BUS COMPANIES BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER “W”
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W. B. & S. BUS LINE, INC. was operating out of Wilmington, North Carolina in the 1930s and in the mid 1940s. Served Wilmington, Southport, Grissettown, Whiteville, Long Beach, Fort Caswell, Bolivia, Winnabow and Lanvale. (I have been told the the initials in the company name stand for Wilmington-Bolivia-Southport.)
W.I.A.T. CORPORATION In 1922 this company operated out of Albany, New York with four motor bus lines.
WPAFB See WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE TRANSPORTATION SERVICE.
W & S MOTOR COACH The Woodlawn & Southern Street Railway operated in Aliquippa in Beaver Co., Pennsylvania until March 1937, when it was replaced by the buses of W&S Motor Coach Co. (Woodland & Southern Motor Coach Co.) The badge is die pressed, single threaded post and has a Greyhound Scenicruiser on the badge, indicating that the company had a Greyhound franchise.
W. V. & M. C. CO. See Washington Virginia & Maryland Coach Company.
WABASH MOTOR TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. There’s little info on the Net about this company. It was around in the early 1930s and operated between Decatur and East St. Louis, Illinois. The company was a subsidiary of the Wabash Railroad and existed into the 1960s, although it’s not listed in any edition of the MTD. It would seem from the few newspaper articles where the company is mentioned, that after the 1930s the company was used by the Wabash Railroad as something of a holding company, i.e., it was used by the Wabash Railroad to purchase land and railroad equipment.
WABASH VALLEY COACH COMPANY was an intercity company that ran out of Terre Haute, Indiana in the mid 1920s. The fact that the company had joint advertisements with Wabash Valley Transit Company indicates that the two companies were connected. In 1946 the company ran 10 buses over 167 route miles and served Farmersburg, Sullivan, Linton, Carlisle and Evansville, Indiana. B. W. Sale was the president and general manager. In 1956 the company was operating out of Vincennes with 4 buses over 232 route miles and C. E. O’Neil was the general manager. In 1956-1957 the company name was Wabash-Arrow Lines. The company lasted until 1974.
WABASH VALLEY TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. operated out of Marshall, Illinois in the mid 1920s through the mid 1930s. The fact that the company had joint advertisements with Wabash Valley Coach Company indicates that the two companies were connected. In October 1924 the Wabash Valley Transit Company asked for a certificate to operate between Effingham and Mattoon. In October 1930 the company applied to run a route between Casey, Charleston, Kansas and Westfield, and at that time operated a line from the Illinois-Indiana state line to Effingham, Illinois. I find no mention of the company after the 1930s.
WACO TRANSIT [Company] ran in Waco, Texas from 1946 through 1955; after that year Waco, Transit Corp. The badge has two threaded posts and measures 2½” x 2¼” and made by GREENDUCK CO. CHI. [Chicago].
WADLOW GAP BUS LINE According to a 1946 Kingston, Tennessee Rotary Club publication, this company started in 1938, and served Bloomingdale Road in Kingston, Tennessee and the city of Rock Springs. It carried some 4,000 passengers per month.
WAGERS AUTO BUS LINE, INC. was founded by John D. Wager in Troy, New York in 1921.
WAGNER & HIMBERT BUS LINE, INC. This company was “a public utility, duly incorporated, under the laws of the state of Illinois, and authorized by certificates of convenience and necessity” and operated a bus line between the cities of LaSalle and Oglesby, Illinois in the late 1910s, early 1920s. The company is featured as the complainant in a hearing before the Illinois Commerce Commission on January 31, 1922 against the Eddy Motor Bus Company for infringing on its certificate of operation. The details of that hearing are rather interesting as they give a glimpse into the cut-throat behavior of independent jitney operators in the early days of bus service: “A hearing was held upon said complaint at the office of the Commission in Springfield, Illinois on January 31, 1922, at which hearing both the Wagner & Himbert Bus Lines, Incorporated, and the Eddy Motor Bus Company, and Osborn Eddy, were represented by counsel. The evidence taken at said hearing discloses the fact that the Eddy Motor Bus Company is operating three buses between the cities of LaSalle and Oglesby, Illinois, making regular trips and holding itself out to the public to furnish a regular scheduled service between the above mentioned points . . . The evidence further discloses that the complainant, the Wagner & Himbert Bus Lines, Incorporated, is a public utility, duly incorporated under the laws of the state of Illinois, and authorized by certificates of convenience and necessity, issued by this Commission . . . to operate a motor bus line for the transportation of passengers between the cities of LaSalle and Oglesby, Illinois . . . The evidence further discloses that it is the practice of the respondent, the Eddy Motor Bus Company, to operate its busses just ahead of the schedule of the complainant, the Wagner & Himbert Bus Lines, thereby taking advantage of the fact that the said Wagner & Himbert Bu Line is required to operate upon P.U.R.1922B, to gain an advantage over the said company and the passengers along the route who are waiting for the busses of the complainant company. It is also resorted to parking its busses [sic] in front of the waiting rooms maintained by the complainant company in the city of LaSalle, thereby effectually preventing the said complainant from stopping in front of its own waiting room to take on and discharge passengers, and that the said Eddy Motor Bus Company has resorted to various other practices designed to secure the business of the complainants and taking advantage of the fact that the complainant herein is a regulated utility and as such must operating in accordance with the rules and provisions of this Commission. . . . [the] Eddy Motor Bus Company has resorted to various other practices designed to secure the business of the complainants . . .” The ruling of the Commission was “That the said Eddy Motor Bus Company and Osborn Eddy should discontinue said business and cease operating as a public utility in the state of Illinois, until such time as they have obtained a certificate of convenience and necessity from this Commission authorizing them to conduct such a business.” After this hearing there is no further information on the company.
WALKER STAGES was operating in the mid 1920s out of El Centro, California. Bayles G. Walker was the owner / operator.
WALLACE BUS COMPANY was operating in the mid 1940s out of Wallace, North Carolina. It was owned by H.L. Johnson. Routes: To transport passengers, their baggage, mail and light express as follows: From Chinquapin, N. C. to Harrell’s Store, N. C, by way of Tin City and Wallace, N. C.
WALLACE BUS COMPANY was operating in February 1918 in Maryville, Missouri. There is no further information on this company.
WALLEN BUS LINE was founded by Willie Wallen in Bismarck, Missouri in the 1930s. In 1945 the company added a route between Farmington and Ironton, Missouri. Its headquarters in Farmington was at the Carver Café. By 1954 the company served Bismarck, St. Louis, Hillsboro, Desota and Ironton, Missouri. It is not listed in the 1956 edition of the MTD.
WALTER ATKINSON AUTO LINE The only info on this company is it’s ads, which appeared in the Tuckerton Beacon, from Tuckerton, New Jersey. The ads ran from 1917-1921 showing the company operated between Tuckerson and Absecon, New Jersy four times daily.
WALTERS TRANSIT CORPORATION began in the 1930s as a charter bus service in New York. The company was owned by Harry Carter, who also owned Bee Line,Inc. of Rockville Centre, New York. By the 1950s the company was running a regular service from Brewster New York into New York City. In the 1970s-1980s it had a contract with Greyhound Lines, Inc. The Thursday October 31, 1974 edition of the PATENT TRADER from Mt. Kisco, New York, tells a part of the company’s ultimate demise: “Walters Plans to End Commuter Bus Runs: NEW YORK – Walters Transit Corp. plans to stop weekday commuter bus runs between Brewster and New York on November 18. It blames denial of a subsidy from Westchester County for the end of service. A division of Greyhound Bus Lines, Walters Transit takes approximately 500 Westchester and Putnam County residents from Brewster to New York each weekday morning between 5:15 and 7:50 a m. Buses return between 3:20 and 6:45 p m. This commuter service began in 1958 after the New York Central stopped the Putnam division’s passenger service. Buses start in Brewster and go to Carmel, Lake Mohegan, and Baldwin Place Then three separate routes are followed to Shenorock, Lincolndale, Jefferson Valley, Shrub Oak, Lake Mohegan, Cortlandt, Peekskill, Amawalk, Yorktown Heights. Croton Heights, Millwood, Bnarcliff. Hawthorne and Elmsford. . . . Walters plans to continue seven day a week service leaving New York at 9 am and arriving in Brewster at 11: 17 am.” According to one source, the company finally closed down in 1980.
WARD’S AUTO STAGE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Pittsburg, California. E. H. Ward was the owner / operator.
WARNER BUS LINE ran a route in 1919 from Windfall to Kokomo, Indiana.
WARREN TRANSPORTATION COMPANY Around 1932 all the assets of the West End Traction Company, which had been running streetcars and buses in Warren, Ohio, were turned over to its fifteen employees. Those employees, who were the company’s stockholders, formed the Warren Transportation Company. One of those employees, Haven X. Mumford, was made general manager, a position he held for the next 34 years. In 1946 the company was running 27 buses over 1833 route miles. The badge is die pressed, has two threaded posts.
WARREN-BISBEE RAILWAY was an 8-mile electric interurban railway linking the towns of Warren and Bisbee, Arizona. With the advent of the automobile, the company operated at a loss for several year and was finally closed down in 1928. The last run was on May 31, 1928.
WARWICK COACH LINES was founded by Charles W. Warwick in Malden, Massachusetts in the 1930s. In 1946 the company operated 23 buses over 90.7 route miles, with Charles W. Warwick acting as president. A 1946 ad read: “WARWICK COACH LINES CLEAN, SAFE, DEPENDABLE, RELIABLE, COMFORTABLE SERVICE AND COURTEOUS, DEPENDABLE DRIVERS ARE ALL OF THE CHARACTERISTICS A PERSON LOOKS FOR WHEN RIDING A BUS. SO TO BE SURE TO GET ALL OF THESE THINGS, TAKE A WARWICK COACH, BECAUSE THEY EXCEL IN THE ABOVE MENTIONED. SERVICE TO MELROSE, MALDEN, AND REVERE.” Warwick Coach Lines bought out and controlled Brush Hill Transportation Company at some point before 1946. The company is listed in the 1946 and 1954 MTD, but not the 1956 edition. The reason for this might be that in 1954 George A. Anzuoni, Sr., who had founded Service Bus Lines in 1920, acquired Brush Hill Transportation Company, which had become bankrupt. Since neither Brush Hill Transportation Company nor Warwick Coach Lines is listed in the 1956 MTD, it might be reasonable to assume that both companies were bankrupt and sold off in 1954.
