The current New York City bus system was created by the MTA in 1953, but buses have been around the City for much longer than that. The bus system in New York dates back as early as the automobile itself with private companies predating any organized transit systems. In this vintage postcard from the 1920's, the Fifth Avenue Bus is shown on the corner of 42nd St and 5th Ave in Manhattan, directly in front of the new Main Branch of the New York Public Library, which opened in 1911.
It appears to be part of the fleet of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company, which charged 10 cents to ride. In 1921, Mayor Hylan was committed to running city buses with a fare of only five cents—a rare public transit price cut!
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