BADGES ISSUED BY TRANSIT COMPANIES BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER “V”
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V.T.C. See VALLEY TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. and VERMONT TRANSIT COMPANY.
VALLEJO-BENICIA STAGE LINE was operating in California in 1923.
VALLEJO BUS COMPANY was operating in the mid 1920s out of Vallejo, California. H.W. Lowell was the owner.
VALLEY BUS CO. served Reading & Sharonville, Ohio. It’s listed in the 1928-29 edition of WILLIAMS’ Cincinnati Directory. In 1932 it was operating a route between Dayton, German-town and Middletown, Ohio.
VALLEY COACH LINES, INC. was founded in Flushing, Michigan, by Fred A. Russell, who owned and operated Fred A. Russell Bus Line. About the time World War II started, Russell bought the Flint-Caro-Sebewaing Bus Line and several other bus line routes, and combined these with his Fred A. Russell Bus Line; he renamed the company Valley Coach Lines. By 1946 the company was running 6 buses over 125 route miles. Valley Coach Lines was incorporated in 1949 in Flushing, Michigan. In 1966 the company reached the two million miles mark accident free. Around 1983-1984 Valley Coach Lines, Inc. was sold to Stanley Cupp, who owned and operated Cupp’s Schoolway Lines and Delta Bus Company. Cupp also purchased Mercury Bus Lines of Bay City, and combined it with Valley Coach Lines to become Michigan Trailways, serving an area that covered Ohio and north to Mackinaw City. A note on badges: There is a badge from the 1960s that is marked “Valley Coach Lines” that is made of nickel-plated metal with blue enameling.
VALLEY COACH, INC. was a family-owned suburban bus service in the 1940s and 1950s operating in Augusta, Georgia. In 1954 it ran 21 buses over 46 route miles. E. L. Douglas was the president and his wife (Mrs. E. L. Douglas) was the vice president. The badge is nickel-plated, die pressed, single threaded post and measures approx. 2½” x 2⅜”.
VALLEY & COAST TRANSIT COMPANY was operating in the mid 1920s out of San Luis Obispo, California. E. L. McConnell was the owner.
VALLEY MOTOR TRANSIT COMPANY In 1914 Charles A. “C.A.” Smith bought the Steubenville, East Liverpool & Beaver Valley Traction Company headquartered in East Liverpool, Ohio. In 1939 Smith discontinued streetcars and replaced them with buses, renaming his business the Valley Motor Transit Company. Smith sold the 46-bus operation in December 1955 to John R. Camppell, owner of Tri-State Transit Company. The badge shown below may or may not be the correct badge. It looks a little new for the age of this company. It features two threaded posts and is made of chrome-plated metal.
THE VALLEY PUBLIC SERVICE CO. is found running in or around Logan, Ohio, and Circleville, Ohio, in the 1930s and 1940s. Need more info.
VALLEY TRANSIT COMPANY See Star Auto Stage Association
V.T.C. VALLEY TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. was operating buses between Fort Garland, Colo., and Taos, New Mexico, in the 1940s. In the 1990s the company was headquartered in McAllen, TX, and was advertised as a full-service bus company serving South Central Texas and Northern Mexico with intercity, charter, tour and transit operations and Package Express service. Greyhound Lines, Inc. , acquired Valley Transit Company, Inc. on Sept. 4, 1997. The badge is nickel-plated brass and has one threaded post.
VALLEY TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. NOTE: This company has the same name as the above company. There appears to be a connection, but I’ve yet to research the background. Hopefully, a reader will fill in the gaps. In the 1950s Valley Transit Company, Inc. operated out of Harlingen, Texas, with 51 buses over 264 route miles. It also operated a city service in McAllen, Texas. I’m not sure if it is the same Valley Transit Company Inc. that is currently located in Wharton, Texas, operating a rural bus transportation business. As of 2019, it is listed as employing three people.
VALLEY TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. Another company with this name operating out of Uxbridge Massachusetts, in 1954-1956 with 7 buses over 18 route miles. The badge below is thought to belong to this company; it is made of nickel and has two threaded posts.
