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Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by RiverLINE3501 on Tue Jun 11 19:47:33 2013

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In my many years of transit fanning, I noticed that there are few subway-bus terminals in NYC, in fact, they are very rare. I'm talking about such terminals like Frankford, 69th St and Olney in Philly, most of the outlying WMATA Metrorail Stops, even in Downtown Boston stops like Haymarket and Back Bay.

Not counting the PABT and the GWB stations, Manhattan only has one off-street terminal and it is restricted to the M15 SBS, there are none in the Bronx, three in Brooklyn [Williamsburg, Coney Island, and Canarsie] and Queens has three full time terminals [Roosevelt Av, 165th St, Far Rockaway] and one part-time [Queensboro College], then there's the special case in Staten Island with the Ferry Terminal at St. George and the bus-only Eltingville Transit Center.

With the exception of Roosevelt Ave, Canarsie, and Coney Island, the off-street terminals do not have direct subway connection [get off the bus, get on the subway], you have to walk a distance to the trains.

Discounting the SBS term in Manhattan, the SI terms and Queensboro College stop, why are off-street terminals [like in Philly, DC, Boston and other cities with rail systems] so rare in NYC ?

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(276950)

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Kriston Lewis on Tue Jun 11 19:55:48 2013, in response to Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by RiverLINE3501 on Tue Jun 11 19:47:33 2013.

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Availability of real estate, perhaps?

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Checkmatechamp13 on Tue Jun 11 20:14:20 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by Kriston Lewis on Tue Jun 11 19:55:48 2013.

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Probably also because as a whole our bus system (for each borough) is based on a grid system, rather than a hub-and-spoke system.

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(276953)

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Gotham Bus Co. on Tue Jun 11 20:58:32 2013, in response to Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by RiverLINE3501 on Tue Jun 11 19:47:33 2013.

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Some of it is politics.

When the Main Street station rehab was in the design phase, there was a very serious, funded proposal to extend the unpaid zone under the Lippmann arcade and build an off-street terminal on or under Municipal Parking Field #1. The local elected officials, led by John Liu, led the hugely vocal opposition on the grounds that the area merchants needed subway passengers to walk by (and thus see) their stores on the way to and from the various buses. Of course, those same merchants still don't want to give up curb space so the buses can actually pick up those passengers.

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(276955)

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Henry R32 #3730 on Tue Jun 11 21:08:29 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by Gotham Bus Co. on Tue Jun 11 20:58:32 2013.

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So why couldn't they still build the terminal but not connect the subway to it?

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Gotham Bus Co. on Tue Jun 11 21:41:14 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by Henry R32 #3730 on Tue Jun 11 21:08:29 2013.

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Even without a physical connection to the subway station, passengers would still be concentrated in one place (the terminal) and along one walking path (between the station and the terminal) instead of being scattered around the Flushing Central Business District.

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(276958)

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Henry R32 #3730 on Tue Jun 11 22:23:27 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by Gotham Bus Co. on Tue Jun 11 21:41:14 2013.

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That's funny... in one thread we have ground level merchants complaining about the presence of [intercity] buses and want them off the streets/elsewhere, and here we have the opposite for local buses.

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(276961)

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by gbs on Tue Jun 11 23:44:23 2013, in response to Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by RiverLINE3501 on Tue Jun 11 19:47:33 2013.

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An old-time Flushing resident once told me that before the Gertz (then Stern's, now Macy's) department store was built mid-block on Roosevelt Av, east of Main St, there was an off-street bus depot there. I can't confirm that. The NYC map 1951 aerial photo view of the site seems to show a building there; I don't know when the department store was built.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by RailBus63 on Tue Jun 11 23:59:05 2013, in response to Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by RiverLINE3501 on Tue Jun 11 19:47:33 2013.

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The lack of terminals has historic reasons. New York developed the Dual Contracts system to push the rapid transit as far out into the sticks as possible and build the neighborhoods up around the els. In Boston, the heavy rail lines were seen instead as main trunk routes and off-street terminals were designed to allow the streetcars to connect to outlying neighborhoods and suburbs. Boston's terminals such as the original Dudley or Sullivan Square facilities were very forward-thinking for their time, designed to facilitate easy cross-platform transfers between car lines and rapid transit. Had the Boston Elevated's Edward Dana been running the show when the Flushing Line was built, I'm sure he'd have envisioned a large transfer terminal in the vicinity of Main & Roosevelt!

