BADGES ISSUED BY TRANSIT COMPANIES BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER “B”
(PLEASE NOTE: THE BADGES AND INFORMATION PRESENTED ON THIS SITE ARE FOR REFERENCE / EDUCATIONAL USE ONLY. WE DO NOT BUY, SELL OR TRADE TRANSIT BADGES! The purpose of this page is to share information about collecting transit badges. All photos and artwork displayed on this site are from personal collections and are used by permission of the owners, or are in the public domain. If requested, we credit badge photos to the owner. We gratefully welcome additional information and/or corrections, questions, comments, new badge entries and especially badge photos. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.)
BCE See B.C. ELECTRIC RAILWAY CO. / BRITISH COLUMBIA ELECTRIC RAILWAY.
BCL Not sure of this company, but it may be the Bergen County Line (New Jersey Transit commuter rail line). The badge measures approx. 2 ½” x 2 ⅜”; made by Maier-Lavaty of Chicago; two threaded posts. MORE INFO NEEDED!
B. & H. TRANSPORTATION COMPANY (“B.&H.” stood for Betts & Hazzard, which is presumably the names of the owners.) In April 1920 this company applied for and received a 15-year franchise to operate on Long Beach, California, streets not serviced by the Long Beach Transportation Company. The cost was $21,000, and the city limited the company buses’ speed to 18 mph on all its routes. This excerpt from the August 1922 Bus Transportation magazine gives us a glimpse into the daily operations: “The bus drivers are kept on the same bus and the same run, two men being assigned to each bus and working twelve and six-hour shifts on alternate days. The men on the regular drivers’ list are paid 45 cents per hour, those on the extra board get 40 cents per hour and are rated for seniority the same as the regular men. Fifty drivers are kept in regular employment and about twelve are listed on the extra board.” In 1926 the company carried a total of 9,656,324 passengers. The next event of note was recorded in the December 17, 1926, edition of the Los Angeles Times: “Dec. 16. Some forty-four busses and equipment owned by the Long Beach Transportation Company, and operated for several years on the Atlantic-avenue and Fourth-street lines, were taken over today by the B. & H. Transportation Company, operators of several other bus lines in various parts of the city. The franchise of the Long Beach Transportation Company expired last midnight and was not renewed by the city. The new owners will operate the lines, with others, under special permits from the Council. Unless organized opposition develops and a referendum is demanded on the action of the Council last Friday, which voted to accept a city-wide transportation system offered by the Pacific Electric Company at a fare rate of seven cents and universal transfers, none but the busses and the street cars of the traction company will be in evidence in Long Beach soon after the first of the new year.“
After this point, there is a conflict in the histories of B.&H. and the Long Beach Transportation Company. However, since this is covered under the entry for Long Beach Transportation Company, the reader should go to that page for further info. The certainty is that on September 30, 1927, Mike Lang, owner of Lang Transportation Company, bought out B.&H. Transportation Company. (Based in Los Angeles, at that time Lang was one of California’s largest freight haulers.)
B & L TRANSPORTATION became the S&L Transportation, a bus operator in the borough of Queens in New York City. It operated the Q7 bus route before it was taken over by Green Bus Lines.
BQT See Brooklyn Queens Transit.
B + W LINES See BOSTON & WORCESTER & NEW YORK STREET RAILWAY.
BABYLON TRANSIT was an affiliated company of Inter-County Motor Coach, Inc. on Long Island, Suffolk County, N.Y. It began operations in 1937 and ceased operations in ca. 1986. At that time it was running under contract with Suffolk County Transit.
BADGER BUS LINES, INC. operated as an intercity company in the 1940s out of Madison, Wisconsin. I am uncertain if it was connected to (or the same as) The Badger Lines listed below. In 1956 the company served Monroe, Wis. and Freeport, Illinois with 4 buses running 140 route miles.
THE BADGER LINES This company was apparently based in Wisconsin. It is mentioned in the mid-1940s as a goods transportation company. However, the badge that seems to be associated with the company depicts a bus. It was not unusual for trucking companies to operate a bus subsidiary. The badge here measures 2⅝” x 2⅜”, has two threaded posts and was made by HOOKFAST PROVIDENCE R.I.
BAILEY’S PALOMAR MOUNTAIN STAGE & TRUCK LINE was operating in the mid 1920s out of San Diego, California. Milton Bailey was the owner.
BAINBRIDGE – COLUMBUS MOTOR LINES was founded in 1929-1930 by D. F. Hopson and operated between Bainbridge and Columbus, Georgia. In July 1935 it received permission from the Railroad Commission of the State of Florida to operate “interstate from the Georgia-Florida State line to Tallahassee via Hinson and Havana transporting passengers between Tallahassee and the Georgia-Florida line ultimate destination Columbus, Ga.” Interestingly, Claude Pepper, the later-to-be famous U.S. Senator and Congressman from Florida, was involved in this hearing. The company’s last listing in Russell’s Sectional Bus and Hotel Guide was in 1936. In 1937 S. H. Ader, owner and operator of Ader Coach Lines and Georgia Stages, Inc., bought the company’s certificates of operation.
J.F. BAKER AUTO LINE was running in 1924 out of Copperoplis, California. J.F. Baker was the owner/operator.
BAKER BUS LINE began operating in 1926 out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and ran to Atlanta, Georgia with its Studebaker auto-buses. It served Lafayette, Trion, Summerville, Rome, Cartersville and Marietta. One researcher believes that the company was purchased by Colonial Stages Company around 1929.
BAKER-HUNTINGTON STAGE ran from 48 miles from Baker to Huntington, Oregon, in 1923.
BAKER-SPARTA STAGE was operating in 1923 from Baker to Sparta, Oregon, over a 34-mile route.
BAKERSFIELD-BUTTONWILLOW AUTO STAGE LINE was running out of Union Depot in Bakersfield, California, in 1922-1924. Owned and operated by Paul Derkum.
BAKERSFIELD-GLENVILLE STAGE LINE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Tulare County, California. Guy Ames was the registered contact.
BAKERSFIELD TRANSIT COMPANY “Prior to the mid-1950s, public transportation in Bakersfield was provided by a private company named the Bakersfield Transit Company (formerly the Bakersfield & Kern Electric Railway). However, yearly losses resulted in the city acquiring it in 1956, under the new name Bakersfield Transit Agency. The city made little investments in the system. Already suffering from deferred maintenance from the previous owner, the lack of investment resulted in the system sinking into further disrepair. Operating losses were also increasing. In 1973, voters approved a measure which established the Golden Empire Transit District [to] take over ownership and operation of the Bakersfield Transit Agency.“
BAKERSFIELD-WASCO-LOST HILLS STAGE LINE was running in 1922-1925 out of Bakersfield, California. It served Bakersfiled, Wasco and Lost Hills, California. P. Dal Porto was the owner/operator.
BALCER BROTHERS MOTOR COACH COMPANY / BALCER BROS. MOTOR COACH CO. was formed in Bay City, Michigan, in 1921. The company was named for brothers Victor and Theodore Balcer. After the Michigan Railroad Company ceased streetcar operations in 1928, Balcer Bros. Motor Coach Co. filled the void by providing city wide bus operations. Its demise came about in 1959, as noted in the February 4, 1958, edition of the Battle Creek Enquirer from Battle Creek, Michigan: “BAY CITY This community of 70,000 today faced the possibility of no bus service after May 14. The Balcer Brothers Motor Coach Co., which operates a fleet of 36 buses, served notice to the City Commission last night that it will go out of business May 14. The reason given was steadily declining patronage and a 1957 net operating loss of $8,375. The company has lost money the past several years on the line and said its losses since 1947 totaled more than $152,000. Barney A. Balcer, general manager, said the company didn’t have the money to buy license plates to operate beyond May 14. He said that the loss of $8,375 was recorded last year despite a reduction of operating expenses of more than $40,000 from 1956 to 1957.” The end came a few months later, as noted in the September 20, 1959 edition of the Battle Creek Enquirer: “Bay City. Balcer Bros. Motor Coach Co., whose buses had operated here since 1921, pulled its vehicles off city streets in May, 1958, after rolling up a 10-year deficit of more than $152,000. Balcer had seen its passenger volume drop from a high of 7,350,000 in 1946 to just over one million in 1957, and it was going deeper in the red despite a series of fare increases. Commissioners went to the voters with a guaranteed subsidy plan. The voters overwhelmingly rejected it. Meanwhile, this city of 88,000 was without bus service of any kind.” The following year the company was succeeded by Hibblers Bay City Community Service.
BALTIMORE MOTOR COACH COMPANY. Private coach company that was running charter service in the 1930s-1940s from Baltimore, Maryland. The badge has two threaded posts.
BALTIMORE TRANSIT CO. W&S DEPT. The Baltimore Transit Company (BTCO) was a privately owned public transit operator that provided streetcar and bus service in Baltimore from 1935. The company was purchased in 1948 by National City Lines, with the last streetcar runs closed in 1963. Measures 4 ¼” x 1 ½”.
BALTIMORE TRANSIT COMPANY (BTCO) was a privately owned public transit operator that provided streetcar and bus service in Baltimore, Maryland, from 1935 until 1970. In 1944 American City Lines, a holding company owned by the infamous National City Lines, gained control of BTCO and the streetcar system was gradually phased out in favor of buses—a process repeated in many places across the US and which is now known to history as the Great American Streetcar Scandal. The last streetcar ran in Baltimore in 1963. (For a detailed history of this company, see The Conversion of Baltimore’s Mass Transit System.) In 1970 BTCO was absorbed by what is now the Maryland Transit Administration. There are three badge designs known, which are shown below. The first example is a streetcar badge with two mounting button holes on either end; it is made of nickel, or nickel-plated brass. The second example is made of brass with enamel coloring, measuring 3″ x 2 ¼” with a single threaded post and was made by BASTIAN BROS CO Rochester NY. (Note there are two variations of this badge. There is also an example made of celluloid / plastic with a pin back.) The third example is a newer design made of celluloid and/or plastic; with a pin back and measures 2″ x 2 ⅛”.
BAMBERGER TRANSPORTATION COMPANY This company’s history starts with Simon Bamberger, a German immigrant who settle in Salt Lake City. In 1891 Bamberger helped form the Great Salt Lake & Hot Springs Railway, which operated from Salt Lake City to Centerville, Bountiful, Farmington, Kaysville and Ogden, Utah. Simon Bamberger became Governor of Utah in 1916, and his son Julian became president of the railway company. On August 14, 1917, the company name was changed to the Bamberger Electric Railway. On October 6, 1926, the railway received its first bus certificate from the Utah Public Service Commission, and the Bamberger Transportation Co. was formed the following year as a subsidiary. Service was restricted over the ten miles between Salt Lake City and Centerville. Julian Bamberger sold the company to Dale Barrett, who was the general manager of Salt Lake City Lines, on July 3, 1953. Barrett changed the name to Lake Shore Motor Coach Lines, Inc. In 1954 it was running 15 buses over 76 route miles from Salt Lake City to Ogden. Currently the company runs charters out of Provo, Utah.
BANDINI AUTO BUS LINE was operating in 1924 in Bandini, California. It was owned and operated by G. W. Barnes.
BAPCHULE BUS LINE was a privately-owned bus company based in Chandler, Arizona, in the 1950s. No further information.
BARKER & JOHNSON BUS LINE began operating a bus route from Whitwell to Pikeville, Tennessee, in May 1925. The company sold the route on April 26, 1929 to G. K. Henard Bus Line for $7,000.
BARNARDSVILLE BUS LINE was owned/ operated by T.L. and O.M. Dillingham, which had been purchased from W.L. and P.P. Dillingham. The company was in business in the early 1940s in Barnardsville, North Carolina.
BARRY & HARRINGTON STAGE LINE was operating in the San Francisco Bay, California, area in 1922.
