Third and Lexington Avenues Line
|M98 / M101 / M102 / M103|
|Third and Lexington Avenues Line|
|System||MTA New York City Bus|
|Operator||New York City Transit Authority|
|Garage||Manhattanville Depot (M98)
Tuskegee Airmen Depot (M101-103)
|Began service||1853 (train)
2010 (current alignment)
|Start||M98: Upper East Side – 68th Street
M101-102: East Village – 6th Street
M103: City Hall
|End||M98: Washington Heights – Cabrini Boulevard
M101: Fort George – 193rd Street
M102: Harlem – 147th Street
M103: East Harlem – 125th Street
|Operates||24 hours (M101-3)|
|Fare||$2.75 (MetroCard or coins)|
|Cash||Coins only (exact change required)|
|Timetable||M98 M101 M102 M103|
The Third and Amsterdam Avenues Line, also known as the Third Avenue Line, is a public transit line in Manhattan, New York City, United States, running from Lower Manhattan to Fort George in Washington Heights. Originally a streetcar line, it now consists of the M98, M101, M102, and M103 bus routes, operated by the New York City Transit Authority. The M98 bus route operates on Third Avenue between East 65th Street and East 127th Street, but formerly went to 32nd Street. The M101-103 bus routes runs southbound on Lexington Avenue north of East 24th Street.
Current bus service
The current form of the M98 operates between Hunter College (at East 68th Street) on the Upper East Side and Fort Tryon Park in Inwood (Approximately West 192nd Street). The M98 operates on Third Avenue (northbound), and Lexington Avenue (southbound). At East 120th Street, southbound service shifts from Park to Lexington Avenues, while at East 127th Street, the M98 northbound service shifts unto the Harlem River Drive. The M98 exits the Harlem River Drive via the I-95/Amsterdam Avenue exit. The M98 travels westbound along West 179th Street and eastbound along West 178th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Fort Washington Avenue, where the M98 turns north on Fort Washington Avenue until its terminal at the entrance to Fort Tryon Park (approximately West 192nd Street).
The M101 spans between Cooper Square in the East Village and West 193rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Fort George. The M101 runs along Third Avenue from Astor Place to East 125th Street, while southbound buses use Lexington Avenue north of East 24th Street. The M101 continues crosstown on 125th Street to Amsterdam Avenue, running north towards West 193rd Street after Amsterdam Avenue becomes Fort George Avenue. To begin the southbound trip, the M101 turns south onto Saint Nicholas Avenue, then left (east) onto West 190th Street, followed by a right (south) back onto Amsterdam Avenue.
The M101 runs as a limited-stop service during the day south of East 116th Street, with no other local service. Local service is provided by the M102 and M103 buses, during that time. Overnight and weekend morning service runs local.
The M102 begins at Cooper Square and follows the M101 until East 116th Street in East Harlem. The route travels west across 116th Street to Lenox Avenue, where it continues north to Harlem – 148th Street.
The M103 begins its route at City Hall and travels north via Park Row and the Bowery. At Astor Place, it continues north alongside the M101 and M102 along Third (and eventually Lexington) to East 125th Street, where it terminates.
Note; Both M101 and M102 formerly operated to City Hall prior to 1996, when the M103 was created to replace same south of Astor Place, and to improve reliability along 3rd & Lexington Avenues.
The Third Avenue Railroad opened the line in 1853, from Astor House (Broadway and Park Row) north along Park Row, Bowery (shared with the Second Avenue Line), and Third Avenue to 86th Street; an extension to East Harlem opened in 1859. Using the One-Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Street Railroad and trackage along Amsterdam Avenue, Third Avenue cars were also operated to Fort George. Buses were substituted for streetcars by the Surface Transportation Corporation on May 28, 1947. It was operated by Fifth Avenue Coach Lines from 1956 to 1962, when the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority took over operations. On July 17, 1960, most of Third Avenue became one-way northbound, and southbound buses were moved to Lexington Avenue.
In 2009, buses along the corridor were involved in a total of 268 accidents. The amount is attributed to both inexperienced operators and the amount of "obstacles" along the route.