Broadway Line (Midtown Manhattan surface)
The Broadway Line or Broadway Branch Line is a surface transit line in Manhattan, New York City, United States, running mainly along 42nd Street and Broadway from Murray Hill to Harlem. Formerly a streetcar line operated by the Third Avenue Railway, it is now the M104 Broadway bus route operated by the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. However, that bus route no longer runs along the entire streetcar route.
The M104 bus route begins at Times Square and no longer runs on 42nd Street as of June 2010 due to budgetary constraints. Buses use Eighth Avenue (northbound) and Seventh Avenue (southbound) to Central Park South. The route continues north on Broadway through the Upper West Side, finally turning off at 125th Street, where it turns around at a clockwise loop on Amsterdam Avenue, 129th Street, Convent Avenue, and 125th Street. Transfers can be made to the subway at 57th Street – Seventh Avenue (N Q R trains), Seventh Avenue – 53rd Street (B D E trains), Times Square – 42nd Street (1 2 3 7 <7> N Q R S trains), 42nd Street – Port Authority Bus Terminal (A C E trains), 59th Street – Columbus Circle (1 2 A B C D trains), and 125th Street (1 train).
The Forty-second Street, Manhattanville and St. Nicholas Avenue Railway opened the Boulevard Line in 1884 or 1885, following the 42nd Street Crosstown Line from the East 34th Street Ferry along First Avenue (trackage rights over the Central Park, North and East River Railroad's East Belt Line) and 42nd Street to Times Square, using new trackage on Broadway (then Boulevard) to 125th Street, and turning west on 125th Street over the tracks of the One-Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Street Railroad's 125th Street Crosstown Line to the Fort Lee Ferry. The Third Avenue Railroad acquired control of the line in November 1895, and the Metropolitan Street Railway leased the Third Avenue in May 1900. After cable cars stopped running on the Metropolitan's Broadway Line in 1902, the Third Avenue's line was rerouted to continue south on Broadway from Times Square on the Metropolitan's trackage, ending at Houston Street.
Effective February 17, 1908, as part of the splitting of the Third Avenue Railroad from the bankrupt Metropolitan Street Railway, the Third Avenue's Broadway cars were sent along their old route, heading east on 42nd Street at Times Square and ending at the East 34th Street Ferry via First Avenue. Simultaneously, the Metropolitan introduced a new line, the Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue Line, running from Broadway and Houston Street along Broadway, Seventh Avenue, 53rd Street, Ninth Avenue, Columbus Avenue, Broadway, and Amsterdam Avenue to 125th Street. This was done because the Third Avenue's Broadway trackage ended at Times Square; south of Times Square was Metropolitan trackage.
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- New York Times,The Third Avenue Gets It, November 22, 1895, page 3
- New York Times, The Metropolitan's Control Ratified, May 18, 1900, page 1
- New York Times, New Broadway Lines Puzzle Passengers, February 18, 1908, page 3
- New York Times, Getting Used to New Cars, February 19, 1908, page 3
- Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac, 1916