Then, by the time the TA and later the MTA gained control of the system, the real estate was either unavailable or was too expensive to build off-street terminals.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Concourse Express on Wed Jun 12 00:21:07 2013, in response to Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by RiverLINE3501 on Tue Jun 11 19:47:33 2013.

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there are none in the Bronx

What of the Gun Hill Intermodal Plaza, home of the forthcoming Bx41 +SBS?

As to the rest of your post, as other mentioned, probably lack of real estate and/or community/political opposition...

visit my blog!

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Gotham Bus Co. on Wed Jun 12 05:28:42 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by Henry R32 #3730 on Tue Jun 11 22:23:27 2013.

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Flushing merchants want the passengers to see their stores, but they don't want the buses in front of their stores.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by NorthShore on Wed Jun 12 06:51:55 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by gbs on Tue Jun 11 23:44:23 2013.

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It's true. It was called the Central Terminal operated by the North Shore Bus Co. It closed in 1950 after City takeover and the property was sold to Gertz. Gertz opened in 1952.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by merrick1 on Wed Jun 12 06:51:58 2013, in response to Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by RiverLINE3501 on Tue Jun 11 19:47:33 2013.

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The location of the 165th Street terminal in Jamaica doesn't make much sense. People getting off the F train wait for their buses on Hillside Avenue near 169th Street station. People transferring from buses use 179th Street station.

The E train terminal at Parsons Archer has its own set of bus lines with street stops along Archer Avenue.

I'm not sure how things worked when the Jamaica El ran to 168th Street. Did people walk to the terminal from the El or did they wait on Jamaica Avenue for their buses?

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by NorthShore on Wed Jun 12 06:57:56 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by merrick1 on Wed Jun 12 06:51:58 2013.

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There was also the Jamaica Bus Terminal at Guy Brewer Blvd, and Archer Ave. It was served by Green Bus Lines and Schenck Transportation buses. It closed in the mid-sixties and was replaced by the Gertz Dept. Store parking garage.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by RiverLINE3501 on Wed Jun 12 07:58:43 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by merrick1 on Wed Jun 12 06:51:58 2013.

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I can answer that. When the Jamaica El reached 168th St, passengers getting off the train either walked up from the 165th St exit to the bus terminal, and the steps at 168th St were located midway between Merrick Blvd and 168th ST. You had to walk around the corner [Jamaica & Merrick] and go up about a block to access the buses.

Very few people transferred between the Jamaica El [old BMT 15, JJ/QJ/RJ, KK trains and the Merrick Blvd buses, the buses got their traffic from the E/F trains at 169th and Hillside.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Larry,RedbirdR33 on Wed Jun 12 10:29:46 2013, in response to Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by RiverLINE3501 on Tue Jun 11 19:47:33 2013.

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In my many years of transit fanning, I noticed that there are few subway-bus terminals in NYC, in fact, they are very rare. I'

At one time there were many. Greyhound maintained its own terminal at 34 Street that lasted into the early sixties if I remember correctly. There were two off-street airlines terminals for the Carey buses. Before the PABT was built the Hotel Dixie (today's Hotel Carter)had a bus terminal in the basement with a turntable and twelve loading bays. The turntable is still there today and visible from the street.

The problem was traffic congestion caused by so many buses. This led to the building of the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the George Washington Bridge Bus Station.

In Manhattan and The Bronx the rapid transit and surface transit lines were owned by separate companies so there wasn't much incentive to build join terminals. The situation in Brooklyn was a little better were almost all the traction lines were owned by the BRT/BMT.

One very interesting example of this was the 65 Street Terminal of the BRT Fifth Avenue Elevated Line. The was a ramp from the el structure down to the street that allowed trolleys to rise to the level of the el platform. It was in use from 1903 to 1919.

Larry, RedbirdR33

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by r33/r36 mainline on Wed Jun 12 11:23:07 2013, in response to Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by RiverLINE3501 on Tue Jun 11 19:47:33 2013.

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Ridgewood also has a off the street bus terminal, I never seen a car travel on that street where all the bus routes terminate at, so I guess its counts as a off street terminal.


Also Kings Plaza is off street.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by nh153 on Wed Jun 12 12:05:57 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by Checkmatechamp13 on Tue Jun 11 20:14:20 2013.

