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Page 1 - Fare Tickets; City of New York Transit Ephemera - Fiscal Issues
The Catalog of Transit Fiscal Ephemera & Exonumia from the City of the New York
(pre-MetroCard)
featuring the collections of George S. Cuhaj & Philip M. Goldstein

Page 1

 

Fare Tickets - Stage & Trolley Lines - 19th Century
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   Tickets were issued from the start of organized transportation in the mid-1800's, and were at that time prolific by issuer and variety. Being made of cardstock, the older the issue - the lower the odds of survivability. .
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The Broadway Rail Road Co.
1856 - 1890s
1 11/16" x 1 1/4"


Brooklyn City Railroad Company
1 5/8" x 1"



Brooklyn City & Newtown Railroad Company
1 7/16" x 1 1/8"



Brooklyn City, Hunter's Point & Prospect Rail Road Co.
(overprint on Greenpoint & Williamsburg Rail Road Co)
(post-1868)
1 7/16" x 1 3/16"

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Montague Street Cab Line
Mr. J. V. Dubernell, Clothier, was at this dual address from 1882-1886
2 1/4" x 1 3/16"
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New Williamsburgh & Flatbush Rail Road Co.

1880s
1 1/2" x 1 1/8"


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Croton Line

   The Croton Line went from South Ferry to 43rd Street, and was so named to honor the new water supply system and the holding reservoir at 42nd Street.
1 11/16" x 13/16"
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15/16" x 1 1/4"


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Broadway & Seventh Avenue Railroad Company
1 5/8" x 1 3/16"

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Broadway, Fourteenth Street and South Ferry Stage Line

1 7/8" x 1 1/8"

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Fifth Avenue Stage Line
1 5/16" x 15/16"1 5/8" x 7/8
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7/8" x 1 3/8"

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Sixth Avenue Line
1 1/4" x 1 1/4"

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Madison Avenue Stage Line
1" x 1 11/16"1 1/8" x 19/16"
1 15/16" x 1"

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New York Consolidated Stage Company
2" x 1 3/16"

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23rd Street Line42nd Street and Grand Street Ferry Railroad Company
1 1/4" x 15/16"1 11/16" x 1 3/16"

All issues above and similar - extremely rare; $50.00 - $75.00 and higher, regardless of condition

Fare Tickets - pre-Unification

   These are the actual fare tickets purchased to enter the various subways and surface lines. They could be purchased individually for a single ride, or in multiples for later use. 

   After purchasing your tickets from the clerk in change / ticket booth (which was to become the colloquial token booth after 1953); but before entrance to actual subway or elevated platforms, you gave your ticket to a gateman, who deposited the ticket into a "chopper box" at the gate to the platforms of the Interborough Rapid Transit subway and main terminals of the surface cars.

Columbus Circle Station; showing change / ticket booth; and gate separating "unpaid" and "paid" side of areas.Gateman with chopper box
Ticket Chopper Box at IRT Wall Street Station
image courtesy of ephemeralnewyork

   Incidentally, this gate as I have mentioned, separated the "paid" portion of the subway from the "unpaid" section. 

   Inside the chopper box, and viewable through a glass window, was a set of interlaced metal teeth resembling combs. Connecting to these teeth combs, there was a shaft that connected through the side of the case to the outside. Much like the purpose of a modern paper shredder; only the chopper boxes were manually operated. The tickets deposited into the top portion, were chopped to prevent reuse and the shredded tickets contained in a hopper in the bottom portion of the chopper box pedestal. 

New York Elevated Railroad 
(predecessor to Manhattan Railways)
Conductors Check - Not good for fare
Once the on-train conductor lifted a ticket from the passenger, this check was used as identification that a fare was paid.  Early 1870s-1879.

Manhattan Railway (as its own entity) - Elevated Division
1879 - 1903

   In "The First Elevated Railroads in Manhattan and the Bronx of the City of New York" by William Fullerton Reeves; he states: "In the early days of operating elevated roads, tickets were sold to prospective passengers at the stations, and collected on the trains by conductors. This method of "taking up tickets" was abolished January 20, 1879. In June 1880 came the canceling boxes where passengers deposited their tickets before entering a train. The straight all-day five-cent fare was introduced on all trains in October-November 1886.

   
This research helps date the 10 cent Metropolitan Railway tickets that follow to between 1880 and 1886.
Park Place Station at Church Street (Sixth Avenue Line)
Franklin Bank Note
Fulton or Franklin Street Station?
Franklin Bank Note
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Fulton or Franklin Street Station?14th Street Station (which Line?)
Hamilton Bank Note Engraving & Printing
Christopher Street Station (Ninth Avenue Line)
New York Bank Note
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8th Street Station (Second or Sixth Avenue Line)
Hamilton Bank Note
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Second Avenue Railroad (Surface)
1898-1908
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96th Street to Harlem
Keller Print Co.

