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BADGES ISSUED BY TRANSIT COMPANIES BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER “U”

(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.)


UNION AUTO DEPOT Charles Robbins applied to the Colorado Public Utility Commission to run a taxi and passenger bus service between Estes Park, Colorado, and adjacent points. the certificate was granted on February 23, 1928. No further info.

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UNION BUS LINES, INC. / UNION TRAILWAYS According to his January 7, 1959, obituary, Joseph Harris “Joe” Amberson (born 1894) started the Union Bus Lines in 1919 running between San Antonio and Medina Lake, Texas. It was operating in 1927 between San Antonio and Kerrville, Texas. In 1946 the company ran 85 buses over 1510 route miles and served Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi, Hamilton, Texas. In 1949 the company joined the National Trailways Bus System. According to a newspaper account published in the March 5, 1953, edition of the Alice Daily Echo from Alice, Texas, Joe Amberson sold the company in 1952 to M. E. Hylton. However, according to his obituary, Amberson sold his company to Continental Trailways. (I’ll get back to that a bit later.) The 1953 article explained that Amberson offered to re-buy Union Bus Lines for 25% more than Hylton had paid for the company. The reason behind Amberson’s desire to repurchase his old bus company was that he had applied to the State Railroad Commission for a new bus route service between Brownsville and San Antonio, Texas and various other Texas communities. At the time of Amberson’s offer, Union Bus Lines’ drivers and mechanics had been out on strike for some three months. (In the 1953 Russell’s Guide the company was listed as Union Trailways.) In 1956 the company, which included Union Trailways, was operating 24 buses over 1,000 route miles and was headquartered in McAllen, Texas with M. E. Hylton as president and general manager. Since Joe Amberson’s obituary stated he sold the company to Continental Trailways, and that sale took place in 1956, we may reasonably assume that Amerberson did in fact repurchase his old company from Hylton and Hylton stayed on as president and general manager. In 1964 the company acquired Winter Garden Bus Line, which had been incorporated in 1926. By 1978 it was operating under the trade name Trailways Texas.

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UNION CITY & RICHMOND BUS LINE was operating in 1931 in Union City, Indiana.

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UNION PACIFIC STAGE COMPANY, INC. was a subsidiary of Union Pacific Railroad—one of four bus companies operated by UP. (The others were Utah Parks Company, Union Pacific Stages, Inc. and Interstate Transit Lines.) The company was organized in 1927 to operate a bus line to Death Valley, California, and incorporated in both Nevada and Utah. The company’s September 30, 1951, timetable showed the following bus routes: East Los Angeles and Glendale, by way of Pasadena; East Los Angeles and San Pedro, by way of Long Beach; East Los Angeles and Anaheim, by way of Whittier. It also operated a single bus route between Las Vegas and Hoover Dam, and one bus route between Denver and Cheyenne. The first badge is a single threaded post type with two pins on the wing edges; it measures 2¾” x 1¼” and is marked “Entenmann Los Angeles 15″; the second badge was issued in the 1950s, has a single threaded post, is hallmarked and measures 2″x2⅛”. (NOTE: there are older badges.)

