Christmas shoppers in NYC’s Midtown are in for a special retro-treat this week. For $2.25, they can take a trip back in time, as New York City Transit shuttles 42nd Street travelers from Twelfth Avenue to the East River on its collection of vintage buses.
The antique buses are due to roll east along the M42 route at 8:30am, 11:30am, and 2:30pm. If you aren’t in the vicinity of 42nd Street, look for parked antique buses opposite Macy’s (at Sixth and 35th Street) and across from Union Square between 10am and 3:30pm all week.
Transit will be featuring six styles of vintage buses from its collection, including five models from General Motors and one from Mack Truck and Bus. The earliest model is GM’s Model 5101, which ran the streets from 1949 to 1966; the most recent vintage is GM Model 5305A, which debuted in 1968 and ran until 1984.
Even though MetroCards are “new” (they debuted in 1993), they’ll work on the retro-buses. Check out this 1949 Rapid Transit movie to feel the way it used to be, and be sure to catch one of the retro-subway trains every Sunday until December 30 on the M Line between 2 Ave and Queens Plaza.