BUS COMPANIES BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER “J”
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J. H .T. CO. I have no information on this company. The badge measures 1¾” x 2½” and is die pressed with one threaded post.
JACKRABBIT TRANSPORTATION COMPANY was formed in 1922 in South Dakota. In 1925 Dan Hansen and his nephew, Lowell C. Hansen of Sioux Falls, purchased the company. In January 1947, Dan Hansen sold his interest in the company, leaving Lowell Hansen as sole owner. (Dan Hansen died in September 1949 of cancer.)
JACKSON-CAMP PARDEE STAGE LINE was operating out of Jackson, California, in the late 1920s. D. A. Garibaldi was the owner.
JACKSON COOK’S STATION AUTO LINE was operating in the late 1920s out of Cook’s Station, California, in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Enrico N. Cuneo was the agent. (He also operated Jackson & Volcano Auto Line and Jackson Rangers Station Auto Line.)
JACKSON COUNTY BUS LINE, INC. was operating in the mid 1920s in North Carolina. It operated from Sylva to Rich Mountain via Highway 106.
JACKSON-HOWELL BUS LINE was advertising in December 1921 in the Pinckney Dispatch and operated out of Jackons, Michigan. F. B. Palmer was the owner/operator. The company served Jackson, Munith, Stockbridge, Gregory, Pinckney and Howell, Michigan.
JACKSON-PLYMOUTH STAGE LINE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Jackson, California. Joseph J. Ratto was the owner.
JACKSON RANGERS STATION AUTO LINE was operating in the late 1920s out of Volcano, California. Enrico N. Cuneo was the owner. (He also operated the Jackson Cook’s Station Auto Line and Jackson & Volcano Auto Line.)
THE JACKSON & VOLCANO AUTO LINE This company’s existence creates an interesting puzzle. There are two companies with virtually identical names, the difference being “The” on this company. This company was operated by the White brothers, while Jackson & Volcano Auto Line was operated by Enrico N. Cuneo. Both operated out of Volcano, California, and both at the same time. (Cuneo also operated Jackson Cook’s Station Auto Line, Jackson Rangers Station Auto Line and Jackson & Volcano Auto Line.)
JACKSON & VOLCANO AUTO LINE was operating in the late 1920s out of Volcano, California. Enrico N. Cuneo was the registered contact. (See above.)
JACKSONVILLE BUS LINE Otto M. Olsen (1889-1932) and his wife, Mabel U. Hansen Olsen (1891-1973), moved to Jacksonville, Illinois, in 1921. That same year they started the Jacksonville Bus Line running from Jacksonville to Springfield. Beginning with a single bus, passengers were transported between Jacksonville and Springfield via the old unpaved state road. In 1924, they extended their route to Pittsfield and Quincy; in 1929, to St. Louis, and in 1932, to Pekin and Peoria. Later, they ran all the way to Chicago. After Otto died in 1932, Mabel, along with their son Kenneth, took over running the company as president and vice president. (Kenneth L. Olsen died in April, 1953.) In 1938 the company joined the Trailways Bus System. By 1953 the company’s 15 buses drove 414 route miles, traveling a total of 853,794 miles. In 1954, 212,456 passengers were carried. Mabel Olsen sold the business in 1972.
JACKSONVILLE COACH COMPANY In 1945 this company succeeded Motor Transit Co. (owned by National City Lines) providing local bus service in Jacksonville, Florida. It was owned by City Coach Lines, Inc. and ran until 1971. Service was then taken over by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA), which still runs buses in Jacksonville and surrounding communities.
JACKSONVILLE-SPRINGFIELD BUS COMPANY ran from Jacksonville to Springfield, Illinois, in Oct. 1922.
JAHNS BUS COMPANY / H. E. JAHNS BUS COMPANY When the Goshen South Bend & Chicago Railroad Company streetcar operations in 1918 in LaPorte, Indiana. The company was sold to the Felder Bus Company in 1927, but continued operations under the name Jahns Bus Company.