BARTLETT BROTHERS BUS COMPANY was founded by William H. Bartlett and Ralph W. Bartlett in West Virginia in the 1920s. The company ran between Clarksburg and Grafton, West Virginia. In January 1928 one of their buses hit a bridge near Pruntytown, West Virginia, injuring passenger Viola Bailey. She was awarded damages for $17,500 in June 1930. In January 1929 the company’s permit to operate between Grafton and Fairmont was revoked.
BARTONVILLE BUS LINE In 1920 this company was granted a certificate of convenience and necessity for transporting passengers between Bartonville and the terminus of the line of the Peoria Railway Company, in Peoria, Illinois. In 1946 it served Bartonville, Peoria and Pekin, Illinois with 17 buses over 11 route miles. According to one source the company operated until 1951.
BATON ROUGE BUS COMPANY took over from the Baton Rouge Electric Co. in 1938 providing service to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It continued until 1970. The currently service is provided by CAPITAL AREA TRANSIT SYSTEM.
BAY CITIES TRANSIT COMPANY (The following info is gleaned from the website of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus, the current public transit service in Santa Monica, California.) In the early 1900s, the Pacific Electric Railroad ran trolley lines between Downtown Los Angeles and neighboring cities. During a recession in 1914, a group of unemployed automobile owners began using their cars to compete with the railway in Santa Monica. These drivers charged riders five cents and were called “jitneys”, a common name at the time. In 1921, as the population of Santa Monica doubled, business boomed and the jitney drivers incorporated as Bay Cities Transit Company. H.M. Thompson was the president, J.E. Anderson was the secretary and general manager. In 1928, the City of Santa Monica launched its own bus line and over 16,000 passengers rode the new buses the first week. They chose a blue color scheme for their buses and called their service Santa Monica Municipal Bus Lines. By 1947, the regular bus rate was 10 cents, but costs kept rising and both the City of Santa Monica and the Bay Cities Transit lines were losing money. In 1950, Bay Cities Transit was bought out by Santa Monica Municipal Bus Lines, now commonly known as the Big Blue Bus. The agency’s name was officially changed to “Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus” in 1999.
BAY CITIES TRANSPORTATION COMPANY was founded as a freight operation in 1920 in California. Within a year or so it was operating a bus service out of Ocean Park, California between Ocean Park and Venice and Santa Monica and to Sawtelle, where a National Soldiers’ Home was located.
BAY PARK-EAST ROCKAWAY BUS LINE was running in 1952 in Nassau County, New York, serving East Rockaway, Bay Park, Hewlett Point, Hewlett and Lynbrook.
BAY RAPID TRANSIT COMPANY This company was founded in Monterey, California, in 1922 by A.J. Mason and W.E. Spoon, who started with three Model T Ford buses. Their competition was Monterey-Carmel Bus Line, which had been running since 1918, and the Monterey & Pacific Grove Railway Company, which ran streetcars in Monterey. By running their buses parallel to the streetcar routes with a lower fare, Bay Rapid Transit seriously hurt Monterey & Pacific Grove Railway’s business; after a fire burned down the streetcar facilities, Monterey and Pacific Grove Railway ceased operating on December 5, 1923. In 1927, Bay Rapid Transit acquired the Monterey-Carmel Bus Line. In December 1930 W.E. Spoon died and one year later, on December 21, 1931, A.J. Mason and Carrie E. Spoon (the widow of W.E. Spoon), sold company to Joseph Miller. The selling price was $60,000. At that time the company was operating between Monterey and Pacific Grove and Carmel and Highland Inn via Carmel-by-the-Sea. By 1956 the company was running 15 buses over 67 route miles. The Bay Rapid Transit Company would continue operating the bus service until 1973. After that date the Monterey Peninsula Transit Joint Powers Agency took over operations and renamed the bus system Monterey Peninsula Transit. This new agency was governed by the cities of Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel, Del Rey Oaks and Seaside. When the city of Salinas joined the Joint Powers Agency in 1981, the name of the Agency was changed to the Monterey-Salinas Transit Joint Powers Agency. This body governs the current bus system, which is known as Monterey-Salinas Transit. This system serves a 280 square-mile area of Monterey County and Southern Santa Cruz County.
BAY SHORE STAGE COMPANY This company was operating in the late 1910s out of Oakland, California. In December 1918 the company was granted a certificate to operate a “passenger express and auto service” between Oakland and Martinez, California. In December 1919 the owner applied to the California Railroad Commission for a certificate to operate an “auto stage line” between Napa and Vallejo, California. (It was denied.) In 1920 the owner applied to the California Railroad Commission for a certificate of operation between Oakland and Martinez, California. (It was denied; since the company had already obtained such a certificate in 1918, this is confusing.) In March 1920 James B. Clark applied for approval of the Railroad Commission to transfer his operating permit to Bay Shore Stage Company, noting that he had recently purchased an interest in the company. In January 1921 the company transferred its operating permit for service between Oakland and Vallejo, via the Six-Minute Ferry, to the Western Motor Transport of Oakland, California. Presumably this was the end of Bay Shore Stage Company.
BEATTY’S FORD BUS COMPANY was operating out of Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1943; it ran in Mecklenburg County on Beatty’s Ford Road and Highway 148.
BEAUMONT CITY LINES, INC. was owned by the infamous National City Lines, and succeeded Eastern Texas Electric Company in 1937, which ran streetcars in Beaumont, Texas. As was it’s habit, National City Lines killed off the streetcars and put buses into operation. (For more info on National City Lines, see the entry on this webpage.) In 1963 the Beaumont City Lines, Inc. operated 25 buses on 5 routes for 2,500 daily miles and averaged carrying 6,522 daily passengers. Beaumont City Lines ran until 1972 and was succeeded by Beaumont Transit System. The badge measures approx. 2 ½ x 2 ½” ; two threaded posts; made by Greenduck Co. Chicago.
BEAVER BUS LINES was founded in 1932 by Harry Henteleff. It first began as the St. Vital Bus Line operating a connector bus service from the end of the Winnipeg Electric Company streetcar line. In 1972, Beaver Bus Lines was sold to Winnipeg-based businessman John Fehr Sr. In the following years the company grew to include other bus properties such as Eagle Bus Lines, Fairway Coach Lines, Webb Bus Lines, Moose Jaw Coach Lines and Moose Mountain Bus Lines. Today, the company operates under two brands including Beaver Bus Lines in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Moose Mountain Bus Lines in Regina, Saskatchewan. Currently, it has 100 employees and 50 buses.
BEAVER VALLEY MOTOR COACH COMPANY / BEAVER VALLEY TRACTION COMPANY Beaver Valley Traction Company began operating in 1891 from New Brighton, Pennsylvania. On February 29, 1924, the company formed Beaver Valley Motor Coach Company as a subsidiary. This original service consisted of 2 feeder routes to the BVT rail lines. In 1933 BVT entered receivership in 1933 due to heavy ridership losses. On August 10, 1937, the remainder of the rail service for the BVT was abandoned and replaced by the BVMCCo buses. BVMCCo’s last day of operation was on January 12, 1979, and Port Authority Transit assumed operations of the Pittsburgh-Beaver Falls run on January 15, 1979. The badge is for Beaver Valley Traction Company and is made of brass; measures 1¾ ” x 1 ½ “; pin back.
BEDFORD CITY BUS CO. was granted a certificate to operate a local bus service in Bedford, Indiana, in January 1929.
BEDFORD-MITCHELL MOTOR BUS CO. was an intercity company running between Bedford and Mitchell, Ind., in the mid-1920s, or thereabouts, and is mentioned in 1931.
BEE LINE NOTE: There are a number of transit companies that used the name “BEE LINE” for their operations. There was Bee Line Coach that operated out of Waco, Texas, in the 1940s; and Bee Line Transit Corporation in Danville, Illinois.
BEE LINE, INC. According to Wikepedia, “In August 9, 1921, the Orange Bus Line began service along Merrick Road from Freeport in Nassau County to Rosedale in Queens [New York] near the county border. On September 15, 1921, the route was extended west and north to the Jamaica business district. In 1922, Republic Motor Truck Company dealer Henry B. Carter sold two truck chassis fitted with bus bodies to the operators of the Orange Line. On February 13, 1922, the Orange Line ceased operations, and the buses reverted to Carter’s ownership. Carter’s new Bee-Line Bus Company operated its first bus, without a franchise, on February 19, between the Rosedale station and Jamaica. With only two buses, the route originally operated on half-hour headways. In addition to Jamaica-Rosedale service, on April 3, 1926, Bee-Line began operating service along Merrick Road between Jamaica and Freeport, Long Island, replacing the eastern portion of the Brooklyn-Freeport Line streetcar. Bee Line originally operated from 163rd Street and Jamaica Avenue in the Jamaica business district. On October 1, 1930, the Bee Line routes began terminating at the newly constructed Jamaica Union Bus Terminal near its former terminus.” The company operated bus routes in its own name, as well as serving as a holding company for several subsidiaries: Rockville Centre Bus Corp., (started 1927) Utilities Lines, Inc. (started 1926, under Bee Line since 1952), and Stage Coach Lines. The corporation was headquartered in Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York and was an intercity company that ran 74 buses and served Lynnbrook, Rockville Centre, Baldwin, Freeport, Elmont, Hampstead and Franklin Square, Long Island. (In 1933 it ran in Queens, New York City, on Hillside Ave., Hollis, Jamaica-St. Albans-Cambria Heights, Merrick Road.) In 1973 all of its operations were taken over by the Metropolitan Suburban Bus Authority (operating as MTA Long Island Bus) in 1973. NOTE about the badge: I’m uncertain if the badge shown below is the correct badge for this company. I need more info. It is a die-pressed nickel-plated example with a single threaded post and a pin post. (My reason to place this badge here is that the design is identical to the badge of the Surface Transportation System and the Queens Transit Corporation, both in New York City.)
BEE LINE is a bus system serving Westchester County, New York. The system is owned by the county’s Department of Public Works and Transportation. It was founded on May 1, 1978, by the then Westchester County Department of Transportation to consolidate the bus system with thirteen private bus companies and has been given control over the buses, fare structure, routes, and services.
THE BEE LINE, INC. was not connected to the company of similar name operating out of Long Island, New York. (“The” was a part of the corporate name.) The Bee Line, Inc. was incorporated in 1952 in Keego Harbor, Michigan. In 1954 the company was running 10 buses over 220 route miles and served Pontiac, Keego Harbor, Orion, Oxford, Lansing, Walled Lake, Lapeer, Mayville, Caro, Plymouth and Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 1972 the company was running only 5 buses. There is no info after that year.
BEE LINE TRANSIT, INC. was an intercity company that operated in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1946 it served Quincy and Savanna, Illinois, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Fort Madison, Oskaloosa and Burlington, Iowa. It ran 18 buses over 635 route miles. I’m not sure if the below badge belongs to this company. It was made by GREENDUCK CO., Chicago, and has two threaded posts.
BEECH-ASHEVILLE BUS LINE was operated by F.O. Edwards in the 1940s out of Weaverville, North Carolina. It ran along U.S. 19 between Beech and Weaverville and Asheville.
BEECH GROVE TRACTION COMPANY began operating trolleys in 1911 in Beech Grove, a suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1929 the company acquired the South Side Motor Coach Company, which was a competing bus operation. In 1937 the trolley line was discontinued.
BEECH GROVE TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. began in 1937 as the reorganized Beech Grove Traction Company, in Beech Grove, Indiana. The company was sold to Indianapolis Railways and merged into the People’s Motor Coach Company in 1941.
BEEHIVE STAGES was operating in Idaho in the late 1920s. It operated a route between Pocatello-Montpelier and Pocatello-West Yellowstone. Its routes were sold to Gem State Transit Company in 1929.
BELL & CANFIELD STAGE LINE was operating in 1924 in Lompoc, California. A.E. Canfield was the owner/operator. The company was still operating in 1929.
BELL & RECKARD STAGE LINE ran from Klamath Falls and served Chiloquin, Kirk and Ft. Klamath, Oregon, in 1923.