All issues above, rare; $35.00 - $45.00




Interborough Rapid Transit - Subway Division
1903 - 1928
86th Street (with note on envelope)
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Extra  Brooklyn Bridge Station Atlantic Avenue Grand Central Nevins St US Government

ticket back

These issues are much more common than the 10 cent counterparts. $10.00 - $15.00 per ticket


Interborough Rapid Transit .- Manhattan Railway Division (Elevated Lines)
1903-1928
145th Street Station at Eighth Avenue (Sixth Avenue Line)

rare; $40.00 to $45.00
Exchange for Special Transfer or Block Ticket,
issued at 180th Street - the Bronx

(Third Avenue Line?)

rare; $55.00 to $65.00

New York & Sea Beach Railroad
1877-1896

rare; $50.00 to $55.00rare; $50.00 to $55.00

Brooklyn Heights Railroad (Elevated)
1895- 1899
Fare Receipt
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Elevated Ticket (connection from New York & Brooklyn Bridge RR)
Hamilton Bank Note


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Brooklyn Elevated Railroad

Kings County Elevated
1888-1900

all tickets above rare; $30.00 to $35.00


New York Rapid Transit (Elevated & Subway)
1896-1923 (BRT)
1923-1940 (BMT)
circa 1923

common; $7.00 to $10.00


Miscellaneous Passes & Tickets

New York & Queens County
1896-1932
Brooklyn Heights Railroad (Elevated)
1895- 1899
B&Q T, NYRT, SB Rwy 
Hospital Ticket
Void after December 31, 1931
Surface Transit Corporation (subsidiary of Third Avenue Railway)
1941-1948

All tickets above, uncommon. $15.00 to $25.00 each

Bridge Tickets

   A sub-set to the category of fare tickets, are the so called Bridge Tickets. These tickets were expressly issued for the surface or elevated line that crossed any one of four bridges over the East River: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg and Blackwell's Island / Welfare Island / 59th Street / Queensboro Bridge. 

   2½ cent tickets were issued for both for the Brooklyn Bridge elevated and / or surface lines, and the various companies that operated streetcar or elevated lines across the bridge. 

   These 2½ cent tickets were sold two for 5 cents and in multiples of two. The Bridge Division tickets were used on the elevated lines over the Brooklyn Bridge, until the elevateds were removed from the bridge in 1944. This elevated bridge line should not be confused with the streetcars / trolleys that operated over the bridge, (which remained as a means to cross the Brooklyn Bridge until 1950; at which time it became automobile only.)

"Promenade"
Not a subway, elevated or cable car transit fare ticket

   Before progressing any further on the subject of tickets for the Brooklyn Bridge, there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation floating about regarding the issues. Since they to pertain to transit ephemera, I will include them here.

   The Brooklyn Bridge opened to pedestrians, horse wagons and carriages on May 24th 1883. The "Rail Road" which issued these ornate tickets was really a cable car line and was opened in October 1883, but unfortunately experienced frequent down time. The cable line was electrified by November 1896 but the cable was not immediately removed. 

   Service finally ended in January 1908, when it was succeeded by extended Brooklyn elevated service into the Park Row Terminal in 1944. Streetcar use of the bridge ended in 1950.

   An abundance of tickets were used for this service and transfers to the extensive Brooklyn streetcar and elevated lines meeting at the Sands Street station.

   After the initial opening, pedestrians were charged to use the Promenade. These tickets are marked New York and Brooklyn Bridge "PROMENADE". They are NOT cable car or elevated tickets, but a ticket to walk across. A pedestrian toll ticket as it was.

   The PROMENADE tickets were sold in strips of twenty-five tickets for 5 cents; and were issued from January 31, 1885 through May 31, 1891, when that Promenade toll was abolished. 

Carriageway

   Another variety of tickets seen for the Brooklyn Bridge, were the New York and Brooklyn Bridge carriage way toll ticket. Again, this was NOT a fare ticket for the elevated or surface lines that crossed the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a toll ticket for the horse and carriages. 

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2 ½" x 1 ½"

   The Promenade Tickets and the Carriageway Toll Tickets are explained in depth on Page 2 of my associated website: nyctollscrip.info.

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The Cable Railroad

   However, the tickets with ornate engraving of the side view of the Brooklyn Bridge as seen below, were fare tickets for the cable cars, and the first method of mass transit across the Brooklyn Bridge. These are the only issue of tickets from the New York and Brooklyn Bridge company that include the word "RAILROAD"; the New York and Brooklyn Bridge Railroad.

   The cable car "Railroad" fare tickets was originally five cents for a single ride when it opened in October 1883. This fare was reduced in 1885 to three cents for individual tickets, five cents for two tickets or twenty-five cents for a strip of ten tickets (thus the different numbers found in the center on the back of single tickets).

