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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.

Varsity Bus Company
Varsity Bus Company Blue Bird 1099.jpg
Varsity Bus Company #1099 deadheads through Brooklyn.
Headquarters626 Wortman Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11208
LocaleNew York City
Service typeSchool bus service
Chief executiveAndrew Brettschneider

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 BusEdit

 
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 routesEdit

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

Route
(Name)
Terminal A Major streets of travel Terminal B Notes
Brooklyn Local
B100
(Mill Basin Local)
Midwood
East 16th Street and Quentin Road
at Kings Highway ( B  Q  trains)
Quentin Road, Fillmore Avenue, East 66th Street Mill Basin
56th Drive and Strickland Avenue
No overnight service.
B103
(Canarsie Limited)
Canarsie
Williams Avenue and Flatlands Avenue
  • All trips: East 105th Street, Avenue M, East 80th Street, Avenue H
  • Downtown Brooklyn trips: Cortelyou Road, 3rd/4th Avenues, Livingston Street, Cadman Plaza West/Adams Street
Downtown Brooklyn
Tillary Street and Adams Street
at Cadman Plaza
- or -
Midwood
Flatbush Avenue and Nostrand Avenue
at Flatbush Avenue ( 2  5  trains)
Full route and no overnight service.
Brooklyn-Manhattan express
BM-1
(Mill Basin Express)
Manhattan
  • Northbound: Trinity Place, Church Street, Park Place, Broadway, Park Row, Frankfort Street, FDR Drive, 23rd Street, Madison Avenue
  • Southbound: 5th Avenue, 23rd Street, FDR Drive, Water Street, State Street, Battery Place
  • Downtown Loop only: Park Place, Broadway, Park Row, Frankfort Street, Pearl Street, Water Street, State Street, Battery Place
  • Brooklyn: Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, Gowanus Expressway, Prospect Expressway, Coney Island Avenue, Cortelyou Road, Ocean Avenue, Avenue K, East 66th Street
Mill Basin
56th Drive and Strickland Avenue
- or -