BELLE ISLE AIRPORT BUS SERVICE I have no information on this company. I can find no mention of it on Newspapers.com, nor on the Internet. Let us know if you have info. The badge was made by HOOKFAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. and has two threaded posts. The bus design seems to date the badge to the 1950s or early 1960s.
BELVEDERE BUS & GARAGE Info on this company comes from the May 29, 1926, edition of the Sausalito News: “Deed—Bank of Sausalito to Wm. Barr and Ida, Douglas Duggan & Thorndyke, co-partners to Byron Haines. For the sum of $3,000. Personal property in Belvedere Bus and Garage business, located in Town of Belvedere, garage and transportation business.” Barr and Duggan ran a local bus line in Belvedere, California, to the unincorporated City of Marin, California. The company was still running in 1929.
BELLEVILLE-ST. LOUIS COACH COMPANY In 1926 buses were substituted for street cars by the East St. Louis & Suburban Railway and in 1932 the East St. Louis and Interurban Railway discontinued service between Belleville and St. Louis largely because of competition from the Purple Swan Coach and Blue Goose Motor Coach Companies. The Belleville-St. Louis Coach Company was organized and began operations on August 30, 1933, succeeding the East St. Louis and Suburban Railway Company. In the coming years it absorbed the Purple Swan Coach and Blue Goose Coach companies and, in 1940, the St. Clair Company Bus Line, which was established in 1921 and had provided bus service throughout Southern Illinois. Belleville-St. Louis Coach Company was bought out by Bi-State Development in 1963. (NOTE: There is conflicting information regarding the acquisition of the Purple Swan Safety Coach Co. and the Blue Goose Motor Coach Company.)
BELLINGHAM TRANSIT took over bus service in Bellingham,Washington, in 1961 from Saterlee Transit System. It ran until 1971 when it was taken over by Whatcom Transportation Authority. The badge measures about 1½”.
BELT LINE BUS COMPANY ran a bus service in 1931 in Chicago, Ill
BELVEDERE BUS & AUTO SERVICE F. M. Ballard and Jess Oliver, owner of this company, sold to William Barr the good will, business and franchise, etc. of the Belvedere Bus and garage at Belvedere, California, on September 11, 1919. This is recorded in the October 1919 the Oakland Tribune recorded: “The transfer of F. M. Ballard to William Barr of his permit to operate an auto stage line between Tiburon and Belvedere [California] and intermediate points has been approved by the Railroad Commission. Ballard sold his business to Barr. He was operating under the name ‘Belvedere Bus and Auto Service’.” The bus company was operating through May 1926 in Belvedere, California. In May 1926 “William Barr, operating under the name of Belvedere Bus, has applied to the Railroad Commission for permission to sell, and Douglas Duggen for permission to purchase, a bus line operated between Belvedere, Tiburon, Alto, Tamalpais High school, and intermediate points, for the sum of $5,000.“
BELVEDERE GARDENS BUS LINES was operating in 1924 in Los Angeles, California. A. B. Dunphy was the owner/operator.
BEN HUR LINES was a bus company that ran in 1931 in Terre Haute, Ind.
BENSKIN BUS SERVICE was operating in the early 1950s in Wellborn, Kansas. It is not listed in the late 1940s-mid 1950 editions of MTD.
BEND-BURNS STAGE COMPANY ran a 208 mile route in 1923 from Bend to Burns, Oregon.
BEND-SILVERLAKE STAGE LINE was operating in 1923 from Bend to Silver Lake, Oregon, over a 77-mile route.
THE BEREA BUS LINE COMPANY Lyle R. Slater and Henry W. Wilchek formed this company in 1920. It ran a city service in Berea, Ohio, and served suburban Cleveland, Brook Park and West View, Ohio. By 1952 the company had one charter bus, two local buses, 15 line buses, and seven school buses. In 1956 it was operating 26 buses over 32.5 route miles. In 1968 the company sold its operations to the Cleveland Transit System for $400,000. Presumably, the below badge is from this company, although notably there is an “s” on the name “Line”. The badge has two threaded posts, and was made by HOOKFAST PROVIDENCE R.I.
BERKSHIRE MOTOR COACH LINES was an intercity company operating in the 1920s between Boston, Massachusetts, and New York City on an inland route via Hartford. In the early 1930s, the company (along with the Victoria Coach Lines, Inc.) was bought out by the New England Transportation Company, Inc., which was subsidiary of New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company. In 1937 The Greyhound Corporation formed the New England Greyhound Lines to take over three routes of the New England Transportation Company and its two subsidiaries – the Berkshire Motor Coach Lines and the Victoria Coach Lines – plus the Quaker Stages Company and the Old Colony Coach Lines, two independent unrelated firms. After the acquisition all these bus companies ceased to exist.
BERKSHIRE STREET RAILWAY was incorporated in 1901, and was owned by New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. By 1963 the company filed bankruptcy and was sold to Yellow Coach Lines. It features a single threaded post.
BERKSHIRE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY The founding of this company is mentioned in the October 1922 issue of Bus Transportation: “The Berkshire Transportation Company, of which William N. Birney is manager, began its motor bus service between Springfield and Worcester, Mass. on Aug 22. Two buses were put in operation at the start. These are Pierce-Arrow chassis fitted with steel bodies made by the Kuhlman Car Company, Cleveland, Ohio. Each has a seating capacity of twenty-five. Two other buses of the same size and type have been ordered for later delivery. Three round trips are made daily.”
BERWICK TRANSIT LINES was based in Nescopeck, Pennsylvania, in the early 1920s. In 1922 it ran from Berwick to Shickshinny, PA.
BERWIND AUTO LINE operated passenger motor busses for hire between Trinidad and Vallorso, Colorado, in 1927.
BESSEMER HILLSVILLE BUS CO. Incorporation Date 24th February 1949 State of Ohio. Badge has two threaded posts and made by Hookfast, Providence, R.I.
BESWICK-AGAR AUTO LINE was running in Beswick, California, in 1924. H.H. Hessig was the owner/operator.
E.N. BETOURNE BUS LINE COMPANY The September 1922 edition of the National Taxicab and Motorbus Journal noted the founding of this company: “The E. N. Betourne Bus Line has recently been organized to operate motorbusses between Kankakee and points 15 to 20 miles distant along the Dixie Highway and other cities of that section of Illinois. Among the-promoters are Eugene N. Betourne, G. L. Betourne and Philip L. Boudreau.” According to the Chicago Transit & Railfan webpage, in 1932 the E. N. Betourne Bus Line “sold to Southern Limited, the only intercity bus company which would eventually be owned by National City Lines.”
BEVIANO CHARTERED SERVICE was founded by Felice Beviano in Linden, New Jersey, in 1916. He stated the company started with a six-passenger open window car. The company was taken over by New Jersey Transit.
BI-STATE TRANSIT ,SYSTEM In 1963 all 15 public transportation providers in the St. Louis/East St. Louis area become part of publicly owned Bi-State Transit System. In 2003 – Bi-State Transit System was renamed Metro. Cloth embroidered badge.
BICKEL BUS LINES / BICKEL BUS LINE This company, or companies, go back to the 1940s and four brothers: Virgil, Lloyd, Nobel and Ben Bickel. They ran bus lines in Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The different companies appear to be independently owned. Bickel Bus Lines was operating out of Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1944. It was owned by Lloyd L. Bickel of Kearney and served Kearney, Ord, Hazard, Ravenna, Rockville and Loup City. Bickel Bus Line (no “s” on “line”) ran out of Dodge City, Kansas, in the early 1950s and was owned by Nobel C. Bickel. He operated an intercity company with 2 buses. Bickel Bus Lines ran out of Alva, Oklahoma, and was owned by Ben W. and Edna M. Bickel. The company ran 6 buses as an intercity company, serving Alva, Medicine Lodge, Great Bend, Russell and Wichata, Kansas. It was still operating in the early 1960s. There was a Bickel Bus Lines operating out of Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1981. (I’m not sure if this is connected to the above family.) The badge is made of nickel-plated brass and has two threaded posts.
BIG FOUR STAGE COMPANY was an intercity Washington state bus company that was running in the 1920s-1930s. The company was involved in a lawsuit, which stemmed from an accident outside of Olympia, Washington, in October 1928. That accident also involved a bus from North Coast Lines. According to the judgement the company was owned by George L. Standring and his wife. The company was still operational in 1931.
BIG PINE & ZURICH AUTO STAGE LINE was running in 1924-1925 out of Big Pine, Inyo County, California. Owned and operated by Vernon G. Smith.
BIG RAPIDS-MT. PLEASANT BUS LINE was an intrastate bus line that ran in the 1930s in Michigan. There’s no further information on this company.
BIGI BUS LINES was founded by Ezio Bigi in ca. 1922. His service connected Bridgeville, PA, with the end of the Pittsburgh Railways 42 Dormont car line. Acquired by the Port Authority Transit on March 11, 1964. (PAT is now the Port Authority of Allegheny County.)
BILOW BUS LINE was a bus operator in the borough of Queens in New York City in 1933 on Lincoln Avenue. The company was originally organized as Jamaica Bus Line. It operated the Q9 bus route before it was taken over by Green Bus Lines.
BBL BINAN BUS LINES TRANSPORT SYSTEM, INC. Biñan Bus Lines Transport System Inc., San Pedro, Philippines, was located in the Province of Laguna, on the island of Luzon, about 21 miles south of Manila. The badge has two threaded posts.
BIRMINGHAM ELECTRIC COMPANY, incorporated in 1921, generated public electricity and operated streetcars and motor coaches as Birmingham, Alabama’s, public transit system. The Birmingham Railway, Light & Power Company had failed in 1918 amidst an inability to raise fares while facing new competition from automobiles and private jitneys. Lapses in service that winter prompted a public outcry and the company went into receivership. It re-emerged after winning concessions from the City of Birmingham, along with new segregated seating requirements. On March 31, 1921 the system was sold to the newly-organized Birmingham Electric Company. In 1946 the company was operating over 94 route miles with 99 1-man streetcars and 86 2-man streetcars. The company continued operating until June 30, 1951 when it became Birmingham Transit Company.
BIRMINGHAM RAILWAY LIGHT & POWER COMPANY operated streetcar lines and distributed natural gas and electricity to customers in Birmingham, Alabama. Nat Baxter Jr, president of the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company, assumed control of the Birmingham Railway & Electric Company from a group of other Nashville-based investors and began planning to fold it into a single utility company for the city. He arranged with shareholders of the Consolidated Electric Light Company and the Birmingham Gas Company to become part of the newly-incorporated Birmingham Railway, Light & Power Company, which was incorporated on February 23, 1898. The first transit consolidation took effect on November 5, 1900, with the electric and gas companies officially acquired on June 13, 1901. On March 31, 1921 the Birmingham Railway, Light & Power Company was sold to a newly-organized reincarnation of the Birmingham Electric Company.
BIRMINGHAM BUS COMPANY was formed in 1929 and ran a route between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The next year the company was bought out by Consolidated Coach Corporation, which, in 1936, became Southeastern Greyhound Lines.
BIRMINGHAM TRANSIT COMPANY On June 30, 1951, Birmingham Electric Company, which was running streetcars, trolleybuses and buses, in Birmingham, Alabama, became the Birmingham Transit Company (the company retained the same management and employees). In 1953 the company discontinued running streetcars and trolleybuses in 1958. Birmingham Transit Company was taken over by American Transit Corporation in 1964, which operated the system until 1972 while retaining the name Birmingham Transit Company. In 1972, the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority took over public transit operations.
BISHOP MONO LAKE AUTO STAGE LINE was running out of Bishop, California, in 1923-1924. It served Mammoth Camp (now Mammoth, California in Mono County). In 1923 the line charged $7.50 for the trip, which took four hours. The owners/operators were George Wilkins and L. B. Larsen.
