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This is a circa 1946 photograph of Man- hattan & Queens (Green Line) No. 203. A 1946 GM TD4506 (Ser. No. 737) in original dark green and grey livery heading south on Queens Boulevard (Q60) just passing the Q10 terminus at 80th Road in Kew Gardens. No. 203 was among Green Line's first 35 new buses delivered immediately after the war and eventually went to Jamaica Buses as No. 203.

[From the Queens Borough Public Library, Long Island Division, Kew Gardens Collection.]
A History of Rapid Transit on
Lefferts Boulevard


Rapid transit service on Lefferts Boulevard has changed remarkably in the last hundred years and I thought you might like a glimpse of what it was once like.

Lefferts Boulevard (named for a well known nineteenth century local landowner) really came into its own as a major route between Queens Boulevard and South Ozone Park sometime around the turn of the century (the twentieth century that is – so long ago that Lefferts was still referred to as an avenue and not a boulevard).

I should imagine that horse drawn coaches were the first mode of ‘rapid transit’ because the Boulevard never had a trolley line.

The first buses to appear in the very early twenties were operated by the Richmond Hill Bus Corporation and continued as such until Green Bus Lines took over the route around 1933 (as to how and why this happened is unknown to me). Nevertheless, the Q10 route number was assigned and Green Line remained as the operator until its demise earlier this year (over seventy years of service to Kew Gardens and the surrounding communities).

The terminus for Q10 was at Queens Boulevard and 80th. Road (the stop was commonly known as " Penn Drug " because the anchor store was a landmark – and located right over the Union Turnpike subway station).

What was a bit interesting about the Q10 Lefferts line was that it originally had three destinations.

The first was ‘Old South Road’ which was what the Belt Parkway and North and South Conduit Avenues at Lefferts were before they became the aforementioned.

The second destination was ‘Hamilton Beach’ (not the mixer) a sleepy little fishing village about a mile and a half south of Old South Road and would have been considered and extension of Lefferts Boulevard if it had been a road at all! (it was much more like a gravel path through the marshes) Green line was obligated to service this hamlet because it had no other mode of transportation and the few youngsters needed a way out to get to school.

The only break for the bus company came whenever Jamaica Bay decided to rise to flood stage!

The third and final destination was ‘Richmond Hill Circle’ (we could never figure out why it was called Richmond Hill Circle because it had nothing to do with and was no where near Richmond Hill). Located about a half-mile south of 130th. Street and the Belt Parkway and very near what is now a sewage treatment plant, this was a dilapidated and abandoned town right out of a western movie with a ramshackle hotel and a saloon with hitches for horses along a splintered wooden walkway. I believe it may have been the actual town of Idlewild for which JFK airport was first named.

In 1947, and upon the opening of the then Idlewild Airport, Green Line was awarded the exclusive transit rights which extended the Richmond Hill Circle line to what was then only a control tower (eleven stories in height) and one large corrugated metal terminal building.

The rest is history!

  • Al Linsky lived in Kew Gardens from 1938 to 1963 and attended P.S. 99 from 1944 to 1953. He is now retired, splitting his time between Brentwood, CA and Woodmere, NY. His avocation is as a broker of antique vehicles to the motion picture and television industry.

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