TrainWeb.org Facebook Page
Page 9 - School Tickets & Passes; Half Fare, Reduced Fare, Free, Summer School
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 9


   This, without any room for doubt; is my (PMG) favorite topic of fiscal issues of transit ephemera. And, I think it is a lot of peoples' favorite as well. 

   Perhaps because it is the one we personally have used in regularity in our impressionable years. Perhaps because it is those years of education where we were taught to go at it alone, in terms of transportation; we weren't driven to school by our parents or another member of the family, or the "yellow bus". But most of all, it was issued to us. As individuals. We put our name on it and it was ours, unlike a token or bus transfer; where anyone could have one for asking and some change. We possessed it. And for some, it may have been one of, if not the first; items of monetary value issued to us.

   I was one of the lucky ones, if you would consider my childhood "lucky". I was eligible for a free pass, and it was good on both rapid transit and surface lines. Some kids were not as "lucky" - as theirs were only good for either the bus or the subway and then only still at a reduced fare. Even if you have a combination pass, you still had to pay..

   To this day, I somewhat incorrectly call the issue a "bus pass", even thought the passes I were issued were valid on both rapid transit as well as surface routes. 

   My first experience with a "bus pass" was in Junior High School. My elementary schools, PS 238 (Kindergarten through first half of Fifth Grade) less than half a mile north straight up East 8th Street from my home on Avenue S. Then PS 215 (second half of Fifth Grade through Sixth Grade) which was only 1700 feet west from my home. Both were within quick walking distance. 

   But as PS 215 only went up the Sixth Grade, meant I would have to go to a Junior High School. I was assigned to JHS 43 - James J. Reynolds (now IS 98 - "Bay Academy") in Sheepshead Bay; and attended the Seventh through Ninth Grades. I never called it JHS 43 - if someone asked where I went to school, it was "Reynolds".  James J. Reynolds was located on Neptune Avenue and East 15th Street; was two miles away from my home. This made me eligible for a transit pass, and family income made me qualified for a free pass.

   Reynolds in practicality, was a three block walk from my house. That is, walk the two blocks to the B68 bus stop on Coney Island Avenue. Then straight south to Neptune Avenue, cross diagonally, and catch the B4 - Neptune Avenue bus. Get off at Shore Boulevard, cross the street and into the front door. Three years later and with my completion of Ninth Grade, my grades enabled me to have my choice of "special" high school as an incoming sophomore: Edward R. Murrow, Brooklyn Technical High School, or Bronx High School of Science. It was put to me simply - either Brooklyn Tech or Bronx HS required my having to get up real early in the morning to make it in time for first class... Real... Early.. At 15, I wanted my beauty sleep - I was a night owl (and still am). Murrow it was to be.  

   Murrow was easily accessible from my home at Avenue S and East 8th Street by bus: the B68 - Coney Island Avenue route at Avenue S to the B9 route at Avenue M - but only if the B9 was waiting at the traffic light, (otherwise, it was a quick walk). Get off at East 15th Street, grab a buttered bagel or a bialy and a hot chocolate for myself and a coffee for my Graphic Arts teacher, Mr. Fox. A quick walk through the little alley that used to exist between the subway right of way and the commercial buildings from Avenue M to the Chestnut Avenue entrance of Murrow. It is this method of travel I remember most. 

   That is not to say my school passes were not used on the rapid transit lines either. During snowfalls, when the schools remained open but bus schedules were knocked into a cocked hat; the subways and elevated were almost certainly relied on to remain running - at least to a certain degree. On these occasions, I would walk to the Kings Highway Station of the BMT Brighton Line (then, the D local and Q express), grab the first D local and go one stop north to Avenue M, go back to the street and through that little alley. In my senior year, when I was coasting - either showing up late and / or cutting out of school; those school passes were a ticket to riding to Bay Ridge to hang out at Caesar's Bay Bazaar and the Radio Shack there, or into Manhattan to Chinatown for Chinese food at Wong Kee at 117 Mott Street with a couple of my friends. Sorry NYCTA! (I think the statute of limitations has long since expired on prosecution of my unauthorized use of my school passes!) 

   But I paid my penance for my lack of adherence to the NYCTA rules. I had kept every single one of my school passes - from September 1981 going to Reynolds until June 1987 when I graduated Murrow. 6 years of monthly passes multiplied by 10 months a year = 60 passes. But unfortunately, as my lack of character assessment in those days will now show, a former (note - FORMER) friend, filched my collection of school passes. Without a doubt; of all the things lost, stolen, given away, or sold over my life; loss of those school passes rank in the top three of items I regret not having the most. Some people miss friends and acquaintances - I miss the physical items.

