INTERCITY BUS ROUTES - HISTORY

ILLINOIS

Several Greyhound and Trailways companies served Illinois. A few bus companies competed with or replaced a few Interurban Railways in the Chicago and East St. Louis areas, indicated in CAPITAL LETTERS.


1976 MAP

Color coded map shows intercity bus routes in existence in 1976.

Blue indicates Greyhound, red indicates Trailways. Additional colors indicate significant independent bus companies, and are identified with labels. Black indicates smaller independent companies.

Thin blue or red lines indicate routes which were once part of Greyhound or Trailways, but later transferred to independent bus companies.




US    2005/1976     Cities    Greyhound or   Year     Original   Year     Consol-
Hwy.  Russell's     Served    Trailways      Intro-   Company    Consol-  idated
No.   Guide                   Company or     duced               idated   Company
      Table                   Division

  I            JOLIET-PRINCETON              1902-1934  IL. POWER & LT.
  6 7096 1024  Joliet-Morris             SFT(T)  1928  ---------------  1928 BLU
  6 7096 1024  Morris-La Salle           SFT(T)  1931  ---------------  1931 BLU
  6 7096       La Salle-Princeton        SFT(T)  1931  ---------------  1931 BLU
  6 7096 8380  Princeton-Geneseo         BTC(T)  1920  Geneseo-Rock I   1935 BTC
  6 7096 8380  Geneseo-Rock Island       BTC(T)  1923  Geneseo-Rock I   1935 BTC
 12       530  Chicago-Lake Geneva WI    NGL     1928  ---------------  1928 RRT
 14            Chicago-Harvard                 Cardinal Lines
  I            ELGIN-BELVIDERE               1907-1930  ELGIN & BELVIDERE
  I            BELVIDERE-ROCKFORD            1902-1930  ROCKFORD & INT.
 20  304  516  Chicago-Rockford          NGL     1927  ---------------  1926 RRT
  I            ROCKFORD-FREEPORT             1904-1930  ROCKFORD & INT.
 20 7098  522  Rockford-Dubuque IA       NGL     1926  ---------------  1926 RRT
 24            Kentland IN-Watseka       SFT(T)
 24            Watseka-Chenoa            SFT(T)  1930  Peo. Bus Trans.  1934 BLU
 24      8400  Chenoa-El Paso            SFT(T)  1928  ---------------  1928 BLU
 24            El Paso-Peoria            SFT(T)  1924  Peo. Bus Trans.  1930 BLU
 24      8400  Peoria-Banner             SFT(T)  1926  ---------------  1926 EAG
 24      8400  Lewistown-Rushville       SFT(T)  1928  ---------------  1928 EAG
 24      8400  Rushville-Ripley          SFT(T)  1928  ---------------  1928 GEM
 24      8400  Ripley-Clayton            SFT(T)  1926  ---------------  1926 GEM
 24      8400  Clayton-Quincy            SFT(T)  1923  ---------------  1923 GEM
  I            CHICAGO HEIGHTS-JOLIET        1909-1923  JOLIET & EASTERN
 30            Chicago Heights-Joliet          Gold Star Line
  I            JOLIET-AURORA                 1904-1924  JOL. PLAINF. & AUR.
 30            Joliet-Aurora                   Joliet-Aurora Transit Lines
 30  350  559  Sterling-Clinton IA       OGL     1923  Nash Motor Bus   1927 YEL
 34      8380  Chicago-Aurora            BTC(T)  1927  Western Mot. C.  1935 BTC
 34      8380  Aurora-Mendota            BTC(T)  1926  ---------------  1926 CBC
 34      8380  Mendota-Princeton         BTC(T)  1925  Rock River Bus   1929 CBC
 34      8380  Princeton-Sheffield       BTC(T)  1920  Geneseo-Rock I   1929 CBC
 34      8380  Sheffield-Kewanee         BTC(T)  1923  Reliable Motor   1934 BTC
 34      8380  Kewanee-Galva             BTC(T)  1930  ---------------  1930 BTC
 34      8380  Galva-Burlington          BTC(T)  1924  ---------------  1924 CBC
 36            Newman-Decatur                  Illinois Transit Lines
 36      1154  Decatur-Springfield             Illinois Transit/Crown Transit
 36      1148  Springfield-Hannibal MO         Jacksonville Bus Lines
 40            Terre Haute-Casey               Wab. Val./West. Ind. Coach
 40  202  290  Terre Haute-St. Louis     PGL     1923  Wabash Valley    1929 GLIN
 40  202  290  Effingham-Vandalia        IGL     1926  Tri-County Tr.   1928 IGL
 40  202  290  Vandalia-Greenville       IGL     1926  Red Line Motor   1930 IGL
 40  202  290  Greenville-Collinsville   IGL     1923  Red Line Motor   1930 IGL
  I            COLLINSVILLE-ST. LOUIS        1901-1928  E. STL & SUBN.
