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Monday, July 27, 2015

Today, Fifty Five Years Ago, Trackless Trolley Service Ended in Brooklyn

The above trackless trolley map of Brooklyn was issued by the New York City Transit Authority probably since 1965.  I remember going to the TA in 1969 on Jay Street Brooklyn and getting a copy of the above map and it was copyrighted I believe as of 1965.  The above map comes from the net.  It is hard to believe that 55 years have passed since July 27, 1960 when most of the lines on the above map were replaced by diesel buses.  The Cortelyou Road line, the first experimental line in Brooklyn, started out on Avenue "C" in 1930 and expanded via 16th Avenue  to New Utrecht Avenue in 1932, died on October 31, 1956.   The St. Johns Place Line died in 1959.  The other lines died on July 27, 1960.  Most of the coaches were only twelve years old by that time (1948-1960).  The trolleybus system in Brooklyn was on the small side and consisted of about 200 coaches.  Very few people remember them.  In the past 40 years. various proposals for streetcar service in New York City came to light for lines on 42nd Street, Red Hook Brooklyn, Long Island City, Coney Island and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.  Nothing comes of these proposals.  As far as trolley coaches are concerned, there was a plan to have what is now known as "Select Bus Service"using trolley coaches on Church Avenue Brooklyn, First and Second Avenues in Manhattan and the BX-12 route in the Bronx.  This plan also died.  There are no proposals for trackless trolley service anywhere in the New York City region.

  When trolley bus service ended on July 27, 1960, the last official revenue operation of a electric surface vehicle in New York City and New York State came to an end.  It is highly unlikely that light rail or trams, or electric trolleybus service will ever come to New York City in our lifetime.  Folks out there that live in tram and trolleybus served cities, enjoy them when you have them.  In the future, the use of wires will not be needed and then tracks will not be needed because of optical or other guidance systems.  It is the wires and sparks that make being a rapid transit fan fun. Once automated cars come into operation, you will no longer need subways, trams and trolleybus, as some people predict, because persons who cannot afford a car or cannot drive will be able to call an automated car that will take them anyplace, door to door.  Enjoy what you have now.

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