SOUTH BEND TRANSIT FACILITIES

CAR HOUSES/BUS GARAGES/TRANSIT CENTERS

Present and past.


The first car house in South Bend may have been located on Jefferson St. west of Lafayette St., and was probably used for about five years. As of around 1890, the South Bend & Mishawaka Railway Co. had its major car house at Columbia St. and Division St. in South Bend. An additional car house was in Mishawaka on First St. east of Main St., and was closed before 1915. After 1910, a new car house and shops facility was constructed on Notre Dame Ave. south of Division St., in South Bend. Division St. is now Western Ave. The Notre Dame Ave. facility mainly housed interurban cars, while most city cars continued to be based at Columbia St.

One more car house was located in Scottdale, south of St. Joseph Michigan along the Southern Michigan interurban line. This facility was in use briefly beginning in 1906.

South Bend is the only city where the same company also operated bus service. In the other Northern Indiana cities, different companies operated the replacement bus service. In 1923, Northern Indiana subsidiary Railway Transit Line began operating buses out of a garage at Riverside and Francis St., south of the Notre Dame Ave. facility. In 1928, the competing South Bend Motor Bus Co. began operating out of a garage at South Main St. and Western Ave. That company soon fell under control of Northern Indiana, and in 1933 all bus operations were moved to the South Bend Motor Bus Co. facility.

The last streetcars in South Bend were replaced with buses in 1940. By then, all rail and bus operations had been moved into the Notre Dame Ave. facility, with the Columbia St. car house and the South Bend Motor Bus Co. garage phased out. The publicly owned Transpo continued to base its buses at the Notre Dame Ave. facility until 2010. The Transpo address was 901 E. Northside Blvd., along the south side of the complex.

In 2010, Transpo moved into a new garage, at 1401 S. Lafayette Blvd. The garage was still under construction when this photo was taken. (Photo contributed by Richard Sullivan.)

Nearly all Transpo routes connect at the "South Street Station", constructed in downtown South Bend along the north side of the former New York Central tracks. The station was rather new in 1999, when Transpo was mostly a Flxible fleet.

By 2009, Transpo was an all Gillig fleet. At dusk, visibility is poor at the actual station. But the sun passing through the windows of the old Union Station, two blocks to the west, creates an interesting effect.


SOUTH BEND TRANSIT FACILITY LOCATIONS

Links to locations of past and present transit facilities, using Google Maps. Satellite views are also available.