165th Street Bus Terminal


Coordinates: 40°42′27″N 73°47′44″W / 40.7075°N 73.7955°W / 40.7075; -73.7955

165th Street Bus Terminal
New York City bus station
View from Merrick Boulevard & 89th Avenue
Location89-21 165th Street[1]
(at 89th Avenue and Merrick Boulevard)
Queens, New York City
United States
Owned byMTA Regional Bus Operations
Operated byNYCT, MTA Bus, Nassau Inter-County Express
Bus routes11 local MTA routes, 5 NICE Bus routes
Bus stands23 Loading Bays
ConnectionsNew York City Subway:
169th Street ("F" train"F" express train​)
Long Island Rail Road & AirTrain JFK at Jamaica (Sutphin Blvd)
Structure typeAt-grade
OpenedAugust 11, 1936[3][2]
Previous namesLong Island Bus Terminal[2]

The 165th Street Bus Terminal, also known as Jamaica Bus Terminal,[1][4] the Long Island Bus Terminal[5] (the name emblazoned on the entranceway's red tiles), Jamaica−165th Street Terminal (as signed on buses towards the terminal), or simply 165th Street Terminal, is a major bus terminal in Jamaica, Queens. Owned by MTA Regional Bus Operations, the terminal serves both NYCT and MTA Bus lines as well as NICE Bus lines to Nassau County, and was a hub to Green Bus Lines prior to MTA takeover.[6] It is located at 89th Avenue and Merrick Boulevard, near the Queens Library. Most buses that pass through Jamaica serve either this terminal, the Jamaica Center subway station at Parsons Boulevard, or the LIRR station at Sutphin Boulevard.[7]

Unlike other major bus centers in New York City, there is currently no direct subway transfer available at the terminal. The closest subway station is 169th Street on Hillside Avenue served by the F and <F>​ trains. Most buses traveling to/from the east, which operate via Hillside Avenue, also stop at 179th Street served by the E, ​F, and <F> trains.[7][8]


Passengers board buses at the terminal.

Construction on the "Long Island Bus Terminal" began in 1930, built by the Shore Road Development Company, Inc. with the intent of expanding transit service to and from Long Island.[9][10][11] On August 11, 1936, Bee-Line, Inc. (one of the predecessors to the Nassau Inter-County Express) opened the terminal, operating routes from the terminal to the rest of Jamaica and Southeast Queens, and to Nassau County.[3][2][11] It replaced the company's former terminal − the Jamaica Union Bus Terminal − at Jamaica Avenue and New York Boulevard (now Guy R. Brewer Boulevard), which was taken over by Green Bus Lines.[12][13][14][15] The new terminal, which cost $1.5 million to build, featured a waiting room, lounge, and ticket offices. The bus terminal was enclosed by two one-story buildings on 165th Street and Merrick Boulevard respectively.[2][11][12] Upon opening, the terminal served the BMT Jamaica Line's nearby terminal at 168th Street and Jamaica Avenue,[16][17] and would serve the IND Queens Boulevard Line's 169th Street station on Hillside Avenue upon its completion in 1937.[11][18][19] In May 1939, Bee-Line relinquished its Queens routes;[20] these routes began operation from the terminal under North Shore Bus Company (a predecessor to the NYCT bus operations) on June 25, 1939.[21]

In March 1947, North Shore Bus would be taken over by the New York City Board of Transportation, making the bus routes from the terminal city operated.[22][23][24] In 1952, the terminal was purchased by the Jamaica Realty Corporation,[25] and in 1953 the New York City Transit Authority (today part of the MTA) took over operations of the terminal from the Board of Transportation.[26] The terminal would later be served by the Green Bus Lines company (predecessor to the JFK Depot-based MTA Bus Company lines).[6][27] Following the closure of the 168th Street station in 1977, the bus terminal lost its only direct subway connection.[16][28]

As originally built, the terminal had only one entry point, on its north side from 89th Avenue.[11] At some point, the structure on Merrick Boulevard was removed, allowing buses to turn directly onto the street or into the terminal.