M.S. BITTENCOURT STAGE LINE was operating in the San Francisco Bay, California, area in 1922.
BLACK DIAMOND STAGES, INC. was formed in 1929. It ran buses to Ross, Melbourne, Silver Grove, Brent, Ft. Thomas and Cold Springs, Kentucky. It began operating in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1930 and was bought out by The Green Line (Cincinnati, Newport & Covington Railway) on February 14, 1940. February 1, 1959, edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio: “20 YEARS AGO In Cincinnati: A dispatch from Washington announced that the Interstate Commerce Commission had approved the Cincinnati, Newport and Covington Railway to acquire the Black Diamond Stages, Inc., Ft. Thomas, Ky., and the Dixie Traction Co., Erlanger Ky. The railway, popularly known as the Green Line operated streetcar and bus lines between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.”
BLACKHAWK LINE, INC. began operations in 1932-1933 offering interstate service between New York City and Boston, Massachusetts. From 1936 on the company ran a yearly deficit until December 1940 when its financial condition made the company’s collapse imminent. One of its most pressing obligations was back taxes owed to the State of Connecticut. Blackhawk made its last trip on February 5, 1941. That same year the company’s routes were sold to Quaker City Bus Company for the sum of $7,000. However, the Interstate Commerce Commission denied the transfer of Blackhawk’s routes on what amounted to a technicality. Quaker City Bus Company filed an appeal on January 14, 1942, and the ICC reopened the case. On October 13, 1942, they ruled in favor of the transfer of certificates. In 1957-1958 Quaker City Bus Company began coordinating its service with Safeway Trailways; by the end of 1958 Safeway Trailways had acquired the Quaker City Bus Co.
BLACK HAWK MOTOR TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. According to one source, this company was incorporated in 1924 in Illinois. It was an interstate company running out of Peoria, Illinois and in 1939 was serving Davenport, Iowa, Rock Island, Molene, Kewanee, Springfield, St. Louis, Galesburg, Monmouth, Burlington, Quincy, Bloomington, Champagne, Danville, Decatur, Illinois and Indianapolis, Indiana. The April 23, 1947, edition of the Freeport Journal-Standard from Freeport, Illinois, carried a story of the company’s acquisition by Greyhound: “Greyhound Acquires Black Hawk Transit Company Of Peoria The Black Hawk Motor Transit Co., of Peoria, Ill., serving major industrial and agricultural communities In Illinois and eastern Iowa, has been acquired by Illinois Greyhound Lines, Inc., it was announced today by L. R. Higgs, general traffic manager of the Greyhound company, and already has taken over actual operation of the system. The Black Hawk network includes 669 route miles, served by a fleet of 23 buses which Greyhound also acquired. The Black Hawk system includes these divisions: Freeport-Peorla; Davenport, Ia,Peoria via Kewanee; Davenport-Peoria via Qalesburg; Davenport-Springfield via Canton; Peoria-Springfield; Springfield-Champaign and Clinton-Havana, Ill. Greyhound plans to integrate services of its expanded operations with other Greyhound affiliates. . . . The acquisition of Black Hawk Transit increases Illinois Greyhound operations to 1,732 route miles.”
BLAIR’S GAP BUS LINE According to a mention in a 1946 Rotary Club history of Kingsport, Tennessee, Blair’s Gap Bus Line “began operations in 1939, operates 4 buses, employs 7 people and carries approximately 12,000 passengers monthly, running its buses to Stanley Valley and Plum Grove, Virginia.” I can find no further information on this company.
BLAIRSDEN STAGE COMPANY was operating in the mid 1920s out of Blairsden, California. Green and Green were the owners.
BLANCHESTER-CINCINNATI BUS LINE, was running in 1928 in Cincinnati, Ohio, serving Walnut Hills, Hyde Park, Oakley, Madisonville, Mariemont, Plainville, Tower HIU, Terrace Park. Milford, Mulberry, Mt. Repose, Goshen, McKlndree Chapel, Wesley Chapel and Blanchester.
BLODGETT’S SIGHTSEEING TOURS was operating in the mid 1920s out of the Green Hotel in Pasadena, California. H.E. Blodgett was the owner/operator.
BLOOMINGDALE BUS LINE According to a 1946 Kingston, Tennessee, Rotary Club publication, began operations in 1936, running six buses serving the environs of the city along the Bloomingdale Road. No further information.
BLOOMINGTON BUS CO. This company was founded by George Knapp in the early 1950s. It served the suburbs of Bloomington and Richfield, south of Minneapolis, Minnesota, running 9 buses over 32 route miles. In 1975 it was acquired by Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC), which is now Metro Transit. The badge is die-pressed, measures approx. 2¾” x 2¾” and has one threaded post.
BLOOMINGTON-GREENVILLE BUS ran a bus line in 1931 in Bloomington, Ind.
BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL CITY LINES ran in the metro area of Bloomington, Illinois, which also includes the city of Normal, Illinois. Part of the National City Lines, it succeeded the Illinois Power & Light Company (running from 1923 until 1936), and ran from 1936 until 1972. (National City Lines sold its interests in 1966.) The company was succeeded by the Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System.
BLUE BIRD COACH LINES, INC. In July 1934 a company named Blue Bird Coach Lines bought Joliet Electric Railway Company’s bus line, which ran from Joliet to Chicago, Illinois. The price was $15,000. In 1946 the company was located in Lyons, Illinois and served Chicago-Cicero, Berwyn, Lyons, Chicago-Joliet, and Chicago-Maywood River Forest. It ran 68 buses over 103 route miles with A. W. Beaurline as president and general manager. I can find no mention of the company after 1950.
BLUE BIRD COACH LINES / BLUE BIRD CAB COMPANY BLUEBIRD CAB & COACH LINES This company began as the Blue Bird Taxicab Company and was founded in 1915 in Olean, New York, by Joseph Magnano. The company began operating tour and charter bus service in the 1920s. In a Wednesday, August 20, 1941, a Times Herald newspaper ad from Olean, New York, was printed the following notice: “BLUE BIRD COACH LINES WISH TO ANNOUNCE TO RESIDENTS OF OLEAN That the Blue Bird Coach Line is being formed for the sole purpose of serving the citizens of this community, and any suggestions from bur future patrons that will make this a better service, and will be a convenience to all will be greatly appreciated by the management. Address all suggestions to the’ Blue Bird Taxi Co., 132 N. Union St., Clean, N. Y. PHONE 3333 (Signed) JOE MONGNANO” In 1946 the company was operating 10 buses over 27 route mile.
In 1963, Blue Bird entered into regular intercity bus service, acquiring from Central Greyhound Lines of New York a line run service from Buffalo to Olean by way of East Aurora; a line run from Buffalo to Bradford by way of Hamburg and Salamanca; and and an Olean to Salamanca route by way of Bradford. In 1973, Blue Bird acquired Seaway Coach Lines, adding service between Erie and Scranton, including points in between the two terminals. In 1991, Blue Bird exited the line run business, with an exception of their Buffalo to Olean line run. Service from Olean to Jamestown was acquired by startup operator Imperial Coach Lines, which became Empire Transit Lines. Later, Empire Transit Lines was purchased and merged into the Coach USA network and became part of Coach USA-Erie. In 1994, the Buffalo to Olean line run went the same way, and was merged into Coach USA-Erie, at the same time as Niagara Scenic Bus Line‘s Buffalo to Jamestown line run. The badge on the top appears to be the older of the two shown here and has two threaded posts. The second badge shown has two threaded posts.
BLUE BUS LINE In September 1922 this company operated a motorbus line between Gary, Indiana, and Chicago, Illinois, under the name of Illiana Transportation Company.
BLUE COACH COMPANY / BLUE COACH LINES was operating in the 1920s between Cincinnati, Ohio and Lexington, Kentucky. In 1929 it was merged into the newly-formed Mason & Dixon Transit, Inc., which took over several other bus companies in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. The company continued operating under its own name. There’s not much on the Net about the company; it’s mentioned in a few court cases, and in a 1928-29 Covington, Kentucky city directory as being located at 16 Eash 6th Street, F. W. Dempsey general manager.
BLUE GOOSE LINES, INC. was one of the many companies that figure in The Greyhound Corporation’s pedigree. To make the connection, let’s first meet Ralph A.L. Bogan, one of the three original owners of the Mesaba Transportation Company, which was formed on December 17, 1915, and which would one day evolved into The Greyhound Corporation. On January 6, 1923, the Janesville Daily Gazette (from Janesville, Wisconsin) reported that Bogan, along with partner Swan Sundstrom, had bought one of Fageol Motors big buses for his Gray Motor Stage Line, which was operating in Wisconsin:
“Gray Motor Stage Line Adds $9,000 Bus Attractive Car, Well-Equipped, Makes First Run to Watertown. Because of constantly increasing business, the Gray Motor Stage Lines have added a new bus, which arrived from Oakland, Cal., Wednesday and has been put into operation, on the motor route between Janesville and Watertown, making three trips a day. The bus is designed for comfort, safety, and is attractive in appearance. Costing $8,000 at the Oakland factory of Fageol-Scott-Motors Company, and $9.000 by the time it reached here, the bus is an immense and beautiful car with a wheel-base of 218 inches and a 70-inch axle length. It has capacity for 23 people and is outfitted with leather seats, each holding four people. The interior is upholstered in brown leather, has electric lights and a heater, which, with the heavy springs, give the comfort of a railroad car. It is equipped with plate glass windows. The outside is done in light blue, with a streak of white about the body. The center of gravity is so low that it is said the bus can make a right angle corner, loaded, at 45 miles per hour, with safety. . . . The new bus has been christened the ‘Blue Goose’. It made its first run Thursday night. Others similar will be added to the line later, Swan Sundstrom, one of the partners says.”
So, Ralph Bogan used the service name “Blue Goose” as early as 1923 for his Gray Motor Stage Line.
Next, let’s meet Dr. D. B. Rushing. In his Bluehounds and Redhounds the History of Greyhound and Trailways, Dr. Rushing makes the Greyhound connection by first mentioning the Detroit United Railway Company (DURC), which formed a highway-coach subsidiary, People’s Motor Coach Company (PMC), in 1924: “During the following years the PMC Company developed an extensive bus system, mostly by the acquisition of existing smaller companies, operating along both suburban and intercity routes.” On September 17, 1928, the DURC, which filed bankruptcy and reorganized as Eastern Michigan Railways, incorporated Eastern Michigan Motorbuses, Inc. to replace the People’s Motor Coach Co. and to take over all its bus companies.
That fact is significant because back in 1924 the Detroit United Railway Company had purchased another of Ralph Bogan’s bus companies—the Detroit-Toledo Transportation Company, which, according to Dr. Rushing, had also used the “brand name, trade name, or service name of the Blue Goose Lines.” Eventually the DURC used both the name Blue Goose Lines and image of Bogan’s blue goose for its entire intercity bus system, which was controlled by the People’s Motor Coach Company, whose name was changed in 1928 to Eastern Michigan Motorbuses, Inc. (EMM). From that time on whenever one encountered the name “Eastern Michigan Motorbuses”, they saw “Blue Goose Lines” beside it!
In 1931 the Eastern Michigan Railways went into its second and final bankruptcy and reorganization. Dr. Rushing writes: “[In] 1938 The Greyhound Corporation, the umbrella Greyhound firm, bought a controlling (majority) interest in the Eastern Michigan Motorbuses under the supervision of the receivers and the court in bankruptcy. However, the federal Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) did not at first allow Greyhound to control the EMM or to merge it into Greyhound, not until 1941, after a change in the membership (the commissioners) of the ICC. Because of the large size of the Eastern Michigan Motorbuses, its route network, and its operations, The Greyhound Corporation created a new subsidiary, named as the Great Lakes Greyhound Lines, which in 1941 took over the EMM. Thus began the Great Lakes Greyhound Lines.”
As to a badge, apparently the company used only embroidered cloth badges on their hats and uniforms.
