Varsity Bus Company

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Varsity Bus Company
Varsity Bus Company Blue Bird 1099.jpg
Varsity Bus Company #1099 deadheads through Brooklyn.
Headquarters 626 Wortman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11208
Locale New York City
Service type School bus service
Chief executive Andrew Brettschneider

Varsity Bus Company is a former school bus operator in New York City. This company was established in 1965 and ceased operations around a couple of years ago. The sister company, Varsity Transit, ceased operations in 2003. The headquarters of Varsity are now used by Total Transportation and L&M Bus Corp.

From 1979 until 2005, Varsity Transit affiliate Command Bus Company operated two local and seven express transit bus routes, routes that are now operated by MTA Bus Company. Varsity Transit and Command Bus Company were 40-percent owned by Green Bus Lines, 40-percent owned by Triboro Coach, and 20-percent owned by Jamaica Central Railways. Varsity Bus Company is owned by former executives of Green Bus Lines.

Command Bus[edit]

U.S. Energy Secretary John S. Herrington driving a Command CNG bus in 1988.

Command Bus traces its history to Pioneer Bus Corporation, established in 1954 by three small school bus and charter bus operators.[1] Until 1960, when it obtained a franchise for the current B100, it only operated school, charter, and racetrack buses. Several express buses were implemented in 1972. Command Bus Company was incorporated October 22, 1979 by the late Mr. William Cooper (1895-1985) to resume bus service following a long strike at Pioneer, which went out of the express and local bus business when the strike started.

Like its corporate owners Green Bus Lines, Triboro Coach, and Jamaica Central Railways, the late Mr. Jerome Cooper (1928-2015) was the chairman of the board of both Varsity Transit and Command Bus Company. Originally co-housed with Varsity Transit, the operations of Command were eventually moved into a new NYCDOT facility at Spring Creek Depot, 12755 Flatlands Avenue in Brooklyn (this garage was leased by MTA Bus following the transfer of Command Bus Company routes to MTA Bus in 2005), it was previously built and owned by the New York City Department of Transportation before being sold to MTA Bus in early 2009).

In 1988, two Command buses were fitted by the Brooklyn Union Gas Company with engines which operated on compressed natural gas (CNG).[2][3] By the mid-1990s, many of the buses operated by Command ran on CNG.[4]

Bus routes[edit]

A Command Bus bus before takeover by MTA Bus. This bus became MTA Bus 744.

Command operated the following routes, which after the MTA takeover continued to be operated out of the Spring Creek Bus Depot:[5]

Brooklyn local
  • B100 Kings Highway station, via Fillmore Av - Mill Basin Local
  • B103 Canarsie - Downtown Brooklyn Limited Stop Service (Formerly Downtown Brooklyn Express before MTA Bus)
Brooklyn-Manhattan express
  • BM-1 Mill Basin/Bergen Beach - Manhattan Express
  • BM-2 Canarsie - Manhattan Express,
  • BM-2S Starrett City - Manhattan Express, via Flatlands Av
  • BM-3 Kingsbay - Manhattan Express
  • BM-4 Gerritsen Beach - Manhattan Express (Formerly operated by Erin Tours until end of 1989)
  • BQM-1 (Now BM-5) East New York, Spring Creek/Starrett City - Manhattan Express

In the mid-1990s, Command operated "Gotham Flyer" service, using unfilled buses to carry express passengers between Midtown and Wall Street.


  • 1986 GM RTS-04/06
  • 1988-89 MCI Classic TC40-102A
  • 1994 TMC RTS-06 CNG
  • 1998 ORION V CNG


  1. ^ "Green Bus Lines, Inc., Triboro Coach Corporation, Jamaica Central Railways, Inc". GTJ Reit, Inc. February 9, 2007. Retrieved January 2, 2016. 
  2. ^ Wald, Matthew L. Wald (July 8, 1988). "2 BUSES TO RUN ON NATURAL GAS IN EXPERIMENT". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2015. 
  3. ^ Eric A. Goldstein; Mark A. Izeman; Natural Resources Defense Council (1990). The New York Environment Book. Island Press. ISBN 978-1-55963-018-4. 
  4. ^ "Letter to Mayor Bloomberg RE: Natural Gas Buses". Transportation Alternatives. June 5, 2002. Retrieved December 15, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". June 6, 2000. Archived from the original on September 13, 2002. 

External links[edit]