The trolley line curving north from Empire Blvd. up Kingston Ave., pictured as the area was being built in 1923.

70 Years Ago: Kingston Ave. Trolley’s Last Ride

Yesterday marked 70 years since the discontinuation of the trolley that ran up and down Kingston Avenue, known as the Tompkins Avenue line, which saw its final ride on August 24, 1947, after which it was replaced with bus service.

Running along Empire Boulevard, Kingston Avenue, and Tompkins Avenue, the line provided service between the Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Williamsburg neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

In 1995, the B47 bus route merged with the B62 bus route to form the B43 route. The B43 route continues to operate today between Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Greenpoint.

Below are NYTM Collection archival images that depict trolleys in regular service on the Tompkins Avenue trolley line between 1930 and 1947.

Do you remember riding the Brooklyn trolley system? Tell us one of your favorite NYC trolley memories in the comments below.


  • Brooklyn Dodgers

    And the name Dodgers for the baseball team referred to dodging the trolleys.

  • Ed Greenberg

    “Do you remember riding the Brooklyn trolley system? Tell us one of your favorite NYC trolley memories in the comments below.”

    Um, I was born in 1955, so I guess not :)

    I do remember taking the B47 bus from Brooklyn Avenue and Montgomery Street to Flatbush Avenue and Empire Blvd, to go to school at Prospect Park Jewish Center. I remember the smell from the Bond Bread factory.

  • old timer

    1) The trolley was replaced with the electric bus- on tires. (Kingston Ave was still a 2 way street). It had
    2 poles on top. and if the poles got detached there was indeed a traffic block. Then there came the buses-lots of smelly pollution.
    2) I do remember well riding on the Ralph-Rockaway trolley, with the straw seats, and the modern ones even had a fan – for the summer. (and if the straw got worn out it wasn’t so comfortable to sit on.)
    The brick stones were covered with asphalt, and when that wore out they dug up evreything and tore out the old tracks as well.
    Further on Kingston Ave became a 1-way street.

  • Michael Leffak

    I lived at 451 Kingston Ave, between Lefferts Ave. and Empire Blvd. My part of Kingston Ave. was a steep hill, and I recall smacking my front teeth out on a car hood ornament as I was trying to round the corner from Kingston to Lefferts on my birthday gift bike, at 7:00 AM on a Sunday morning.