JAMAICA BUSES INC. / JAMAICA BUS LINES / JAMAICA BUS COMPANY was a bus company in New York City, operating local service in Queens and express service to Manhattan. After the bankruptcy of the Long Island Electric Railway in 1926, the company’s trolley lines in Nassau County were disestablished, however the ones in Queens survived, and the company was reorganized as the Jamaica Central Railways. In 1930, the City of New York granted the company a bus franchise service named Jamaica Buses, a subsidiary of Jamaica Central Railways. Bus operation over all the former JCR trolley lines began on November 12, 1933; this coincided with the widening of Jamaica Avenue, and the removal of the trolley tracks on the former routes. The company was acquired by the stockholders of Green Bus Lines in April 1949 after financial troubles, but also continued to operate independently. The change in ownership took effect on April 13, 1949, with Green Lines paying $200,000. The company operated until January 30, 2006, when the Metropolitan Transit Authority took over its operations.
JAMESTOWN MOTOR BUS TRANSPORTATION COMPANY was formed in Jamestown, New York, in 1922 by the Jamestown Street Railway Company as a cost cutting way of adding new service. The first buses were three Pierce-Arrow truck chassis with Kuhlman Car Company bus bodies. These buses provided service to the west side of Jamestown where there were no trolley tracks and eventually expanded service to Greenhurst, Kiantone and Ashville. The trolley company and its subsidiary bus company were sold in 1937. Jamestown Motor Bus Transportation Company continued running until 1962.
JAMES RIVER BUS LINE, INC. / JAMES RIVER TRANSPORTATION This company is still in operation and its history is posted on the company’s website. In 1918 William W. Briesmaster began operating a bus line from rural Virginia to Richmond, following the path of the James River through central Virginia (known as the James River Route). At some point Briesmaster sold the company to W. J. Sheppard, who operated a vehicle maintenance garage in Buckingham County. Sheppard changed the name to James River Bus Lines and continued operating the company until 1954 when he sold it to Irving C. Hammock and James H. Rand. These two men owned a Chrysler Plymouth Dodge automobile dealership and a company called Picket Service Company, which provided transportation between Richmond and the busy United States Army Base, Camp Picket. In 1954 James River Bus Lines’ main service consisted of three scheduled buses operating between Buckingham and Richmond, Virginia, two charter coaches for leisure trips and two Highway Post Office Mail vehicles. In 1954 the company applied to operate an expanded service: “For authority to operate as a common carrier, over a regular route, transporting: Passengers and their baggage, and mail, express and newspapers, in the same vehicle with passengers, between Sprouse’s Corner,Va., and Richmond, Va., from Sprouse’s Corner, over U. S. Highway 15 to Dixie, and thence over Virginia Highway 6 to Richmond, and return over the same route, serving all intermediate points. Applicant is authorized to conduct operations in Maryland; North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.” James River Bus Company’s operations were moved to Richmond, Virginia. L. Woodrow “Woody” Story was hired as general manager to run the operation. On April 1, 1978, Story became owner and President of James River Bus Lines. His partner and wife, Anne Story, was Vice President and later Vice Chair until her passing in 2000. Today (2018) the company is operating as James River Transportation and celebrating its 90th year.
JEFFERSON HIGHWAY TRANSPORTATION COMPANY See Jefferson Transportation Company.
JEFFERSON LINES is operated by Jefferson Partners L.P., located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The company is the second-largest bus company in the US that operates from fixed stations. Founded in 1919 during the early days of motorcoach travel, the company serves 13 states as of 2014: The company’s name originates in the Jefferson Highway, a north-south route in the early National Auto Trail system which once ran from Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, south to New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1966 Jefferson Lines bought Crown Coach, which was an affiliate of Greyhound Lines: “Friday, October 14, 1966: Louis N. Zelle, president of Jefferson Lines of Minneapolis, and Claude E. Brown, president of Crown Coach Company, Joplin, Mo., announced today that Jefferson Lines has concluded negotiations with the stockholders of Crown Coach Company, to acquire the Brown family interests in Crown. Greyhound Lines, a minority stockholder of Crown Coach, has been associated with the Brown family since 1930 and will continue the same association with the new owners.” By 1990, the company was believed to be the second-largest intercity bus company in the country after Continental Trailways was bought by Greyhound Lines. The badge measures 2 ¼” x 2 ½” and has one threaded post.
