Next Meeting – Friday, February 20th, 2015


Join author, transit historian, and retired Long Island Rail Road manager Andrew J. Sparberg as he presents a slide show about his new book From a Nickel to a Token. The book examines twenty specific events between 1940 and 1968, bookended by subway unification and the MTA's creation. Beyond unification of the IRT, BMT, and IND, the system morphed into today's network. The public sector absorbed most private surface lines, and buses completely replaced streetcars. Elevated lines were demolished, replaced by subways or, along Manhattan's Third Avenue, not at all. Strategic track connections were built to allow a more flexible and unified operation. The oldest subway routes received much needed rehabilitation. Thousands of new subway cars and buses were purchased. The sacred nickel fare barrier was broken, and by 1968 a ride cost twenty cents. Labor issues were often front page news.

The book features nearly 150 rare photos, mostly from the New York Transit Museum archives. Many will be part of the slide show.

About the author: Andrew 1. Sparberg has spent forty years in the transportation field, starting at Tri-State Regional Planning Commission for eight years, and then twenty-five years at the Long Island Rail Road. Since retiring from the LlRR he has taught at a number of colleges, and is currently an adjunct at the City University of New York where he teaches a course about the history and development of mass transit in New York. He was an associate editor of The Encyclopedia of New York City, contributing numerous articles to that publication. He was technical editor of Long Island Rail Road, a 2007 history by well-known author Stan Fischler. For more than twenty years, Mr. Sparberg has conducted tours as a volunteer for the New York Transit Museum.

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