WASHINGTON BUS LINE To give some background info on this company, I quote from emissourian.com: “It was April 1927 when John Calvin, owner of the Calvin Theater in downtown Washington [Missouri], hired Burt Simms to be manager of the Washington Bus Line. Calvin was president of the new company, and Simms served as manager, ticket agent and driver.served as manager, ticket agent and driver. “The company, which began with just one bus, was in direct competition with MoPac (Missouri Pacific Railroad) which also offered daily passenger service between Washington [Missouri] and St. Louis. . . . Calvin sold the company to Simms, who added more buses to the fleet, more times to the schedule and one more destination — Union. He changed the company name to reflect the addition: Washington, Union, St. Louis Bus Company.” The company was sold to Simms in 1937 who acted as its general manager until he sold the line to Ralph E. Jones of Washington, Missouri in April 1957. Bert Simms died in August 1961. In 1960 Jones purchased Louisiana Motor Coaches, which had interstate operating authority, and combined it with his Washington, Union, St. Louis Bus Company. It was renamed Mid-American Coaches. Today, his sons, Roger and Dennis Jones, run Mid-American Coaches as president and vice president.
WASHINGTON CITY BUS LINES was a privately owned bus company in 1952 running in Washington, Penn., a suburb of Pittsburgh. The badge has two threaded posts, made by HOOKFAST, PROVIDENCE, R.I.
WASHINGTON COUNTY BUS LINE According to a 1946 Kingston, Tennessee Rotary Club publication, this company started in 1928, operating ten buses with 25 employees, serving the public between Kingsport and Johnson City, Tennessee. The company became part of Trailways as Tennessee Trailways between the years between 1948-1950. In 1954 Tennessee Trailways was operating 10 buses over 60 route miles and Howard Patrick was the president.
WASHINGTON, MARLBORO & ANNAPOLIS MOTOR LINES, INC. / WASHINGTON MARLBORO & ANNAPOLIS TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. / W.M.A. TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. In July 1922 Leslie L. Altman founded the Bradbury Heights Bus Line to Washington, D.C. running two buses, with a garage and office located at 1510 Southern Avenue in SE, D.C. In 1926 he incorporated as the Washington, Marlboro and Annapolis (WM&A) Motor Lines, Inc. which would serve the eastern half of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with routes running from downtown D.C. to Greenbelt and Bowie, Maryland on the north, and Oxon Hill and Andrews Air Force Base on the south. In 1946 the company was running 50 buses over 134 route miles. In 1955-1956 the company changed its name to W.M.A. Transit Company, and was running 75 buses over 383 route miles. By 1959 Altman sold the Washington, Marlboro & Annapolis Bus Line to an employee group and retired to Florida. In the late 1960s the company was operating 131 buses.
On November 6, 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill creating the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The governors of Maryland and Virginia signed November 17 and the commissioners of the District of Columbia signed on November 22. On October 21, 1972 President Richard Nixon signed a bill authorizing WMATA to acquire the metropolitan area’s four privately owned bus companies. On January 14, 1973 WMATA purchased D.C. Transit, Inc. and WV&M Coach Co. (Washington, Virginia & Maryland Coach Company, Inc.) for $38.2 million. On February 4 WMATA purchased AB&W Transit Co. for $10.7 million and WMA Transit Co. (Washington Marlboro & Annapolis Transit Company) for $4.5 million, thereby creating Metrobus system.
On January 15, 1973 the Associated Press reported: “[Metro] plans to sink $50 million into an improvement program designed to offer better service than its predecessors, which have been losing riders even as the community’s population doubled in 15 years. Metro has proclaimed ‘a promising new era,’ but for the present all the old routes and schedules will be maintained and fare will stay the same except for the 15-cent senior-citizens fare that will be extended from six to seven days a week and applied for the first time to WV&M routes. ‘Metrobus’ decals will be emblazoned on the sides of about 100 buses, and all vehicles will fly red, white, blue and black ‘Metro’ pennants; leaflets and posters will inform passengers of the public takeover — and ask for their patience.”
There are earlier badges; the badge pictured here was the last company issued badge and is made of stainless steel with a single threaded post. I have seen several examples of this badge and all have the “00” number.
WASHINGTON MOTOR COACH SYSTEM CROSSTATE ROUTE The Washington Motor Coach System was a bus line formed in 1925 by combining the certificates of a number of smaller companies. In 1938 the company merged with the Yakima Motor Coach Company, Inc., the Olympic Motor Coach Company, Inc., and the Spokane-Butte Motor Coach Company, Inc. thereby serving the entire state of Washington. Washington Motor Coach System had been partnered with Greyhound Lines, Inc. for a number of years and the two companies issued joint schedules and shared major depots, such as the Greyhound Depot at 8th and Stewart Streets in Seattle. In March 1947 it was announced that Northwest Greyhound Lines, Inc. had bought out Washington Motor Coach System, keeping the same drivers and managers. There are two known badges. The first one is the earliest, and is made of solid nickel with a single threaded post and measures 1¼”. The second is made of sterling silver by the Robbins Co. Attleboro, MA. and measures a little over 2″ in diameter.
WASHINGTON-ORIENTAL BUS COMPANY This company was owned by O.S. Flanagan and headquartered in Washington, North Carolina. Its franchise certificate, No. 434, included these routes: “Routes: Between Washington, N. C, and Oriental, Route No. 33 from Washington to Aurora; Route No. 306 from Aurora to Grantsboro and Route No. 302 from Grantsboro to Oriental. Amended February 19, 1941, by adding: From points north of Grantsboro to Minnesott Beach and return for government officials, soldiers and employees of the National Defense Project being located at Minnesott Beach. (Temporary authority granted under the Federal Defense Emergency Program.)” According to one source, the company operated until 1943.
WASHINGTON RAPID TRANSIT CO. operated buses in Washington DC between 1921 and 1936. The badge measures 2 ¾ x 2″, made of heavy brass and has a pin back.
WASHINGTON-SHENANDOAH VALLEY MOTOR LINES, INC. was a subsidiary of the Eastern Public Service Corporation and opererated between the Shenandoah Valley and Washington, D.C. in the late 1920s. No further information.
WASHINGTON STAGE & EXPRESS COMPANY was operating in the mid 1920s out of Nevada City, California. E.T. Moomey and Joaquin Lopez were the registered contacts.
WASHINGTON-UNION BUS LINES / WASHINGTON-UNION-ST. LOUIS BUS LINES / WASHINGTON BUS LINE To give some background info on this company, I quote from emissourian.com: “It was April 1927 when John Calvin, owner of the Calvin Theater in downtown Washington [Missouri], hired Burt Simms to be manager of the Washington Bus Line. Calvin was president of the new company, and Simms served as manager, ticket agent and driver. The company, which began with just one bus, was in direct competition with MoPac (Missouri Pacific Railroad) which also offered daily passenger service between Washington [Missouri] and St. Louis. . . . Calvin sold the company to Simms, who added more buses to the fleet, more times to the schedule and one more destination — Union. He changed the company name to reflect the addition: Washington, Union, St. Louis Bus Company.” Washington-Union Bus Lines was sold to Burt Simms in 1937 who acted as its general manager. He changed the company name to Washington-Union-St. Louis Bus Lines when St. Louis was added to the route. In April 1957 Simms sold the line to Ralph E. Jones of Washington, Missouri. In 1955 the company was operating with 6 buses over 180 route miles. Bert Simms died in August 1961. In 1960 Jones purchased Louisiana Motor Coaches, which had interstate operating authority, and combined it with his Washington, Union, St. Louis Bus Company. It was renamed Mid-American Coaches. Today, his sons, Roger and Dennis Jones, run Mid-American Coaches as president and vice president.
WASHINGTON, VIRGINIA & MARYLAND COACH COMPANY, INC. / W. V. & M. C. CO. ARNOLD OPERATED was founded in 1926 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia; the company serviced Washington, D.C. and the suburbs of Arlington and Fairfax, Virginia, and advertised its routes as “the Arnold Line” and “Arnold Operated”. In October-November 1949 the company was involved in a court case that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The company was taken over by DC Transit in 1964. On November 6, 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill creating the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The governors of Maryland and Virginia signed November 17 and the commissioners of the District of Columbia signed on November 22. On October 21, 1972 President Richard Nixon signed a bill authorizing WMATA to acquire the metropolitan area’s four privately owned bus companies. On January 14, 1973 WMATA purchased D.C. Transit, Inc. and WV&M Coach Co. (Washington, Virginia & Maryland Coach Company, Inc.) for $38.2 million. On February 4 WMATA purchased AB&W Transit Co. (Alexandria, Barcroft and Washington Transit Company) for $10.7 million and WMA Transit Co. (Washington Marlboro & Annapolis Transit Company) for $4.5 million, thereby creating Metrobus system. (It is worth noting that O. Roy Chalk, who was the majority stockholder and president of D.C. Transit and WV&M Coach Co., rejected Metro’s offer of $32.2 million, but WMATA condemned the company and took full control of the 2,000-bus fleet at 2:01 a.m. on Sunday January 14, 1973 with the statement that a court would settle the purchase amount. In the end, the court approved the original offer of $32.2 million offered by WMATA.)
On January 15, 1973 the Associated Press reported: “[Metro] plans to sink $50 million into an improvement program designed to offer better service than its predecessors, which have been losing riders even as the community’s population doubled in 15 years. Metro has proclaimed ‘a promising new era,’ but for the present all the old routes and schedules will be maintained and fare will stay the same except for the 15-cent senior-citizens fare that will be extended from six to seven days a week and applied for the first time to WV&M routes. ‘Metrobus’ decals will be emblazoned on the sides of about 100 buses, and all vehicles will fly red, white, blue and black ‘Metro’ pennants; leaflets and posters will inform passengers of the public takeover — and ask for their patience.”
The badge measures 2½” x 2¼” and was made by FIFTH AVENUE UNIFORM COMPANY 19 SO. WELLS CHICAGO.
WATERTOWN TRANSPORTATION COMPANY was running in Watertown, New York in 1916 and was the successor to Watertown Transit. It was operated by Guy M. Jones. In 1918 one of its drivers, “Perley” Caswell, age 42, died of the Spanish Influenza. In 1946 it was still running with 11 buses over 18 route miles. It was out of business by 1954.
WATSONVILLE-PALM BEACH STAGE was operating in Watsonville, California in 1927; E.L. Paddon was the owner.
WAUKEGAN-NORTH CHICAGO TRANSIT When the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad Co., the interurban railway service, stopped running streetcars in 1947. A subsidiary named Waukegan-North Chicago Transit Co. was formed to operate the local buses. The company was sold in 1963. The badge measures 3″ x 4″, was made by HOOKFAST PROVIDENCE R. I. (marked on the thumbnut), and has one threaded post.
WAUKESHA TRANSIT LINES / WISCONSIN COACH LINES Waukesha Transit Lines was founded in August 1941 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. In the 1960 the company was reorganized as Wisconsin Coach Lines and ran city bus service in Waukesha until 1975 when it was discontinued due to declining patronage. The company continued as a commuter bus service, charter coach service and intercity carrier and is still operating in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The badge is made of metal and enamel, has a single threaded post and a pin post.
