Grateful American® Foundation

Where did the first streetcar make its debut today in 1832?

November 14th

StreetCarJohnMason500pxNovember 14, 1832 — The first streetcar debuted in New York City today thanks to John Mason. The fare was 12 cents, and the street railway that used horse-drawn cars with metal wheels and ran on metal track.

By 1855, 593 omnibuses traveled on 27 Manhattan routes and horse-drawn cars ran on street railways on Third, Fourth, Sixth, and Eighth Avenues.

Abraham Brower actually established New York City’s first public transportation route in 1827, a 12-seat stagecoach called “Accommodation” that ran along Broadway from the Battery to Bleecker Street. By 1831, Brower had added the “Sociable” and “Omnibus.”

Today, three main lines operate out of Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, which opened in 1913. Two additional lines, running west of the Hudson River, operate out of Hoboken, New Jersey.

Words of Wisdom

The time will come when people will travel in stages moved by steam engines from one city to another, almost as fast as birds can fly, 15 or 20 miles an hour.... A carriage will start from Washington in the morning, the passengers will breakfast at Baltimore, dine at Philadelphia, and sup in New York the same day.... Engines will drive boats 10 or 12 miles an hour, and there will be hundreds of steamers running on the Mississippi, as predicted years ago.

— Oliver Evans, American inventor, engineer and businessman, who was a pioneer in the fields of automation, materials handling and steam power (1755-1819)

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