SOUTH BEND TRANSIT HISTORY

1885 - Horse car service introduced in South Bend on Washington Street by South Bend Railway Co. Additional routes introduced on North Michigan, on Portage, and on Chapin.

1885 - A second company, South Bend & Mishawaka Street Railway Co. introduces horse car service between those two neighboring cities via "North Side" route.

1885 - Experimental electric streetcar service introduced by South Bend Railway Co. on Portage route. The unsuccessful experiment would end the following year.

1886 - South Bend & Mishawaka Street Railway Co. unsuccessfully experiments with steam dummy locomotive on North Side route. South Bend & Mishawaka Street Railway Co. also introduces horse car service on "South Side" route between those cities.

1889 - South Bend & Mishawaka Railway Co. acquires South Bend & Mishawaka Street Railway Co., and shortly after acquires South Bend Railway Co., unifying the streetcar system.

1890 - Electric streetcar service introduced again, on North Side Mishawaka and on Washington routes, which would successfully replace the horse cars. Also electrified were recently completed Lafayette and South Michigan lines, south of downtown.

1891 - Portage line electrified.

1894 - General Power & Quick Transit Co. incorporated, to build new South Side Mishawaka line, replacing original line which had been poorly constructed. This poor construction by South Bend & Mishawaka Street Railway Co. resulted from an attempt to avoid competition, by rushing the line into service.

1895 - South Bend & Mishawaka Railway Co. sold to South Bend Street Railway Co.

1895 - General Power & Quick Transit Co. begins operating new South Side Mishawaka line.

1898 - South Bend Street Railway Co. and General Power & Quick Transit Co. sold to new South Bend Street Railway Co. Most streetcar lines shut down for several weeks for extensive rebuilding, Lafayette line abandoned.

1899 - South Bend Street Railway Co., General Power & Quick Transit Co., Elkhart Goshen & Southern Railway Co., South Bend & Elkhart Railway Co., and Indiana Electric Railway Co. consolidated into Indiana Railway Co. New interurban railway opens between Mishawaka and Elkhart later that year, resulting in a single company operating all electric railways from South Bend through Mishawaka and Elkhart to Goshen.

1905 - Indiana Railway Co. combined with Chicago & South Shore Railway Co., forming Northern Indiana Railway Co. Notre Dame and Miami lines opened.

1907 - Northern Indiana Railway Co. sold to Chicago South Bend & Northern Indiana Railway Co., although the system would continue to be known by the public as "Northern Indiana". Sample and Lincolnway West lines opened.

1912 - Madison line opened.

1923 - Railway Transit Line established as subsidiary to operate buses, first bus route is on Fellows Street.

1926 - new bus routes created in Rum Village area, connecting with Chapin streetcar line, and a crosstown route on Calvert Street.

1928 - South Bend Motor Bus Co. formed as competing company, but soon fell under control of Chicago South Bend & Northern Indiana Railway Co. Company operates bus route on Western Avenue, and also operated Rum Village route.

1930 - Chicago South Bend & Northern Indiana Railway Co. sold to Northern Indiana Railway, Inc.

1934 - All interurban railway service discontinued.

1936 - North Michigan is first streetcar route to be replaced with buses.

1940 - Northern Indiana Railway, Inc. sold to Northern Indiana Transit, Inc. All remaining streetcar routes converted to buses.

1956 - Northern Indiana Transit, Inc. becomes subsidiary of National City Lines

1968 - South Bend Public Transportation Corporation, known as Transpo, formed as publicly owned agency to continue operation of buses.


TRANSIT ROUTES - PAST AND PRESENT

Many of today's bus routes in South Bend have histories which can be traced back to streetcars.


In addition, according to the 1952 "Mass Transportation's Directory", there existed a company River Valley Lines, serving Mishawaka and South Bend. Also, Cardinal Buses connected South Bend with Walkerton and Cassopolis MI.


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