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UNION PACIFIC STAGES, INC. was formed in 1927 by Union Pacific Railroad to operate buses between Pendleton, Oregon, and Walla Walla, Washington. (The company was one of four bus companies subsidiaries operated by UP. The others were Utah Parks Company, Union Pacific Stage Company, Inc. and Interstate Transit Lines.) In April-May 1929 the company expanded by buying the interests of several bus operators of routes along the Boise-Spokane corridor in eastern Washington and Oregon, and western Idaho, including Blue Mountain Transportation Company and Interstate Coach Company. By the end of 1929 the company ran over 200 buses that operated parallel to UP’s rail lines from Omaha to the West Coast. Union Pacific Stages also began operating a route between The Dalles and Bend, Oregon. The direct competitor for most of these routes, including Portland to Pendleton, was Columbia Gorge Motor Coach Company, owned by Motor Transit Corporation of Chicago, the parent company of Greyhound Lines. (“Buses of the Union Pacific,” Motor Coach Age, March-April 1991,) In 1932 Union Pacific Stages purchased the routes of the bankrupt Pickwick-Greyhound Lines, Inc. between Denver and Salt Lake City, and from SLC to Los Angeles. In 1943 The Greyhound Corporation bought a “substantial minority interest” in Union Pacific Stages and Interstate Transit Lines, which was owned by Union Pacific Railroad. From December 23, 1943, both Interstate Transit Lines and Union Pacific Stages were known as Overland Greyhound Lines. In 1956 Overland Greyhound Lines, Inc., was consolidated into Northland Greyhound Lines, which in turn, was consolidated in 1957 into the Central Division of The Greyhound Corporation. (For more information see a history of  Union Pacific Stages.)

The badge pictured here is thought to be a Union Pacific Stages example. The badge has a single threaded post.

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Photo courtesy of kygelberhund.

UNION STREET RAILWAY COMPANY  ran in New Bedford, Massachusetts, from 1887 until 1974. The badge is a single threaded post type.

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UNION TRANSFER COMPANY was formed in 1924 and based in Nashville, Tennessee. The company was bought in 1930 by Consolidated Coach Company, which took over the company’s routes connecting Nashville with Knoxville, Chattanooga, Hopkinsville (in Kentucky), and Florence and Birmingham (both in Alabama), plus a link between Knoxville and Chattanooga (both in East Tennessee). (Consolidated Coach Lines would one day become Southeastern Greyhound Lines.)

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UNION TRANSPORTATION COMPANY I’m not sure, but I believe this was part of the Tulsa-Sapulpa Union Railway out of Oklahoma. A company named Union Transportation Co. replaced the railroad passenger service and ran buses until 1959. The badge was made by FIFTH AVENUE UNIFORM COMPAMY 19 SO. WELLS CHICAGO and measures approx. 2⅛” x 1¾”.

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UNITED MOTOR BUS COMPANY was operating in 1923 from Portland to Vancouver, Oregon, over a 5-mile route.

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UNITED MOTOR COACH CO.  was a bus company that ran in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. In the 1927 the White Line Motor Bus Co.Suburban Auto Coach Co. and Federal Transportation Co. merged to form United Motor Coach Co. In 1930, United Motor Coach acquired Des Plaines Motor Coach Line. In 1946 it ran 43 buses over 151 route miles. In 1975 United Motor Coach became the publicly owned Nortran (North Suburban Mass Transit District), and in 1991 became Pace Northwest Division. The badge measures approx. 2⅜” x 2½” and was made by FIFTH AVENUE UNIFORM COMPANY – 19 SO. WELLS CHICAGO.

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(Photo used by permission of eBay member cherry-hill-farm.)

UNITED RAILROAD OF SAN FRANCISCO From Wikipedia: “The Market Street Railway Company was a commercial streetcar and bus operator in San Francisco. The company was named after the famous Market Street of that city, which formed the core of its transportation network. Over the years, the company was also known as the Market Street Railroad Company, the Market Street Cable Railway Company and the United Railroads of San Francisco.” This company dates back to 1857 and was using the name “United Railroad” after the turn of the 20th century. The badge is made of nickel, has a pin fastener and measures 2⅝” x 2¼”. (Click here for the article in Wikipedia.)

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Photo courtesy of Garey Hurn.

UNITED STAGE COMPANY This is an early bus line carrying freight and passengers in the Sacramento, California, area in the 1910s. The co-partners were Louis E. Smith and George Zurfluh and Gino Antichi. The company’s auto-buses were listed as a Pope-Hartford automobile; Pierce-Arrow automobile; Studebaker automobile and a 1915 Cadillac. The company was denied their 1919 application to operated a line between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, California. In 1919 the company was operating a depot in the Ohio House in Placerville, California. There is June 1920 mention of a United Stage Company running between Kingman, Arizona and Needles, California. (I can find no connection between this company and the United Stage Company running in the 1880s as a subsidiary of the famous Wells Fargo Express.)

