N.Y.S. Railways Token (1909-1931)

N.Y.S. Railways Token (1909-1931)

Token, Rochester Transit Corporation, Issued 1948

N.Y.S. Railways Token (Rollover the image to zoom)

This particular token was circulated by NYS Railways Rochester Lines, 1909-1931. This is a Bronze 23mm token. Obverse (front) reads ROCHESTER CITY LINES N.Y.S.RYS. The reverse reads SUBSTITUTE FOR ONE CASH FARE. This coin is listed in Atwood-Coffee, #NY 780-D.

Tokens and other Rochester Subway artifacts like this one can be highly collectible. We make every effort to display these artifacts in true, high detail so that what you see here is what you will enjoy if you decide to purchase. The token shown above is the token you will receive. As always, if you have any questions regarding this, or any other item, feel free to ask us.

Good for One
City Fare.

Rochester’s first tokens were introduced in 1887 by the Rochester City and Brighton Railway. In those days, city trolleys were horse drawn and tokens (23mm in size), were sold 22 for $1.00. Due to a lack of popularity, tokens were discontinued and replace with tickets until 1900 when the Rochester Railway Co. reintroduced them in their smaller (16mm) size. Since then, tokens have been used regularly for city fares by Rochester Railway Co. and then Rochester Transit Corp. when eventually they would change from metal to plastic.

In 1943 Donald Byrne, who was with the RTC and it’s rail predecessors for 59 years, recalled the following: When tokens were introduced, riders had to walk to the front of the car and hand one to the driver. Later, fare conveyors were installed and passengers could board at the rear, find a seat, and drop a token into the conveyor. On the old cars there was a device that registered the passengers as they stepped onto the rear platform. That indicated to the driver how many passengers were aboard. If someone tried to evade paying a fare the driver would jingle a warning bell—“and everyone would look to see who didn’t pay.”

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