   Connecting elevated lines at either terminal offered free transfer to the bridge elevated.    

   With the removal of the elevated on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1944, and the streetcars in 1950; no second Unification tickets would exist for the Brooklyn Bridge. As far is known, no bus routes crossed the Brooklyn Bridge due to size and weight restrictions on the roadways. (10 feet and 8,000 pounds)

New York and Brooklyn Bridge Railroad Tickets, pre-Unification; 1883 - 1908
2" x 1"
Hamilton Bank Note and EngravingHamilton Bank Note and Engraving
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New York Bank NoteHamilton Bank Note and Engraving 
.T.A. Bradley, PhilaBell Punch & Printing, Bethlehem, PA
individual tickets: common; $5.00 - $10.00. 15% premium for partial strips of three to ten tickets.
A complete unbroken strip of 25 tickets is extremely rare. Worth at least the sum of the individual tickets plus a 25% premium.
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uncommon, $20.00 - $25.00
   For passenger convenience, this is a brass ticket holder marked "BRIDGE AND ELEVATED R.R. TICKETS", it has a hinged lid and fits the 1880's-1900's 2" x 1" tickets which were often sold in multiples. This keeps them safe from damage from other items in a pocket or purse.

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seen in brass and copper nickel plated varieties
1 3/16" wide x 2 3/16" length by 1/4" thick
rare: $50.00 - $60.00

other pre-Unification operators of Bridge Lines (elevated & surface)
Brooklyn Heights RailroadBrooklyn Elevated Railroad
Park Row (Manhattan) and Sands Street (Brooklyn)
2 5/16" x 1 1/4"

rare; $35.00 to $40.00

Park Row (Manhattan) and Sand Street (Brooklyn)
2" x 1"

rare; $35.00 - $40.00
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Coney Island & Brooklyn Railroad
Bridge Division 2 1/2 cents

rare; $35.00 - $40.00

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Brooklyn Heights Railroad (streetcar - Bridge Division)
2 5/16" x 1 1/4"

common; $12.00 - $15.00
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Brooklyn & Queens Transit Corp.
Brooklyn & Queens Transit Corp. (Streetcar)
Park Row (Manhattan) and Sands Street (Brooklyn)
2 5/16" x 1 1/4"

common; $12.00 - $15.00
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Brooklyn Bridge Tickets, First Unification; 1940 - 1950
New York City Transit System - BMT Division
Bridge Division B 2 ½¢ D
1 15/16" x 1 3/16"
N. Y. GLOBE TICKET CO., INC
New York City Transit System - BMT Division
Bridge Division B 2 ½¢ D
1 15/16" x 1 3/16"
N. Y. GLOBE TICKET CO., INC
common; $5.00 - $10.00
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Manhattan Bridge Tickets, pre-Unification

Three Cent Line
Manhattan Bridge 3¢ Line (type 1)
Two Tickets for Five Cents
2" x 1"
Manhattan Bridge 3¢ Line (type 2)
Two Tickets for Five Cents
2" x 1"
Manhattan Bridge 3¢ Line (type 3)
Two Tickets for Five Cents
2" x 1"
Manhattan Bridge 3¢ Line (type 4)
Two Tickets for Five Cents
2" x 1"
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Brooklyn & North River Railroad
Brooklyn & North River Railroad
between Nassau Street (Brooklyn) and Bowery (Manhattan)
pre-1919

Williamsburg Bridge Tickets, pre-Unification
Fare Receipt 1 2/3c - Three Rides for 5c
City of New York - Department of Plant & Structures
Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Line
2" x 1"
Brooklyn Heights Railroad
Good for Passage over Williamsburgh Bridge
On Local Bridge Cars Only
2" x 1"
Brooklyn Heights Railroad
Good for Passage over Williamsburgh Bridge
On Local Bridge Cars Only
2" x 1"
Brooklyn Heights Railroad
Good for Passage over Williamsburgh Bridge
On Local Bridge Cars Only
2" x 1"
.scarce; $25.00 to $50.00
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Williamsburg Bridge Tickets, First Unification
3 15/16" x 1 3/16"

all Manhattan & Williamsburg Bridge tickets,

uncommon; $15.00 to $20.00

   

First Unification Tickets
1940 - 1953
 BMT Division
Children's Three Cent Ticket

April 1946

scarce; about $25.00 - $40.00

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notched corners, red prefix letter - with "not valid after" date on back
2" x 1"

uncommon, $10.00 - $15.00
square corners, black prefix letter - without not valid date on back
many single and double letter prefix letters seen
2" x 1"


common, individuals $3.00 to $7.00; strips of tickets: 10% premium
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strip of 5 Tickets
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   In 1950, the fare for the transit system rose to 10 cents. These 10 cent denomination tickets are somewhat rarer, as these were only used for three years: 1950 through 1953.

