Triboro Coach

Triboro Coach Corporation was a bus company in New York City, United States, operating local service in Queens and express routes to Manhattan until February 20, 2006, when MTA Bus took over all of its bus operations and services.

Triboro Coach
MTA Bus GMC RTS 7093.jpg
A former Triboro Coach bus under MTA operations on the Q19 route, the company's original service.
ParentGTJ Reit Incorporated
Headquarters85-01 24th Avenue
East Elmhurst, NY 11370-1694


Salvatore Fornatora began operating buses in Queens in April 1919 as the Woodside-Astoria Transportation Company,[1] with his first route, the eastern part of today's Q19 route connecting the 103rd Street-Corona Plaza station on the recently opened Corona Line in Corona with Flushing. In 1928, the Corona terminal was extended westward, and moved to Astoria - 21st Street, completing the original formation of today's Q19 Astoria Boulevard bus route, when the Corona Line was extended to Flushing. The company was operating several other routes in the Astoria-Woodside-Maspeth area by 1930.

The new Triboro Coach Corporation was incorporated on April 10, 1931,[1] running the Q18 and Q24 routes. On September 24, 1936, it acquired a city franchise for nine routes in northwestern Queens (the "Long Island City zone").[1][2] Triboro acquired the Q23 from the North Shore Bus Company, the Q29 from Kings Coach Company, the Q33 from Municipal Motor Bus Company, the Q38 from Affiliated Bus Transit Corporation, and the Q39 from National City Lines.[3] After World War II during October 1947, Triboro was acquired by the stockholders of Green Bus Lines, after financial difficulties, but continued to operate independently.[1] Its depot in East Elmhurst was opened on January 15, 1954.[4] Major expansions were made in 1956 with an express bus route (now the Q53) between Woodside and Rockaway Park (replacing the Long Island Rail Road's Rockaway Beach Branch, out of service since 1950) and in 1961, when it acquired the Q72 (then the B72) from the New York City Transit Authority. Five express routes to Manhattan were initiated in the 1970s and 1980s: the QM10 & QM11 in 1970, QM12 in 1971, and QM22, QM24, and QM24W in June 1988. Triboro was the first private company in the city to initiate express operations with the Q53 Woodside-Rockaway Park Express bus line in 1956, at the request of the City of New York due to the loss of direct LIRR Rockaway service from Woodside.[1][5][6][7][8]

Rear view of an MTA Bus Company bus on the Q38 route with Triboro Coach livery

In addition to diesel powered buses, Triboro housed a Methanol, and compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling facility, along with several CNG powered buses at its final facility in East Elmhurst. The methanol fuel station was installed in 1989 for six General Motors-built methanol buses.[9] In the early 1990s, three Triboro-operated RTS buses were fitted with special Detroit Diesel Series 92 engines that ran on methanol provided by Air Products & Chemicals.[10] CNG fueling was installed in 1994 to be used for orders of TMC RTS-06 CNG buses and later Orion V CNG buses that were ordered in conjunction with identical buses used by Command Bus Company and Queens Surface Corporation (now Spring Creek Depot and College Point Depot respectively).[11]

On February 2, 2006, the operations of Triboro Coach were taken over by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) under the MTA Bus Company brand, the final part of the city's takeover of all the remaining subsidized privately operated bus routes.[1][12][13] As part of the takeover, the former Triboro Coach garage became the LaGuardia Depot.[12] However, the facility was severely damaged in April 2006 (only 2 months after the MTA Takeover) following an explosion within one of the natural gas lines and destroyed a former Triboro/ ex-Jamaica Bus RTS-04 (see below).[14] All of the ex-Triboro CNG buses were transferred to Spring Creek and College Point Depots and ran from there up until their retirement.

Bus routesEdit

Just prior to MTA Bus takeover, Triboro Coach operated the following routes. Most of these continue to be based out of the company's former facility in East Elmhurst.[15]