ELMER F. WEATHERFORD STAGE LINE operated in 1923 from Sumpter to Granite, Oregon over a 10-mile route. Owned and operated by Elmer F. Weatherford (1890-1948), of Baker County, Oregon. The line was short lived, as Weatherford was listed as a laborer in the 1920 US Census and a mail carrier in the 1930 US Census.
WEAVERVILLE-JUNCTION CITY-HELENA-BIG BAR STAGE LINE was operating out of Weaverville, California. C. W. Bremer was the registered contact.
WEAVERVILLE-PEANUT AUTO LINE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Douglas City, California. John B. Enos was the registered contact.
WENTWORTH BUS LINES ran in the Dover, Somersworth, Rochester, East Rochester, Gonic and Durham, New Hampshire area after 1934. The badge has one threaded post and was made by (not readable) MFG. CO. PAWTUCKET RI.
WEST COAST MOTOR BUSES, INC. was incorporated in September 1927 in Everglades, Florida. It is mentioned in the September 30, 1927 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from Brooklyn, New York. No further information.
WEST COAST RAPID TRANSIT COMPANY was operating in the mid 1920s out of Hermosa Beach, California. D.B. Maurice was the registered contact. The company was still operating in the mid 1930s.
WEST COAST TRANSIT COMPANY was operating in the mid 1920s out of the Union Stage Depot in Eureka, California.B. P. McConnaha was president and general manager.
WEST FLORIDA TRANSPORTATION COMPANY See Alaga Coach Lines, Inc.
WEST MEMPHIS TRANSPORTATION CO. ran a city transit in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1952. The badge is a die pressed example with two threaded posts.
WEST MILTON & DAYTON BUS LINES, INC. was headquartered in Dayton, Ohio. In 1974 it operated mass transit between the towns of West Milton and Dayton, Ohio, including the communities of Union and Englewood.
WEST PENN SYSTEM was part of the region’s power generation utility and ran the West Penn Railways, which was an interurban electric railway headquartered in Connellsville, Pennsylvania. West Penn Railways consisted of 339 miles (546 km) of electric trolley railway at its peak. It operated in a well populated mining region of rugged mountainous western Pennsylvania. and connected numerous towns and villages with hourly or better transport from its north end towns at McKeesport, Latrobe and Trafford through the larger towns of Greensburg, Mt Pleasant, Connellsville, Scottdale, and Uniontown to southern most Fairchild and Martin. A branch extended to Brownsville on the Monongahela River. The badge has two threaded posts and is hallmarked.
WEST PORTAL BUS LINE This company applied for a certificate of operation in 1927 in Colorado to operate between Denver and West Portal, Colorado. On July 14, 1927 the application was denied. There’s no info if the company existed before or after that date.
WEST SUBURBAN TRANSIT ran into downtown Chicago via Washington Blvd. in the 1960s. The company went out of business in 1976. The badge measures 2⅜” x 2″ with two pin posts.
WEST TEXAS TRANSPORTATION CO. was doing business in the 1930s in West Texas. No more information. The badge measures 2½” x 2⅜”, has one threaded post and was made by FIFTH AVENUE UNIFORM COMPANY 19 SO. WELLS CHICAGO.
WEST TOWN BUS COMPANY Ernest Augustus Cummings (1842-1922) founded the Cicero & Proviso Street Railway Company, which gave birth to the West Town Bus Company serving many of the western suburbs and portions of the 200 subdivisions of Cummings’ real estate developments in and around Cook County, Illinois.
WEST TOWNS BUS COMPANY was the bus operation of Chicago & West Towns Railway Company. It began in 1956 and ran routes in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. In 1963 it took over Leyden Motor Coach Co. The company was taken over by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) in 1981.
WEST UNION & CINCINNATI BUS CO. is listed the 1928-29 edition of WILLIAMS’Cincinnati Directory. It serviced Columbia, Linwood, Mt. Washington, Hamlet, Mt. Holly, Bantam, Bethel, Harnersvllle, Georgetown, Ripley, Decatur and West Union, Ohio.
WEST VIRGINIA TRANSPORTATION COMPANY was a subsidiary of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and began operations on January 1, 1929 with a fleet of seven motor coaches running between Weston, W.V., and Buckhannon, Clarksburg and Grafton and Parkersburg and Cairo. From Railway Age, Vol. 85, No. 25: “They will be painted a deep maroon with black belt rail and fenders. The name West Virginia Transportation Company will appear on the belt rails of the coaches and on the center side panels the Capital Dome emblem of the Baltimore & Ohio, both in gilt lettering. Drivers will be in uniforms of military style.” In 1946 the company was headquartered in the Baltimore & Ohio Building in Baltimore, Maryland. It ran 66 buses over 560 route miles.
WESTERN ILLINOIS BUS LINE began operating in 1931 and maintained a route between Jacksonville,Cahpin and Mercedosia, Illinois.
WESTERN MOTOR LINES / WESTERN MOTOR LINES, INC. Western Motor Lines was running in 1919 and operated from Terre Haute, Indiana to Paris, Illinois. By 1945 the company had been succeeded by Western Motor Lines, Incorporated and served St. Mary of the Woods, New Gibson, West Terre Haute, Marion, Heights, Libertyville and Shirkieville, Indiana with 6 buses over 38 route miles. Dominic Giovanini was the president. It is listed in the 1956 MTD and mentioned in a 1968 Terre Haute newspaper.
WESTERN MOTOR TRANSPORT COMPANY was organized in August 1919 in Oakland, California and transported passengers by auto stages between Oakland and Sacramento, via Rodeo and Vallejo, or via Crockett and Vallejo, between Oakland and Martinez by either Rodeo or the Franklin Canyon route, between Oakland and Napa via either Rodeo or Crockett and between Rodeo and Danville. In November 1921 the company sold out to California Transit Company. At the time their assets included thirty-six automobiles with an estimated value of $183,000.
WESTERN NEW YORK MOTOR LINES, INC. / EMPIRE STATE TRAILWAYS / EMPIRE TRAILWAYS / VALLEY TRAILWAYS According to The Encyclopedia of New York State (Syracuse University Press, 2005) “Western New York Motor Lines (trade name, Blue Bus Lines) was organized in 1924 to combine the rights of operators that had started service in 1916 between Batavia (Genesee County) and Rochester. These were joined in 1925 with a Batavia-Buffalo line started in 1921 . . . Rochester-Penfield Bus Company (later Valley Trailways) was organized in 1934, and it acquired Blue Bus Lines [i.e., Western New York Motor Lines] in 1958, continuing operations under that name.” From 1958 the company was operating as Western New York Motor Lines / Blue Bus Lines. The Fall 2005 issue of Headend from The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation, adds: “The resulting company served Akron, Attica, and Caledonia-Avon-Scottsville on the west side, Fairport and Penfield to the east, and Geneseo, Leicester, Mount Morris and Dansville to the south. Shortly after the  merger, the line joined the Trailways system as Blue Valley Trailways and later Empire State Trailways.” The name Empire State Trailways was adopted in 1962 and shortened to Empire Trailways in 1975. Adirondack Trailways acquired the Empire Trailways routes in 1994, operating them separately as New York Trailways.
WESTERN SLOPE MOTORWAY, INC. A Brief History of Transit in the Grand Valley recounts: “On the first day of November 1926, the Western Slope Motorway Company began bus service in Grand Junction offering free rides all day. However, after that first day, ridership steadily declined due to erratic service and the fact that Grand Junction was still a small town where most people were used to walking. The Public Service Company took over ownership in 1927.” (McGuire, William L. and Charles Teed. The Fruit Belt Route: The Railways of Grand Junction, Colorado 1890-1935. Grand Junction: National Railway Historical Society, 1981.) The September 1928 edition of Railway Age gives more information: “The Western Slope Motorway, Inc., a subsidiary of the Denver & Rio Grande Western, has applied to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for permission to operate a passenger and freight service with motor coaches and trucks between Grand Junction, Colorado, Fruita and Mack. The highway service is proposed to replace electric railway service operated by the Grand River Valley between these points.” In 1930 the company was acquired by the Rio Grand Motor Way, which was also a subsidiary of Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad.
WESTON & CURSON STAGE LINE was operating out of Woodland, California. A. H. Weston and W. H. Curson were the owners. (These two also owned / operated Woodland Knights Landing Auto Stage and Woodland-Romsey Auto Stage.)
WESTSIDE TRANSIT was operating in the mid 1920s out of Newman, California. J. T. Chunn was the owner. By the late 1920s the company had moved to Patterson, California and R. B. McCrary was listed as the owner.
WESTSIDE TRANSIT COMPANY, INC. was operating out of Long Beach, California in the late 1910s and into the mid 1920s. A. F. Adkins was the president and Fred Rife was the secretary.
WESTWOOD TRANSPORTATION LINES, INC. was founded on December 29, 1955 in New York City. Controlled by the Manhattan Transit Company of East Patterson, New Jersey, it was an intercity bus company serving New York City, Weehawken, North Bergen, Ridgefield Park and Teaneck, New Jersey. In 1956 it operated 56 buses over 46 miles route miles. According to the New York State Department of State, it is still an active company.
WHEATLAND-SPENCEVILLE STAGE LINE was operating out of Wheatland, California in the mid 1920s. G. R. Atkins was the registered contact.
WHEELER’S HOT SPRINGS STAGE LINE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Wheeler’s Hot Springs, California. W. W. Wilcox was the manager. (Now called Wheeler Springs, Wheeler’s Hot Springs is an unincorporated community in Ventura County, California. It is located 6 miles north of the Ojai Valley, within Los Padres National Forest.)
WHEELING TRACTION SYSTEM / WHEELING TRACTION COMPANY The history behind these two entities is a bit confusing. Let’s start with the fact that the Wheeling Traction System was a subsidiary of West Penn Railway Company, and the Wheeling Traction Company was a part of that system. From the November 23, 1918 issue of Street Railway Journal: “H. L. Mitchell has been made vice-president and general manager of the Wheeling (W. Va.) Traction Company, which operates the Wheeling Traction Company, Pan Handle Traction Comnany, Steubenville & Wheeling Traction Company and the Steubenville, Wellsburg & Weirton Railway. Mr. Mitchell has grown up in the service of the West Penn properties, of which the Wheeling Traction System is a subsidiary.”