List of routes

The terminal serves seven routes operated by MTA New York City Bus, four operated by MTA Bus Company, and six operated by Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE; formerly MTA Long Island Bus). All terminate here, except for the Q17, which is a through route.[7] The southbound Q17 bus stops outside the terminal on Merrick Boulevard, while the northbound Q17 to Flushing stops on 168th Street, one block east.[8]

Bay Route Operator Destination Main streets traveled Service/historical notes

JFK Airport Terminal 5

Hillside Avenue, Farmers Boulevard
2 Q77

Springfield Gardens

Hillside Avenue, Francis Lewis Boulevard (south), Springfield Boulevard
  • Extended to the terminal in 1989[29]
3 Q76

College Point

Hillside Avenue, Francis Lewis Boulevard (north), 20th Avenue
  • Extended to the terminal in 1989[29]
4 Q1

Bellerose Manor

Hillside Avenue, Braddock Avenue
  • Overnight service operates to Bellerose, then runs to Queens Village via Jamaica Avenue

Queens Village LIRR station

Hillside Avenue, Springfield Boulevard
6 Q36

Floral Park, Little Neck

Hillside Avenue, Jamaica Avenue, Little Neck Parkway (to Little Neck)
  • Limited-stop along Hillside Avenue during rush hours; every fourth bus serves Little Neck.
  • Local buses do not operate in the peak direction (use Q1) when limited-stop buses are running.
  • Alternate daytime local buses serve each terminal.
7 Q2

Queens Village

Hillside Avenue, Hollis Avenue
8 n6 NICE

Hempstead Transit Center
Nassau Community College

Hempstead Turnpike
  • Formerly operated by Long Island Bus
  • Trips operating using articulated buses stop outside the terminal on Merrick Boulevard.
  • n6X express service to NCC weekday AM rush hours only; to Hempstead only PM rush
10 n22

Hicksville LIRR station

Hillside Avenue
  • Formerly operated by Long Island Bus
  • n22X express service non-stop to Roosevelt Field, morning rush hour only
12 n24

East Meadow & Hicksville LIRR station

Jamaica Avenue, Jericho Turnpike
  • Formerly operated by Long Island Bus
  • Open-door in Queens from 239th Street to the Nassau County line.
  • Weekday midday service alternates between the Mitchel Field Depot and East Meadow
  • Evening and weekend service ends at Roosevelt Field Mall
13 n1 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont Road
  • Formerly operated by Long Island Bus
  • Weekday rush hours peak direction only

Great Neck LIRR station

Hillside Avenue, Lakeville Road, Community Drive
  • Formerly operated by Long Island Bus
  • Weekday rush hours only
14 Q6 MTA Bus

JFK Airport (cargo area)

Sutphin Boulevard, Rockaway Boulevard
  • Formerly operated by Green Bus Lines
  • Extended to the terminal in 1989[29]
  • Does not serve passenger terminals
17 Q8

Spring Creek, Brooklyn

101st Avenue
19 Q9

South Ozone Park

Van Wyck Expwy. Service Road, Lincoln Street
21 Unused
22 Q41 MTA Bus

Howard Beach

127th Street, 109th Avenue, Cross Bay Boulevard

165th Street Mall

The 165th Street pedestrian mall (top), and the Jamaica Colosseum Mall (bottom).

