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MTA’s vintage subway cars and buses reappear to spread holiday cheer

Take a festive trip back in time, thanks to the MTA

The holidays are approaching, and while the world is what one might call “bleaker than usual,” the MTA is doing its part to spread some much-needed cheer. As in years past, the agency will collaborate with the New York Transit Museum to roll out some of its vintage fleet, helping “customers experience the most magical time of year the way that New York straphangers did long ago.”

For the cost of a MetroCard swipe, riders can get the full vintage commuting experience on the “Shoppers Special,” a subway train made up of eight “City Cars”—the cars that ran on the lettered lines from the 1930s up through the 1970s. Ordered for the Independent Subway System (IND), City Cars have rattan seats, ceiling fans, incandescent bulb lighting, drop-sash style windows, and roll signs. If all that strikes you as a little bit familiar, that’s because it is: City Cars have been the model for every subway car designed since.

The train will run along the F line between 2nd Avenue and Queens Plaza starting this Sunday and continuing on for the following three: Sunday, December 4; Sunday, December 11; and Sunday; December, 18, between 10:05 a.m. and 4:44 p.m. If none of that fits your schedule, though, no worries: the train is on display year-round at the Transit Museum.

[Update]: The MTA has announced that the holiday cheer is being spread even further. Beginning on December 5th, the agency will run vintage buses along the M42 line between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. The fleet consists of buses that date from the late 1940s to the early 1970s and will operate until December 21st, if weather permits. Catch a ride on one of these historic buses while they’re around.

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