How all of this comes together isn’t too clear (at least to me!), but let’s move on to this excerpt from “WHEELING TRACTION COMPANY”, published in the GOLDEN SEAL MAGAZINE (n/d) by William J. B. Gwinn: “The success of West Penn Railway Company‘s lines in southwestern Pennsylvania made logical West Penn’s obtaining an interest in railway lines in the populous Ohio Valley communities of West Virginia and Ohio. Both local and interurban service was operated by a dozen independent and consolidated companies. In October, 1912, West Penn’s initial investment was some 102 miles of line in the Wheeling Traction Company.“
In an the article “Wheeling Traction System” the October 13, 1906 issue of Street Railway Journal the author begins: “In 1899 the Wheeling Railway Company was re-organized under the name of the Wheeling Traction Company, and it took over the interests of the Wheeling Railway Company, the Bridgeport, Bellaire & Martins Ferry Street Railway Company, which covered the lines on the Ohio side of the Ohio River, and the lines between Benwood and Moundsville. . . . The Wheeling Traction Company has been in existence since 1900, when it was incorporated . . . for the purpose of effecting a consolidation of several independent street railways then operating in the city of Wheeling and surrounding country. The corporate names of these several companies were: Wheeling Railway Company; Citizens’ Railway Company; Moundsville, Benwood & Wheeling Railway Company, and Bellaire, Bridgeport & Martins Ferry Railway Company. In 1901 the Wheeling Traction Company purchased all of the capital stock of The Steubenville, Mingo & Ohio Valley Traction Company . . . ” Some of the towns served were on the West Virginia side and some on the Ohio side of the Ohio River: Martins Ferry, Bridgeport, Bellaire, Barton, St. Clairsville and Steubenville in Ohio and Wheeling, Benwood, Moundsville and Wellsburg in West Virginia.
In 1912 the stock of the Wheeling Traction Company was taken over by the West Penn Railways Company of Pittsburgh. In 1917 the West Penn Railways Company took over the Steubenville, Wellsburg & Weirton Railway Company, operating between Steubenville and Wellsburg and Steubenville and Weirton, which was operated under lease by the Wheeling Traction Company. (Additional info from The History of West Virginia, Old and New Published by The American Historical Society, Inc., 1923; page 460.) The Wheeling Traction Company filed bankruptcy in 1931 and was reorganized 1933 as the employee-owned Cooperative Transit Company.
As to the badges, the early badges are marked “Wheeling Traction Company”; at some point (likely after the company was taken over by West Penn Railways Company in 1912) the wording was changed to “Wheeling Traction System”, although the same employee ID numbers were kept. (See the first photo below.) The early badges were made of brass/metal and celluloid and fastened to the employee’s hat via two button hole, measures approx. 4″ x 1½”, is made of aluminum and is marked on the reverse: “HEEREN BROS. CO. W.C. PATENTED PITTSBURG, PA” (the accompanying badge is the same in the second photo: the second badge is made of nickel-plated brass and solid brass, is a pin & swivel clasp type, measures approx. 1⅞” x 2″ and is marked “HEEREN BROS. CO. W.C. PATENTED PITTSBURG, PA”; the third badge photo features a badge that measures 1⅞” x 1⅜”, is made of nickel, marked “MATTHEWS PITTSBURGH”,and has a safety pin type fastener.
WHITCOMB STAGES was running in the mid 1920s out Los Angeles, California. C. L. Whitlock and W. F. Whitcomb were the owners.
WHITE ARROW COACH LINE This company was already operating in 1924 when it joined Southern Motor Coach Company to form a pooling service operating between Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1928 Onnie Bruce “O.B.” Baskette and Al Kraemer incorporated the Tennessee Coach Company, bought the Southern Motor Coach Company and White Arrow Coach Lines for the sum of $197,000, and merged the two, along with Baskett’s own Safety Coach Company, into their new Tennessee Coach Company. The company, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, and was in operation until 1976 after which it was merged into the Continental Tennessee Lines.
WHITE BUS LINE was founded by Harris A. Spearin in Duluth, Minnesota; in 1923 Spearin sold the company to Carl Wickman’s Mesaba Transportation Company, which Wickman would later build into The Greyhound Corporation. With financial backing from Carl Wickman, Spearin founded the Southland Transportation Company in 1925 and operated under contract with the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad between Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky. The January 28 1928 issue of Railway Age reported that the “Southland Transportation Company . . . has been merged with the Greyhound Lines, Inc.. H. A. Spearin, president of the Southland Transportation Company, has been appointed general manager of the Greyhound lines operating from Cincinnati.”
WHITE BUS LINE / MOTOR TRANSIT COMPANY begins with Oliver R. “Ollie” Fuller (1880-1946), a Los Angeles, California automobile and truck dealer. After repossessing two White trucks in 1913, he started his own freight business; in 1917 he purchased P&E (Passenger & Express) Stages, operating from Los Angeles to Anaheim, which he renamed White Bus Line. In 1920 he renamed White Bus Line “Motor Transit Company.” (For more info, see Motor Transit Company.)
WHITE BUS LINE, INC. ran out of Binghamton, New York to Montrose and Wyalusing, Pennsylvania in the early 1920s. In 1922 it was operated by Edward J. Dorey. It is mentioned in newspaper accounts in the 1930s. The last mention is in a December 11, 1946 news item from Binghamton about the company’s drivers being out on strike. Notably, it is not listed in the 1946-47 MTD.
WHITE LINE MOTOR BUS CO. was a bus company that served the northwest suburbs of Chicago. In the 1920s the White Line Motor Bus Co., Suburban Auto Coach Co. and Federal Transportation Co. merged to form United Motor Coach Co. (For more information, see United Motor Coach Co.)
WHITE MOUNTAIN PASSENGER LINES, INC. was founded in 1937. In 1946 the company was headquartered in Holbrook, Arizona and ran 7 buses over 450 route miles. It is still operation and today is located Show Low, Arizona offering freight and intercity passenger service.
WHITE PINE EXPRESS, INC. was founded in 1967 in Hancock, Michigan. It was incorporated in 1972. A 1974 Michigan intercity bus study noted this about the company: “Of special note are the unusually high passenger volumes recorded by White Pine Express, Inc. of Lake Linden, Michigan. Transporting miners between Houghton/Hancock and the White Pine Cooper Mine – 184 miles round trip – White Pine carries nearly 700 passengers daily. Registering one of the highest average intercity bus occupancy figures in the state, White Pine may also have conferred an additional honor upon M-26 – the highest modal split on any Michigan highway, with nearly 60% of all trips using mass transit. If current trends continue, White Pine will transport more than 255,000 passengers in 1974, making it the third largest carrier in the state in terms of patronage.” The company is no longer in business.
WHITE POINT STAGE LINE / WHITE POINT BUS LINE was operating in the mid 1920s out of San Pedro, California. F. L. Landier was the registered contact.
WHITE STAGE LINE COMPANY was running in the 1920s in Miami, Florida. In 1926 it was sold to the firm of Stone and Webster, which consolidated it with Florida Motor Transportation Company to form the Florida Motor Lines.
WHITE STAR AUTO LINE was founded in 1914 in Miami, Florida. It ran some 60 miles northward to West Palm Beach. In 1919 it was merged with Clyde Passenger Express to form the Florida Motor Transportation Company.
WHITE STAR BUS LINE was operating in the early-mid 1920s in Tucson, Arizona. “In October 1925, Tucson Rapid Transit Co., having realized that buses were more flexible and economical to run than streetcars and were the future of public transportation in the Old Pueblo, bought the White Star Bus Line. This small bus company would become the basis for TRT’s bus service in town. Also around the same time, Roy Laos Sr., noting the lack of transit service to the south and west sides of town founded the Occidental Bus Line to serve these areas. Laos’ bus service would later be called Old Pueblo Transit.” (From Wikipedia.) By the late 1970s Tucson Rapid Transit Company and Old Pueblo Transit were joined together as Sun Trans.
WHITE STAR BUS LINE was operating in the late 1930s and early 1940s in Puerto Rico. It had an exclusive franchise for carrying passengers between San Juan and its outlying suburbs, as far as the town of Rio Piedras. In 1941 it operated a total of 243 buses, which carried a daily average of 83,573 passengers.
WHITE STAR BUS LINE was known as the West Side Bus Line in Wichita, Kansas. It started running in Wichita in December 1922 with two buses. The owner J. O. Mendenhall.
WHITE STAR BUS LINE was founded by Albert R. Lockridge (1877-1945) in the mid-1920s and ran in Madison, Indiana.
WHITE STAR BUS LINE COMPANY was operating in the mid 1920s out of Albemarle, North Carolina. It operated from Albemarle to Charlotte on Highway 27.
WHITE STAR BUS LINE, INC. was founded on March 10, 1928 in Florida. The company was dissolved on November 23, 1936.
WHITE BUS LINE, INC. was operating in the mid 1920s out of Concord, North Carolina. It ran from Greensboro to Charlotte to Winston-Salem, via Statesville over Highways Nos. 26, 75 and 65. R. O. Walters was the president.
WHITE STAR COACH LINE This company was operating from Bristol to Johnson City, Tennessee in 1928. It also served Bluff City and Elizabethton, Tennessee. In the 1946 Ithaca, Tennessee city directory, it is listed John Stella “proprietor” of the White Star Coach Line; however, the company is not listed in the 1946 MTD.
WHITE STAR LINES, INC. This company was operating in the 1920s out of Washington, Pennsylvania. In July 1929 West Penn Electric Company of Pittsburgh gained a controlling interest in the company and the Washington Transportation Company of Wheeling, West Virginia. The two companies operated a bus service extending from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Wheeling, Morgantown and Wellsburg, West Virginia. In 1931 Potomac Edison Company (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.” Although PEC operated the Blue Ridge Lines, it maintained a fleet of buses under its own name. In 1946 the company operated 65 buses over 265.8 route miles, and it’s president, R. Paul Smith, controlled both companies—as well as Penn Bus Company, which ran 38 buses over 343 route miles, and White Star Lines, which ran 48 buses over 483 route miles. A. F. McDonald was general manager of all four companies. All four companies were still operational in 1956 under the control of R. Paul Smith and A. F. McDonald.
WHITE STAR MOTOR BUS COMPANY began running in 1923 on an intercity route from Detroit to Flint, Michigan, and from Detroit to Port Huron, Michigan. It was acquired in 1924 by Detroit United Railway Company‘s subsidiary, People’s Motor Coach Company. In September 1928 Eastern Michigan Motor Buses was incorporated to take over the bus companies operated by the Detroit United Railways, one of which was White Star Motor Bus Company. The badge is made in the style of early railroad/streetcar badges and is made of nickel-plated brass. It measures approx. 4″ wide.
WHITE STAR MOTOR COACH LINES OF ILLINOIS, INC. / WHITE STAR MOTOR COACH LINES This company began operating in Illinois in 1923. In a December 11, 1926 lawsuit, it was mentioned that the “company was engaged in operating gasoline-propelled motor busses from Peoria, Illinois, to several nearby villages and towns. The company maintained a central office, garage and repair department on Fayette street, in the business district of Peoria, where its busses were kept and cared for.” In October 1938 Greyhound Lines purchased the company’s operating rights between Canton and Chicago, Illinois, which was approximately 225 route miles. In 1956 the company was still operational with 3 buses over 66 route miles and served Peoria, Farmington and Canton, Illinois.
