Columbus Avenue Line

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An M7 bus at Madison Square Park, along which the route ran prior to 2009.

The Columbus Avenue Line is a public transit line in Manhattan, New York City, United States, running mostly along Columbus Avenue, 116th Street, and Lenox Avenue from Lower Manhattan to Harlem. Originally a streetcar line, it is now the M7 bus route, operated by the New York City Transit Authority. The M7 bus now begins at 14th Street, sharing 6th with M5 and 7th Avenues with the M20. It turns west on 59th Street and northwest on Broadway to reach the one-way pair of Amsterdam Avenue (northbound) and Columbus Avenue (southbound). At 106th Street, the M7 turns east, north on Manhattan Avenue, east on 116th Street, and north on Lenox Avenue to a loop at the 145th Street subway station; this is the exact path followed by the former streetcar beyond 109th Street.

History[edit]

The Ninth Avenue Railroad's Ninth Avenue Line used the southernmost part of Columbus Avenue, but cut over along Broadway to use Amsterdam Avenue to Harlem. On December 30, 1892, the Columbus and Ninth Avenue Railroad acquired a franchise from the city to build along Columbus Avenue from Broadway to 110th Street, with a branch west on 106th Street to Amsterdam Avenue.[1] It was soon authorized to build in 109th Street and Manhattan Avenue to 116th Street. The company was consolidated into the Metropolitan Street Railway on November 7, 1895.

Columbus Avenue cars were operated by the Metropolitan along their Broadway Line from lower Manhattan to Midtown, and then along the 53rd Street Crosstown Line (later the 59th Street Crosstown Line) west to 9th Avenue/Columbus Avenue. Cable cars were used from the line's opening on December 6, 1894 until May 1901. After the Metropolitan system was split in 1913, and the Third Avenue Railway acquired the 59th Street Crosstown, 53rd Street was again used.

Buses were substituted for streetcars by the New York City Omnibus Corporation on March 25, 1936. In 1956 it was renamed Fifth Avenue Coach Lines, and the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority replaced it in 1962. When Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues became one-way streets, northbound buses were moved to Amsterdam Avenue.

References[edit]

  1. ^ New York Times, Sold by the Controller; the Franchise for the Extension of the Ninth Avenue Road, December 31, 1892