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Let's remember the subway system and the bus/streetcar system were built by different private developers. There was no coordinated effort to have the two systems work together, even though many bus and streetcar lines in the outer boroughs did terminate at a subway stop.

Perhaps if the subways and buses/streetcars had been under the same authority, there would have been terminals built to allow easy interchanges between subways and surface transit.

In Toronto, nearly all subway stations have attached bus/streetcar terminals to allow you to go between the modes of transit without having to pay a fare or use a transfer or pass.

By the way, is that the system still used at the Rockaway Parkway L station? Can you transfer between the L subway and the B42 bus without using your Metrocard? I understand the subway used to go all the way to Canarsie Pier but when that section of the subway was removed, they promised to continue giving those passengers free passage between subway and bus. Notice that none of the other bus routes near the Rockaway Parkway station allow free transfers, only the B42. So you had to leave the station if you wanted to connect with the B6, B17, B60 and B82, and pay a separate fare, or today, use up your free Metrocard transfer. So again, here was a missed opportunity for an off-street station for all those routes. Only the B42 went onto MTA property.


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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Larry,RedbirdR33 on Wed Jun 12 13:50:07 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by nh153 on Wed Jun 12 12:05:57 2013.

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By the way, is that the system still used at the Rockaway Parkway L station? Can you transfer between the L subway and the B42 bus without using your Metrocard?


You certainly can.

Larry, RedbirdR33

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by gbs on Wed Jun 12 21:13:05 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by NorthShore on Wed Jun 12 06:51:55 2013.

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Thanks for the confirmation. Are there any photos? Do we know what routes used it? Was it just a big open space like 165 St? Because of the LIRR tracks, the only access for buses and passengers could have been Roosevelt Av.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by NorthShore on Wed Jun 12 22:57:35 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by gbs on Wed Jun 12 21:13:05 2013.

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Yes on all counts.
I came across photos on a website. I believe it was the N.Y. Historical Society, but I can't seem to locate it now.
The North Shore Bus Co, routes that used it were the 12 (which then ran all the way to Glen Cove), 13,14,15 & 16. The 26,27,28 & 48 did not use it. The 17-20 & 44 did not use it because they were through routes.
It was similar to the Long Island Bus Terminal on 165th St. in Jamaica.
It was an open lot with bays along the front. The back of the property was bound by the L.I.R.R. ROW.Along Roosevelt Ave. was a three story building with stores along the street and offices above. It was white brick. The buses entered and exited through a center portal along Roosevelt.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by BrooklynBus on Wed Jun 12 23:12:23 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by r33/r36 mainline on Wed Jun 12 11:23:07 2013.

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The B23 when it operated had an off street terminal at 62 St off new Utrecht Avenue where it met the Sea Beach and West End lines.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Spider-Pig on Wed Jun 12 23:21:43 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by r33/r36 mainline on Wed Jun 12 11:23:07 2013.

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Manhattan Beach/Mackenzie Street is also off street.

There's also Fordham Plaza and Pleasant Plains: not the SIR station, the park and ride at the dead-end stub of the West Shore Expressway.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Larry,RedbirdR33 on Thu Jun 13 07:31:54 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by NorthShore on Wed Jun 12 22:57:35 2013.

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It was similar to the Long Island Bus Terminal on 165th St. in Jamaica.

North Shore: Is that the official name of the terminal? I always found that facility to be interesting. There is I believe a two story commercial building attached to it. Does the MTA own the facility or is it leased from some private group? Any information will be appreciated.

Larry, RedbirdR33

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by mci guy on Thu Jun 13 07:44:54 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by BrooklynBus on Wed Jun 12 23:12:23 2013.

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that dated back to the electric bus days. they were parked there overnight.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by r33/r36 mainline on Thu Jun 13 10:26:36 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by BrooklynBus on Wed Jun 12 23:12:23 2013.

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I ridden the B23 end to end before it got cut and the terminal was on the street.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by NorthShore on Thu Jun 13 11:22:24 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by Larry,RedbirdR33 on Thu Jun 13 07:31:54 2013.