Adjacent to the bus terminal is the 165th Street Mall, a pedestrian shopping mall running the entire length of 165th Street between 89th Avenue and Jamaica Avenue. Within the block are over 160 stores, including several apparel and footwear stores and a food court.[30] The strip on 165th Street was originally constructed as part of the terminal, opening just after the terminal debuted in 1936. Shops were also built on 166th Street (today's Merrick Boulevard), but are not present today.[2][5][11][31] In 1943 a massive fire damaged eleven stores along the strip,[27] and a four-alarm fire in 1959 destroyed six shops and caused over $1 million in damage.[32]

From 1947 to 1979, the mall housed a large Macy's location constructed by Robert D. Kohn, one of the department chain's first locations in Queens. The Macy's closed due to several issues, including the threat of burglary, the transition of Jamaica from a middle-class White neighborhood to a working class Black and immigrant neighborhood, and the closure and demolition of the BMT Jamaica Avenue El east of 121st Street that led many other businesses in the area to suffer.[4][16][33][34]

In May 1979, 165th Street was redeveloped as a pedestrian mall, with the street closed to vehicular traffic and repaved with red brick.[16][35][36] In May 1983, a third fire occurred damaging 12 stores.[16]

One of the primary attractions of the mall today is the Jamaica Colosseum Mall, which took over the former Macy's building in 1984. The Colosseum is one of New York City's largest jewelry exchanges. It has over 120 merchants and jewelers, a rooftop parking lot, and houses the 165th Street Mall's food court. Several New York rappers including Jamaica native 50 Cent shopped in the Colosseum growing up, and music videos have been filmed at the facility.[30][33][37][38]

Following the opening of the Archer Avenue Lines in 1988, merchants from the mall sued the NYCT due to the loss of business after the diversion of several bus lines to the new subway stations. The NYCT proceeded to extend the Q76 and Q77 from the 179th Street station, while Green Bus Lines added five bus routes to the terminal.[29]

Nearby points of interest

One block west of the terminal on 164th Street is the First Presbyterian Church, built in 1662.[8][39] The Jamaica Main Post Office is located one block north of the church at 89th Avenue and 164th Street.[8] The Queens Central Library and the Children's Library Discovery Center are located directly across Merrick Boulevard,[8] as is the former Loew's Valencia Theater (now the Tabernacle of Prayer Church) one block south.[11] On the southeast corner of 165th Street and Jamaica Avenue, across from the mall, is the former control tower of the 168th Street station, rented by retail shops since the 1930s.[40]

