The bus is the red-headed stepchild of New York City transportation options. While yellow taxis and gritty subways have earned iconic status, city buses slog along, functional but unloved.
Which is why it’s great to see a vintage postcard celebrating one bus line. Here’s a rickety-looking vehicle (is that a Mercedes logo?) stopped at the corner of 42nd Street, beside the then-new New York Public Library.
It appears to be part of the fleet of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company, which charged 10 cents to ride. In 1921, Mayor Hylan was committed to running city buses with a fare of only five cents—a rare public transit price cut!