WHITE STAR STAGES was granted a certificate of operation in August 1927 to run a bus line between Durango and Dolores, Colorado. No further info.
WHITE SWAN MOTOR COACH / WHITE SWAN LINES was an intercity Indiana bus company owned and operated by Union Traction Company of Indiana. It served Indianapolis, Huntington, Ft. Wayne, Noblesville, Sheridan, Kokomo and Peru, Indiana, among other towns. The origins of this company is traced to Hoosier Stage Lines and Marion Motor Bus Corporation when they combined their companies in 1925 and operated a bus line christened “White Swan Lines”. How the White Swan Lines became part of the Union Traction Company is reported in the March 1926 edition of the Electric Railway Journal: “Union Traction Company of Indiana, Anderson, Ind., has been granted the petition recently made by Arthur W. Brady, receiver for the company, for authority to buy bus equipment of the Hoosier State Lines at a price of approximately $135,000. The petition was granted by the judge of the Circuit Court at Anderson, where receivership proceedings had originally been brought. There are at present sixteen buses on the Hoosier Lines and it is expected that additional equipment will be purchased from Mack Trucks, Inc. Mr. Brady stated that leases on bus stations used by the Hoosier Stage will be sought, and that several other details will require attention before the final transfer of the bus equipment is made.”
By the end of the year the company was advertising schedule change in various Indiana newspapers, such as this ad in the December 16, 1926 edition of the Fairmount News from Fairmount, Indiana: “NOTICE Change In Bus Schedules WHITE SWAN LINES OPERATED BY UNION TRACTION CO. OF INDIANA EFFECTIVE SUNDAY DEC. 12, 1926.“
Midland Utilities purchased the Union Traction Company of Indiana in 1930 and created Indiana Railroad. After 1930 there is no mention of the White Swan Lines. Below is a schedule from 1928 advertising “White Swan” Motor Coach.
WHITE TRANSIT COMPANY OF WILKES-BARRE, PA. (SEE MARTZ LINES / FRANK MARTZ COACH COMPANY, INC.)
WHITEHURST BUS LINE was founded in 1937 operating between Rocky Mount and Raleigh, North Carolina over Highway 301. In 1939 it sold out to the Seashore Transportation Company.
WHITLOCK STAGE COMPANY was operating in Orland, California in 1927. C.L. Whitlock was the owner.
WICHITA CITY LINES, INC. took over city transit operations in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1950 from Wichita Falls Traction Company, Inc. It was a privately held company, which, in 1954, was running 48 buses over 102 route miles. In 1971, the City of Wichita Falls assumed ownership and operation of the service and changed the name to Wichita Falls Transit System (WFTS). The badge measures approx. 2 ½” x 2 ½” has two threaded posts, and was made by GREENDUCK CO. CHI.
WICHITA FALLS TRACTION COMPANY, INC. ran streetcars in Wichita Falls, Texas beginning in 1909. It discontinued streetcars service in 1935. According to the 1946-47 Mass Transportation’s Directory the company was still operating in 1946 and was running 56 buses over 45 route miles. By 1950 Wichita City Lines, Inc., a privately held company, took over the operation.
WICHITA MOTOR BUS COMPANY was operating in the mid 1910s out of Wichita, Kansas and was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Wichita Railroad & Light Company, Inc., which was incorporated in 1900. The bus company was formed because bus companies were under state jurisdiction while streetcar companies were under city jurisdiction. In 1917 H. C. Jones was the general manager. The company lasted into the late 1920s and did issue transit tokens. The July 25, 1917 edition of the Wichita Daily Eagle from Wichita, Kansas gives some insight into the company: “JONES WANTS BUS LICENSE MADE SMALLER Manager of Motor Bus Company Tells Commissioners That $450 Per Car Per Year Is Out of Reason H. Jones gave a detailed description of the Wichita Motor Bus Co., in order to prove his point that the license for the jitney service in the city is exorbitant. Mr. Jones, who is manager of the company, pays $450 each year per car, and he pays for six cars, the large yellow buses that operate on East Douglas avenue. The buses have been running since October 1 and their first license expires August 1. . . . In Kansas City jitney drivers pay only $18.15 per car per year. The Wichita Motor Bus Co. carries from 1,500 to 2,500 people on each car each day. The cars seat 20 and can carry more in an emergency. . . . the line runs as far east on Douglas avenue as the city limits. . . . Commissioner Powell said that the only fault he could find with the system was that the drivers were often in too big a hurry to cut in front of other drivers. Mr. Jones admitted that he had a difficult time getting good drivers.“
WICHITA TRANSPORTATION CORPORATION / WICHITA TRANSPORTATION COMPANY The Wichita Railroad & Light Company, Inc. was incorporated in 1900 in Wichata, Kansas and provided streetcar service to Wichita. The company also ran buses through its subsidiary, Wichita Motor Bus Company. In 1927 the name was changed to Wichita Transportation Corporation. Streetcars were abandoned on June 26, 1935 and replaced by buses. In 1946 the company was running 104 buses over 129 route miles. In 1954 the company was running 115 buses over 192 route miles.
When America entered World War II the nation’s defense industry kicked into full production. Tens of thousands of aircraft workers were employed throughout Kansas building planes, and most of those jobs were centered in Wichita. Boeing built the B-29 bombers. Beech Aircraft Company and Cessna Aircraft Company built various military aircraft models. When America entered World War II, Wichita Transportation Company formed Emergency Transportation, Inc. to run buses from downtown Wichita to the three aircraft production plants. Their service began on July 20, 1942.
By December 1945 the Wichita Transportation Corporation, along with Emergency Transportation, Inc., was operating 126 buses and carried 30 million passengers.
WILBUR SPRINGS STAGE COMPANY was operating in the mid 1920s out of Wilber Springs, California. E. Strauss was the president and general manager. (There was a Gibson Wilbur Springs Stage Company operating in 1914. I’m not sure if it is connected to this company.)
WILCOX AUTO TOURS was a Los Angeles, California tour bus company operating in the 1910s. There is no info on this company other than one ad in a 1915 newspaper and a surviving post card of the company’s bus and driver, whom we might assume was Mr. Wilcox.
WILCOX TRANSPORTATION COMPANY began operations in 1925. In 1927 its operation was described in a Cook Co., Illinois court document: “[the company is] engaged in the business of carrying passengers by motor bus in territory in Cook county immediately west of the city of Chicago. For several years it has been operating motor buses along River road between Maywood and DesPlaines. This route passes through the village of Franklin Park near its eastern boundary and through the village of River Grove near its western boundary, and crosses Grand avenue.” The company ceased operations in 1931 and its routes were taken over by Leyden Motor Coach Co.
WILKES-BARRE RAILWAYS COMPANY succeeded Wilkes-Barre & Wyoming Valley Traction Company in 1910 running streetcars in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and, beginning in December 1939, trackless trolleys. In 1946 the company ran 43 trackless trolleys over 34 route miles. The company became the Wilkes-Barre Transit Corporation on August 29, 1947. In August 1958, the corporation was taken over by American Transportation Enterprises; within three months all of Wilkes-Barre Transit Corporation’s trackless lines were abandoned and service replaced by buses. In 1975 Wilkes-Barre Transit Corporation surrendered its assets to the Luzerne County Transportation Authority. There are several styles of badges; the one pictured here appears to be an early example. It is made of nickel and is a pin back.
WILKES BARRE TRANSIT CORPORATION Beginning in December 1939 the Wilkes-Barre Railways Company ran trolleys in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. In 1946 the company ran 43 trackless trolleys over 34 route miles. The company became the Wilkes-Barre Transit Corporation on August 29, 1947. In August 1958, the corporation was taken over by American Transportation Enterprises; within three months all of Wilkes-Barre Transit Corporation’s trackless lines were abandoned and service replaced by buses. In 1975 Wilkes-Barre Transit Corporation surrendered its assets to the Luzerne County Transportation Authority. There are at least two style badges; the older one measures 1¾” and is a pin back. The later badge, made of nickel with enamel inlay, has a single threaded post with two pin posts on the wing tips and measures 3½” x 1¼” at the center.
WILLETT MOTOR COACH COMPANY This company’s founding goes back into the 1860s when the Willett Company was hauling freight with horse-drawn wagons. Operating out of Chicago, Illinois, Howard Levansellaer Willett, Sr. (1884-1963) was running the company by 1910. A GENERAL CHRONOLOGY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD COMPANY, which was compiled by Christopher T. Baer in 1930, gives some insight about the company: Feb. 19, 1930 American Contract & Trust Company agrees with the Willett Company to incorporate a new “The Willett Company” and transfer to it all its trucking operations and sell 8,000 shares to the AC&T for $400,000; the old company to retain bus operations and be renamed the Willett Motor Coach Company. . . . Mar. 3, 1930 The Willett Company incorporated in Illinois to take over the trucking service of the Willett Company (N.J.); Willett Company (N.J.) retains the bus operations and is renamed Willett Motor Coach Company; the new Willett Company performs pick-up and delivery service for the Pennsylvania Railroad in Chicago, Hammond and Gary, plus station-to-station service in Illinois and Indiana and a general trucking business in Chicago.
By the 1970s the company was owned and operated by Howard Levansellaer Willett, Jr. (1910 – 1974). His 1974 obituary stated he owned the “Willett Motor Coach Company, Willett Trucking Co., Willett Truck Leasing Company Chicago.” By the 1980s the company was contracted to operate school bus service for the Chicago city schools. This 1988 headline gives more information: “School Bus Firm May Sell Business July 12, 1988|By William Gruber. Willett Inc., which provides some bus service to Chicago public schools, has sold its trucking subsidiary to a British company and is negotiating the sale of its school bus and truck leasing businesses, a top company official said Monday.” The badge is made from nickel-plated metal with one threaded post and was made by GREENDUCK CO. CHI. / GREENDUCK CO. CHICAGO.
WILLIAMS-BARTLETT SPRINGS STAGE LINE was operating in the mid 1920s from Williams to Bartlett Springs, California. The line ran William Quigley was the registered contact.
WILLIAMS SOUTHSIDE TRANSIT COMPANY was operating in the mid 1920s out of Los Angeles, California. Scott Williams was the owner.
WILLIAMS TRANSFER COMPANY ran an intercity bus line between Richmond and Newcastle, Indiana in 1925.
WILLITS-GARBERVILLE STAGE LINE was operating in the Sacramento, California area in 1922-1923. The company’s permits were sold to Thomas B. Riley, owner of Riley Stage Line.