Route Terminal A Major streets of travel Terminal B Notes
Queens Local
Q18 Astoria 30th Avenue, 58th Street, Woodside Avenue, 65th Place, 69th Street Maspeth
Q19 via Astoria Boulevard Flushing
  • Salvatore Fornatora's original bus route from Corona into Flushing formed during April 1919
Q19A Long Island City 21st Street, Ditmars Boulevard Jackson Heights
Q19B Jackson Heights 35th Avenue, 35th Avenue, 89th/90th Streets, Astoria Boulevard East Elmhurst
  • Renumbered to Q49 in 2008
Q23 East Elmhurst 108th Street Forest Hills
Q29 Jackson Heights 80th Street Glendale
Q33 82nd/83rd Streets, 23rd Avenue, 94th Street LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal
Q38 Middle Village Eliot and Penelope Avenues Rego Park
- or -
Q39 Long Island City Forest Avenue Ridgewood
Q45 Jackson Heights 69th Street Middle Village
Juniper Valley Park
  • Merged into an extended Q47 in 2011.[16]
Q45X Rego Park
Woodhaven & Queens Boulevards / Rego Center[17]
- or -
98th Street and 60th Avenue[18]
Eliot Avenue Middle Village
69th Street
  • Established in 1943
  • Q45X short for "Q45 Extension".[18][19]
  • This later became the first version of Q50; now part of Q38.
Q47 Jackson Heights 69th Street and 80th Street LaGuardia Airport
Marine Air Terminal
  • Now including former Q45
Q53 Woodside Woodhaven Boulevard, Cross Bay Boulevard, Rockaway Beach Boulevard Rockaway Park
  • Originally created as a replacement for the partially abandoned Long Island Rail Road Rockaway Beach Branch in 1950.
  • Was named the "Rockaway Park Express," despite the fact that technically, it was never a true express bus.
Q72 Rego Park Junction Boulevard LaGuardia Airport
Queens-Manhattan express
QM10 Midtown Manhattan Manhattan: 3rd Avenue branch: 34th Street, 3rd Avenue, 57th Street
6th Avenue branch: 34th Street, 6th Avenue, 57th Street
Queens: Queens Boulevard, Linden Boulevard,
63rd Road, 57th Avenue
Lefrak City
  • LeFrak City Express
  • Former 3rd Avenue service relabeled QM40 in early September 2016
QM11 Financial District
Wall Street
Manhattan: Water Street, Church Street via 3rd Avenue or 6th Avenue
Queens: Queens Boulevard, 63rd Road, 57th Avenue
  • Former downtown branch of the QM10
QM12 Midtown Manhattan Manhattan: 3rd Avenue, 34th Street, 6th Avenue, 57th Street
Queens: Queens Boulevard, Yellowstone Boulevard
Forest Hills
  • Forest Hills Express
  • Stops east of 71 Avenue in Forest Hills discontinued in January 2011
  • Third Avenue service was split off into QM42 in September 2016.
QM22 Midtown Manhattan Manhattan: 3rd Avenue branch: 3rd Avenue, 59th Street
6th Avenue branch: 34th Street, 6th Avenue, 57th Street
Queens: 21st Street, 21st Avenue, Ditmars Boulevard
Jackson Heights
  • Jackson Heights Express
  • Discontinued in June 2010, due to budget crisis
QM24 Midtown Manhattan Manhattan: 8th Avenue or 3rd Avenue
Queens: Queens Boulevard
Myrtle Avenue and 73rd Street
  • Glendale Express
QM24W Financial District
Wall Street
Manhattan: 23rd Street, Madison Avenue, 57th Street
Queens: Queens Boulevard
  • Glendale - Wall Street Express
  • Renumbered as QM25 in June 2010

Triboro also operated the Q57 express bus from Queensbridge at 21st Street and 41st Avenue to LaGuardia Airport in 1990. Nicknamed the "QT (Quick Trip) LaGuardia Express" bus route, it was discontinued in May 1991 due to lower than expected ridership. The service ran every 20 minutes, getting to the airport in 25 minutes, and stopping at all terminals. The route travelled via 21st Street and Astoria Boulevard to get to the airport. Service ran from 21st Street between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. and from LaGuardia between 6:35 a.m. and 11 p.m.. The fare was $5, in addition to the $1.15 subway fare. The buses had luggage racks, air conditioning and padded seats.[20]


Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML

Astoria depotEdit

The company's first garage was located at 29-28 Vernon Boulevard[21] or 23-29/29-23 Vernon Boulevard,[22][23] at Vernon Boulevard and Main Avenue (Astoria Boulevard) in Astoria, Queens, on the eastern shore of the East River near the western terminal of the company's Q19 route.[24][25] The one-story brick building covered 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2),[24] and served as the company's main repair shops.[23]

On July 19, 1926, an explosion and fire occurred in the garage's basement, leading to the death of a teenage employee.[26] The facility was condemned by the city in the 1940s to construct the Astoria Houses public housing project, which remains there today.[23]