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United Traction Company (Albany NY) 1959


UNITED TRAILS, INC.  See Lishman Coach Lines, Ltd.


UNITED TRANSIT COMPANY The history of this Rhode Island company goes back well over a century. However, I’ll shorten it here by starting when the Union Railroad became the Rhode Island Company in 1902. Four years later the New Haven Railroad acquired the company. This company was reorganized in 1921 as the United Electric Railways, which oversaw the transit system’s daily operations in the state of Rhode Island. In 1926, the New England Power Company purchased the United Electric Railroad and a holding company, the Rhode Island Service Company, took over the operations of the transit system. Nineteen fifty-one saw the “reinvention” of the company as the United Transit Company. That year the system carried over 100 million passengers. By 1955, diesel and gasoline buses had replaced the trackless trolley. In 1964 the Rhode Island General Assembly created the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, ending the privatization of the transit system. Rhode Island Public Transit Authority began operations on July 1, 1966. The badge is nickle-plated with a single threaded post and dates from the 1950s. (NOTE: unsure if the badge shown here is for this company or the company below.)

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UNITED TRANSIT COMPANY was operating in the 1920s between Missoula to Polson, Montana. In December 1931 the company was given a certificate of operation to replace Missoula Street Railway’s streetcars in Missoula. The first day of operation was on January 25, 1932. In the 1940s the company was operated by the Intermountain Transportation Company out of Anaconda, Montana with 10 buses over 42 route miles. According to the The Atwood-Coffee Catalogue of United States and Canadian Transportation Tokens, the company went out of business in 1951, however Chicago Transit & Railfan‘s website gives the date as 1960; the company isn’t listed in the 1954 or 1956 MTD. (See the company above for possible badge.)

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UNIVERSAL AUTO BUS SERVICE CORPORATION was running in Nassau Co. N. Y. in 1954 serving the Great Neck area.

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UNIVERSAL STAGE LINE was operating in the mid early 1920s from Universal City, California. (Universal City is an unincorporated area within the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County, California.)

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UNIVERSITY AUTO LINE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Riverside, California. James Borden was the registered contact.

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UTAH PARKS COMPANY was a subsidiary of Union Pacific Railroad. (The company was one of four bus subsidiaries formed and operated by the UP. The others were UNION PACIFIC STAGES, INC., Union Pacific Stage Company, Inc. and Interstate Transit Lines.) The company owned and operated restaurants, lodging, and bus tours in Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, the north rim of Grand Canyon National Park, and Cedar Breaks National Monument. The Utah Parks Company was incorporated in 1923. In 1931 the company operated sixty-five buses linking the railhead at Cedar City, Utah, to several nearby national parks. Unable to find a buyer for its subsidiary, Union Pacific donated the Utah Parks tour operation and facilities to the National Park Service in 1972. (Click this link for more information on Utah Parks Company.)
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UTAH TRANSIT AUTHORITY / UTA Information from Wikipedia and Deseret News: The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) is a special service district responsible for providing public transportation throughout the Wasatch Front of Utah, which includes the metropolitan areas of Ogden, Park City, Provo, Salt Lake City and Tooele. It operates fixed route buses, flex route buses, express buses, ski buses, three light rail lines in Salt Lake County (TRAX), a streetcar line in Salt Lake City (the S-Line), and a commuter rail train (FrontRunner) from Ogden through Salt Lake City to Provo. UTA is headquartered in Salt Lake City with operations and garages in locations throughout the Wasatch Front, including Ogden, Midvale and Orem. Light rail vehicles are stored and maintained at yards at locations in South Salt Lake and Midvale. UTA’s commuter rail equipment is stored and serviced at a facility in Salt Lake City.