There are several additional badges found bearing the name “Jefferson Lines”. We may assume these are from the above company. Badge one colored in red, has a single threaded post. Badge two with one threaded post.
JEFFERSON LINES, INC. See Jefferson Transportation Company.
JEFFERSON TRANSIT (Jefferson County, Washington,) had its beginning in 1980 with a federal grant and the formation of the Public Transportation Benefit Authority (PTBA) of Jefferson County. A temporary company named Jefferson County Transit began operations by leasing buses and drivers from Port Townsend’s Stevens Stage Lines. In November 1980 53% of voters approved a public transit system by self-imposing a 0.3 % sales tax. The following year, 1981, the renamed Jefferson Transit began operations. The new agency continued using Stevens Stage Line’s drivers and buses (including the company’s offices). In August 1981 Jefferson Transit bought Stevens Stage Lines and thus the two agencies legally merged. Jefferson Transit continues to operate a transit system for Jefferson County, Washington.
For a detailed history of Jefferson Transit, see Meet Me At The Bus Stop: 125 Years of Public Transit in Jefferson County, Washington.
JEFFERSON HIGHWAY TRANSPORTATION COMPANY / JEFFERSON TRANSPORTATION COMPANY This company began in September 1919 as Jefferson Highway Transportation Company in Minneapolis, Minn. On June 30, 1925, Edgar F. Zelle, who owned the Red Bus Line, bought the company; in 1929 he shortened the name to Jefferson Transportation Company. In 1968 the company merged with Crown Coach Company and a new company, known as Jefferson Lines, Inc., was born. However, Jefferson Transportation Company remained the principal owner. Edgar Zelle’s son, Louis Zelle, became president of Jefferson Transportation Company in the mid 1960s. In the early 1970s, the company changed its name to The Jefferson Company, which continued to operate Jefferson Lines, Inc. Edgar Zelle died in August 1978.
JEFFERSONVILLE BUS LINES operated bus service in Jeffersonville, Indiana, at some point after 1932, when Public Service Co. of Indiana stopped running streetcars. According to Chicago Transit & Rail Fan’s webpage, it ran until 1950 when it was taken over by Bridge Transit Company. However, an October 22, 1959, article in the Louisville, Kentucky, The Courier-Journal records “A buyer has been found for Jeffersonville Bus Lines and bus service will continue in Jeffersonville and Clarksville. This was wast the word yesterday from Charley Bush, a member of the Clark County Chamber of Commerce transportation committee. The owner, Mrs. Robert S. Brown, has said the line lost money last year. A week ago she put the firm up for sale. Service was to have stopped last night if a purchaser was not found.” Clearly it was in 1960, not 1950, when Bridge Transit took over Jeffersonville Bus Lines’ operations.
JERSEY CENTRAL TRANSPORTATION COMPANY ran in the late 1920s in Lakewood, New Jersey.
JERSEY CITY-KEANSBURG BUS COMPANY There is a Woodbridge, N. J., newspaper notice dated July 26, 1929, that the Public Utilities Commission dismissed Jersey City-Keansburg Bus Company application to operate six auto buses between Jersey City and Keansburg. The commission stated that the Pennsylvania and Central railroads opposed the application. I’m not sure if the company was already established by this date, or was trying to become established. However, it did start running buses, as this newspaper notice makes clear: “LONG BRANCH, N.J. TUESDAY, JULY 7, 1931, ORDER ISSUED AGAINST KEANSBURG BUS CO. Vice Chancellor Malcolm G. Buchanan today permanently restrained the Jersey City-Keansburg Bus Company from operating a fleet of motor buses between Journal Square, Jersey City, and Keansburg. The board of public utility commissioners, through John A. Bernhard, counsel, charged the operation was unlawful becat/e municipal consents had not been obtained and approved by the board. Thomas J. Armstrong, counsel to the company, objected to issue of the restraining order,’ maintaining the board should have brought its action before a criminal court.” I’m not sure if this company continued in service after 1931, but it’s my opinion that Pennsylvania and Central Railroads and their lackeys on the PUC were determined to kill the Jersey City-Keansburg Bus Company!