40°46′20″N 73°56′00″W / 40.772140°N 73.933223°W / 40.772140; -73.933223

Woodside depotsEdit

Triboro Coach simultaneously operated two garages in Woodside, Queens, in addition to its Astoria depot.[25] The first was located at the southwest corner of Queens Boulevard and 51st Street, south of the 52nd Street subway station and adjacent to the New Calvary Cemetery. It was leased in 1939.[25][27][28] The second was located at 69-01 35th Road[4] or 65-10 35th Avenue,[22][29] on a block bound by 65th Street to the west, 35th Avenue to the north, 69th Street to the east, and 35th Road to the south. It was located just north of the 65th Street subway station on Broadway.[4][23][25][29] This 27,000 square feet (2,500 m2) depot was leased in 1941.[29] Both Woodside depots were condemned by the city in 1947. The second site at 65th Street was condemned for the construction of the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway (BQE).[23][30] It closed in 1954, following eviction proceedings, replaced by the East Elmhurst location.[4] The right-of-way of the BQE occupies the site today.

40°45′01″N 73°53′51″W / 40.750330°N 73.897603°W / 40.750330; -73.897603

East Elmhurst depotEdit

Triboro Coach's final depot was located on a two-block long structure (85-01 24th Avenue)[4] bound by 85th and 87th Street, and 23rd and 24th Avenues in the East Elmhurst & Jackson Heights neighborhoods of Queens, New York near LaGuardia Airport.[31] The depot was opened on January 15, 1954,[4] at the cost of $1 million.[4][32] The 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) garage housed 130 buses, with additional space outdoors.[4][32][33] The depot became MTA Bus' LaGuardia Depot on February 20, 2006.[12]

In 1989, a methanol fuel station was installed at the facility for six General Motors-built RTS methanol buses.[9][34][35] It was later used in the early 1990s to fuel a New York City Transit Authority demonstration bus from the Casey Stengel Depot[36] and three new Triboro-operated RTS buses fitted with special Detroit Diesel Series 92 engines.[10] Beginning in 1994, the facility dispatched compressed natural gas (CNG) buses in addition to its diesel fleet.[11][33][37] Under the MTA, the depot was decommissioned from CNG operations in 2006 due to not meeting the MTA's safety and environmental standards. On April 10, 2006, while workers from KeySpan were removing CNG from tanks and a private contractor was conducting construction near the depot, a gas compressor station exploded leading to a large fire at the depot. One bus was destroyed and 12 were damaged.[12][14][38][39]