Bergen Beach
Avenue U and 71st Street?
BM-2
(Canarsie Express)
Midtown Manhattan Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, Gowanus Expressway, Prospect Expressway, Coney Island Avenue, Cortelyou Road, Flatbush Avenue, Avenue H, East 80th Street, Avenue M, Pennsylvania Avenue (downtown trips only) Canarsie
Flatlands Avenue and Williams Avenue
BM-2S
(Starrett City Express; via Flatlands Avenue)
Lower Manhattan Starrett City
Pennsylvania and Seaview Avenues.
BM-3
(Kingsbay Express)
Manhattan
Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, Gowanus Expressway, Prospect Expressway, Coney Island Avenue, Cortelyou Road, Ocean Avenue, Batchelder Street, Shore Parkway, Emmons Avenue Sheepshead Bay
Emmons Avenue and Shore Boulevard
BM-4
(Gerritsen Beach Express)
Midtown Manhattan
East 57th Street and 2nd Avenue
Gerritsen Beach
Gerritsen Avenue and Lois Avenue
  • Operated by Erin Tours until 1989.
  • Originally went on Nostrand Avenue between Avenue K and Flatbush Avenue, Flatbush Avenue between Nostrand Avenue and Cortelyou Road, instead of Avenue K and Ocean Avenue.
  • Midtown service via Downtown area operates all day.
  • Midtown express service bypassing Downtown area operates weekday peak rush hours.
  • Downtown service operates weekday peak rush hours.
BQM-1
(Starrett City Express)
Midtown Manhattan
East 57th Street and 2nd Avenue
Manhattan:- 34th Street, 5th Avenue (southbound), Madison Avenue (northbound)
Brooklyn: Linden Boulevard, Ashford Street, Cozine Avenue, Van Siclen Avenue, Vandalia Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue
Queens:
Queens–Midtown Tunnel, Long Island Expressway, Woodhaven Boulevard, Cross Bay Boulevard
Starrett City
Pennsylvania Avenue and Seaview Avenue
  • Formerly made only one stop in Queens, at 79th Street in Lindenwood.[6]
  • Expanded Queens service along Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards began April 2010.
  • Last pickup to Manhattan and first dropoff from Manhattan is in Rego Park/Middle Village.
  • No Downtown service; Downtown service provided by weekday rush hour BM2 service.
  • Renumbered as BQ5 on July 16, 2007.[6]
Special Services; All discontinued in 2001[7]
BMJ-1
(Meadowlands Special for Sheepshead Bay)
Meadowlands Raceway Avenue Z, Coney Island Avenue, Avenue M, 23rd Avenue, 65th Street, 19th Avenue, 86th Street, 4th Avenue, Flatbush Avenue Sheepshead Bay
East 15th Street and Sheephead Bay Road
at Sheepshead Bay ( B  Q  trains)
BMJ-2
(Meadowlands Special for Starrett City)
Flatlands Avenue, Avenue M, Kings Highway, Nostrand Avenue, Flatbush Avenue Starrett City
Pennsylvania Avenue and Flatlands Avenue
BQ-5
(Race Track Special for Bay Ridge)
Aqueduct Raceway
- or -
Belmont Park
  • All Routes: 86th Street, 19th Avenue, 65th Street, 23rd Avenue, Avenue M, Flatlands Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, Linden Boulevard
  • Aqueduct Route: Centerville Street, Rockaway Boulevard
  • Belmont Park Route: Springfield Boulevard, Hempstead Turnpike
Bay Ridge
86th Street and 4th Avenue
at 86th St ( R  train)
BQ-10
(Race Track Special for Midwood)
  • All Routes: Flatbush Avenue, Church Avenue, Linden Boulevard, Conduit Boulevard.
  • Aqueduct Route: Centerville Street, Rockaway Boulevard
  • Belmont Park Route: Springfield Boulevard, Hempstead Turnpike
Midwood
Nostrand Avenue and Flatbush Avenue
at Flatbush Avenue ( 2  5  trains)
BQ-11
(Race Track Special for Coney Island)
  • Kings Highway route: Kings Highway, Avenue M
  • Coney Island route: Stillwell Avenue, Neptune Avenue, Ocean Parkway, Avenue Z, Nostrand Avenue, Avenue U, Mill Avenue, Ralph Avenue
  • Both routes: Flatlands Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, Linden Boulevard
Coney Island
Mermaid Avenue and Stillwell Avenue
at Stillwell Avenue ( D  F   <F> ​​  N  Q  trains)
- or -

Midwood
Kings Highway and East 16th Street
at Kings Highway ( B  Q  trains)
BQ-12
(Shea Special)
Shea Stadium
Flatbush Avenue, Church Avenue, Linden Boulevard, Woodhaven Boulevard, Long Island Expressway, Main Street, Roosevelt Avenue, 111th Street. Flatbush
Nostrand Avenue and Flatbush Avenue
at Flatbush Avenue ( 2  5  trains)
BW-4
(Yonkers Raceway Special)
Yonkers Raceway
86th Street, 19th Avenue, 65th Street, 23rd Avenue, Avenue M, Flatlands Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, Linden Boulevard, Van Wyck Expressway, Whitestone Expressway, Cross Bronx Expressway, Major Deegan Expressway, New York State Thruway Bay Ridge
86th Street and 4th Avenue
at 86th St ( R  train)

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

FleetEdit

 
A Command Bus bus before takeover by MTA Bus. This bus became MTA Bus 744.
  • 1986 GM RTS-04/06
  • 1988-89 MCI Classic TC40-102A
  • 1994 TMC RTS-06 CNG
  • 1998 ORION V CNG

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Green Bus Lines, Inc., Triboro Coach Corporation, Jamaica Central Railways, Inc". sec.gov. 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.
  6. ^ a b MTA Regional Bus Operations (Winter 2007). "BQM1 bus schedule" (PDF). Retrieved December 20, 2010.
  7. ^ Green Bus Lines, Command Bus Company, Jamaica Buses, and Triboro Coach Routes (Archive.org)

External linksEdit