 40  202  290  Collinsville-St. Louis    IGL     1928  Blue Goose M.    1930 IGL
 40      7800  Terre Haute-St. Louis     ABI(T)  1935  ---------------  1935 ABI
 45      8402  Chicago-Gilman            DL(T)   1928  Nat. Roadway     1930 DL
 45      8402  Chicago-Gilman            SFT(T)        Blue Motor C.    1933 SFT
 45  265  400  Chicago-Champaign         IGL     1927  Pierce-Arrow B.  1928 IGL
 45  265  400  Champaign-Effingham       IGL     1929  Egyptian Trans.  1930 IGL
 45            Effingham-Harrisburg            Carbondale-Harrisburg Coach Lines
 45      3300  Norris City-Paducah       PGL     1927  Egyptian Trans.  1930 SOL
 50       303  Vincennes IN-St. Louis    CPG           Yelloway         1930 CPG
 50       303  Vincennes IN-Flora        CPG     1924  ---------------  1924 MTB
 50       303  Flora-Salem               CPG     1925  ---------------  1925 MTB
 50       303  Salem-Sandoval            CPG     1923  Austin Bros.     1927 MTB
 50       303  Sandoval-Lebanon          CPG     1925  Staunton-Liv.    1927 MTB
  I            LEBANON-ST. LOUIS             1903-1928  E. STL & SUBN.
 50       303  Lebanon-St. Louis         IGL     1928  Blue Goose M.    1930 MTB
  I            JANESVILLE-ROCKFORD           1902-1930  ROCKFORD & INT.
 51  304  516  Beloit WI-Rockford        NGL           Inter-City Bus   1925 RRT
 51            Rockford-Rochelle         BTC(T)  1932  ---------------  1932 BTC
 51      1021  Rockford-Bloomington            Peoria Rockford Bus Co.
 51            Bloomington-Decatur             Illinois Highway Transp. Co.
 51      8402  Decatur-Pana              DL(T)   1928  Nat. Roadway     1930 DL
 51      3689  Pana-Centralia            DGL     1928  ---------------  1928 ETS
 51            Centralia-Carbondale      DGL     1925  ---------------  1925 ETS
 51            Carbondale-Cairo          DGL     1939  ---------------  1939 DGL
 52            Kankakee-Joliet                 J.M.&K. Transp. Co.
 52            Mendota-Dixon                   Peoria Rockford Bus Co.
 52      1173  Lanark-Savanna                  Scenic Stage Line
 54      8402  Gilman-Farmer City        DL(T)   1930's---------------       DL
 54      8402  Gilman-Gibson City        SFT(T)
 54      8402  Gibson City-Farmer City   SFT(T)  1933  ---------------  1933 DEC
 54            Clinton IL-Springfield    IGL     1942  ---------------  1942 BHK
 54            Springfield-Louisiana MO  IGL
 66  255  391  Chicago-Joliet            IGL     1928  Chi.&Jol. Tr.    1929 TSB
 66  255  391  Joliet-Wilmington         IGL     1924  Gadberry Trans.  1929 TSB
 66  255  391  Wilmington-Pontiac        IGL     1928  Alton Transp.    1929 TSB
 66  255  391  Pontiac-Bloomington       IGL     1925  Ritter Motor B.  1929 TSB
 66  255  391  Bloomington-Springfield   IGL     1928  Alton Transp.    1929 TSB
 66  255  391  Springfield-Staunton      IGL     1929  ---------------  1929 TSB
 66  255  391  Staunton-St. Louis        IGL     1928  Ill. Traction    1929 TSB
 66      8400  Chicago-Chenoa            SFT(T)  1928  ---------------  1928 BLU
 66            Springfield IL-St. Louis  SFT(T)  1929  ---------------       CIB
 66      8402  Litchfield-St. Louis      DL(T)   1928  Nat. Roadway     1930 DL
 67      1158  Davenport IA-Beardstown         Illinois Transit/Crown Transit
 67      1145  Jacksonville-St. Louis          Jacksonville Bus Lines
136            Danville-Armstrong              Illini Swallow Lines
136            Lewistown-Macomb                Prairie Trails Transit Co.
136            Macomb-Carthage           BTC(T)  1925  ---------------  1925 MAC
136            Carthage-Keokuk IA        BTC(T)  1930  ---------------  1930 MAC
150       403  Terre Haute-Danville      PGL     1930  ---------------  1930 SOL
150            Terre Haute-Paris               Western Motor Lines
150 7097 1222  Danville-Peoria                 Illini Swallow Lines
150 7097 1156  Peoria-Brimfield          IGL     1921  Miller Transp.   1930 BHK
150 7097 1156  Brimfield-Galesburg       IGL     1930  ---------------  1930 BHK
150 7097 1156  Galesburg-Lynn Center     IGL     1929  ---------------  1929 BHK
150 7097 1156  Lynn Center-Rock Island   IGL     1928  ---------------  1928 BHK