VALLEY TRANSIT LINES, was a California corporation running in the 1950s in Southern California. It ran between Monrovia, El Monte, Temple City, Alhambra, Monterey Park, and Downey, and intermediate points. In June 1959 the company asked the California Public Utilities Commission to allow it to abandon these routes, and serve only Hollywood Park Race Track, Santa Anita Race Track and Los Alamitos Race Track.
VALLEY TRANSIT LINES / VALLEY TRANSIT TRAILWAYS There’s little info on this company. In 1939 it was based in Alamosa, Colorado, with E. R. Williams president. The company served Alamosa, Ft. Garland, Walsenburg, Colorado and Taos, New Mexico. The company became a member of the National Trailways Bus System in 1943. In 1946 the company operated out of A-1 Automotive Service in Taos, New Mexico, and ran 2 buses over 81 route miles. Wess Clark was the president, general manager, treasurer, purchasing agent and general superintendent. Interestingly, transportation tycoon Aaron Greenleaf was the vice president. (Aaron Greenleaf owned 91% of Eastern Trailways, had a controlling interest in Northern Trailways and was a partner in Safeway Trails, Inc. / Safeway Trailways.) The company was still operating in 1962.
VALLEY TRANSPORTATION COMPANY ran in Douglas, Arizona, in the 1950s. There is little information on this company, except that it was a member of the Arizona Bus Association. This excerpt from the Oct. 1, 1952, edition of the Arizona Republic names the company along with others in the newly-formed association: “Arizona Bus Association, composed of all passenger bus line companies operating in the state, was formed in Phoenix. Bus lines represented in the association include: American, White Mountain Passenger Lines, Citizens’ Auto Stages of Nogales, Sun Valley, Metropolitan and City of Phoenix bus lines, Bapchule Bus Line of Chandler, Continental Trailways, Tonto Basin Bus Line of Mesa, Nava-Hopi Tours of Flagstaff, Yuma Bus Co., Yuma; Spoon Brothers Stage Line, Clifton; Valley Transportation Co., Douglas; Tanner Motor Tours, Tucson; Arizona Motor Tours, Phoenix; Globe-Miami Stages and Consolidated.”
VALLEY SPRINGS SHEEP RANCH-SAN ANDREAS STAGE was operating in the mid 1920s out of San Andreas, California. Fred Winkler was the owner.
VALLEY STAGE LINE running in 1917 in Sant Ana, California. See Crown Stage Line.
VAN GALDER BUS COMPANY, INC. The company was legally incorporated in 1947 as Sam Van Galder, Inc. in Janesville, Wisconsin, and ran charter buses. There’s not much info to be found on the company; it is not listed in the 1940s-1950s MTD. It was family owned until 1999 when it was sold to the Stagecoach Group, who operated the company as a subsidiary of Coach USA. The group retained Stephen Van Galder as president. Currently, the company operates school buses for the Janesville School district. It also operates tour and charter buses and “. . . daily airport shuttles, Amtrak Thruway service to downtown Chicago, and the only intercity service on the I-39/90 corridor. The company has bus terminals in Janesville and Rockford. It picks up curbside in Madison on Langdon Street and at the Dutch Mill Park and Ride and has two pick-ups in Rockford, one on Walton Street for O’Hare customers and one on N. Lyford Street for downtown Chicago and Midway customers.” The badge is made of metal with nickel plating and has two threaded posts. Given the design of the bus, it appears to be from the 1940-1950s.
VANDALIA BUS LINES, INC. was incorporated in 1932 and acquired a route between St. Louis, Missouri, and Vandalia, Illinois, from the Blue Goose Motor Coach Company, which was a subsidiary of East St. Louis & Suburban Railway Company. Its original routes included East St. Louis, Fairmount City and Collinsville running five charter buses by the late 1930s. K. M. Stout and Amos Bonham owned the company in 1945 and were operating out of Collinsville, Illinois. (Stout and Bonham also owned the Collinsville Bus & Equipment Company.) In 1975 Leon Streif purchased the company. In 2007 the company was operating 65 buses throughout the US and was operating out of Caseyville, Illinois. It is still in operation as a charter bus company in the St. Louis, Missouri area.