   In some sort of saving grace, my father; who was a special education printing shop teacher at Eli Whitney Vocational High School; was responsible for distributing the school passes for the special ed department there. Long after he retired, and emptying out his attaché case, he found about a dozen unissued free school passes in an envelope: March / April 1986. He gave them to me, so at the least; I have a pass of the exact type issued to me, and during the period when I went to school. 

   And here I am still collecting the school passes 35 some odd years later.

   But enough of the memories - onto the issues.


School Tickets

Steinway & Hunters Point RR
ca. 1890
2" x 1 1/16"

extremely rare
Independent bus operators within the Five Boroughs
ca. 1930's to 2000
Jamaica BusesTriborough Coach
2 1/16" x 1 1/2"

rare

uncommon; $10.00
post-Unification NYCTA Tickets
2" x 1"
Revision February 1969
Revision December 1969

common; individual tickets $2.50 to $3.00
small premium for strips

School Passes



   School passes exist in several sizes depending on issuer and time. Passes shown are reduced slightly to economize space. Actual size is noted. Some have their selvage (booklet stub) still attached.

   While gathering material for this page, we noted that some of the passes were numbered the same and assigned to the same student, despite being assigned a month later.

   This leads us to conclude that in the case of reduced fare passes, a complete school year of passes was assembled and was bound in a booklet. Then the booklets distributed to schools, where the the teacher or administrator in charge of the school passes, distributed the appropriate pass at the beginning of the month.

   In contradiction to this, the free passes were issued with random serial numbers as they were unbound.

   Free passes lack a perforated edge or selvage to note their lack of binding in booklet form.




 

Independent bus operators within the Five Boroughs

Eighth Avenue Coach
.....

.

Surface Transportation Corp of New York
3" x 2 1/16"
(reduced 25%)
.
.
4" x 2 5/8"
(reduced 25%)
.
.

Avenue B & East Broadway Transit
4" x 2 3/4"
(reduced 25%)
.
.

Queens TransitSteinway Transit

.
.

.Jamaica Buses
.

Triboro Coach (Queens)

Elementary School
all 4" x 2 3/8" except October 1956 which is 3 3/4" x 2 5/16"
(reduced 25%)
.....


High School
3 3/4" x 2 5/16"



North Shore Bus (Queens)
large size: 4 5/8" x 3"
(reduced 25%)

.




Board of Transportation - Queens Bus Division
large size: 4 5/8" x 3"
.




Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority
Elementary School
.....

National Ticket Company
Premier Southern Ticket Company
Arcus Simplex Brown Tickets
.

.



Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority
High School School
.....



.

   The following images, are of unissued books of passes. The staples have been removed, and thus we are able to see that these issues were bound in booklets with matching serial numbers for three or four months and specifically issued to the particular student.

Type 1 - Surface Transit Only
.



New York City Transit Authority

   The system used by the NYCTA for their reduced fare and free passes was a bit convoluted to say the least. 

   Free: issued bi–monthly (issued to low income or special education students). These were good for use on surface and rapid transit routes

   Reduced Fare; there were three types:

Type 1 = Surface
Type 2 = Rapid
Type 3 = Surface & Rapid

      And of those three types listed above, they were issued monthly and further coded for either the first half (R1) of the semester or the last half (R2):

R1 = first half of school year        (September, October, November, December, January)
R2 = second half of school year (February, March, April , May, June)

   Half Fare:  

R1 = first half of school year        (September, October, November, December, January)
R2 = second half of school year (February, March, April , May, June)


Elementary School - Reduced Fare - Large Format
4 5/8" x 3"
(reduced 25%)
.



Elementary School - Reduced Fare - Small Format
3 13/16" x 2 1/2"
(reduced 25%)



the following passes had been glued into an album and paper and adhesive obscures the backs, therefore they are not scanned.

Elementary or High School - Half Fare
small size - 4" x 2 11/16"
(reduced 25%)


January 3, 1977 to June 23, 1977February 1 to June 27, 1978
.
February 1980 to June 1980
.

.
3 1/4" x 2 5/8"
(reduced 25%)
May 1992



.

High School - Reduced Fare

Type 1 - Surface Lines (Bus) only

passes issued monthly; also marked for semester:

S1 = first half of semester        (school opening in September to last week in January)
S2 = second half of semester (first week in February to end of school in June)

payment of reduced fare each trip to and from school (6:00 am through 7:00 pm)
one free transfer allowed upon request

4 1/16" x 2 1/2"
(reduced 25%)



.
4" x 2 9/16"
(reduced 25%)
.
3 1/4" x 2 5/8"
(reduced 25%)




Type 2 - Rapid Transit Lines (Subway / Elevated) only

R1 = first half of semester        (school opening in September to last week in January)
R2 = second half of semester (first week in February to end of school in June)

first two weeks

to school:      6:00 am to 2:00 pm;             student paid the full fare
from school: 11:00 am through 7:00 pm;  free entrance to transit

last two weeks:

to school:     6:00 am to 2:00 pm;              free entrance to transit
from school 11:00 am through 7:00 pm;   free entrance to transit

.