BLUE GOOSE MOTOR COACH COMPANY, INC. was incorporated in 1925. It was acquired by the East St. Louis & Suburban Company and operated as a subsidiary in East St. Louis, Illinois. The company acquired the Red Line Motor Company in 1925 and the Herzog Motor Bus Transportation Corporation in 1927. “1932 – East St. Louis & Suburban Railway Co. discontinues remaining electric railway service, local streetcar service in East St. Louis and Belleville, and interurban service from St. Louis to Belleville and to Collinsville. Local buses serving East St. Louis and Belleville would be operated by subsidiary Blue Goose Motor Coach Co., while buses between St. Louis and Collinsville would be operated by newly formed Vandalia Bus Lines.” The following year it was replaced by Belleville-St. Louis Coach Company. (Info from: Images of America Belleville 1914 and Beyond. Belleville, Judith A., deV. Brunkow, Robert, PhD, Arndt. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2013, and from Chicago Transit & Railfan.)
BLUE GRAY LINES A Puyallup, Washington, bus company, that had the contract with the Puyallup School district to supply school transport for South Hill high school students. The Blue-Gray Lines had purchased four of the unique old Pickwick buses, two NiteCoaches and two Duplex models. In addition to getting wartime workers to and from Tacoma, these buses served the South Hill high school students to and from Puyallup High School. The badge was made by P.C. STAMP WORKS Seattle, Washington; convex shaped, it has three threaded posts; measures approx. 2 ¼” diameter.
BLUE & GRAY TRANSIT COMPANY was formed in May 1927 by Arthur Hill in Charleston, West Virginia, essentially as a holding company to buy out his own Midland Trail Transit Company and other concerns. It ran in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 1929 the company merged with Camel City Coach Company of Winston-Salem, North Carolina under the newly formed National Highway Transport Company, which was the creation of Arthur Hill and Camel City Coach Company’s owner, John Gilmer. By 1931 the National Highway Transport had ties with Greyhound and that year started using their logo and the name Atlantic Greyhound Lines.
BLUE LINE BUS COMPANY There are several bus companies that used this name. The oldest is a notice in a Frederick, Maryland, newspaper for November 15, 1916, that simply mentions “Blue Line Bus Company.” Next is a group of photos from the Washington State Historical Society that date from the 1920s. This Blue Line Bus Company seems to be an intercity concern. Next is a December 7, 1938 mention of the “Blue Line Bus Co.” from British Columbia, which tells that the company will take a group of children on a ride in their new bus. And last is a Blue Line Bus Company running in Washington, D.C. in the 1970s through the 1990s.
THE BLUE LINE was owned by Martin K. Pajer and was an intercity operation based in Springfield, Massachusetts. It served Willimatic, Norwich, New London, Somers, Massachusetts, and Stafford Springs, Connecticut. It ran 5 buses over 140 route miles in 1956. The badges shown below may or may not be from this company, since the word “The” is missing from the company title. The badge has two threaded posts. (Notice the different colored buses!)
THE BLUE LINE, INC. was founded by Alvin E. and William J. Irish as an intercity bus company based in Auburn, Maine. It was operating in the mid 1940s. By the mid 1950s it was located in Lewiston, Maine and served Lewiston, Auburn, Turner, Livermore, Canton, Dixfield, Rumford, Livermore Falls, Wilton and Farmington, Maine. In 1956 the company ran 10 buses over 140 route miles. I’m not sure if the below badge is the same company, since the word “The” is missing from the company title. The badge measures 2½”, is die pressed nickel-plated brass, has a single threaded post and a pin post.
BLUE LINE STAGES ran in 1927 in Boise, Idaho.
BLUE LINE STAGES, INC. operated passenger service in 1928 between Denver, Colorado, and the state lines—Colorado and Wyoming and Colorado and Nebraska. A company with the same name operated in Boise, Idaho in 1928.
BLUE MOTOR COACH LINES ran routes in Illinois in the 1920s and 1930s. It became Santa Fe Trail Transportation, a bus subsidiary of the Santa Fe Railway.
BLUE MOUNTAIN STAGE COMPANY ran a 73 mile route from Canyon Sity to Burns, Oregon, in 1923.
BLUE MOUNTAIN TRANSPORTATION COMPANY was an interstate company operating a bus line from Pendleton, Oregon to Lewiston, Idaho by way of Walla Walla, Washington, in the late 1920s. In April 1929 the company was purchased by Union Pacific Railroad and was operated by their subsidiary, Union Pacfic Stages, Inc.
BLUE NOSE-HAPPY CAMP AUTO LINE was owned by David Drake and was operating in 1924 in Somes Bar, Siskiyou County, California.
BLUE RIBBON BUS LINE COMPANY / CORPORATION was operating between Ashland and Greenup, Kentucky, in the late 1920s. The company was mentioned in a 1928 court case involving the Cannon Ball Transportation Company and Red Diamond Bus Line Company. It was headquartered in Ashland in 1946 and ran 50 buses over 212 route miles. It was owned and manager C.E. Fannin. In 1954 the company was incorporated as Blue Ribbon Bus Line Corporation and operated city bus service in both Ashland, Ky. and Ironton, Ohio and an intercity/interstate operations servicing Ironton, Portsmouth, Cincinnati, Ohio; Cattlettsburg, Ashland, Vanceburg, Maysville, Brooksville, Greenup, Germantown, Ft. Thomas, Alexandria, Covington and Newport, Kentucky. The company was running 50 buses over 387 route miles.
BLUE RIDGE LINES / BLUE RIDGE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY When the Blue Ridge Lines was bought out by The Greyhound Corporation back in 1955, a newspaper article dated August 12, from Frederick, Maryland, provided some historical background: “William C. Hann, the largest operator of the local bus companies, was absorbed by the Blue Ridge Transportation Company in November 1923. Mr. Hann was hired as superintendent, and later manager of transportation for the Eastern Division. It was in 1923 that the predecessor to the present day Potomac Edison Company instituted the Blue Ridge Transportation Company to supplement its trolley service. Extended service to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1926; P.E. Company’s parent organization acquired the operations of White Star Lines, Inc. During 1930 the Company split its bus operations into two—the Eastern and Western divisions. Headquarters for Eastern were at Hagerstown, and Western division headquarters were in Pittsburgh, and later transferred to Washington, Pa. This move, together with expanding demand, necessitated coordination of operations resulting in the formation of Blue Ridge Lines in 1931. This organization brought all the bus operations under one system and formed six smaller companies into three groups: Penn Bus Company, White Star Lines, Inc. and Blue Ridge Transportation Company—all operating under the one name of Blue Ridge Lines.“
In 1922 Hagerstown & Frederick Railway became the Potomac Public Service Company (PPSC). The following year, the PPSC absorbed the Cumberland utility known as the Potomac Edison Company (PEC), which included the Cumberland & Westernport Electric Railway, and applied its name to the entire operation. In 1923 the Blue Ridge Lines, which had been created by Potomac Public Service Company that year to supplement its trolley service, was used by Potomac Edison Company to provide vital bus services over railroad routes that were no longer profitable. It ran from New York to Ohio, and South to Georgia and Florida. In 1931 PEC put together a consortium comprising the Blue Ridge Transportation Company, a corporation, White Star Lines, Inc., and Penn Bus Company, a corporation, using the trade name of, “Blue Ridge Lines” (also known as the Blue Ridge System). The back of a 1936 post card, which was postmarked Canton, Ohio and featured a Blue Ridge Lines bus, read: “Blue Ridge Lines a wide spread of territory between Cleveland, Ohio, Baltimore, Md., and Washington, D.C.” Here’s a list of some of the drivers employed by the company between 1947-1949: Louis G. Renner, Oliver E. Murphy, Richard J. West, Charles E. Miller, Jacob A. Armacost (see his memorial on our Memorial page), G. E. Cunningham, Leo E. Riffle, Charles A. Crawford, Irvin E. Byers, Walker N Jolliffe, Jr., Donald S. Thompson, Ralph E. Schroeder, Galen E. Smith and Harry R. Harp.
In 1955 the Blue Ridge Lines was located at 55 E. Washington St., Hagerstown, Maryland. It ran 134 buses over 1308 route miles and served Cleveland and Steubensville, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Washington, Uniontown and Harrisburger, PA; Morgantown and Clarksburg, W.V.; Cumberland, Hagerstown, Frederick and Baltimore, MD; Washington, D.C.; Winchester, VA; R. Paul Smith was president and A. F. McDonald, vice president & general manager. (Most of the company officers also served on the boards of the Potomac Edision Company, the Blue Ridge Transportation Company, the Penn Bus Company and White Star Lines, Inc. Moreover, these companies all shared the same physical address in Hagerstown, Maryland.)
The Blue Ridge Lines ran until 1955 when the company was acquired by The Greyhound Corporation. Most of the company’s drivers were absorbed by Greyhound without any loss of seniority or pension. (NOTE: this company was not affiliated with Blue Ridge Lines, Ltd, which was a member of Trailways. See Potomac Edison Company for an example of their badge.) The badge has a mirror finish, measures 2″ x 1¾”, was made by WHITEHEAD–HOAG CO. NEWARK N.J. and his two threaded posts. The second badge is a company safety service badge, made of brass, has a pin fastener and measures 1¼” x 1″. (This safety badge is unusual because of its fairly large size. The threaded post and nut are there to hold on the interchangeable year button.)
BLUE RIDGE TRAIL BUS LINE COMPANY was operating in the mid 1920s out of Asheville, North Carolina. It ran between Asheville to Charlotte, via Rutherfordton, Highway No. 20; Hendersonville to Bat Cave, Highway No. 28.
BLUE SAFETY COACH COMPANY ran a bus line in 1931 in Indiana Harbor, Indiana.
BLUE STAR BUS LINE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Greensboro to Charlotte, North Carolina. Marvin Farlow was the owner and lived in High Point, N. C
BLUE STAR COMPANY was a passenger bus service running in Washington State in the early 1920s. It sold out to Wolverton Auto Bus Company in March 1924.
BLUE WAY TRANSIT LINES, INC. / BLUE WAY LINES, INC. / BLUE WAY TRAILWAYS, INC. / TRAILWAYS OF NEW ENGLAND Blue Way Transit Lines, Inc. (also doing business as Blue Way Lines, Inc. and Blue Way Operators, Inc.) operated out of Boston, Massachusetts. Being registered as a business in Massachusetts on June 15, 1932, it operated between New York and Boston and between New York and various central Connecticut and Massachusetts points. Vito Rizzuto was the company president. (Note: CHICAGO TRANSIT & RAILFAN gives the company’s incorporation year as 1922; the above date came from the State of Massachusetts.) The company joined the National Trailways Bus System in 1936 as Blue Way Trailways. On November 22, 1939 the company merged Blue Way Trailways, Inc. and Blue Way Transit Lines, Inc. It was renamed in 1941 as Trailways of New England. In 1957 it was sold to Transcontinental Bus System / Continental Trailways. In 1985 Peter Pan Bus Lines bought Trailways of New England and absorbed its routes into its own system.
BLUE & WHITE BUS COMPANY, INC. was incorporated by Frank Gordon in 1922. Its original route was Bohemia to Ronkonkoma, New York. By 1924 the company was serving Sayville and Patchogue. In March 1924 Gordon purchased the garage on North Main Street in Sayville from which he had been operating his bus company: price was $10,000. In July 1926 Gordon bought out rival bus company, A. S. Still & Son Auto Bus Line. The fate of the company is found in a history of Sayville, Long Island, New York: “In March 1929, B&W stockholders voted to dispose of shares and equipment and its operation was taken over by William L. Mantha as Trustee . . . In November 1929, Bee Line Company of Rockville Center out bid two other bus companies and purchased assets of B&W, at auction in Riverhead for $ 10,000; it planned to have them operated by its subsidiary, Utility Lines.”