See also


  1. ^ a b Clark, Alfred E. (May 22, 1966). "4 Good Samaritans: 3 Succeed, 1 Killed" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Bee Bus Line Will Use New Jamaica Station: To Remove to $1,500,000 Terminal Tuseday Night". New York Herald Tribune. August 10, 1936. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "At Midnight...Tuesday, August 11, 1936". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Newspapers.com. August 11, 1936. p. 4. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "R.H. Macy Will Open a Store in Jamaica". The New York Times. November 3, 1944. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "BUILDING PLANS FILED: Houses in Brooklyn and Queens Form Bulk of Projects". The New York Times. May 2, 1936. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "165th Street Mall Improvement Association Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2009" (PDF). 165th Street Mall. 165th Street Mall Improvement Association. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Queens Bus Map" (PDF). MTA New York City Transit.
  8. ^ a b c d e "MTA Neighborhood Maps: neighborhood". mta.info. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  9. ^ Jacobs, Oscar (August 31, 1930). "New Jamaica Bus Terminal Will Benefit L.I. Realty". Newspapers.com. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  10. ^ "Bus Terminal Notable Addition To Jamaica Section". Newspapers.com. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 23, 1936. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g "Jamaica's Bus Terminal Open: Bee Line and Four Shops Lease Space-Centrally Located". Newspapers.com. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 16, 1936. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Bee Line Going To New Depot: Buses Change Terminal Tuesday Midnight". Long Island Daily Press. Fultonhistory.com. August 8, 1936. p. 1. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  13. ^ "Jamaica Bus Depots: More Are Necessary". Long Island Daily Press. Fultonhistory.com. August 26, 1936. p. 2. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  14. ^ "Green Line to Use New York Ave. Depot As Bee Buses Shift to 165th St. Terminal". Long Island Daily Press. Fultonhistory.com. August 12, 1936. p. 1. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  15. ^ "Green Line to Use New York Ave. Depot As Bee Buses Shift to 165th St. Terminal". Long Island Daily Press. Fultonhistory.com. August 12, 1936. p. 2. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  16. ^ a b c d e Breslin, Rosemary (May 22, 1983). "AFTER A LONG SLIDE, HOPE FOR JAMAICA". The New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  17. ^ "Stores Now Leasing! In the New Long Island Bus Terminal at 165th Street, Jamaica". Newspapers.com. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. August 16, 1936. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  18. ^ "Subway Link Opens Soon: City Line to Jamaica Will Start About April 24" (PDF). The New York Times. March 17, 1937. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  19. ^ "Trial Run to Jamaica on Subway Tomorrow: Section From Kew Gardens to 169th Street Will Open to Public in Two Weeks" (PDF). The New York Times. April 9, 1937. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  20. ^ Hall, Charles (May 23, 1939). "Bee Line Quits Zone D As Police Jail Drivers: Ousted 'Wildcat' Presses Fight In Courts". Long Island Daily Press (72). Fultonhistory.com. p. 1. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  21. ^ "North Shore Buses Start From Terminal Today". Long Island Star-Journal. Fultonhistory.com. June 25, 1939. p. 3. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  22. ^ "CITY TAKES OVER BUS LINE: O'Connor Selected to Operate North Shore System" (PDF). The New York Times. March 30, 1947. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  23. ^ Sparberg, Andrew J. (October 1, 2014). From a Nickel to a Token: The Journey from Board of Transportation to MTA. Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-8232-6190-1.
  24. ^ "120-Passenger Vehicles Added For Next Week: 10 City Lines Will HAve All New Equipment by Wednesday". Fultonhistory.com. Long Island Star-Journal. December 31, 1948. p. 2. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  25. ^ "Jamaica Bus Terminal Acquired by Syndicate". New York Herald Tribune. June 15, 1952. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  26. ^ "Digest of Lease Agreement Between the City of New York and the Transit Authority" (PDF). The New York Times. June 2, 1953. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  27. ^ a b "Fire Upsets Bus Service: Blaze in Terminal at Jamaica Disrupts Commuter Traffic" (PDF). The New York Times. October 19, 1943. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  28. ^ Dembart, Lee (September 9, 1977). "A Sentimental Journey on the BMT..." (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g "Queens Merchants Win More Bus Service". The New York Times. March 17, 1989. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  30. ^ a b "About Us". 165th Street Mall. 165th Street Mall Improvement Association. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  31. ^ "4 New Units Rented In Jamaica Terminal". New York Herald Tribune. August 16, 1936. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  32. ^ "SIX QUEENS SHOPS WRECKED BY FIRE; Jamaica Blaze Fought From Elevated Line of BMT -- 5,000 Riders Delayed". The New York Times. January 16, 1959. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  33. ^ a b Masheck, Joseph (September 4, 2007). "Macy's Jamaica (1947): An Unsung Modernist Masterwork In Queens by Joseph Masheck". brooklynrail.org. The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  34. ^ Mancini, Ralph (July 23, 2009). "Roaming The Streets Of Downtown Jamaica". timesnewsweekly.com. Times Newsweekly. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  35. ^ Herman, Robin (July 4, 1979). "For Jamaica, Redevelopment Is a Promise Unfulfilled; Projects Are Thwarted". The New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  36. ^ Queens, Proposed Federal Building: Environmental Impact Statement. General Services Administration. 1981. pp. 8–9. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  37. ^ "History". The Jamaica Colosseum Mall. Retrieved October 17, 2014.
  38. ^ Oliver, Simone S. (July 31, 2012). "Intersection: A Quiet Moment, Where the Sounds Overwhelm". The New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  39. ^ Bracker, Milton (August 8, 1955). "Our Changing City: Gaps in Queens Are Filling Up". The New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  40. ^ "Business Property to Let". Newspapers.com. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 3, 1930. Retrieved July 9, 2015.

External links

Media related to 165th Street Bus Terminal at Wikimedia Commons