.
.



..

   The following images are of unissued booklet of passes. The staples have been removed, and thus we are able to see that these issues were bound in booklets with matching serial numbers for three or four months and specifically issued to the particular student.

Type 2 - Rapid Transit Only


Type 3 - combined Rapid and Surface Transit Lines (Subway / Elevated)

passes issued monthly; also marked for semester:

C1 = first half of semester        (school opening in September to last week in January)
C2 = second half of semester (first week in February to end of school in June)

Surface:

payment of reduced fare, each trip to and from school - 6:00 am through 7:00 pm
one free transfer allowed upon request

Rapid Transit:

C1
first month (September)

to school:      6:00 am to 2:00 pm;             student paid the full fare
from school: 11:00 am through 7:00 pm;  free entrance to transit

second, third and fourth months (October, November, December, January):

to school:     6:00 am to 2:00 pm;              free entrance to transit
from school 11:00 am through 7:00 pm;   free entrance to transit

C2
fifth month (February)

to school:      6:00 am to 2:00 pm;             student paid the full fare
from school: 11:00 am through 7:00 pm;  free entrance to transit

sixth, seventh and eighth months (April, May, June):

to school:     6:00 am to 2:00 pm;              free entrance to transit
from school 11:00 am through 7:00 pm;   free entrance to transit

4" x 2 1/2"
(reduced 25%)
3 11/16" x 2 7/16"
(reduced 25%)
intentionally left blank



.

.

 The following images, are of an unissued booklet of passes. The staples have been removed, and thus we are able to see that these issues were bound in booklets with matching serial numbers for three or four months and specifically issued to the particular student.

Type 3 - Surface and Rapid Transit Only - High School Only
with selvage 4 1/8" x 2 1/2"
(reduced 25%)



Surface and Rapid Transit - Elementary or High School - Free
3 3/4" x 2 1/2"
(reduced 25%)





Surface and Rapid Transit - Elementary Student - Free
3 1/4" x 2 5/8"
(reduced 25%)
intentionally left blank

  

Staten Island Rapid Transit

SIRT School passes may be seen on the Staten Island Rapid Transit page

Page 11: Staten Island Rapid Transit





In pricing this topic, there are several factors to consider:

   All thing being said, this topic is my personal (PMG) "baby"; I can say I have been paying much closer attention to this topic than others.

   It seems that older issues from the private transit corporations (Triboro, Surface Transportation, etc) are encountered more frequently than the newer small size NYCTA issues of the 1970's through and up to the MetroCard issues.
 Most of the time it is the individual pass that shows itself, however "semester sets" are occasionally encountered on eBay. Depending on age, issuing agency, quantity of tickets, completeness of semester, and overall condition; a September to June set (10 monthly or 5 bi-monthly) is fair at $40.00.

   Passes issued for Summer School (July and August) are significantly rarer as very few student actually needed to attend summer school; therefore their proportion of issuance in much more limited in comparison to regular semester issues. These summer school issues command at least a 200% and a 300% premium over regular semester issues, and would not be unfair to ask such.

   Specimens, samples and unissued tickets are infrequently encountered as well, and it would be fair to price them on comparison to summer school issues.


    Speaking matter of factly, I have only seen NYCTA issues from the 1990's on eBay twice; in all my years collecting these issues. Once I was outbid at $5.00 and once the seller was asking $40 for a pair and went unsold
.
I offered $25.00 for the pair and was told they were merely a consignor and could not negotiate on price. I asked them to contact their client with my offer, and never heard back.

   In contrast, I have purchased many NYCTA individual passes and semester sets from the 1950's and 1960's with ease and very affordably
: between 96 cents each for a group of thirty and $7.00 each for a group of six. My 1980's passes? Those are are averaging me $15 per pass over eight passes, one at a time. Go figure.

   In short, there is a limited number of collectors for this topic, and demand is not great. On an average, I think $3.00 to $5.00 per issue is a fair average of what I have collected to date.



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 Transityou are viewing Page 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)

.

 © 2021 - Brighton Beach Express
 Philip M. Goldstein / George S. Cuhaj
 For reuse, additions or corrections,
 please contact:
brghtnbchexp@aol.com

All content, graphics, and text in part or in whole, unless otherwise noted


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.

.