WILLITS-HEARST STAGE LINE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Hearst, California. E. E. Rugg was the registered contact.
WILLOWS-GLENN-BUTTE CITY AUTO SERVICE was operating in Willows, California in 1927. It was owned by O.H. Harper.
WILLOW RANCH-SURPRISE VALLEY STAGE was operating in Willow Ranch, California in 1927; W.N. Harris was the owner.
WILMINGTON CITY LINES, INC. See Safeway Transit Company.
WILMINGTON & PHILADELPHIA TRACTION COMPANY See Southern Pennsylvania Bus Company.
WILSON-GREENVILLE BUS LINE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Wilson, North Carolina. It ran between Wilson to Greenville, via Farmville, Highway No. 91.
WILSON-GREENVILLE BUS LINE was established in July 1922 and ran a route between Greenville and Wilson via Farmville, Highway No. 91. The owners were named Rush and Curry.
THE WILSON LINES I’m not sure if this company was part of the Wilson Line steamboat company that ran boats on the Delaware River out of Chester, Pennsylvania. Apparently that company ran a bus service to augment its river boat service. The badge has two threaded posts.
WINCHESTER-BLUEMONT & BERRYVILLE BUS COMPANY The only information on this company was that it is mentioned in a U.S. Government Accounting Office ledger in 1938. The owner was C. W. Dwyer, who submitted a bill for medical and hospital services. The line ran between Winchester, Bluemont and Berryville, Virginia.
WINCHESTER, WILLIAMSBURG & CINCINNATI BUS LINE. This company was listed in the 1928-29 edition of WILLIAMS’Cincinnati Directory. No more info.
WINN BUS LINES, INC. was founded by George M. Winn, who started his transportation career by driving for Trailways out of Lynchburg, Virginia. In 1957, by which time Winn had been made regional manager for Trailways, he bought a used 1942 Trailways bus and, with financial help from his Trailways boss, Claude Jessup, went into business for himself. In March 1958 Winn Bus Lines started business out of Richmond, Virginia. In 1966 Winn bought out Virginia’s oldest bus company, Virginia Stage Lines, which had been incorporated in 1925 and which had joined Trailways in 1938. (The company’s president was Claude Jessup, who had loaned Winn the money he needed to found Winn Bus Lines.) With the acquisition of Virginia Stage Lines, Winn Bus Lines became the oldest continually operated bus company in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The company is still in business. The badge is made of metal and enamel, has two threaded posts, and was made by HOOKFAST PROVIDENCE R.I. (marked on thumbnut). Judging by the bus image, it appears to be from the late 40s, or early 50s.
WINNIPEG & INTERNATIONAL TRANSIT CORPORATION was operating out of Fargo, North Dakota in the mid 1920s. The only mention of the company on the Net is in the February 4, 1928 issue of the ELECTRIC RAILWAY JOURNAL.
WINDSOR-CHATHAM COACHES / WINDSOR-CHATHAM-LONDON COACHES See Canadian American Coaches, Ltd.
WINSTON-SALEM CITY COACH LINES The story of this company goes back to the early part of the twentieth century in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “Because there were no trolley services (operated by Duke Power Company) in the African American section of Winston-Salem when R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company erected its huge plants in 1914, a construction contractor, Mr. E. E. Richardson was forced to convert his Model T Ford automobile into a jitney in order to get his employees to work in time. This jitney was the first mode of flexible public transportation for residents of East Winston.” Eventually a group of African American jitney operators came together to form Safe Bus Company and a charter was granted by the state on May 24, 1926. “In May 1955, Duke Power was released from its franchise to provide public transportation service in Winston-Salem, and a nonexclusive franchise was granted to Winston-Salem City Coach Lines, Inc., a subsidiary of City Coach Lines of Jacksonville, Florida. Safe Bus Company became the sole public transportation provider for Winston-Salem residents in 1968 when Winston-Salem experienced the loss of a transit system after City Coach Lines closed down and drove its buses out of town after a ten-month strike by its workers. The Winston-Salem Transit Authority was created as a result of the transit troubles. In November 1968, Safe Bus entered into a franchise agreement with the Winston-Salem Transit Authority under which Safe Bus assumed the responsibility of providing service in the areas formerly served by City Coach Lines.” (Info from Wikipedia.) When Safe Bus Company failed due to financial problems, a special referendum was passed in 1972 and, with the help of a federal grant, the city of Winston-Salem purchased the assets of the Safe Bus Company. Afterwards, the Winston-Salem Transportation Authority assumed transit operations.
WINSTON-SALEM-HIGH POINT MOTOR LINES See Consolidated Bus Lines.
WINSTON-SALEM METROPOLITAN TRANSIT / WSMT / WINSTON-SALEM TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY According to information I’ve received, the Winston-Salem Transportation Authority’s bus system, operating in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina metro area, is known as Winston-Salem Metropolitan Transit, although the company’s website uses the name Winston-Salem Transportation Authority, or WSTA. (There are several 1970s newspaper articles from Winston-Salem that refer to the system as “WSMT.”) The history of the WSTA can be found under Safe Bus Company; but, in brief, when the Safe Bus Company failed in 1972 due to financial problems, a special referendum was passed by voters and, with the help of a federal grant, the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina purchased the assets of the Safe Bus Company. Afterwards, the Winston-Salem Transportation Authority assumed transit operations. MORE INFO NEEDED! The badge is made of nickel-plated brass, measures 2¼” x 2″ and has two threaded posts.
WINTERS-DAVIS-SACRAMENTO AUTO STAGE / SERVICE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Winters, California. The registered contacts were named Judy and Elliot.
WINTERS-MONTICELLO AUTO LINE was operating in the mid 1920s out of Monticello, California. V. V. Anderson was the registered contact.
WISCONSIN COACH LINES / WAUKESHA TRANSIT LINES was founded in August 1941 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. In the 1960 the company was reorganized as Wisconsin Coach Lines and ran city bus service in Waukesha until 1975 when it was discontinued due to declining patronage. The company continued as a commuter bus service, charter coach service and intercity carrier and is still operating in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The badge is made of metal and enamel, has a single threaded post and a pin post.
WISCONSIN-MICHIGAN COACHES, INC was founded in 1962 in Green Bay, Wisconsin as a merger of Green Bay Wausau Lines, which ran between Green Bay and Wausau, Michigan; Wisconsin Michigan Transit Lines, which operated between Green Bay and Iron Mountain-Iron River, and had been operating since 1959; and Cherry Transit Co., which bagan operations in the 1930s and served Green Bay, Algoma and Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. There is an embroidered cloth patch/badge.
WISCONSIN MOTOR BUS LINES This company was created in 1922 as a subsidiary of The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company (TMER&L) to run buses between Milwaukee and West Bend, Wisconsin. Shortly thereafter Wisconsin Motor Bus Lines acquired Boulevard Transit Company and Eastern Wisconsin Transportation Company. In 1926 the company acquired Gray Motor Stage Line. The following year it acquired American Coach Company. In 1934 Wisconsin Motor Bus Company ceased to be a separate subsidiary of The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company. In 1938 the Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company was reorganized as The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Transport Company. In 1943 Wisconsin Motor Bus Lines / The Milwaukee Electric Railway & Transportation Company was serving Watertown, Ixonia, Oconomowoc, Okauchee, Nashotah, Hartland, Pewaukee, Delafield, Waukesha Beach, Waukesha and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 1943. (For more information see the history of THE TRANSPORT COMPANY / THE MILWAUKEE ELECTRIC RAILWAY & LIGHT COMPANY / TMER&L / THE MILWAUKEE ELECTRIC RAILWAY & TRANSPORT COMPANY / TMERT.)
WITHAMSVILLE BUS CO. listed as serving Amelia & Withamsville, Ohio in 1928. Both cities are part of Clermont County is part of the Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area.
WOBURN & READING BUS LINE / LOVELL BUS LINES INC. The history of this company begins in the early 1920s operating between Woburn and Reading, Massachusetts. By 1923 the company ran from Maynard to Acton and Maynard to Concord and Stow to Hudson. Either John Lovell owned the line, or he purchased it because in 1924 he changed the name to Lovell Bus Lines, Incorporated. The company was operating in the 1930s and 1940s in the area of Weymouth, Massachusetts. In 1953 it was sold to Middlesex & Boston Street Railway. In 1972 Middlesex & Boston Street Railway was acquired by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. There are three different badges. The first badge pictured was made by “R. WOODMAN BOSTON MASS”. The bottom badge is made of nickel-plated brass and measures 1¾” in diameter. (Note the safety pin was added at a later time.)
WOLF BROTHERS BUS LINE began operations in 1929 and was the first bus service in Dayton, Ohio. It ran from Dayton to Beavertown via Wilmington Pike. The company was acquired by The Oakwood Street Railway and operated as a bus subsidiary. It was renamed The Dayton Suburban Bus Lines, Inc. In 1946 it ran 19 buses over 17.9 route miles.
WOLVERINE STAGES, INC. is a privately owned company in Pellston, Michigan founded in 1966 and later incorporated. It is currently in business and runs a shuttle service.
WOLVERINE TRANSIT COMPANY (a.k.a. WOLVERINE MOTOR COACH SERVICE) was a bus company operated by Detroit United Railways and ran between Detroit and Mt. Clemens, Michigan and between Detroit and Imlay City, Michigan in the late teens and the 1920s. On September 17, 1928 it was sold to Eastern Michigan Motor Buses, Inc., which was expressly organized to take over the bus companies operated by the Detroit United Railways.
WOLVERTON AUTO BUS COMPANY was a passenger and freight bus service running in Washington State in the 1920s. Among the communities they served is Port Townsend, Port Angeles, Lake Crecent and Quilcene. By 1929 the company had been bought out by Olympic Peninsula Motor Coach Company. (This company was later bought out by Washington Motor Coach System, which in turn was bought out by Northwest Greyhound Lines, Inc. in 1947.
K. N. WOOD BUS COMPANY was founded in August 1939 in Independence, Oregon by K. N. Wood. He ran one “bus”—a 1936 Plymouth sedan—and served Independence, Monmouth and Salem, Oregon. The business is not listed in the 1946 MTD.
WOODBURN-FT. WAYNE BUS LINE operated in Woodburn, Indiana in 1926.
WOODLAND-KNIGHTS LANDING AUTO STAGE was operating out of Woodland, California in the mid 1920s. A. H. Weston and W. H. Curson were the owners. (These two also owned / operated Weston & Curson Stage Line; and A. H. Weston was the owner of Woodland-Rumsey Auto Stage.)
WOODLAND-RUMSEY AUTO STAGE was operating out of Woodland, California in the mid 1920s. It was owned by A. H. Weston who was also part owner of the Woodland Knights Landing Auto Stage.
