The Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company was a union formed in 1896 of up to 60 horse car, cable railways, trolleys, elevated routes, and short haul railroad companies operating in Brooklyn. Their routes ran through Downtown Brooklyn, the suburban areas of Ridgewood and Flatbush, and rural Carnarsie, Brighton Beach and Coney Island. The lines transported passengers to the Brooklyn Bridge, and from 1903 onto the Williamsburg Bridge in East New York. In 1908 the IRT began service to Brooklyn through the East River Tunnel and the BMT ran service over the Brooklyn Bridge.
Brooklyn Bridge Terminal and Brooklyn Bridge. Courtesy of the New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn (*). See larger image.
By 1924 the 14th Street Line from East New York linked up with the IRT service-giving students from that part of Brooklyn more direct access to municipal higher education than they had enjoyed before. The company changed its name in 1923 to the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation and its "BMT" subway routes are today known as the J,M,N,R and Z trains. The Brooklyn Center of City College opened in downtown Brooklyn during World War I and operated until Brooklyn College opened in 1930. The Center was adequately served by the subway and trolley lines in Brooklyn.
The completion of the last El, the "Flushing Line" was in 1917 and connected the village of Flushing with Times Square, and north to the new campus of City College. The stop at Queensboro Plaza was convenient to the Queens Center of City College where classes were held in the late afternoons and evenings in what is now Long Island City High School, from 1924 until the opening of Queens College in 1937. Staten Island has its own rich history of rapid transit-trolley, railroad and bus-which brings Island residents to the ferry station at St. George. After the 6.2 mile trip to South Ferry, there are connections north to City College.
(*) Note: This image cannot be reproduced without written permission from the NYTM Archives. Their web site is at http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/museum/.