BLUE & WHITE LINE, INC. / PENNSYLVANIA TRAILWAYS There’s almost no information on this company on the Net. According to Chicago Transit & Railfan, it was part of the Blue & White Lines of Virginia, and was a member of the National Trailways Bus System from 1949 until 1951. I can find no records in Virginia mentioning a Blue & White Lines doing business. According to West Virginia state records, the Blue & White Lines was registered in there on September 13, 1945, with its offices in Pennsylvania. The 1954 MTD lists the Blue & White Line, Inc. headquartered in Altoona, Pennsylvania in the P.R.R. building with 35 buses running 673 route miles and serving portions of Pennsylvania and Maryland. The 1953 Russell’s Guide adds Buffalo, New York on the list of destinations. It is not listed in the 1957 MTD.
R. W. BOEHLKE BUS LINE ran an intercity bus operation in 1925 in Minnesota. The owner was R.W. Boehlke, who started with two buses running parallel to the line of the “Omaha railroad from Eau Claire to Black River Falls, and between Black River Falls and Sparta; the bus line goes over the direct highway, while the rail line goes around via Wyeville, and in order to reach Black River Falls and points north on this line from Sparta by rail, it is necessary to change at Wyeville, and likewise, in order to reach Sparta from such points.” The company was still in business in 1927.
BOISE-WINNEMUCCA STAGES became an Idaho Corporation in 1939. Its subsidiary, Northwestern Stage Lines incorporated in Idaho in 1946. It is primarily a family owned business with its roots in Boise, Idaho. The company owns twenty-eight buses. Of the twenty-eight, ten operate under the Boise-Winnemucca name, and nineteen operate under the name of Northwestern Stage Lines, which also does business as Northwestern Trailways. Daily route service is between:Boise and Spokane via Lewiston; Spokane and Seattle/Tacoma via Wenatchee Omak and Ellensburg. There are two different badges, an older badge with an old style bus, and a newer example with a newer bus. They both measures about 2½” and have two threaded posts. No maker’s mark.
BOLT HIGHWAY-WOLF LAKE TRANSIT COMPANY was in operation in the 1930s in Michigan. It connected Muskegon with Bolt Highway, Wolf Lake and Muskego, Michigan. It was around in July 1951 when it ordered a GMC bus. There is no mention of the company in the 1946 nor 1954 editions of the MTD.
THE BOND HILL AUTO SERVICE COMPANY ran buses in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering a freight and passenger service between Cincinnati and Bond Hill. The incorporators were Jacob Glos, John F. Ahlers, Joseph H. Arlinghouse, Arthur Pohlman and W. E. Earls. It started business in Sept. 1912 and was defunct in April 1918.
BOOTH TRANSPORTATION LINE is listed as a bus company serving Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, in the WPA Guide to Michigan. It was around in the 1930s, but isn’t listed in the 1946 MTD, nor is there any mention of it on the Net.
BORDELON LINES, INC. / BORDELON TRAILWAYS began operating in 1934 and was headquartered at 1314 Tulane Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bordelon’s main route ran west to Baton Rouge and Alexandria. In 1945 the company was merged with Interurban Transportation Co./Interurban Trailways, based in Alexandria, and Tri-State Transit Co./Tri-State Trailways, based in Shreveport, Louisiana. The new firm was named Southern Bus Lines and used the brand name of Southern Trailways and was headed by Morgan W. Walker: “In 1949 the Transcontinental Bus System (using the brand name, trade name, or service name of the Continental Trailways) bought the relatively new (recently consolidated) Southern Bus Lines (the Southern Trailways) and renamed it as the Continental Southern Lines.” (Info from Dr. D. B. “Doc” Rushing’s Bluehounds and Redhounds the History of Greyhound and Trailways.)
BORNSCHEUER BUS COMPANY Chester Bornscheuer started a bus route along Oak Street with service between Amityville and Babylon, New York. He started with just one bus, which he drove himself. The company was taken over by Suffolk County Transit (New York on Long Island), which began as the consolidation of numerous private bus companies. (These included the Bornscheuer Bus Company which served Amityville, Copiague, Lindenhurst, West Babylon, and Babylon.)
BORTNER BUS COMPANY, a charter/tour bus company in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1944 by Paul and Gertrude Bortner. Later the founders’ son, Ed Bortner added school buses, which he based in Farmingdale, N.J. In 1997 Ed Bortner sold the company to Global Passenger Services LLC.
BOSSIER-SHREVEPORT TRANSPORTATION COMPANY connected Shreveport, LA., with Bossier City, Barksdale Air Force Base. It was running in the early 1950s and the late 1960s. More info needed.
BOSTON ELEVATED RAILWAY (BERy) was founded in 1894 as a streetcar and rapid transit railroad operated on, above, and below, the streets of Boston, Massachusetts and surrounding communities. In 1897 the company acquired the West End Street Railway and merged it into its own operations. On April 11, 1936 the company began running its first trackless trolley routes; buses were soon added. In 1947 the company was succeeded by the state-run Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). (Info from Wikipedia article “Boston Elevated Railway.)
BOSTON & MAINE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, INC. / B. & M, TRANS. CO. The Boston and Maine Railroad was chartered in New Hampshire on June 27, 1835, “with intentions of linking its namesake city with Portland, Maine. . . Nearly two years later it merged with the Maine, New Hampshire & Massachusetts and Boston & Portland on January 1, 1842, while retaining the Boston & Maine name.” (American-Rails.com) Like many railroads, the B. & M. began operating its own bus line as a subsidiary to compensate for loss of passenger revenue. The Boston & Maine Transportation Company was incorporated on November 15, 1924, in Boston, Massachusetts. By 1933 the company was headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and operated almost 2½ million miles with 83 coaches. The company served Portsmouth City Lines, York Beach, Boston-Portland, Concord-Newport, Boston-Concord, Franklin-Bristol, Wakefield-Lynnfield, Dover-Durham, Exeter-Hamton, Nashua-Wilton, Northhampton-Battleboro, Lowell-Worcester, Boston-Keene, Concord City Lines, Gardner-Greenfield, Winchendon-Peterboro, Troy-Bennington and Boston-Albany. In 1946 the company was operating out of Boston and ran 122 buses. According to one source, the company joined National Trailways Bus System in 1952 and remained until 1957 when it was sold to Transcontinental Bus System / Continental Trailways. The Boston & Maine Transportation Company, Inc. was dissolved on January 10, 1979. The badge measures 1 ½” x 1 ⅜”, is made of plated brass, with a pin and locking swivel catch and is marked “S.M. SPENCER MFG. CO. & CORNHILL BOSTON MASS.”
BOSTON & WORCESTER STREET RAILWAY / BOSTON & WORCESTER & NEW YORK STREET RAILWAY / B & W LINES / THE B + W LINES The Boston & Worcester Street Railway was founded in 1903 as a subsidiary of Boston & Worcester Electric Companies, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and ran between Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1924 William M. Butler was the president. In 1927 it was reorganized as the Boston & Worcester & New York Street Railway. The company began supplementing their service with buses in 1925. Buses replaced streetcars in Framington in 1925. Buses replaced streetcars in Worcester in 1945. The company’s buses were named The B & W Lines / B + W Lines. In 1956 the company ran 55 buses over 130 route miles. In 1963 the company was succeeded by the Boston-Worcester Corporation. According to CHICAGO TRANSIT & RAILFAN the company was part of the National Trailways Bus System in 1936, which was the first year of operation. I have found no information on this. There are two known badges. The first badge is plated metal and measures 1 ⅞” x 1 ¾”. The second badge is metal with two threaded posts, and has red enamel on the bottom half of the badge.
BOULDER CREEK STAGE LINE operated out of Santa Cruz, California, in the 1910s and early 1920s. According to one source it succeeded the old horse-drawn stage line running between Santa Cruz and Boulder Creek, which was also named Boulder Creek Stage Line. In 1924-1925 the company was owned and operated by Amy G. Harvey.
BOULEVARD TRANSIT LINES, INC. This company was operating out of Bayonne, New Jersey, in the early 1930s. By 1935 it was incorporated. Primarily it served New Jersey and New York City. In the 1930s it was also an interstate carrier. (A 1933 newspaper article noted the company providing transportation to a “Negro baseball club” to Liverpool, Ohio.) By the 1960s it was “authorized to operate as a common carrier in New York, and New Jersey.” In 1945 the company was located in Bayonne, New Jersey, and served Borough of Richmond, Staten Island, N.Y., Bayonne, N.J., Jersey City, N.J., and Borough of Manhattan, N.Y.C. with 27 buses over 19 route miles. Irving Posnak was the president. Morris Drogin was the president of the company in 1984. The badge shown here is nickel plated and has one threaded post. From the design, it appears to be from the 1930s.
BOUSLOG LINES, INC. ran in 1931 in Connersville, Indiana.
BOUTIN’S BUS LINES was a privately-owned company founded in the 1920s. Headquartered at 50 Merrimac St, Newburyport, Mass., it owned 5 buses and offered local service for the towns of Newbury and Newburyport. It went out of business in 1955. There are two badges presented here: older badge, on the left, is stamped “S. M. Spencer Mfg Co 8 Cornhill Boston” and has one threaded post. The newer badge, on the right has two threaded posts. NOTE that the newer badge reads “BOUTIN BUS LINES” (no apostrophe “s”). I am assuming this is the same company, since both badges came from the same source. However, there was a Boutin Bus Lines, Inc. based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It was founded in 2005 by Gerry Boutin and ceased business in 2011. The badge on the right is too old to have been issued by this company. (Judging by the bus design and badge style, my guess is that it dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s.)
BOWEN MOTOR COACH COMPANY had its beginnings in 1927 as Lone Star Bus Line (running in Texas) and Old Spanish Trail Bus Line (operating in New Mexico). These companies were founded by two brothers, one of whom was Texas bus pioneer R. C.Bowen. (R. C. Bowen and Guy J. Shields organized state bus operators into the Texas Bus Owners Association on March 24, 1928.) Their enterprises were consolidated in 1937 into Bowen Motor Coach Company, which was based in Ft. Worth, Texas. Over the coming years the company became one of the two largest passenger carriers in Texas, the other being Southwestern Greyhound Lines. Bowen Motor Coaches joined National Trailways in 1938 as Bowen Trailways. In 1943 Bowen Motor Coaches was sold to Maurice E. Moore, who was the president of Arkansas Motor Coaches, Ltd., Inc. Trailways historian, Jon Hobijn, writes: “In 1943 the Bowen Brothers had a unique problem. They were the sole owners of Bowen Motor Coaches, a cash rich company to the tune of $40 million dollars. The brothers had never taken big salaries and they wanted to take this cash out of their company. Trouble was, Bowen Motor Coaches was a corporation and, in the eyes of the law, a legal entity, In short, their accountant informed them that they were liable for taxes exceeding 30% of the $40 million. The only solution, he told them, was to sell the company. Thus, in 1943, Maurice E. Moore from Arkansas Motor Coaches purchased Bowen Motor Coaches for the sum of $42 million dollars cash. Two million from Moore and the other $40 million, cash from Bowen Motor Coaches, the Brother’s own money.” Jack Rhodes, in his article “Busing Industry” (written for the Texas State Historical Association), writes: “After the end of the war, M. E. Moore founded the Continental Bus System, with corporate headquarters in Dallas, on December 12, 1945. In 1946 all of the franchises of pioneer operator R. C. Bowen were consolidated into Lone Star Coaches and then merged into the new Continental Bus system. On December 9, 1947, all of the Moore and Bowen interests formed the nucleus of the new Transcontinental Bus System (Continental Trailways), with national operations headquartered in Dallas.” And so, in 1945 Bowen Motor Coaches and Bowen Trailways were consolidated (along with Tri-State Transit Co.) into Continental Bus System, becoming the first company to operate under name Continental Trailways. (See Arkansas Motor Coaches, Ltd., Inc. for a detailed examination of M. E. Moore’s connection to Arkansas Motor Coaches.)