VANCOUVER BUS CO. Not much history here. A private company that ran buses in Vancouver, Washington prior to 1969 and was succeeded by the City of Vancouver Transit. The badge has a single threaded post and was made by the FIFTH AVENUE UNIFORM COMPANY 19 SO. WELLS CHICAGO.
VANCOUVER PORTLAND BUS CO. CHARTER provided the only bus service between Portland and Vancouver, Washington. It was a private company that remained in operation until the end of 1976.
VARSITY BUS, INC. The following was posted on the Net on June 1, 1967: “Varsity Bus, Inc. is the largest private school bus operator in New York, and has the distinction of being the largest school bus operation in the world. Located in Brooklyn, Varsity is one of eight private school bus operators on contract to New York City’s board of education to transport about 100,000 children to the city schools. Varsity takes these children back and forth between home and school in its 974 buses … a complicated job considering the bumper-to-bumper traffic in New York City. . . . Varsity employs 937 full time and 65 part time school bus drivers. All drivers are given a ten-day training program. . . . Majority of the buses in the fleet of 974 units are 60-passenger buses. These account for 783 units; 19 are 66-passenger buses; 35 are 48-passenger units; 52 are lift buses and 85 units are station wagons.“
VENTURA-OXNARD-SANTA PAULA & OJAI STAGE was operating in the 1920s out of Ojai, California. H.M. Hunt was the registered contact.
VERAMOUNT & GENESSE AUTO LINE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Taylorsville, California. J.H. Taresh was the registered contact.
VERDUGO HILLS TRANSPORTATION COMPANY was established in the earily 1920s and ran from Los Angeles to Sunland, California, which paralleled much of the Glendale & Montrose Railway Company’s main line. The company was “superseded” by Motor Transit Company. W. C. Dunlap was the president.
VERMILLION MOTOR BUS COMPANY was owned and operated by Edward R. Ots out of Amherst, New York, in 1922. Its original route was from Buffalo to Lockport via Bowmansville.
V.T.C. / VERMONT TRANSIT COMPANY / VERMONT TRANSIT LINES On February 16, 1926, William S. Appleyard founded the Burlington Rapid Transit Company, in Burlington, Vermont. On July 23, 1929, Fred A. Jewett sold his company, Yellow Bus Line, which ran from Burlington to Barre, to Bill Appleyard, Charles Black and Jack Goss. The story of that founding is told in this excerpt from an article in the June 1945 edition of The Vermonter (Vol. 50, No. 6): “The Story of Vermont Transit” by Charles O. Little, Montpelier, VT: “When Bill Appleyard, automobile agency owner, couldn’t market a bus he was expected to sell some 20 years ago, he ended by taking it himself. A 21-passenger affair, looking like a school bus, it was the paternal grandfather of the Vermont Transit system, deployed all over the state . . . The Transit company was an outgrowth of a Burlington venture which had its beginning in 1926. At that time the ancient Burlington Traction Company, an electric trolley system operating under the still older Burlington and Winooski Horse Car Company charter, was getting a taste of competition from Appleyard’s new bus. The owner had a certificate to operate around the ‘Country Club loop’ and his motorized threat to electrics was tagged the Burlington Rapid Transit company, a nomenclature to which the Interborough Rapid Transit of New York had contributed. In short, Appleyard applied for more routes, sold his auto agency and finally bought out the traction company in 1929. The Burlington Rapid Transit with 20 busses is still run side by side with the Vermont Transit it begot. There was no sorrow in the Queen City on August 4, 1929, though it was the day when the last trolley cars were all scrapped at once with funeral obsequies, and a fleet of busses was installed. From noon until 3:30 o’clock that day all trolleys in the city, wearing black crepe bows of mourning, took no fares, and at the latter hour the electric current was shut off. . . . Soon thereafter, Vermont Transit was born with purchase of the Yellow Bus line from Burlington to Barre, owned by Fred A. Jewett.“
