Included are route histories, wherever available, for Greyhound and Trailways, the two largest intercity bus systems to serve the United States. Also mentioned are the more important independent bus companies.

Also included are overview maps, showing the intercity bus routes existing in 1976, several years before deregulation of the bus industry resulted in the discontinuance of many routes.

Most route histories are compiled from available information contained in the magazine "Motor Coach Age", published by the Motor Bus Society. Because many bus companies were privately held, much information is incomplete.

Information is also less complete for recent years, with deregulation enabling a more dynamically evolving network, and making the history in more recent years more complicated.

Separate route history Web pages are generally provided for each state. Although for certain smaller or sparsely populated states, a single page will cover multiple states. For many routes crossing state lines, a route will be broken at a convenient city near a state line. For the maps and the route histories, these cities near the state lines are not always the same. Within each state, routes are generally organized according to US Highway number.

The maps show all bus routes listed in the January 1976 Russell's Official National Motor Coach Guide. Not shown are certain bus systems listed, which were of a more suburban or metropolitan nature.

Route Data
Description of data included for each Greyhound or Trailways route segment.

Russell's Guide Table Numbering

Information on Russell's Official National Motor Coach Guide, and how the table numbers evolved along with the intercity bus industry.

Trailways Member Companies

Further information on all bus companies known to have been members of the Trailways system, prior to deregulation of the intercity bus industry.

US Highways

Further information on US Highways, their numbering and evolution.

My work on this section has been an ongoing process. Route histories for railroads has always been more readily available than such information for buses. So I took on this more unique challenge in compiling such information for buses. Beginning with the fine historical articles in Motor Coach Age over the years, along with old Russell's Guides which I had acquired at collectibles shows, mostly the ones dated February 1948 and January 1976.

Most of the Motor Coach Age articles on intercity bus companies, have featured the various Greyhound and Trailways companies. With fewer historical articles covering the independent companies. The larger independent companies have basically are covered with scanned images of maps included in the Russell's Guide, along with brief histories where available.

For the smaller bus companies, one interesting resource which I acquired, is the 1952 "Mass Transportation's Directory". Listed are all known transit companies from that year, city suburban and intercity. Bus companies more of an intercity nature are listed in the Russell's Guide. While this directory provides an interesting "snapshot", of what other obscure bus companies had existed.

The next phase in this project, became possible when I located a thorough library collection of Russell's Guides, dating back to 1942. It thus became possible to trace the histories of the smaller intercity bus companies, in greater detail.

To provide a complete history of intercity buses, would be a project too huge to undertake. So this information is provided more as an overview. Many bus companies added routes and discontinued routes throughout their histories. For independent bus companies, generally their original routes routes are mentioned. Some bus companies evolved throughout their histories, to where they ceased operations with route networks completely different from how they started.

The smaller companies included are generally those which are included in the July 1942 Russell's Guide or the 1952 Mass Transportation's Directory, and their predecessor and successor companies. Included are the years of operation, which before 1942 are usually not known. Bus companies were not always listed in the Russell's Guide with consistency, possibly resulting in some inaccuracies.

Bill Vandervoort

Go to Chicago Transit & Railfan Web Site