BOWMAN DAM STAGE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Auburn, California. The contacts were named Jones, Jones and Rupley.
BOYCE BUS LINE was operating in the early 1950s. The owner was John R. Boyce, who ran 15 city buses in Massena, New York, and intercity buses to Ogdensburg and Potsdam, New York. The company was still operating in the late 1950s.
BOYD & MATTLY STAGE COMPANY / BOYD STAGE COMPANY was running out of Union Depot in Bakersfield, California, in 1924-1927. Walter Boyd and Gottlieb Mattly were the owners / operators.
BOYD STAGE LINE was operating in the San Francisco Bay, California, area in 1922. In May 1930 the company was sold to Pacific Greyhound Lines, Inc.
BRADLEY-BRYSON STAGE LINE was owned and operated by Clyde S. Dayton. It was operating in 1924 out of Pleyto, California.
BRANCH BUS CORPORATION was founded in 1949. In 1973 it was absorbed into Long Island Bus, which “is somewhat a part of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority for bus service throughout Nassau County and some stops along the western border of Suffolk County, and the eastern border of Queens on Long Island, New York. Long Island Bus provides convenient service to people who live or work in nearly 100 Long Island communities who board on buses and arrive at their destinations safely and comfortably.”
BRANDYWINE TRANSIT COMPANY was incorporated on February 11, 1925, in Coatesville, Pennsylvania as a subsidiary of Reading Street Railway. It served Ephrata, Reading, Christiana, Coatesville, West Chester and intermediate points. The company went out of business in 1958. The badge is an older type made of nickel-plated brass with the state seal of Pennsylvania in the center; it has a single threaded post with one threaded post and measures approx. 2″.
BRECKSVILLE ROAD TRANSIT Brecksville, Ohio. Formed in 1971, it is a family owned charter service. Measures 3½”; single threaded post.
BREMEN-SOUTH BEND MOTOR BUS COMPANY, INC. The earliest mention for this company is in 1925, at which time it was running out of Bremen, Indiana. There is a mention of the company in the January 3, 1929 edition of the Bremen Enquirer from Bremen, Indiana: “The Bremen-South Bend Motor Bus Co., announces the addition to the regular daily service between Bremen and South Bend of a Parlor Car Bus for the convenience of the working people. The Bus is scheduled to start Monday, January 7th, leaving Bremen at 5:50 A. M. sharp, Wyatt 6:05 A. M., Mishawaka 6:30 A. M. arrives in South Bend at 6:45 A. M. Twelve Ride Ticket Books will be available at a great saving for the daily rider. $4.50 a book, with a 30 day limit. These tickets will be accepted on the 3:00, 5:45 and 7:10 P. M. Busses leaving South Bend Station. The 7:10 P. M. Bus out of South Bend can be changed to the majorities’ convenience. Suggestions will be gladly accepted.” The last mention I find of this company is in 1930.
BREMERTON – TACOMA STAGES, INC. / CASCADE TRAILWAYS On May 12, 1922, the State of Washington Department of Transportation issued a certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Hubert B. Secor to furnish passenger, express and freight service between Gig Harbor and Tacoma. This certificate was transferred to “Henry Kaffenberger and H. B. Secor d/b/a Gig Harbor-Tacoma Transportation Co. on September 8, 1922.” There followed another certificate transfer to Hubert B. Secor on February 16, 1923, “of passenger and express service only, operating from Gig Harbor and Tacoma.” Secor’s first bus was from White Motor Company, followed by a Pierce-Arrow bus/auto. Secor hired two drivers, Roscoe Savage and Roy Clark. On February 1, 1931, the certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity was transferred to Joseph Lyons, owner of the Tacoma Bus Company. At some point in the 1930s Lyons changed the company name to Bremerton-Tacoma Stages and incorporated. (It is listed in the 1939 Russell’s National Motor Coach Guide as Bremerton-Tacoma Stages, Inc., with J. H. Lyons as president and general manager.) By 1946 Thomas Myers was running the company and was serving Bremerton, Port Orchard, Gig Harbor, Tacoma Olympia and Shelton; it ran 22 buses over 38 route miles. According to Jon Hobijn, in July 1960 the company was purchased by Elwood Arneson, and joined National Trailways as Cascade Trailways in 1972. Jon Hobijn, goes on to note that Arneson sold the company in 1978 to Tom Harmon and Roger Peck. However, according to Washington state records, the company was incorporated on February 21, 1951 with Paul Holt Harmon and wife, June M. Harmon, as registered agents; its address was 15011 47th Ave. E., Tacoma, Washington and its dissolution date is September 18, 2000. Paul and June Harmon were also the registered agents/owners of Pacific National Line, Inc. (December 3, 1968), Chinook Transportation Corporation (Nov. 06, 1968) and the Tacoma Suburban Lines, Inc. (May 7, 1957). If we accept Jon Hobijn’s account, the date of 1951 must have been a re-incorporation of the company. However, the Sunday, March 3, 2002 edition of the Seattle Times printed an article about Mr. Arneson’s death, in which his history in the transportation industry was outlined: “Elwood Arneson, 86, Husky fan, founder of Evergreen Trailways. . . . Mr. Arneson’s parents started a local bus company, the North Bend Stage Lines, in 1919. The family operated the company for 21 years, when it became part of the National Trailways bus system. Mr. Arneson then started Evergreen Trailways, selling his interest in 1951.” Although it is noted that Mr. Arneson drove his last bus when he was aged 79, there is no mention of Bremerton-Tacoma Stages, nor Cascade Trailways in the article. To add complications, there is Paul Holt Harmon’s lengthy obituary from Mountain View Funeral Home, published on November 29, 2002 in Tacoma, Washington. According to the obituary, Harmon, who was 73, was one of those featured in a book, Washington Diversity in the Pacific Northwest. Here is a portion of that obituary mentioning Harmon’s entry into the public transportation industry: “It all began in 1949, when young Paul Harmon became a night shift driver at what was then Tacoma Suburban Lines. Harmon acquired the Tacoma Suburban Lines along with three other companies from 1974 to 1978, and became a member carrier in the National Trailways Bus System. . . . Today, Harmon is the chief executive officer of Cascade Trailways.” The obit notes that Paul Harmon retired in 1994 after selling Cascade Trailways to Holland America Lines. Undoubtedly the three “other companies” purchased were the Pacific National Lines, Inc., Chinook Transportation Corporation and Bremerton-Tacoma Stages, Inc. Okay; so I leave it to the reader to untangle the somewhat conflicting information. According to one source Bremerton-Tacoma Stages, Inc. operated until 1987, and, as noted above, Cascade Trailways lasted until 1994.
BREVARD BUS LINE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Asheville, North Carolina.
BRIARWOOD BUS CO., INC. ran in 1933 in Queens, New York City, on Briarwood Road.
BRIDGE TRANSIT COMPANY operated six buses between downtown Louisville, Kentucky, and both Jeffersonville and Clarksville, Indiana, beginning in 1929. It closed down in 1972 and Home Transit of New Albany, Indiana, picked up the Jeffersonville and Clarksville routes.
BRIDGEPORT BODIE & MONO LAKE STAGE ROUTE was running in 1924 in Bridgeport, California. J.T. McAlee was the owner/operator.
BRIDGEPORT & WATERBURY PASSENGER SERVICE, INC. started in business operating a taxi service named Bridgeport & Waterbury Taxi Service. At some point in the mid-late 1910s, it started operating buses between Bridgeport and Waterbury, Connecticut, and was doing so by the early 1920s.
BRIDGEVILLE-RUTH STAGE LINE ran out of Bridgeville, California, in 1924. It served Bridgeville and Ruth, California.
BCE B.C. ELECTRIC RAILWAY CO. / BRITISH COLUMBIA ELECTRIC RAILWAY (BCER) was an historic railway which operated in southwestern British Columbia, Canada. Originally the parent company, and later a division, of BC Electric, the BCER assumed control of existing streetcar and interurban lines in southwestern British Columbia in 1897, and operated the electric railway systems in the region until the last interurban service was discontinued in 1958. The older badge measures approx. 1.3″ x 2″ and is a pin back. The newer badge is die pressed, measures approx.: 2½” x 2¼” with two threaded posts, and has two mounting loops.
B. C. MOTOR TRANSPORTATION LTD. / BRITISH COLUMBIA MOTOR TRANSPORTATION LIMITED This company was formed in December 1925 as a subsidiary of the B.C. Electric Railway. As a result of the competition the B.C. Motor Transportation Ltd., acquired financial control of the Green Stages Ltd., and as of July 1, 1926, the services became the Pacific Stage Lines (PSL). The badge is 2″ tall by 1-3/4″ wide. Nickel plated brass, with two threaded posts. The badge measures 2″ x 1 ¾” wide.
CITY OF BROCKTON TRANSIT / BROCKTON AREA TRANSIT These two companies are of fairly recent origins and serve the Brockton, Massachusetts, area, which includes Abington, Avon, Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, Easton, Stoughton, Canton, West Bridgewater and Whitman. According to the company’s current website, the previous service was offered by Union Street Railway Company, until a protracted labor strike prompted the city to buy the routes and buses in September 1973. One year later, this system was reorganized as Brockton Area Transit to secure state funding. The 1950s editions of the MTD list Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company providing bus service to Brockton and the communities listed above. That company operated 695 buses over 711 route miles in 1954. There are two badges for this company. The first badge, which is likely rare since that company operated for only one year; it is nickel-plated metal with two threaded posts. The second badge is nickel-plated metal and has a pin and clasp back.
BROOKLYN BUS CORPORATION was a bus operator in the borough of Brooklyn, New York. It was organized as a subsidiary by the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation to operate their franchised bus lines. It ran in the 1940s and 1950s. Ultimately the company’s routes, along with all other BMT operations, were taken over by the New York City Board of Transportation. The badge measures 2″ x 2 ½”; and has a single threaded post.
B.R.T. CO. / BROOKLYN RAPID TRANSIT COMPANY This is a rather rare badge, as the BRT only existed from 1896 until 1919 when they went bankrupt. In 1923, the company restructured and was renamed the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation. This badge was made by the Whitehead and Hoag Co., Newark, NJ. It measures 1″ x 2¼” and has two threaded posts.
BROOKLYN & QUEENS TRANSIT CORPORATION was a subsidiary of the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation and operated streetcars in Brooklyn and Queens, New York City. It was created in 1929 and its operations were transferred to the New York City Board of Transportation in 1940, and to the New York City Transit Authority in 1956.
BROOKS BUS LINE, INC. / BROOKS TRAILWAYS BUS LINE Brooks Bus Line was a interstate bus company founded by J. Polk Brooks in Paducah, Kentucky, in the 1920s. The following information is from “Brooks Bus Line: The Long Commute from Paducah to Opportunity in Detroit“, by Matt Markgraf, July 1, 2016: While working in Detroit in the late 1920s, J. P. Brooks noticed “a lot of people coming from western Kentucky to work. . . . In 1929, he bought a car and started driving seven of his friends. It was a 24-hour drive; they’d leave on Sunday, work for a week and come home for the weekend.” In 1934 Brooks bought a bus and operated out of a station at 5th and Monroe Streets in Paducah. “It was a rough ride on the bus. While the trip was eventually reduced to 11 hours, the bus had no air conditioning and no bathrooms. Brooks’ daughter-in-law wrote a book about the line and remarks about the western Kentucky connections in Detroit: the grocery store there where they’d get picked up was run by someone from the region. . . . In 1940, the company was hired by the TVA to transport workers building the dams. Charter business took off. . . . April 26, 1980 was the last bus up to Detroit. There were three passengers on the final ride back home. . . . By the 1990s, they sold to another bus company.” In 1942 Brooks Bus Line joined the National Trailways Bus System and was known as Brooks Trailways Bus Line. The company ceased its affilation with Trailways in 1959. In 1960 the company was incorporated in Paducah, Kentucky, by J. Polk Brooks.