INTERCITY ROUTES VIA STATE HIGHWAYS

Additional bus and interurban rail routes along Illinois state highways.

Russell's Guide Table Numbers

Greyhound tables had numbers below 700, while Trailways tables had numbers above 7000. Table numbers in between were independent bus companies. Although Greyhound Lines of Canada, not covered here, had tables numbered in the low 700's.

Where no table number is indicated, service had been discontinued by then.

Further clues on Greyhound or Trailways affiliations are the presence of a "G" or a "T" in a company abbreviation. Trailways company abbreviations are followed by a "(T)". While abbreviations of certain Greyhound companies not obviously "Greyhound" in name are followed by a "(G)".

Over the years, certain Greyhound or Trailways or other routes were sold to the following independent bus companies, identified by the following Russell's Guide table numbers.



1021-1026  Peoria Rockford Bus Co.
1156-1159  Crown Transit
3300       Brooks Bus Line
3689       Gulf Transport Co.
7095-7098  Burlington Trailways (new company)



GREYHOUND BUS COMPANIES

Capitol Greyhound Lines (CPG) - incorporated 1930. In 1934 acquired Midland Trail Bus Line (MTB) which was incorporated in 1924, and through acquisitions formed a route from Vincennes to St. Louis. Consolidated 1955 into Eastern Division of Greyhound.

Dixie Greyhound Lines (DGL) - incorporated 1931. In 1934 acquired Egyptian Transportation System (ETS) which was incorporated in 1920. Consolidated 1954 into Southeastern Greyhound Lines, consolidated 1960 into Southern Division of Greyhound.

Illinois Greyhound Lines (IGL) - incorporated 1924 as Purple Swan Safety Coach Lines, renamed 1927 to Greyhound Lines Inc., renamed 1928 to Illinois Greyhound Lines. In 1931 acquired routes from Tri-State Bus Co. (TSB), which was incorporated in 1927. Tri-State Bus Co. in 1929 had acquired Alton Transportation Co., which in 1926 acquired Gadberry Transportation Co. and Ritter Motor Bus Co. In 1936 acquired most routes of White Star Motor Lines (WSM), which was formed in 1925 out of a merger of Peoria Farmington Coach Line and Peoria White Star Bus Co. In 1947 acquired Black Hawk Motor Transit Co. (BHK), which was incorporated in 1924. Consolidated 1955 into Great Lakes Greyhound Lines, consolidated 1957 into Central Division of Greyhound.

Northland Greyhound Lines (NGL) - incorporated 1929, acquiring Northland Transportation Co. (NTC) which had been incorporated in 1924, consolidated 1957 into Central Division of Greyhound. In 1936 acquired Northland Greyhound Lines of Illinois, which had been incorporated in 1925 as Royal Rapid Transit Co. (RRT), and was controlled by Greyhound predecessor Motor Transit Co.