W & S MOTOR COACH / WOODLAND & SOUTHERN MOTOR COACH COMPANY The Woodlawn & Southern Street Railway operated in Aliquippa in Beaver Co., Pennsylvania until March 1937, when it was replaced by the buses of W&S Motor Coach Co. (Woodland & Southern Motor Coach Co.) The badge is die pressed, single threaded post and has a Greyhound Scenicruiser on the badge, indicating that the company had a Greyhound franchise.
WOODLAWN IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION TRANSPORTATION CORPORATION was incorporated in Albany, NY in 1916 and was operating four bus routes in Albany, New York in the early 1920s.
WOODSIDE-ASTORIA TRANSPORTATION COMPANY was started in 1919 by Salvatore Foratora who received a franchise to run a bus between the 103rd Street terminal of the Roosevelt Avenue elevated train to downtown Flushing. When the elevated line was extended to Flushing, Foratora moved his operation to Astoria and added additional lines. On April 10, 1931, the company changed its name to Triboro Coach Corportation. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1946 and the company was sole to William Coper, the owner of Green Bus Lines. The Triboro Coach name remained as such until it was acquired by the MTA in 2006.
WOODSTOCK-KINGSTON BUS CORPORATION was running in the 1930s in New York. Apparently the company was associated with the Pine Hill-Kingston Bus Corporation, if not the same company. In December 1936 both companies shared the same advertisement in the Kingston Daily Freeman, a newspaper from Kingston, offering a round trip fare for the price of a regular one way fare. In 1945 the company ran a route from Kingston, New York to Willow, Lake Hill, Shady, Bearsville, Woodstock, Maverick Road, West Hurley, Stony Hollow and back to Kingston. The Kingston Daily Freeman, in its Wednesday, June 3, 1953 edition carried the notice that Kingston Bus Corp. was going to transfer its operation to the Pine Hill-Kingston Bus Corp.: “. . . last May 22, the Woodstock-Kingston Bus Corp., entered into contract with the petitioner, the Pine Hill-Kingston Bus Corp., to sell the former’s bus line. Approval of the transfer of title and rights, the application must be given by the Common Council, the town boards of Pine Hill and Woodstock and the New York State Public Service Commission.” On April 10, 1954 we find this published legal notice: “I DO HEREBY CERTIFY that a certificate of dissolution of Woodstock-Kingston Bus Corporation has been filed in this department this day and that it appears there from that such corporation has complied with section one hundred and five of the Stock Corporation Law, and that it is dissolved.“
WOOLETT STAGES was operating in the mid 1920s out of San Diego, California. L. H. Woollet was the owner.
WORCESTER BUS COMPANY In 1932 the Worcester Street Railway Company took over streetcar operations from the Worcester Consolidated Street Railway in Worcester, Massachusetts. The company ceased streetcar operations on December 31, 1945; it changed its name to Worcester Bus Company on January 1, 1953. It was taken over in 1974 by the Worcester Regional Transit Authority . The badge measures 2½” x 2½”, is hallmarked and has two threaded posts.
Worcester Consolidated Street Railway Co., ran in 1927 in Worcester, Mass.
WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE TRANSPORTATION SERVICE / WPAFB TRANSPORTATION SERVICE Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base just east of Dayton, Ohio, in Greene and Montgomery counties. It includes both Wright and Patterson Fields, which were originally Wilbur Wright Field and Fairfield Aviation General Supply Depot. It was built in 1917 and is still in use. Searching through my personal reference library of bus companies combined with an Internet search has yielded no information on this company. Since we have a badge for WPAFB Transportation Service, I’m guessing that there was a company by that name. Perhaps it never got off the ground (no pun intended). At any rate, the badge shown here is nickel-plated with two threaded posts and is marked “C.B.H.”
WYLIE BURNS BUS LINE was operating from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Trion, Georgia in 1916.
WYNNE SIGHTSEEING COMPANY was given a certificate of operation on March 7, 1927 to run a bus line from Denver to Pikes Peak and other sight-seeing points in Colorado. Apparently the company survived less than one year.
BUS COMPANIES BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER “Y”
Y-CITY TRANSIT CO. In 1961 the Zanesville Mass Transit Company gave notice that they would cease operations when the franchise expired in 1962. Operating costs were exceeding the fare box revenues. Local residents rallied by selling stock at $10.00 per share. In only three months, over $34,000 was raised to save the city’s transit service. Continuing operation deficits led to the failure of Y-City Transit in May of 1977. The Muskingum Authority of Public Transit (MAPT), which was created on September 24, 1979 by the City of Zanesville and the village of South Zanesville, is a public body created and owned by the taxpayers of Muskingum County. It is financed by Federal, State of Ohio, and local funding. Operations began in 1980. In January 2000, MAPT legally changed its name to South East Area Transit (SEAT). The badge has a single threaded post.
YANCEY BUS COMPANY was operating out of Burnsville, North Carolina in the mid 1940s. Edward Carl, Jack and Mary Riddle were the owners. Routes: Burnsville and Micaville over U, S. Highway 19-E between Micaville and Garden City over N. C. Highway 80. In 1946 the company was given certificate to operate between Burnsville and Marion.
YANKEE TRAILWAYS / YANKEE COACH LINES, INC. Yankee Coach Lines, Inc. was operating in the 1930s-1940s in Illinois and Indiana, serving the Calumet Region. According to one source, this company joined National Trailways as Yankee Trailways 1938 and operated between Chicago, Illinois and Indianapolis, Indiana.The company was bought out by Victory Trailways / Victory Coach Lines, which, in 1947 was bought and merged into Indianapolis & Southeastern Trailways.
YELLOW BUS LINE was an intercity company running in the 1930s and 1940s. Based in Midland, Michigan, R.L. Van Cott was the manager. The company operated Flxible Clipper buses between Mt. Pleasant and Saginaw, Michigan. It is listed in the 1946-47 Mass Transportation’s Directory, but is not listed in the 1954 edition. In 1946 the company ran 16 buses over 278 route miles According to one source the company operated until 1948. After that its routes were sold to Great Lakes Greyhound Lines.
YELLOW CAB BUS COMPANY was operating in the late 1920s. In 1930 it was running a route to Cleveland, Benton and Maryville, Tennessee. On October 1, 1930 the company sold its Cleveland and Maryville line to the Tennessee Coach Company for $20,000. In 1944 it was operating out of Kingsport, Tennessee and running a route to Bristol.
YELLOW CAB BUS LINE was operating in Ardmore. Oklahoma in the late 1920s.
YELLOW CAB BUS LINE was operating from Jefferson City, Missouri to Columbia in 1924. It was owned by the Yellow Cab Company and operated out of the Madison Hotel Building.
YELLOW CAB & COACH COMPANY / YELLOW COACH COMPANY (It should be noted that this company had the same name as the company founded in 1915 by John D. Hertz, who also founded the car rental company in 1924. I’ve no idea if this company had any affiliation with Hertz’s company.) The company was owned by W. E. “Earl” Penley, who served as president and general manager. It operated in both Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee, which was easy to do since the state line ran down the town’s main street. The company doesn’t appear to have been around prior to the early 1940s, and according to James Earl Penley, son of the company’s president, his father “sold the cab side out early on, then it became the Yellow Coach Company.” One of the rare bits of the company’s history is found in the July 29, 1945 edition of the Kingsport Times-News from Kingsport, Tennessee: “Bluff City Line Adds Bus Service Beginning August 1, the Bluff City Bus Lines will begin operation direct to Bristol, Earl Penley of the Yellow Cab and Coach Company, Bristol, said Saturday. The Bluff City Line, purchased recently by the Yellow Cab and Coach Company, serves Princeton, Austin Springs, Piney Fiats, Bluff City and Bristol. Three busses provide daily service for the residents of these communities. The Bristol company purchased the Bluff City Line from the Johnson City Transit Company, operated by Wade Patrick.” In 1946 the company, still operating as Yellow Cab & Coach Company, was running 50 buses over 547 route miles, serving Bristol, Bluff City, Bountsville, Tennessee and Abingdon, Virginia. In 1954 the company, now renamed Yellow Coach Company, was running 32 buses over 522 route miles. It added the towns of Elizabethton, Johnson City, Kingsport and Tri-City Airport, Tennessee. In 1956 the company was operating 50 buses but the route miles had dropped to 118.
YELLOW CAB & TRANSIT COMPANY / YELLOW CAB BUS LINE was operating in 1919 between Gills Rock and Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
YELLOW PENNANT STAGES was operating from King City to Coalinga, California in 1922.
YELLOW TRANSIT I’m not sure on this one. Charlottesville (Virginia) municipal bus service was provided by the Yellow Transit Company, which was owned by J.T. Graves. The City of Charlottesville acquired the bus company in 1975. It is worth mentioning that in 1924 A.J. Harrell, an Oklahoma City entrepreneur, founded a bus and taxi service that he named Yellow Cab Transit Co. In 1926 he shortened the name to Yellow Transit Co. I’m not sure how long this company stayed in business. The badge has two threaded posts.
YELLOWAY LINES / YELLOWAY PIONEER SYSTEM, INC. Oliver William Townsend was born December 22, 1893 in Pauline, Nebraska; he died November 1955 in New Orleans, Louisiana at the age of 62 years, where he had been serving as chairman of the board of Teche Greyhound Line. Townsend began in the bus industry in 1924 and founded the Cornhusker Stage Line, which was based in Hastings, Nebraska. The company ran a route between Hastings and Lincoln. In 1927 Townsend bought out the Platte Valley Coach Lines of Columbus, Nebraska and merged its routes with Cornhusker Stage Lines. Later that year he joined with other independent bus companies to form YellowaY Lines. (Note the upper case “Y” at the end of YellowaY.) Under the YellowaY name Townsend ran routes across Nebraska between Chicago, Illinois, and Denver, Colorado. In 1928 Townsend sold some of his operating rights to Wesley Elgin “Buck” Travis’ newly formed American Motor Transportation Company, based in Oakland, California. This company went on to buy out most of the other independent YellowaY member firms, and operated them as the YellowaY-Pioneer System. On September 11, 1928 this company made history when a Yelloway-Pioneer System bus completed the first regularly scheduled coast-to-coast bus trip in the USA, running from Los Angeles to New York City.
