Queens Surface Corporation until takeover in 2005.[8][10]
  • Travels between Manhattan and Queens via the Queensboro Bridge.
  • Original northern terminus was Rikers' Island; when the Q101R (now Q100) was created, service was truncated to 19th Avenue. Prior to the creation of the Q101R, this route was the ONLY local bus route to traverse three boroughs, since Rikers' Island is located in The Bronx.
Q101R Long Island City
Jackson Avenue and Queens Plaza South
at Queensboro Plaza ( 7   <7> ​​  N  W  trains)
and Queens Plaza ( E  M  R  trains)
21st Street, 20th Avenue Rikers Island, Bronx
  • Started service in the 1980s.[13]
  • Formerly operated by Queens Surface Corporation until takeover in 2005.[10]
  • Renumbered as Q100 on April 6, 2008.[16]
  • Originally non-stop between Long Island City and Rikers Island parking lot.[17]
  • Limited-stop service along 21st Street began on February 1, 2009.[18]
Q102 Roosevelt Island, Manhattan
Coler-Goldwater Hospital
Main Street (Manhattan), Vernon Boulevard, 31st Street, 30th Avenue Astoria
27th Avenue and 2nd Street
  • Service started on September 29, 1939, to replace a Steinway Streetcar.[13][5]
  • Formerly operated by Steinway Transit until 1988, and then by Queens Surface Corporation until takeover in 2005.[8][10]
  • Travels between Manhattan and Queens via the Roosevelt Island Bridge.
  • Newtown Avenue, Crescent Street, and Astoria Boulevard segment discontinued in favor of operating via 30th Avenue on June 29, 2014.
Q103 Hunters Point
Borden Avenue and Vernon Boulevard
at Vernon Boulevard – Jackson Avenue ( 7   <7> ​ trains) and Long Island City LIRR station
Vernon Boulevard Astoria
27th Avenue and 2nd Street
  • Service started on September 29, 1939, to replace a Steinway Streetcar.[13][5]
  • Formerly operated by Steinway Transit until 1988, and then by Queens Surface Corporation until takeover in 2005.[8][10]
  • Weekend service added on June 29, 2014
Q104 Ravenswood
Vernon Boulevard and 34th Avenue
Broadway, 48th Street Sunnyside
48th Street and Queens Boulevard
at 46th Street – Bliss Street ( 7  train)
  • Service started on September 29, 1939, to replace a Steinway Streetcar.[13][5]
  • Formerly operated by Steinway Transit until 1988, and then by Queens Surface Corporation until takeover in 2005.[8][10]
Queens-Manhattan express
QM1 Midtown Manhattan
6th Avenue
or
Downtown Manhattan
Downtown Loop
Manhattan: 34th Street, 6th Avenue, 57th Street
Queens: Union Turnpike, 188th Street
Fresh Meadows
188th Street and 64th Avenue
  • Fresh Meadows Express
  • Operates during rush hours only, off peak service available via QM5
  • Off-peak service discontinued on December 31, 2015
  • Began service on February 26, 1968;[19] operated by Steinway Transit from 1968 until 1988.[19]
  • Last dropoff from Queens is at 57th Street.
  • Downtown trips redesignated QM7 in June 2010.
  • Former 3rd Ave branch split off to new QM31 in early September 2016
QM1A Manhattan: 34th Street, 6th Avenue, 57th Street
Queens: Union Turnpike, 73rd Avenue, Horace Harding Expressway, Lakeville Road
Glen Oaks
260th Street and Union Turnpike
or
Lake Success
North Shore Towers
  • Glen Oaks-Windsor Park Express, and Lake Success Express (a.k.a.; North Shore Towers Express)
  • Operated by Steinway Transit from 1968 until 1988.
  • Temporarily operated by Caravan Transit from 1988 until 1990.
  • Operated by Queens Surface Corporation from 1988 or 1990 until MTA takeover in 2005.
  • Last dropoff from Queens is at 57th Street.
  • Glen Oaks-Windsor Park Express redesignated QM5 in June 2010.[20]
  • Lake Success Express redesignated QM6 in June 2010.[20]
  • Downtown trips redesignated QM8 in June 2010.[20]
  • Former 3rd Avenue service on QM5 relabeled QM35 in September 2016
  • Former 3rd Avenue service on QM6 relabeled QM36 in early September 2016
  • Peak service only.
  • QM8 operates from Glen Oaks bypassing Fresh Meadows.
  • QM8 AM super express service serves Fresh Meadows.

Depots

Queens Surface depot

Queens Surface's depot was located at 128-15 28th Avenue in the College Point section of Queens, near the printing plant of The New York Times and the former site of Flushing Airport.[21][22][23][24] It was built in 1997 by the NYCDOT, and leased to Queens Surface.[22][25] Many buses under Queens Surface used compressed natural gas (CNG).[21][25] It is now the College Point Depot of the MTA Bus Company.[9][25]

40°46′24″N 73°50′27″W / 40.773378°N 73.840804°W / 40.773378; -73.840804

Steinway Transit depot

The Steinway Transit depot, built in 1939, was located at the northwest corner of Steinway Street and 20th Avenue in Astoria, Queens, near the northern terminus of the company's Q101 route.[7][26][27] It was the successor to the Steinway Railway depot.[5] The trolley depot sat across from the Daimler Manufacturing Company automobile factory, opened in 1890 by Gottlieb Daimler and local businessman William Steinway.[28][29][30] The bus depot was closed prior to the company's takeover by the city, and has long been demolished, and replaced by new apartment buildings, similar to what was done at the old West Farms Depot site.