JERSEY CITY NUTLEY BUS CO. The Eighteenth Annual Report of the Board of Public Utility Commissioners for the State of New Jersey for the Year 1927 records that the Jersey City-Nutley Bus Company had applied to run a route between Nutley, N.J., to Jersey City, N.J., with a fleet of three buses. The number of buses listed for the company is 3. The badge is a pin back and measures 1 ½” x 1 ½”.
Jesse L Bartlett/Universal Auto Bus Service (NY) 1959
JERUSALEM AVENUE BUS LINE, INC. began running in 1926 in Nassau Co., New York. In 1954 it was operating out of East Meadow, Long Island, as an intercity company. It served Hempstead, Wantagh, Merrick and East Meadow with 14 buses over 22 route miles. Clarence Geiger was the president of the company. In 1968 the company was bought by George Semke, who owned CBS Lines, Inc. and Harran Transportation Co, Inc. In 1973 the Metropolitan Suburban Bus Authority, commonly known as Long Island Bus, acquired Jerusalem Avenue Bus Line, Inc., along with ten other Long Island bus companies. The badge is made of nickel-plated metal with one pin post and one threaded post.
JOHNSON BUS LINES, INC. This company was operating in Milford, Massachusetts, in 1925 when it took over the Woonsocket line when the Milford, Attleboro & Woonsocket Line shut down. At that time the Johnson Bus Lines ran their motor buses to Bellingham, Franklin and Wrentham with a fleet of 10 White Motor Company buses. On December 31, 1928, the Milford, Framingham, Hopedale & Uxbridge Street Railway Company operated its last street car. Their routes were taken over by Milford-Framingham & Uxbridge Coach Company, which served the towns of Framingham, Hopkinton, Holliston. Medway, Hopedale, Mendon, Uxbridge, Grafton and Upton; and the Johnson Bus Lines Company, which provided service between Milford and Boston via Medway, and between Milford and Worcester via Grafton, Upton and Hopedale. By the 1950s the company was running between Boston and Milford, via Westwood, Medfield, Millis and Medway. In 1953 the company was sold to Peter C. Snell of Milford and his partner, George Sage. (The two men also owned Englander Coach Lines in Greenfield, Massachusetts, and, although the companies were separate, they often interchanged both buses and drivers when needed.) According to the DPU CPCN Review the company was sold in 1962 to The Short Line. In 1971 a consolidation of The Short Line and Interstate Busses Corp. created the Bonanza Bus Lines. The badge is made of brass and enamel, measures 2″, has a single threaded post and was made by AMERICAN RLWY SUPPLY CO. NY.
JOHNSON BUS LINES, INC. was founded by Max Johnson (1932-2007) in 1989 in Le Center, Minnesota. The company was sold to Palmer Bus Service in 2007.
JOHNSON CITY & CARNEGIE STREET RAILWAY COMPANY / JOHNSON CITY STREETCAR COMPANY / JOHNSON CITY TRACTION COMPANY / JOHNSON CITY TRANSIT COMPANY In 1888 John T. Wilder established a new town adjacent to Johnson City, Tennessee. Funded by the famed industrialist Andrew Carnegie, he named the place Carnegie, Tennessee—which in fact was a condition of Carnegie’s funding. Part of the town was located about one mile from the commercial district of Johnson City, which Wilder connected via a new streetcar line—the Johnson City & Carnegie Street Railway Company, running a total of four miles. In the late 1890s Samuel Cole Williams and Walter P. Brownlow formed Watauga Light and Power Company and the Johnson City Streetcar Company in Johnson City. According to several sources, both companies were taken over in 1902 by Johnson City Traction Company, however, the July 13, 1912, edition of the Electrical Review and Western Electrician seems to place the takeover at a much later date: “Johnson City, Tenn E.M. Runnels, of the Bristol Board of Trade, is negotiating with the recently organized Johnson City Traction Company for the construction of a 25-mile line connecting the two cities. The Johnson City company took over the street-railway system there.” (Emphasis added.) At any rate, the Johnson City Traction Company ran streetcars until 1930, after which they were replaced by motor buses. In 1934, David R. Patrick founded the Johnson City Transit Company, which took over transportation in Johnson City. The company continued under the management of his sons, Wade, Howard and Dana Patrick from 1941 until 1978. The company sold the Bluff City line to the Yellow Cab and Coach Company of Bristol, Virginia / Tennessee, in 1945. After 1978 the city then began operating Johnson City Transit Service on scheduled routes through the major portions of Johnson City.
