New Yorkers flocking to Governors Island this weekend will get to see a blast from the past — actually, four of them.
The New York Transit Museum is bringing bring four vintage buses to the East River island for the first Bus Bash since 2015. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the buses, which include the first ones to have air conditioning and sliding windows, will be open for exploration on Colonels Row.
Metro: Which bus that will be on display is your favorite, and why?
Shaelyn Amaio, the Transit Museum’s producer of public programs and community engagement: All four of the buses we’re bringing to Governors Island are wonderful, but my favorite is Bus 100. It went into service in 1959 and premiered the “New Look” style with a fishbowl windshield that gives it a really fun vibe. The “New Look” style stuck around until 1980, when buses became boxier. I can’t wait to see the teal color scheme against the brick buildings on Colonels Row.
How will the buses get to Governors Island?
Since there aren’t any bridges to Governors Island, the buses will be taking the ferry on Saturday morning — just like the people who’ll be visiting the buses during the day. We have to take precise measurements of our buses to make sure that the selection we choose for the event will fit on the ferry. We have a double decker bus that won’t fit.
What goes into making them road ready?
The buses are tuned up and cleaned so they’re ready to travel. The Department of Buses also has to plan the logistics of getting the buses to the location, including planning a route to minimize the difficulty of navigating and the chances of getting stuck in traffic.
Can any MTA driver get behind the wheel of one of these vintage buses?
Each vintage bus has its own quirks and challenges, so they each have drivers who know them best. Many of the buses do not have power steering, which makes navigating city streets — and getting on and off ferries — difficult. They also have mechanics who specialize in working on them, who will be joining them on their journey on Saturday to make sure everything runs smoothly.
For more info about Bus Bash, visit nytransitmuseum.org.