BROWARD COUNTY MASS TRANSIT was based in Fort Lauderdale, Broward Co., Florida. The badge has two threaded posts.
BROWN AUTO STAGE COMPANY ran a 33 mile route from Klamath Falls to Chiloquin, Oregon, in 1923.
BROWN’S STAGE ran a 19.6 mile route from The Dalles to Durfur, Oregon, and a 49 mile route from The Dalles to Grass Valley in 1923.
BROWNELL BROTHERS, INC. “Tuesday July 3, 1928: The Saratoga City Council granted to Clayton and Frank Brownell, operating as the Brownell Brothers, a franchise to operate a bus line from Mechanicville to Saratoga Springs, by way of Ballston Spa.” Apparently in the early 1930s the Brownell brothers changed the name of their company to L.B.K. LINES, INC. This company was advertising in January 12, 1933, as being formerly the Brownell Brothers, Incorporated, and a 1953 newspaper article indicated that the Brownell brothers still controlled the L.B.K. Lines. The line ran between Troy, Waterford, Mechanicville, Stillwater, Schuylerville, Bound Lake, Ballston and Albany, New York. The company was still running in the 1950s.
BRUSH HILL TRANSPORTATION COMPANY / BRUSH HILL TOURS Brush Hill Transportation Company started operating from Mattapan, Massachusetts, to Milton, Massachusetts, in 1925. In 1946 the company was controlled by Warwick Coach Lines and was operating 24 buses over 49 route miles. Its office was located Malden, Massachusett, and it served the towns of Milton and West Canton. Charles W. Warwick was the president. In 1954 George A. Anzuoni, Sr., who had founded Service Bus Lines in 1920, acquired Brush Hill Transportation Company, which had become bankrupt. He appointed his son, Lawrence A. Anzuoni, Sr., as manager. At the time, the company offered transportation to those employed by the large estates on Brush Hill Road in Milton, Massachusetts and also provided transit service on two commuter lines. The company began operating charter bus service under the name Brush Hill Tours. In the early 1990s it was awarded the Gray Line Sightseeing Franchise for the Boston and Cape Cod area. The company is still in business.
BUCKEYE STAGES, INC. / BUCKEYE STAGES SYSTEM Buckeye Stages was founded in Columbus, Ohio, in August 1920. In 1926 Ralph W. Sanborn, a Cleveland, Ohio, lawyer, moved Columbus, Ohio and incorporated Buckeye Stages, of which he served as president. (Sanborn was connected to the management of a number of early Ohio bus companies in the 1930s.) In 1930 Buckeye Stages, Inc.’s company offices were located at 514 West Rich Street, with a bus terminal on Town Street. Their fleet of 60 buses operated between Cincinnati and Cleveland with some 150 employees. “Buckeye Stages, Inc., is conceded to be one of the largest and best equipped bus companies in the state of Ohio. During 1924-25 Mr. Sanborn was president of the Ohio Motor Bus Association, and during 1926 held the office of president of the National Motor Bus Association.” (Opha Moore, History of Franklin County, Ohio, Historical Publishing Company, Topeka – Indianapolis 1930.) By 1937 the company was operating 100 coaches over 1,300 route miles in Ohio. The company is not listed in the 1939 Russell’s Guide, nor the early editions of the MTD. It is listed in the 1956 MTD as running 12 buses over 293 route miles and was operating out of Fostoria, Ohio.
BUFFALO & AKRON TRANSIT COMPANY In 1927 this company was running and intercity bus service between Buffalo, New York, and Akron, New York.
BUFFALO TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. was founded by in 1924 by William H. Pennsyres and ran a route from downtown Buffalo through to Cheektowaga, Clarence, ending in the Town of Akron, New York. The company incorporated in 1927, and added routes to Depew, Lancaster, Alden, Darien, Alexander and Attica. In 1931 the company acquired the Erie County Motor Coach Lines, which added more routes. In 1946 the company acquired the Hamburg Bus Company, again adding more routes. William Pennsyres sold the company in 1943 to Jerry G. Campbell, who worked as a salesman for Yellow Coach manufacturing division of General Motors. By 1946 the company was operating 93 buses and was controlling Erie County Motor Coach Lines, Inc., Red Bus Line, Inc. and Hamburg Railway Company. In 1961, the Niagara Frontier Transit System purchased the company and folded its routes into their own. The badge is made of nickel-plated metal, measures 2″ x 2⅝”, and has two threaded posts with no maker’s mark.
BUFFO & CONIGLIO AUTO STAGE LINE was running in the early 1920s out of Pittsburg, California. It was owned and operated by G. Buffo and H. Coniglio. The business was still functional in 1929.
BURKE SANITARIUM AUTO BUS was operating in 1924 out of Burke, California. John W. Wilson was the owner/operator.
BURKE TRANSIT COMPANY was operating in the mid 1940s out of Morgantown, North Carolina. It ran from Morgantown to Salem.
BURLINGTON CITY LINES The history of this company starts in Burlington, Iowa, with the Burlington Street Railway Company in 1874. This company was succeeded by the Union Street Railway Company in 1878; then came Burlington Railway & Light Company in 1895 with electric streetcars. People’s Gas & Electric Company took over in 1901 and was succeeded in 1912 by Burlington Railway & Light Company. United Utilities Corporation took over in 1921 followed by Iowa Southern Utilities Company in 1924. In 1929 streetcars were discontinued in Burlington. In 1941 National City Lines took over bus service in Burlington as Burlington City Lines. This company was succeeded in 1958 by Burlington Transit Lines. There are two varieties of badges for this company. The older badge has raised and recessed lettering, has two threaded posts, was made by GREENDUCK CO. CHICAGO and measures approx. 3″ x 2″. The later version is identical except that the lettering is flush with the badge’s smooth surface. It is not marked on the reverse, but was probably made by Greenduck.
BURLINGTON RAPID TRANSIT / BURLINGTON TRANSIT COMPANY See VERMONT TRANSIT COMPANY.
BURLINGTON TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, was formed in 1929 as a bus subsidiary of Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad. Among other purchases, it bought Cannon Ball Coach Line. The company joined Trailways in 1936 as Burlington Trailways, was sold to American Bus Lines in 1946, and finally to Transcontinental Bus System / Continental Trailways in 1953. (For more details see Burlington Trailways.)
BURNS STAGE LINES The information on this company comes from a period photograph showing two company buses parked on an unidentified city street, presumably somewhere in Washington state. The first bus, dating from the late 1920s, reads “BURNS STAGE LINES” and lists the cities served painted on the sides, which are Spokane, Moscow, Lewiston, Troy and Bovill, Washington. The second bus is newer and looks to be from the mid-1930s. It too has the same destinations painted on its side. There is no information on the Net, research libraries in Washington, nor any of the books in my library about this company.
BURNS TRANSPORTATION COMPANY was organized by A. G. Burns in June 1916 to run regular autobus service during the summer months from Billings to East Rosebud Lake, a tourist destination.
BURNS TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, INC. In November 1933 the Alabama Public Service Commission set a hearing for the petition of John Burns, d.b.a. Burns Transportation Company, to operate a bus line between Sheffield and Florence through the Muscle Shoals district of Alabama. Burns’ petition was approved. The story is picked up on page 7 of The February 5, 1933, edition of The Birmingham News from Birmingham, Alabama: “TROLLEY SERVICE ENDS Sheffield Street Car Franchise Lapsed After 30 Years SHEFFIELD — Midnight Friday saw the end of 30 years service by the street cars in this city. The franchise given the Sheffield Company in 1903, and later sold to the Alabama Power Company in 1934, expired at that time, and the latter firm did not ask to renew the franchise. The cities of Florence and Tuscumbia also are without the services of street cars due to the fact that the city fathers of the two agreed to allow the Alabama Power Company to cease operations at the same time it did in Sheffield, as the Burns Transportation Company would inaugurate a bus lines to serve the Trl-Cities instead of the street cars.”
In February 1933 the company signed a contract with the Southern Railroad to furnish a bus service in Florence, after the railroad discontinued its trolley service on February 3. In November 1936 a hearing was set for Burns Transportation Company to sell a portion of it operating certificate to MO-ARK Coach Lines. In 1936 Burns Transportation Company, Inc. was awarded a 30-year franchise from the cities of Sheffield and Tuscumbia, Alabama, to operate a local bus line. In April 1936 the Florence, Alabama, board of city commissioners granted Burns Transportation Company a 30-year transit franchise.
In December 1941 Burns Transportation Company’s franchise was transferred by the Florence city commission to Shoals Transit, Inc., whose corporation, SHOALS TRANSIT & TRANSIT HOLDINGS, was recently formed to begin the bus company. D. S. Frayer of Jacksonville, Florida, was the new company’s owner and president. Shoals Transit, Inc. served the Tri-Cities of Florence, Sheffield and Tuscumbia, Alabama.
In March 1945, near the end of World War Two, it was announced that the company would receive five new 33 passenger buses in April from Southern Coach Manufacturing Company of Evergreen. On March 30, 1950, Shoals Transit, Inc. was sold by its owner D. S. Frayer to D. J. Giacoma and associates. A. W. Freund was general manager. Giacoma had bus operations in Danville, Centralia and Cario, Ill., Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Dyersburn, Tennessee. Giacoma also bought Pensacola, Inc., operating out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida. In 1954 the company was operating 15 buses over 40 route miles. By 1956 the company was owned by American Transit Lines, Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri. On April 30, 1960, Shoals Transit, Inc. announced it would terminated its service to the Tri-Cities. The company postponed the shut-down date until June so its replacement company, Joiner Bus Lines, could take over service. In June the city of Florence, Alabama, granted Joiner Bus Lines a 30-year franchise. Joiner ran four routes in Florence, with some service to Sheffield and Tuscumbia.
BURNS TRANSPORTATION LINES I’m not sure of this company, but it may be the same as Burns Transportation Company, which ran buses in Sheffield, Florence, Muscle Shoals and Tuscumbia, Alabama.
BUS TRANSPORTATION COMPANY The Denver Tramway Company ran bus lines as subsidiaries until 1933, to avoid complicating their franchise agreements with the city of Denver, Colorado. The subsidiaries operated under revocable permits issued by the city. The first subsidiary was the Englewood & Fort Logan Bus Company, which connected the end of streetcar Rt. 3 in Englewood with the Veterans Administration facilities at Fort Logan. The second was the Fitzsimons Bus & Taxi Company, which connected Fitzsimons Army Hospital with downtown Denver along Colfax, 17th, and 18th Avenues. It was purchased by the Tramway Company in 1929 and operated as a subsidiary until it was dissolved in 1943. A third subsidiary, Bus Transportation Company, was formed by the Denver Tramway Company in 1927. It was absorbed into the Tramway Company in 1933.
BUTTE CITY LINES, INC. / BUTTE ELECTRIC RAILWAY COMPANY This company’s history starts with the closure of Butte Electric Railway Company, which began operation in Butte, Montana, in 1899.
Butte Electric Railway Company, which was controlled by Anaconda Copper Mining Company, ran its last streetcar in Butte on Tuesday, September 21, 1937, and the following day Butte City Lines‘s bus fleet rolled onto the streets. The company was owned by the notorious National City Lines and controlled by its president, E. Roy Fitzgerald. In August 1937 the company filed articles of incorporation in Helena; two of the incorporators were E. Roy Fitzgerald and brother Ed Fitzgerald of Chicago. In 1946 the company’s ownership changed hands. The new owner was Western Transit Company, which continued operations under the name Butte City Lines. In 1959 the company ceased operations and was replaced by Silver Bow Transit Company, which was a private company owned by Ralph Olsen. This company lasted until 1962 when it was replaced by Butte Bus Lines, Inc., which was owned and operated by Art Kalarchik and Glen Lince. That company went out of business in 1976. The below photos are of a Butte City Lines’ service pin, which is 10k gold filled.
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