M104 (New York City bus)

The Broadway Line is a surface transit line in Manhattan, New York City, 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 bus route operated by the New York City Transit Authority, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. This bus route no longer runs along the entire route of the former streetcar.

Broadway Line
NYC Transit Orion VII Next Generation hybrid 3800.jpg
An M104 bus on Broadway near Columbia University
SystemMTA New York City Bus
OperatorNew York City Transit Authority
GarageManhattanville Depot
VehicleDaimler Chrysler Orion VII
Nova Bus LFS HEV
New Flyer Xcelsior XDE40
Began service1884-5 (train)
1946 (bus)
2010 (current alignment)
StartWest Harlem – 129th Street
ViaSeventh Avenue (southbound)
Eighth Avenue (northbound)
EndMidtown – 41st Street / 8th Avenue
Length5.6 miles (9.0 km)[1] (southbound)
Annual patronage850,940 (2020)[2]
← M103  {{{system_nav}}}  M106 →

Route descriptionEdit

The M104 route begins at 41st Street and 8th Avenue, by Times Square. Buses use Eighth Avenue (northbound) and Seventh Avenue (southbound) to and from 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.


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.[3][citation needed] The Third Avenue Railroad acquired control of the line in November 1895,[4] and the Metropolitan Street Railway leased the Third Avenue in May 1900.[5] 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.[citation needed]

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,[6][7] 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.[8] This was done because the Third Avenue's Broadway trackage ended at Times Square; south of Times Square was Metropolitan trackage.

Broadway buses stopped serving the East 34th Street Ferry on September 29, 1917.[citation needed] Buses were substituted for streetcars on December 15, 1946.[citation needed]

In June 2010, due to budget cuts, the M104 bus route was truncated to Times Square from the Headquarters of the United Nations, eliminating service along 42nd Street.[9]


  1. ^ Google (May 9, 2017). "M104" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "Facts and Figures". mta.info. August 28, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  3. ^ "The Street Surface Railway Franchises of New York City" by Harry James Carman
  4. ^ New York Times,The Third Avenue Gets It, November 22, 1895, page 3
  5. ^ New York Times, The Metropolitan's Control Ratified, May 18, 1900, page 1
  6. ^ New York Times, New Broadway Lines Puzzle Passengers, February 18, 1908, page 3
  7. ^ New York Times, Getting Used to New Cars, February 19, 1908, page 3
  8. ^ Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac, 1916
  9. ^ "MTA/New York City Transit - NYC Transit 2010 Service Reduction Proposals". MTA. March 19, 2010. Retrieved March 31, 2020.