Over the coming years, Burlington Rapid Transit / Burlington Transit Company expanded its service statewide, north to Canada, east to Maine and south to New York. The company later changed its name to Vermont Transit Company, often referred to as Vermont Transit Lines, or simply VTL. By the time the company was sold in 1975-76 to Greyhound Lines, its routes covered much of New England. Greyhound continued using the Vermont Transit Bus Company name until 2008, when the name was replaced by Greyhound’ company name and logo. (There is a detailed history of this company by Sylvia Nichols Allen titled The People Will Be Served, A History of the Vermont Transit Bus Company. As to the sale of the company to Greyhound, there are two conflicting accounts. Wikipedia, article “Vermont Transit Lines”, gives the date as 1975; but according to the magazine Wheel Tracks—The Official Monthly Publication of Vermont Automobile Enthusiast by The Vermont Antique Automobile Society—April 2012, article “The Vermont Transit Bus company”, the sale date was 1993. Click here for a detailed history of this company.) The badge measures approx. 1⅛ ” x 1⅔” with one threaded post and one pin post.
VICTORIA COACH LINE, INC. was an intercity company operating in the 1920s between Boston, Massachusetts, and New York City on an inland route via Hartford. Charles L. Silverman was the president, and the company issued stock in 1927. In the early 1930s, the company (along with the Berkshire Motor Coach Lines) 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.
VICTORVILLE STAGE LINE was operating in the mid 1920s in Victorville, California. Carl Hodge was the registered contact.
VIRGINIA CAROLINA COACH CO Between 1940 and 1942 this company was a member of the Trailways System. It was known as the Virginia-Carolina Trailways. The badge has a single threaded post, measures 2 ¼” x 2″ and was made by FIFTH AVENUE UNIFORM COMPANY 19 SO. WELLS CHICAGO.
VIRGINIA DARE TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, INC. was operating in 1943 from Manteo to Elizabeth City, North Carolina; later it ran a through service between Manteo and Charlotte. Earl Randolph Quidley of Manteo was the co-owner, manager and driver. By 1954 it was operating into Norfolk, Virginia with 8 buses over 225 route mile. R. E. Parrish was the president. One source says the company ceased operations around 1987.
VIRGINIA STAGE LINES, INC. / VIRGINIA TRAILWAYS Virginia Stage Lines was incorporated in 1925. In 1926 Samuel A. Jessup, of Charlottesville, Virginia, bought the the company and helped it grow into a 385-employee business with routes across most of Virginia and into North Carolina and Washington, D.C. By 1936 the company operated lines west on State Route 55 to Front Royal, west on U.S. Route 211 to Luray, southwest to Charlottesville via U.S. Route 29, and south to Richmond via U.S. Route 1 and State Route 2. Virginia Stage Lines joined the National Trailways Bus System in 1938. That same year the company bought out Southern Passenger Motor Lines, Inc., of Lynchberg, Virginia. In the mid 1940s Samuel Jessup and son Claude A. Jessup bought the city transit companies in Roanoke, and Lynchburg, Virginia, and Wilmington, North Carolina. They were Roanoke Railway & Electric Company and its holding company, Consolidated Electric & Gas Company, in Roanoke, Virginia; Safety Motor Transit Company, also under Consolidated Electric & Gas Company; Safeway Transit Company, which served Wilmington, North Carolina; and eventually they controlled Safeway Trails, Inc., which joined Trailways in 1938 as Safeway Trailways. By the 1940s Claude A. Jessup became president and general manager of Virginia Stage Lines. The Jessups also owned and controlled Lynchburg Transit Company, an interstate transit company which ran 48 buses over 125 route miles. This agency was connected to Jessup’s Virginia Trailways, which accounts for the company badge displaying the Trailways logo. In 1960 Virginia Stage Lines/Virginia Trailways, Smoky Mountain Lines/Smoky Mountain Trailways and Continental Tennessee Lines (a Trailways affiliate) formed Tennessee Trailways, Inc. specifically to buy out Tennessee Coach Company. (Tennessee Coach Company operated under its company name until 1976.) In March 1964 Virginia Stage Lines, Inc., headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, merged with Transcontinental Bus System—both companies being affiliated with National Trailways Bus System.