40°45′58″N 73°53′01″W / 40.766176°N 73.883474°W / 40.766176; -73.883474


  1. ^ a b c d e f Roger P. Roess; Gene Sansone (August 23, 2012). The Wheels That Drove New York: A History of the New York City Transit System. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 416–417. ISBN 978-3-642-30484-2.
  2. ^ New York Times, Long Island City Zone Taken by One Bus Line, January 4, 1936, page 17
  3. ^ Annual Report 1943. Public Service Commission. 1944. p. 745.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "New Building: Triboro Moves Offices". Long Island Star-Journal. January 14, 1954. p. 27. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  5. ^ Triboro Coach Corporation (via the Internet Archive)
  6. ^ "Bus Service Links Woodside, Rockaway". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 25, 1950. p. 6. Retrieved October 12, 2015 – via
  7. ^ "Bus Dispute Halts Rockaway Service: Company Suspends Week-End Queen-Branch runs Owing to Extra-Driver Pay Argument" (PDF). The New York Times. August 9, 1952. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  8. ^ Onishi, Norimitsu (August 14, 1996). "For $2, Air-Conditioned Ride To a Day of Sun and Surf". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Wald, Matthew L. (May 17, 1989). "BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY; When Methanol Is in the Tank". The New York Times. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  10. ^ a b Clark, Nigel N.; Boyce, James A. (August 21, 1998). "Exhaust Emissions Testing Performed for Air Products Corporation on Transit Buses Fueled by Air Products Brand Methanol Fuel" (PDF). West Virginia University. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Motta, Robert; Norton, Paul; Kelly, Kenneth; Chandler, Kevin; Schumacher, Leon; Clark, Nigel (October 1996). "Alternative Fuel Transit Buses: Final Results from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Vehicle Evaluation Program" (PDF). United States Department of Energy. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c d Silverman, Norman (July 26, 2010). "The Merger of 7 Private Bus Companies into MTA Bus" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association, Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 16, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  13. ^ Lueck, Thomas J. (April 23, 2005). "City to Buy Private Bus Company for Service in Three Boroughs". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Wohlwend, Lynn (April 13, 2006). "Flames, Smoke Erupt At Triboro Coach Depot". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved October 17, 2015.
  15. ^ "MTA Bus: LaGuardia Pick Glossary" (PDF). MTA Bus Company. January 3, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2, 2016. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  16. ^ "Q47 and Q49 Revise Route in Jackson Heights Q45 and Q47 Routes Combine". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. September 2, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  17. ^ "TRANSFER POINTS UNDER HIGHER FARE; Board of Transportation Lists Stations and Intersections for Combined Rides". The New York Times. June 30, 1948. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  18. ^ a b "1946 Triboro Coach Map". BMT Lines. Triboro Coach. 1946. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  19. ^ Triboro Coach (June 8, 1943). "TRIBORO COACH CORP. ANNOUNCES 20% EMERGENCY CURTAILMENT IN BUS SERVICE Effective Monday. June 7. 1943". Long Island Star-Journal. Retrieved February 24, 2018 – via
  20. ^ "B Q QT LaGuardia Express". New York City Transit Authority. 1990. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  21. ^ Triboro Coach Corp. (December 27, 1945). "CHAUFFEURS; Bus, Truck trailer or taxicab experienced". Long Island Star-Journal. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  22. ^ a b Moscow, Henry (July 21, 1947). "500 Queens Bus Drivers Stay Out; Mayor, Defied, Calls them 'Outlaws'". New York Post. p. 5. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  23. ^ a b c d e "Triboro Coach To Apply For Boost In Fare: Company Losing $10,000 a Month, President Tells City". Long Island Star-Journal. August 27, 1947. p. 9. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  24. ^ a b "Triboro Coach Corporation Equipment And Service Second To None; Company Grew Fast". The Daily Star (Long Island City). November 28, 1932. p. 6. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  25. ^ a b c d "Strike Halts Buses in Queens; 13 Lines Affected As 400 Drivers, Mechanics Quit; T.W.U. Tieup Illegal, Only 40% Effective, A.F.L. Official Claims". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 8, 1941. p. 1. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via
  26. ^ "Boy Loses Life In Astoria Garage Fire; Blasts Rock Building As Match Is Lighted In Gas-Filled Cellar; Frederick Schmidt, 16, Fatally Burned at Woodside-Astoria Bus Line Storage Station on Main Street". Daily Star (Queens). July 20, 1926. p. 1. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  27. ^ "Bus Firm Leases Garage". Long island Star-Journal. November 11, 1939. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  28. ^ "Large Garage Leased". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. November 10, 1939. p. 27. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via
  29. ^ a b c "Bus Depot For Woodside: Triboro Corporation Takes Long Lease at 65-10 35th Avenue" (PDF). The New York Times. January 29, 1941. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  30. ^ "TRIBORO LINE ACTS FOR HIGHER FARE; Queens Bus Company Applies to City for Permission to Appeal to State" (PDF). The New York Times. August 29, 1947. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  31. ^ Gentilviso, Richard (April 19, 2004). "Two Firefighters Honored At Borough Cabinet". Queens Gazette. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
  32. ^ a b "Rural Bus Pilot Steers Triboro Coach Line". Long Island Star-Journal. January 16, 1956. p. 16A. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  33. ^ a b Urbitran Associates, Inc (May 2004). "NYCDOT Bus Ridership Survey and Route Analysis Final Report: Chapter 3 Transit System Characteristics" (PDF). New York City Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  34. ^ "FIRE TACTICS AND PROCEDURES HAZARDOUS MATERIALS 1: Alternative Fuels" (PDF). New York City Fire Department. December 1, 1989. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  35. ^ Eric A. Goldstein; Mark A. Izeman; Natural Resources Defense Council (1990). The New York Environment Book. Island Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-1-55963-018-4.
  36. ^ Lowell, Dana M.; Parsley, William; Bush, Christopher; Zupo, Douglas (August 24, 2008). "Comparison of Clean Diesel Buses to CNG Buses". MTA New York City Transit Authority. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  37. ^ "Letter to Mayor Bloomberg RE: Natural Gas Buses". Transportation Alternatives. June 5, 2002. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  38. ^ Fenner, Austin (April 11, 2006). "EXPLOSION, FIRE RIP BUS DEPOT". Daily News (New York). Retrieved October 17, 2015.
  39. ^ "Gas Main Ruptures". Queens Gazette. April 12, 2006. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved November 1, 2015.

External linksEdit