The Utah Transit Authority traces its roots to 1953 when several bus companies united to form the organization. Ironically, among the constitutive companies of the UTA was National City Lines, which bought out and decommissioned the trolleys from the Utah Light and Traction Company in the 1940s. The Traction company operated electric trolleys in Salt Lake City neighborhoods like the Avenues. . . . In 1969, the Utah State Legislature passed the Utah Public Transit District Act, which allows individual communities to address transportation needs by forming local transit districts. UTA was subsequently founded on March 3, 1970, when the cities of Sandy, Salt Lake City, and Murray voted to form a transit district. The Utah Transit Authority took over the former Salt Lake City Lines on Aug. 10 of that year. Service was extended to Weber and Davis counties in 1973 and to Utah County in 1985. Today, the UTA’s service area is over 1,400 square miles and covers seven counties: Box Elder, Davis, Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, and Weber. (See SALT LAKE CITY LINES for more information.)

There is a badge for the company, which is made of metal, measures 2 ½” x 2″ and has one threaded post and one pin post.

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Photo courtesy of kygelberhund.
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Photos used by permission of eBay member carnseyscollectable.

UTICA-OLD FORGE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY was running in Utica, New York, in 1921. It is listed in the 1956 MTD as operating as an intercity company running one bus. The February 17, 1962, edition of the Wellsville Daily Reporter from Wellsville, New York, notes that company had been granted a request to cease operations.

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UTICA-ROME BUS COMPANY, INC. This company began in Utica, New York, in the 1940s; however, the exact details are a bit muddled. In the 1940s George E. K. Marsh began a bus service to transport passengers for the Clinton Central School district and workers traveling to the Rome Air Base. This company was Marsh Charter Service. If we believe a 1985 newspaper article, Marsh also founded the Utica-Rome Bus Company at that time. (We will come back to this later.) This fact is muddled by another history that relates that: “Further growth came in the 1960s, when George and Kay Marsh purchased the Utica-Rome Bus Company and moved it to Clinton, NY. At that time, they began operating retail tours charters, and the Utica-Rome bus route. By this time, Marsh Charter Service was merged into Utica-Rome Bus Company.” The history of the Birnie Bus Service, Inc. adds more confusion when it states that “In 1964 Martin K. Birnie and George Marsh became partners. They purchased Utica-Rome Bus Company and continued to expand their charter and tour operations. In 1973, Mr. Birnie sold his share of the company to Mr. Marsh.” The 1985 newspaper article, mentioned above, is from the Herkimer Evening Telegraph from Herkimer, New York: “George T. Marsh owns and operates the Utica-Rome Bus Company and has done so since 1976, when his mother and father retired from the business. George K. Marsh and Kay Marsh had operated the Utica-Rome Bus Company as well as the Marsh Charter Service since the early 1940’s.” However, the 1954 MTD shows that the company, which was operating 5 buses, was managed by Michael D’Alessandro, who was also running the company in 1958. So, those are the details and I leave it there. In 1985 the company served “Rome, Stanwix Heights, Oriskany, Whitesboro, Yorkville, and Utica, where it made connections with Greyhound, Adirondack and Pine Hill Trailways, and Amtrak, plus Chenango Valley Bus Lines.”

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UTILITY LINES, INC., started running in 1926-1927 and ran on Long Island, N. Y. It is mentioned in a 1931 meeting of the Town of Riverhead, New York city council when it was granted permission to take over a bus franchise of the Swezey’s Bus Line, Inc. In 1946 it was running out of Rockville Centre between Patchogue West to Freeport along Merrick Road. It ran 9 buses along 90 route miles. It was a subsidiary of Bee Line, Inc. and (in 1946) was operated by Bee Line, Inc.’s board of directors. The company was merged into the Metropolitan Suburban Bus Authority in 1973.

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A site about collecting transit badges and discovering the histories of the companies that issued them.

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