40°46′36″N 73°54′06″W / 40.776744°N 73.901683°W / 40.776744; -73.901683

Woodside Garage

The Woodside Garage was located at 51-00 Northern Boulevard, at the southeast corner 51st Street and Northern Boulevard in Woodside, Queens, adjacent to the Winfield Junction of the Long Island Rail Road. It was the original headquarters of Queens-Nassau Transit.[7][31] It was also the successor to the NY&QC Woodside Trolley Barn, which opened in 1896 and burned down on June 24, 1930.[5][32] The front facade of the trolley barn survives as a Pizza Hut restaurant of the Tower Square Shopping Center.[32]

40°45′10″N 73°54′36″W / 40.752684°N 73.910128°W / 40.752684; -73.910128

References

  1. ^ a b "Roberts Out as the Boss of Orange Buses". Long Island Daily Press. Fultonhistory.com. 1941. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Greenhouse, Steven (January 8, 2002). "Surprise Bus Strike in Queens Forces 120,000 to Scramble". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  3. ^ Chan, Sewell (2005-02-01). "City Will Pay $9.5 Million for Bus Line in Queens". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  4. ^ New York and Queens County Railway Waiting Room (Long Island Stations & Structures, by Paul S. Luchter; TrainWeb)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Seyfried, Vincent F. (1950). "Full text of "New York and Queens County Railway and the Steinway Lines, 1867-1939."". archive.org. Vincent F. Seyfried. Retrieved 20 December 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Full text of 'State of New York Department of Public Service Metropolitan Division: Fourteenth Annual Report For the Calendar Year 1934'"". archive.org. New York State Department of Public Service. February 14, 1935. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c "Bus Strike Talks Break Down: Tie-up Tomorrow Appears Certain". Long Island Star-Journal. Fultonhistory.com. July 12, 1946. p. 1. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Roger P. Roess; Gene Sansone (23 August 2012). The Wheels That Drove New York: A History of the New York City Transit System. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 416–417. ISBN 978-3-642-30484-2. 
  9. ^ a b Silverman, Norman (July 26, 2010). "The Merger of 7 Private Bus Companies into MTA Bus" (PDF). apta.com. American Public Transportation Association, Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-10-16. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Woodberry, Jr., Warren (February 24, 2005). "MAJOR BUS CO. TO JOIN MTA". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  11. ^ Queens Surface Corp: Employment (via the Internet Archive)
  12. ^ "MTA Bus: LaGuardia Pick Glossary" (PDF). lgaunion.com. MTA Bus Company. January 3, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i "NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT ROUTES". www.chicagorailfan.com. Retrieved 2016-01-01. 
  14. ^ a b c Hirshon, Nicholas (March 2, 2006). "BIZ DRIVEN AWAY. BUS REROUTE HURTS SALES, SAY JAMAICA MART OWNERS". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  15. ^ a b c "The MTA 2006 ANNUAL REPORT: Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Year Ended December 31, 2006 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Year Ended December 31, 2006" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 1, 2007. Retrieved December 28, 2015. 
  16. ^ "MTA Bus Service Changes". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. April 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-04-18. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "Queens Bus Map: Notes" (PDF). archive.org. mta.info. December 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2003-03-23. Retrieved 6 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "MTA Bus Service Changes". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. January 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-01-25. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  19. ^ a b Perlmutter, Emanuel (February 27, 1968). "Queens-Midtown Service Starts: 11 Express Buses Carry 1,000 on Test Runs" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  20. ^ a b c "Northeast Queens Bus Study" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  21. ^ a b Urbitran Associates, Inc (May 2004). "NYCDOT Bus Ridership Survey and Route Analysis Final Report: Chapter 3 Transit System Characteristics" (PDF). nyc.gov. New York City Department of Transportation. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  22. ^ a b "Police Academy – College Point, Queens FEIS CHAPTER 7: HAZARDOUS MATERIALS" (PDF). nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved 16 October 2015. 
  23. ^ Queens Surface Corporation homepage; including address (Internet Archive)
  24. ^ New York Times College Point Complex and vicinity (Wikimapia)
  25. ^ a b c For Release (April 7, 2006). "Trillium Expands New York City Operations: New Contract Signed with MTA Bus Company". Integrys Energy Group. Salt Lake City, Utah. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  26. ^ "Buses To Replace Four Trolley Lines Next Month; Steinway St. Motor Route Meets Delay; Queensboro Bridge Cars To Continue To Permit Stops At Island" (PDF). Long Island Star-Journal. Fultonhistory.com. September 9, 1989. p. 1. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  27. ^ DeJong, Herman D. (June 22, 1981). "Crime and Punishment". New York. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  28. ^ Bindelglass, Evan (March 21, 2014). "Parsing The Steinway Mansion's Rich Past & Uncertain Future". Curbed. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  29. ^ Barron, James (July 19, 2003). "Today's Pianos Have Prelude In Yesterday's; Steinway Family Legacy Pervades Factory in Queens". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  30. ^ A. J. Jacobs (16 December 2015). The New Domestic Automakers in the United States and Canada: History, Impacts, and Prospects. Lexington Books. pp. 22–23. ISBN 978-0-7391-8826-2. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  31. ^ "Bus Drivers End 'Sick' Strike; Service Restored On 'Orange' Lines; Union Orders Arbitration Of Dispute". Long Island Star-Journal. Fultonhistory.com. November 17, 1945. p. 1. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  32. ^ a b Walsh, Kevin (September 15, 1998). "WOODSIDE'S TROLLEY BARN". Forgotten New York. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  • Lost Trolleys of Queens and Long Island by Stephen L. Meyers, 2006

External links

  • Queens Surface Corp (via the Internet Archive)
  • New York and Queens County Railway and the Steinway Lines, 1867-1939, Internet Archive
  • Chicago Transit & Railfan Web Site: New York City Transit
  • Trolley Barn with Anchovies: Woodside's Trolley Terminal (Forgotten New York)
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