Tour some of the city’s oldest buses this weekend

The annual bus festival is popping up under the Brooklyn Bridge.

June 6, 2019 Meaghan McGoldrick
A boy rides Bus 9098, a model from 1958, at a previous Transit Museum Bus Festival. Photo courtesy of the New York Transit Museum
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For one day only, you can travel back in time via New York City bus.

The New York Transit Museum’s annual family-friendly Bus Festival will once again park itself under the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday. There, for the 26th year in a row, Brooklynites can tour selections from the organization’s vintage fleet that spans nearly a century of old busses.

Photo courtesy of the New York Transit Museum

Among those wheels on display will be:

  • Bus 2969 (or the “Jackie Gleason Bus”), one of the first 30-foot transit buses designed specifically for New York City in 1948
  • Bus 100, one of the first buses to rock the bubble window, or “fishbowl” look,
  • Bus 1263 (also known as “Betsy”), one of the 100 Yellow Coach “Z-Type” double-decker buses purchased by the Fifth Avenue Coach Company in 1930.

Betsy will be the oldest bus at the festival.

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Revelers will also get to meet some of the city’s bus drivers, shop exclusive merchandise and even help build a large-scale, bus-friendly cityscape in which kids can play.

Photo courtesy of the New York Transit Museum

Transit Museum Director Concetta Bencivenga said the festival pays particular tribute to the institution’s home-borough.

“The New York Transit Museum is delighted to present our 26th Annual Bus Festival on Sunday in an iconic setting under the Brooklyn Bridge,” she said in a statement. “The Bus Festival is an ode to the surface transportation that made Brooklyn the borough it is and by extension, New York the city it is.”

Founded in 1976, the New York Transit Museum itself is housed in an authentic 1936 subway station in Downtown Brooklyn.

The 26th Annual Bus Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brooklyn Bridge Park (11 Water St.). Admission is free with last entry at 3:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy of the New York Transit Museum

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  1. It’s easy to forget just how history these buses have and it’s good to see that people are able to experience said history. We often look at it as a means of public transportation, but given how old it is and how frequently it’s used today, it speaks volumes. This level of bus service can’t be overlooked.