Overland Greyhound Lines (OGL) - incorporated 1952, acquiring Union Pacific Stages and Interstate Transit Lines (ITL). Interstate Transit Lines had been incorporated in 1921, and was acquired in 1929 by Union Pacific Railroad and Chicago & North Western Railroad as a joint bus subsidiary. And Union Pacific Stages had been formed in formed in 1927 as a bus subsidiary of Union Pacific Railroad. In 1932, Interstate Transit Lines and Union Pacific Stages acquired most of the routes operated by Pickwick-Greyhound Lines (PIG). This includes Interstate Transit Lines' acquisition of routes from Pickwick-Greyhound Lines, which had been introduced by Northern Illinois Service Co. (NIS). Northern Illinois Service Co. was incorporated in 1924, and was acquired in 1928 by Royal Rapid Transit Co., which was controlled by Greyhound predecessor Motor Transit Co. In 1929, the former Northern Illinois Service Co. routes were transferred to Mohawk Stage Lines, which was another Motor Transit Co. subsidiary. And in 1930, those routes were acquired by Pickwick-Greyhound Lines. Pickwick-Greyhound Lines had been formed in 1928 as a company jointly owned by Pickwick Stages and Greyhound, and was dissolved in 1933. Many of the Pickwick-Greyhound routes had been acquired in 1929 from Yelloway (YEL), which had been formed in 1925 as a group of independent operators to operate a transcontinental bus system. But competing service was introduced in 1929 by Interstate Transit Lines. In 1943, both Interstate Transit Lines and Union Pacific Stages began operating under name Overland Greyhound Lines. Consolidated 1956 into Northland Greyhound Lines, consolidated 1957 into Central Division of Greyhound.

Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines (PGL) - incorporated 1930, consolidated 1955 into Eastern Division of Greyhound. Two earlier Greyhound companies had been incorporated in 1926 in Indiana (GLIN) and Ohio (GLOH), with routes in 1930 reassigned to Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines, and the original Central Greyhound Lines which later became Great Lakes Greyhound Lines of Indiana. In 1954, Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines acquired Southern Limited (SOL), which had been incorporated in 1928. The Southern Limited route from Chicago to Metropolis was formed in 1932 by the acquisition of Betourne Bus Line, and Metropolis & Northern Motor Lines. Betourne Bus Line completed formation of its route between Chicago and Danville in 1930. And Metropolis & Northern Motor Lines acquired the route from Danville through Norris City to Metropolis in 1930 from Egyptian Transportation System, which introduced the route in 1927.


TRAILWAYS BUS COMPANIES

American Buslines (ABI) - incorporated 1935 as All American Bus Lines, renamed 1946 to American Buslines and joined Trailways, sold 1953 to Transcontinental Bus System/Continental Trailways.

Burlington Transportation Co./Burlington Trailways (BTC) - formed 1929 as bus subsidiary of Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad, acquiring Cannon Ball Coach Line (CBC), which had been incorporated in 1924. In 1935 acquired a route introduced by Macomb Transportation Co. (MAC). In 1936 joined Trailways, sold 1946 to American Buslines, sold 1953 to Transcontinental Bus System/Continental Trailways.

De Luxe Motor Stages/De Luxe Trailways (DL) - formed during 1930's, during late 1930's joined Trailways.

Santa Fe Trail Transportation/Santa Fe Trailways (SFT) - formed 1928 as Southern Kansas Stage Lines, in 1935 renamed Santa Fe Trail Transportation as bus subsidiary of Santa Fe Railway. In 1933 acquired Blue Motor Coach Lines (BLU), which had been incorporated in 1928. Blue Motor Coach Lines remained a subsidiary, renamed Santa Fe Trail Transportation Co. of Illinois, until consolidated into main company in 1941. In 1935 acquired National Coach Lines, which had succeeded Decatur Bus Lines (DEC), which had been incorporated in 1930. In 1936 acquired a few routes from Central Illinois Bus Co. (CIB), which had been incorporated in 1928. In 1939 acquired Eagle Motor Coach Lines (EAG), which had been incorporated in 1926. Eagle Motor Coach Lines had earlier acquired Gem City Motor Bus Co. (GEM), which had been incorporated in 1923. In 1936 joined Trailways, sold 1948 to Transcontinental Bus System/Continental Trailways.

Southern Bus Lines/Southern Trailways (SBL) - formed 1945 through merger of Bordelon Lines/Bordelon Trailways, Interurban Transportation Co./Interurban Trailways, and Tri-State Transit Co./Tri-State Trailways (TRI). Tri-State Transit Co. began operating in 1922 as Caddo Transfer & Warehouse Co., renamed 1923 to Tri-State Transit Co., in 1938 joined Trailways. Southern Bus Lines sold 1948 to Transcontinental Bus System/Continental Trailways.


INDEPENDENT BUS COMPANIES

Maps and further information on the significant independent bus companies, serving Illinois.


Go to Chicago Transit & Railfan Web Site