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A prefix
square corners, black prefix letter, red tint
2" x 1"
BTA-G891-1MM-7-49
B prefix - 7/1949
square corners, black prefix letter (unnumbered), red tint
2" x 1"
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BTA-G446-3MM-6-50
B prefix - 6/1950
square corners, black prefix letter, no tint
2" x 1"
BTA-G446-1000M-JAN, '52
D prefix - January 1952
square corners, red prefix letter printed with serial number, no tint
2" x 1"

uncommon; $10.00 - $15.00

First Unification; Vending Employees Tickets

BTA-G432-100M-May-'51
Courtesy ticket to allow employees of ABC Vending to enter the
IND Division Subway & Elevated to service the gum vending machines
(Chicklets or Beeman's anyone?) and the "weigh yourself scales".
X prefix

uncommon, $15.00 - $20.00

First Unification Tickets with unknown purpose

square corners, no prefix letter, no tint
2" x 1"

uncommon, $15.00 - $20.00


  

    This next ticket were issued under the auspices of the New York City Transit Authority. Its purpose is not known, as tokens were already in circulation.

Second Unification Tickets with unknown purpose

TAA-G446-1MM 6-56
June 1956
2" x 1"

rare; $35.00 - $50.00

   

   



(one thing I've always found peculiar was the old plural spelling of employee's: employe's!)


Manhattan Railway (as its own entity) - Elevated Division
1879 - 1903

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New York & Sea Beach Railway
1877-1896
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Brooklyn Heights Railroad
1895- 1899?
.....
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Interborough Rapid Transit
1903 - 1940
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Independent System
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Brooklyn Manhattan Transit

Railroad Passes in general are highly collectible, not only by transit collectors but from general railroad collectors as well.

You can expect to pay $25.00 and up per pass for mid 20th century issues and $50.00 and up per pass or more, for turn of century passes. For pre-1900 passes, add another 25-50%.
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Brooklyn Rapid Transit (Rapid and Surface)
Employe's Ticket
Void after December 31, 1906
2" x 1"
Employe's Ticket
Void after December 31, 1923
2" x 1"
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Brooklyn Bus, Brooklyn & Queens Transit, New York Rapid Transit & South Brooklyn Railway (Rapid and Surface)
Void after December 31, 1930
2" x 1"
Void after December 31, 1932
2" x 1"
uncommon; $12.00 to $17.00


Steinway Railways
(owned by New York and Queens County)
.....
uncommon, but several are known
$15.00 - $20.00

New York Omnibus Corp.

   The New York City Omnibus operated bus services in New York City between 1926 and 1962. It expanded in 1935 and 1936 with new bus routes to replace the New York Railways Corporation streetcars when these were dismantled. It further expanded with the acquisition of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company in 1954 for a total of 20 routes. NYCO was renamed the Fifth Avenue Coach Lines, Inc. in 1956; filed for bankruptcy in 1962, after which operations were taken over by the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA).

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Quarterly format
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Bi-annual format
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   One of the benefits of being the spouse of a railroad employee, was being eligible for free travel. Obviously, the New York City Ominbus Corp thought it appropriate to continue this privilege.

Wives Passes

Quarterly format
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Bi-annual format
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These New York City Omnibus passes above are known as samples from Rand McNally.

Many years and varieties are known. Most are seen with damage in upper right corner of reverse, presumably from being detached from a salesmen's catalog or portfolio.
$6.00 - $7.50 each

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New York City Transit Authority


3 1/4" x 2 5/16"

NYCTA Employees Passes are extremely rare as the NYCTA withhold $50.00 for each month remaining on the validity of the pass.
This pass has a magnetic strip but is not quite yet a MetroCard.
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you are on Page 1: Fare Tickets & Employee PassesPage 7: Half Fare Tickets - Sundays / Weekends
Page 2: TokensPage 8: Half Fare Tickets - Senior Citizens & Handicapped
Page 3: Continuing Ride Tickets & Transfers - Rapid TransitPage 9: School / Student / Pupil Reduced Fare & Free Passes
Page 4: Continuing Ride Tickets & Transfers - Surface; Streetcar LinesPage 10: Special Issue Tickets
Page 5: Continuing Ride Tickets & Transfers - Surface; Bus RoutesPage 11: Staten Island Rapid Transit
Page 6: Continuing Ride Tickets; Surface; Add-A-RidePage 12: Hudson and Manhattan & Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH)

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 © 2021 - Brighton Beach Express
 Philip M. Goldstein / George S. Cuhaj
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 please contact:
brghtnbchexp@aol.com

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This website and its authors are not affiliated, employed nor represent the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Transit Authority, The Transit Museum, the City of New York, the State of New York or any other municipal governmental agency; or any private company contracted by the previous agencies; and no such affiliation is implied or suggested.

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