In 1929 the Motor Transit Corporation (which became The Greyhound Corporation later that year) bought the Yelloway-Pioneer System for $6.4 million. The February 15, 1929 edition of The Daily Notes from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania reported the story: “Consolidation of the Yelloway lines and ‘the Greyhound lines, bus companies, with a combined investment of more than $12,000,000, was announced here today by O. S. Caesar, president of the Motor Transit corporation, and W. F. Travis, president of the American Motor Transportation company. Tho two lines will be united under the name of the American Motor Transit corporation, to form the largest long distance bus transportation system in the country, officials said.” (For more information see Dr. D.B. “Doc” Rushing’s history of Teche Greyhound Lines, and Images of America Hastings the Queen City of the Plains by Monty McCord, 2001. The info on Oliver Townsend was obtained from 1940 US Census, the US Selective Service records and the November 21, 1955 edition of Beatrice Daily Sun from Beatrice, Nebraska: “Oliver Townsend, New Orleans, La. passed away last week at the age of 62 years. He was a former Barneston resident. His sisters, Mrs. Fred Whittcomb and Mrs. James L. McCorory, Omaha went to New Orleans with their brother Harold Townsend, Oak Ridge, Tenn., to attend the services there. Services were also held in Omaha. Interment was made in Omaha.“) Also see Teche Greyhound Lines on this webpage under Greyhound badges. The badge is die pressed nickel and has two threaded posts.
YELLOWSTONE PARK TRANSPORTATION COMPANY / YELLOWSTONE PARK COMPANY In 1892 Harry W. Child and his brother-in-law, Edmond Bach, formed the Yellowstone Park Transportation Company along with partners Silas Huntley (another brother-in-law) and Aaron and L.H. Hershfeld. The company had an exclusive arrangement with Northern Pacific Railway to transport railroad passengers into Yellowstone National Park, located in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. In 1916 stagecoaches gave way to auto-buses when Child purchased 100 10-passenger White open-sided buses and 17 White 7-passenger touring cars. By 1926 Yellowstone Park Transportation Company was operating 269 White buses and 51 touring cars. In 1931 Harry Child died, and his son-in-law, William “Billie” Nichols, took over the company. In 1936 Nichols merged all concessions into the newly-created Yellowstone Park Company, which ran the Yellowstone Park Hotel Company, Yellowstone Boat Company, Yellowstone Transportation Company and the Yellowstone Lodge and Camps Company. Yellowstone Park Company continued to operate in Yellowstone National Park until the United States Government purchased all associated property of the company and their lease to operate was terminated in 1980. The badge is made of brass with enamel inlay, measures 1¾” with a maker’s mark of ROBBINS CO ATTLEBORO. It dates to 1936 or after. (A great history of early bus service in Yellowstone Park can be found at this link: Geyser Bob’s Yellowstone Park Historical Service)
YORK BUS COMPANY, INC. The following information is taken from an article published during World War Two (“The story of a dynamic community, York, Pennsylvania” published by York Chamber of Commerce, written by Betty Peckham). “[The] York Bus Company, Incorporated, successor to the York Street Railway Company, is still busy carrying thousands of workers, shoppers, school children and other passengers daily. Under wartime conditions passenger load had increased almost one hundred per cent, but a sound organization built up since the York Bus Company, Incorporated, ran its first two suburban buses to Dillsburg and Dover, in 1933, was able to meet the emergency. . . . In 1939, when trolleys were taken off the streets of York, the old employees of the company, numbering between ninety and a hundred, were retained and retrained to drive thirty-four new Twin-Coach buses. . . . On January 1, 1942, the York Bus Company, Incorporated, passed into the hands of its present owners: G. A. Stevens, president; H. L. Bollum, vice-president; Henry C. Church, Jr., vice-president; W. S. T. Hurlock, Jr., secretary; C. W. Anderson, treasurer, and Gilbert D. Schwalbach, general manager. Now, 131 employees are required to keep in operation 53 buses and one tractor-trailer. At 520 North Hartley Street, the York Bus Company, Incorporated, has its own bulk gasoline tanks, storage garage, and maintenance shops with complete facilities for motor overhaul.” In 1946 the intercity company operated 54 buses over 93 route miles. By the late 1960s the company was owned by Joseph G. Succa and operating 9 city routes and held a contract for transporting school children for the city of York. The company went out of business in the summer of 1970. The company was replaced by Reliance Motor Coach Company of Railroad, Pennsylvania, which is still in business as a school bus transportation company. There are two badges: the first is made of brass and has a single threaded post with two pin posts; the second is made of nickel-plated metal and enamel with two two threaded posts.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK COMPANY was running auto-buses in the mid 1920s inside Yosemite National Park. The company operated its autobuses between July 15 and September 15.
YOSEMITE PARK & CURRY COMPANY, ran in 1927 in Merced, Cal.
YOSEMITE STAGE & TURNPIKE COMPANY was operating in the mid 1920s out of Miami Lodge, California. It operated a daily automobile stage service from May 1 to October 15 between Merced , Calif., and Yosemite Valley via Wawona, Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, and Glacier Point. It was managed by E. T. Huffman.
YOSEMITE TRANSIT was operating in the mid 1920s out of Stockton, California and served Yosemite National Park in conjunction with Yosemite Transportation System. It was managed by R. R. Young. The company’s coaches connected to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, the Southern Pacific, and the Western Pacific lines in Stockton and operated between June 1 through October 1.
YOSEMITE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM was operating in the mid 1920 serving Yosemite National Park. It operated in conjunction with Yosemite Transit and was managed by W. L. White. The company operated an automobile transportation service; connection with railroads a t E l Portal and Tahoe covering all points of interest reached by motor roads in Yosemite National Par k and between Yosemite Valley and Lake Tahoe via the Tioga Pass Route.
YOUNG’S RIVER FALLS STAGE was operating in 1923 from Astoria to Olney, Oregon over a 9-mile route.
Youngstown Transit Company (OH) 1959
YUMA BUS COMPANY was not listed in the 1946-1947 Mass Transportation’s Directory, but was mentioned in an advertisement in the Yuma Sun-Advertiser for October 13, 1949. This suggests the company was founded at some point in 1948-1949. Yuma Bus Company was a privately owned company that ran 4 buses serving Yuma, Somerton and San Luis, Arizona. The company bought some used 1957 GM Old Look buses from San Diego Transit Lines in the 1960s or 1970s because one was later sold to the Niles Coach Lines, a sightseeing company in Niles, California that runs a vintage train and two vintage buses.
BUS COMPANIES BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER “Z”
Z. & M. COACH CORPORATION, or Z. & M. COACH COMPANY, INC. Both names are used in different publications. Information about this company is quoted from the STATE OF NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE METROPOLITAN DIVISION TRANSIT COMMISSION FOURTEENTH ANNUAL REPORT For the Calendar Year 1934: “Z. & M. COACH COMPANY, INC. Incorporated August 19, 1926. Effective December 30, 1932, the Company obtained a Franchise Contract for one year from the City of New York for Route Q-27, Flushing-Rosewood, Queens, 4.5 miles. “A Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the duration of the franchise was granted by the Transit Commission and became effective May 2, 1933. Rolling Stock. — Company reports 27 passenger buses available for service at June 30, 1934, of which 25 were held under complete title and 2 under conditional sales agreement; aggregate seating capacity, 800. Company also reports 3 service cars owned and available for service.“
The company was still in business in 1939, but was not listed in the 1940 MTD. I did find this interesting newspaper snippet from October 7, 1936: “One woman is dead, three are critically injured and two drivers are under arrest today as the result of a collision between a bus and an automobile, homeward bound from a funeral last night in Bayside, Queens. Mrs. Ida Bowman, 78, of 245 Beverly Road, Douglaston, Queens, was instantly killed when she was hurled from the auto driven by her son, F. Willard Bowman. The two vehicles collided at Horace Harding Boulevard and Hollis Court Boulevard, but police offered no explanation of the cause of the accident after a preliminary investigation. The injured women, all passengers in Bowman’s car, were Mrs. Dorothy Bowman, 51, the dead woman’s daughter-in-law, who received a possible skull fracture; Mrs. Harriet Montague, 65, of Webster Hotel, Manhattan, and Mrs. Wilma Firth of Philadelphia, both of whom suffered severe head injuries. All are in Queens General Hospital. Bowman and Lincoln Hohweizer, driver of the bus, which was owned by the Z. & M. Coach Corporation, were arrested by detectives of the Bayside precinct and charged with automobile homicide. An additional complaint of passing a red light was lodged against Bowman.” The badge is made of nickel, measures 2″ and has a single threaded post and a pin post. No maker’s mark.
ZAHNER STAGE LINE was operating in the San Francisco Bay, California area in 1922.
ZANE TRANSIT LINES, INC. / OHIO TRAILWAYS, INC. According to one source, this company was incorporated in the 1920s. It was a member of the Ohio Motor Bus Association in the 1920s and 1930s and operated between Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Coshocton, Zanesville, Lancaster, Athens and Marietta, Ohio. In the 1930s the company was headquartered in Zanesville with C. M. Wilson as manager. (Members of the Wilson family continued to operate the company on into the 1970s.) In 1954 the company bought out the Glouster-Athens Auto Bus Company, and joined the National Trailways Bus System in 1956 and was renamed Ohio Trailways, Inc. According to Ohio state records, the company’s certificate of operation was revoked in early 1973 and it was out of business in 1974. The assets were sold in 1976 to Garfield Heights Coach Line.
ZANETTI BUS LINES was in business in Rock Springs, WY back in the 1950s and 1960s. The badge measures 2⅝” x 2⅜” and has two threaded posts.
ZELLA-LORAN BUS LINE ran in 1931 in Gentryville, Indiana. No further information.
ZENIA-FORT SEWARD AUTO LINE was operating out of Fort Seward, California in the mid 1920s. Ernest E. Kniss was the registered contact.
ZEPHYR LINES / ZEPHYR LINES, INC. This company was running in the 1930s operating as an interstate service based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (It is featured in the 1939 Russell’s Guide.) Information from the 1946 Mass Transportation’s Directory: Zephyr Lines 1205 Hawthorne Ave, Minneapolis, Minn. An intercity bus line serving Minneapolis, St. Paul, Stillwater, Somerset, New Richmond, Cumberland, Spooner, Hayward, Ashland. Ran 5 buses over 207 route miles. O. M. Rosvold was the general manager. Info from the 1956 MTD: the company was incorporated as Zephyr Lines, Inc. and was running 11 buses over 476 route miles. The company is mentioned in a February 17, 1960 newspaper story, when it applied to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission for a fare increase: “Bus Line Granted Fare Increase MADISON (AP) The State Public Service Commission Tuesday granted a six per rent fare increase to the Wisconsin division of Zephyr Lines Inc., a bus line operating between Minneapolis and Ironwood, Mich. The main Wisconsin points served by the line are New Richmond, Spooner, Ashland and Hurley. The order establishes a 40 cent minimum fare. Zephyr Lines has a similar request pending with the Minnesota Railroad and Warehouse Commission. The PSC granted the fare boost because Zephyr operating reports show ‘a continuing decline in passenger riding.’” According to one source the company closed down in 1993. The badge shown below is made of nickel-plated brass and has one threaded post.
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