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The official name of the terminal @ 165th St. was Long Island Bus Terminal. The name used to be in a terrazzo floor at the street entrance. I don't know if that's still there.
I am not positive, but I think it may have been originally used exclusively by the Bee Line when they operated both the Nassau-Queens routes and the southeast Queens routes. When North Shore took over the southeast Queens routes, it became a shared facility with both Bee Line and North Shore.
MTA does not own the facility. It is privately owned and leased by MTA.
Jamaica Bus Terminal was located @ New York Blvd. (now Guy Brewer) & Archer Ave.. That was used by Green Bus Lines and Schenck Transportation.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by NIMBYkiller on Thu Jun 13 21:39:05 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by NorthShore on Wed Jun 12 22:57:35 2013.

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Was North Shore Bus Co a descendant of the New York and North Shore Traction Co? I know they also used to run a trolley from Flushing at least to Roslyn (where it met the line from Port Washington), and then out to Hicksville. I can't remember if they ran to Glen Cove as well. Also, I'm guessing the N21 is the descendant of that #12 route?

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Larry,RedbirdR33 on Thu Jun 13 22:02:39 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by NorthShore on Thu Jun 13 11:22:24 2013.

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Thank you for that information.

Larry, RedbirdR33

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(277053)

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by NorthShore on Thu Jun 13 23:12:32 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by NIMBYkiller on Thu Jun 13 21:39:05 2013.

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The New York & North Shore Traction Co. went bankrupt. The North Shore Bus co. was formed by a different owner to take over the routes and operate buses in 1920.
As you stated the routes were Flushing to Roslyn (now N20), Port Washington to Mineola (now N23) and Mineola to Hicksville (now part of N24- not the N20 routing).
North Shore Bus extended the Roslyn line to Glen Cove (the Q12/N21).
The traction company also had the Flushing-Whitestone line, which became the Q14 under North Shore Bus.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by NorthShore on Thu Jun 13 23:32:40 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by NIMBYkiller on Thu Jun 13 21:39:05 2013.

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When North Shore Bus went out of business in 1947 and the NYC BOT took over, the Nassau County routes were sold to Schenck Transportation.



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(277063)

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by artenn3164 on Fri Jun 14 11:57:08 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by Larry,RedbirdR33 on Wed Jun 12 10:29:46 2013.

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I once read that the reason for that tremendous unused mezzanine at Bedford Park Blvd & the Concourse was for a planned bus terminal that was never built.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by b1bus on Fri Jun 14 22:20:36 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by r33/r36 mainline on Thu Jun 13 10:26:36 2013.

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Construction workers started using the space to park their vehicles.
It DID used to end there years ago.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by NIMBYkiller on Sat Jun 15 08:44:50 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by NorthShore on Thu Jun 13 23:12:32 2013.

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Thanks. I have the book on NY&NS. The trolley barn still exists on Middle Neck Rd just a few buildings before Northern Blvd. It's an auto shop I think

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by NorthShore on Sat Jun 15 14:55:25 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by NIMBYkiller on Sat Jun 15 08:44:50 2013.

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The Flushing trolley barn was on 35th Ave, & Farrington St. North Shore Bus build its garage there. The building is still there. It is now a nightclub.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by NorthShore on Sat Jun 15 14:58:03 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by NorthShore on Sat Jun 15 14:55:25 2013.

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When North Shore Bus took over southwest Queens bus lines from Bee Line, it built the Jamaica Depot. It is one of the last private bus line garages still used by MTA.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by checkmatechamp13 on Sat Jun 15 15:33:15 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by nh153 on Wed Jun 12 12:05:57 2013.

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I know the westbound B6/B82 go into the same loop as the B42. Not sure about the other buses (I know eastbound B6/82 buses stop on the street, though).

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by Spider-Pig on Sat Jun 15 16:07:43 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by checkmatechamp13 on Sat Jun 15 15:33:15 2013.

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There are two concentric loops there. The B42 stops inside the subway fare control, and the B6/B82 stop outside the fence.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by gbs on Sun Jun 16 21:14:19 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by NorthShore on Sat Jun 15 14:55:25 2013.

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Is that the former sanitation garage, painted dark green on the north-west corner? That building has had lots of reincarnations.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by RailBus63 on Sun Jun 16 22:27:36 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by gbs on Wed Jun 12 21:13:05 2013.

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There are a few photos in the 1977 issue of Motor Coach Age with the article about the North Shore and its eventual transformation into the NYCTA Queens division.

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Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?

Posted by NorthShore on Mon Jun 17 03:32:27 2013, in response to Re: Why there are few off-street terminals in NYC?, posted by gbs on Sun Jun 16 21:14:19 2013.

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YES.

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