In 1957 George M. Winn, who at the time was a regional manager for Trailways; his boss was Claude A. Jessup. That year Winn borrowed money from Jessup and bought a used 1942 Trailways bus and go into business for himself. In March 1958 Winn Bus Lines started business out of Richmond, Virginia. In 1966 George M. Winn bought out Virginia’s oldest bus company, Virginia Stage Lines, whose president at the time was his old boss and financial backer, Claude A. Jessup. Virginia Stage Lines was absorbed into Winn Bus Lines, and, although the name is no longer in use, Winn’s advertises that it is the “oldest continually operated bus company in the Commonwealth of Virginia and holds that distinction to this day.”
VIRGINIA TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. Virginia Railway & Power Company took over streetcar operations in Richmond, Virginia, in 1909 from Virginia Passenger & Power Company. In 1911 the company took over streetcar operation in Norfolk, Virginia, from Norfolk & Portsmouth Traction Company. Virginia Electric & Power Company (VEPCO) took over streetcars operations in both cities in 1925. In 1940 Virginia Electric & Power Company merged with the Virginia Public Service Company, more than doubling VEPCO’s service area and making it one of the largest U.S. electric utilities. After the Securities and Exchange Commission sued VEPCO’s owner, Engineers Public Service, in 1944, the company was directed to confine its activities to the electricity business. Thereafter, it divested itself of everything but VEPCO, which meant selling off its Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia transit systems. These two systems became the Virginia Transit Company. In 1945 Virginia Transit Company became part of the United Transit Company. American Transportation Enterprises, Inc. acquires controlling interest in United Transit Company in 1962. On April 12, 1973, federal, state and local funds were used to purchase the assets of the Virginia Transit Company and a new public service company was set up, Greater Richmond Transit Company, which was wholly owned by the City of Richmond.
VIRGINIA & TRUCKEE TRANSIT COMPANY was operating out of Reno, Nevada’s, Union Stage Depot in 1940.
VOLLMER BUS LINE was formed by Charles H. Vollmer in Amsterdam, New York, in 1927 by city franchise. The new company served in the Park Hill section of town, alongside the Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville Railroad (F.J.&G.), which ran streetcars. When Charles Vollmer died on July 24, 1944, and his widow, Katherine Mason Vollmer took control of the company. An article, “Focus on History: Amsterdam bus lines compete”, in the December 4, 2010, The Daily Gazette, from Schenectady, New York, recalls: “A Utica-based company, Mohawk Valley Transit, absorbed both Vollmer and F.J. &G.’s bus operations in 1956. The newspaper account noted it was the first time in 30 years that local public transportation would be provided by one company. The head of Vollmer, now Katherine Vollmer Sann of Albany, said her company had lost $47,000 from 1951 to 1956. Mohawk Valley Transit’s April 1956 takeover of Vollmer was seen as a surprise. The Utica firm, headed by Wallace Sweet, had started managing F.J. &G.’s bus runs in an expected move two months earlier. Sweet’s company also operated Central New York Coach Lines. Vollmer’s superintendent for nine years, Benjamin Bartholomew, stayed on as Mohawk Valley Transit’s manager in Amsterdam, Johnstown and Gloversville. Before coming to Amsterdam, Bartholomew had worked for the Greyhound bus line.” In a February 7, 1970, a company spokesman announced that Mohawk Valley Transit could no longer meet it financial obligations: “. . . plagued by declining numbers of riders and aged vehicles, [the spokesman] has told city officials that [the company] can’t afford to pay its insurance.” Shortly thereafter, Mohawk Valley Transit folded.
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