JOHNSON COUNTY LINES was a subsidiary of Continental Trailways and served Johnson County, Kansas, with routes primarily on Antioch, Metcalf, Nall Avenue, and Mission Road. Originally acquired by Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, service transferred to Johnson County Transit. The badge has two threaded posts.
JOHNSTOWN PASS. RY. CO. / JOHNSTOWN PASSENGER RAILWAY / JOHNSTOWN TRACTION COMPANY was formed in 1882 to to provide horse rail car service in the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, area. After the Flood of 1889, the system was electrified. By 1907, the company operated 110 trolleys over 31 miles of track. After a major accident in 1909, the company reorganized on February 23, 1910, as the Johnstown Traction Company. By 1943, the company was carrying over 17,000,000 passengers a year. Thereafter, ridership declined “due to the growth of the automobile industry.” On June 11, 1960, all rail operations were halted and converted to either trackless trolleys or buses. Trolley bus service continued until November 11, 1967. The Johnstown Traction Company continued operating buses until December 1, 1976, when service was provided under a lease agreement with the newly created Cambria County Transit Authority. The CCTA purchased all assets of the Johnstown Traction Company the following year and the company was dissolved. The badge is a pin back, made of nickel and measures 2⅜ ” x 2¼”.
JOHNSTOWN MOTOR BUS COMPANY ran from Johnstown to Windber, Pennsylvania. It was formed in June 1922. It was owned by H A Lawhead and S W Lawhead.
JOHNSVILLE STAGE LINE was operating in the late 1920s out of Blairsen, California. L. B. O’Rourke was the owner. (He also owned Quincy-La Porte Stage Line.)
JOLIET CITY LINES succeeded Chicago & Joliet Electric Railway Company in 1934 in Joliet, Illinois, which was the year the last streetcars ran in Joliet. The company was bought out by National City Lines in 1936 but retained the operating name Joliet City Lines. The company ceased operations in 1970 after a protracted strike. From the July 23, 1970, edition of the Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois: “(AP)—The Illinois Commerce Commission granted Wednesday permission for Joliet City Lines to stop running its buses in the communities of Joliet, Rockdale, Lockport and Crest Hill. Buses actually stopped running in the four communities March 1 at the time of a strike by drivers seeking to increase hourly wages from $2.63 to $3.75. In a referendum Feb. 21, voters rejected a proposed tax to ‘finance a Joliet mass transit district. City Lines lost $7,311 in 1968 an 16,250 in 1969, officials said.” In 1970 the Joliet City Lines was replaced by the Joliet Mass Transit District, which ran buses until 1990. We don’t have a badge photo for Joliet City Lines, but there is one below for Joliet Mass Transit District. It is made of nickel-plated brass with painted features, and has two threaded posts; there is no makers mark.
JOLON STAGE LINE was operating out of Kings City, California, in the mid 1920s.
A. J. JORDAN BUS COMPANY / JORDAN BUS COMPANY, INC. was an intercity company headquartered in Hugo, Oklahoma. In a history of the Armbruster & Company of Fort Smith, Arkansas, I found this note: “The first stretchout motor coach was built approximately in 1923 when Jordan Bus Company’s owner came to Tom Armbruster to ask if he could stretch out a touring car for his small but growing bus line. From then on, much of Armbruster production has been building buses and limousines.” In 1946 A. R. Jordan was the president and A. R. Jordan was general manager of the company. In 1952 the company was operating 54 buses over 596 route miles and serving Southern Oklahoma, Wichia Falls and Vernon, Texas.
JOS. BUZBY This service seems to have been a motorized car running from Seattle, Washington, in the 1890s. The badge measures about 1 inch.
JOURNAL SQUARE-CLIFTON TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. was incorporated in Jersey City, New Jersey, in September 1927. There is no further information on this company.
Junction City Transit Lines Company (KS) 1959
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