On Monday, the MTA commemorated a century of Brooklyn-based transport in style, resurrecting a vintage train that was used from 1927 to 1965 and gifting the press with a ride. Reporters, however, are not the only ones who will get a chance to experience the nostalgia trains (complete with wicker seats, vintage ads, and incandescent light bulbs): they will be put into regular service this weekend from noon to 4 p.m., beginning at the Brighton Beach Q station.
On June 22nd, 1915, New York’s then second subway agency, the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (later called the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation), debuted service from Manhattan to Coney Island via the Manhattan Bridge. Sold to the city in 1940, the line introduced numerous mechanical advances and is hailed by the MTA as “an integral tool in the development of New York City”. Today, the BMT lines live on as the B, JMZ, L, and NRQ and Franklin Shuttle.
MTA chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast was quick to emphasize the importance of the Authority’s currently underfunded five-year capital program, which aims to advance the system technologically and keep it both “vital and reliable."
“The BMT network has never been more important to the growth and life of New York”, he said, “that’s why we need to advocate for the funds to support our capital program with state and federal legislators, so that 100 years from now, New Yorkers will be here celebrating the BMT’s 200th anniversary”. Despite recent fare hikes, those who have experienced the subway’s increased delays know that the system, which supports an average ridership of 5.8 million, can use the help.
For more information on the BMT's centennial and nostalgia rides, see the MTA's website.