In 1974, the publicly owned Transit Authority of River City (TARC), acquired the privately owned Louisville Transit Co. This page lists TARC routes which can trace their histories back to the privately owned transit company. Some routes were eventually discontinued by TARC. Other routes were restructured going into the 21st Century, and are identified using the more recent numbers and names. And since its formation TARC added some new bus routes, which generally are not listed.

The present route numbering system was adopted in 1954. Four streetcar lines were discontinued in 1930, without bus replacements. Two of those lines were previously through routed with other streetcar lines, which continue to survive as numbered bus routes.

Route 11, in parentheses, was eventually combined into route 43. Additional routes in parentheses were originally created as extensions of streetcar routes. And after the conversion of those streetcar routes to buses, the bus extensions were combined into the main converted bus routes.

Not included are routes serving Indiana. On 1/31/83, TARC introduced four rush hour express bus routes between downtown Louisville and points in Indiana, and assumed operation of the one local bus route operating in the New Albany and Jeffersonville area. TARC initially numbered the local route 72, and subsequently divided the route and linked the segments with routes 2 and 22.

Route   Route Name                    Streetcar     Buses       Notes
Number  (Segment/Former Route Name)   Or New Bus    Introduced

      Bank-West Jefferson             Streetcar      6/21/30  No bus replacement
      Brook                           Streetcar      6/30/30  No bus replacement
  2   2nd St.                         Streetcar     12/29/46
      (Crittenden)                    New Bus        5/20/41  Was Route 34
      (Jeffersonville)                TARC Bus       1/31/83  Indiana
  4   4th St.                         Streetcar      5/ 1/48
  6   6th St.                         Streetcar      9/21/41
      (7th St.)                       Streetcar     1930      No bus replacement
      (Taylor)                        Streetcar      9/21/41
(11)  Portland-Shelby                 Streetcar     12/28/45  Now Route 43
 12   12th St.                        Streetcar     11/20/32
      (Slevin)                        Streetcar      6/30/30
      (15th St.)                      Streetcar     1930      No bus replacement
 15   Market                          Streetcar      3/23/42  Trolleybus
      (Brownsboro)                    New Bus        9/12/26  Was Route 36
      (Veterans Hospital)             New Bus        1/ 2/52  Was Route 35
 17   Bardstown                       Streetcar     10/27/40
      (Fern Creek)                    Interurban    12/28/33  Blue Motor Coach
      (Buechel)                       New Bus       1938      Newberg Bus Line
 18   Preston                         Streetcar     12/28/45
      (Okolona)                       Interurban     5/ 5/31  Virgil Pierce bus line
 18   18th                            Streetcar     12/28/45
      (Valley Station)                Interurban     8/17/35
 19   Muhammad Ali (Walnut)           Streetcar      1/17/37  Trolleybus
      (Crescent Hill)                 Streetcar     12/27/36  Trolleybus
      (Cane Run)                      New Bus        8/  /43  Was Route 32
      (La Grange)                     Interurban     8/10/35  Chaudoin Bus Lines
 21   Chestnut                        Streetcar     10/28/45
      (Barret)                        Streetcar     10/28/45
      (Norris)                        New Bus        9/  /25
 22   22nd St.                        New Bus        4/21/48
      (New Albany)                    TARC Bus       1/31/83  Indiana
 23   Broadway                        Streetcar     11/24/40
 25   Oak                             Streetcar     12/26/45
      (Lexington)                     New Bus        9/  /25
 27   Hill                            New Bus       1924
      (41st/44th)                     New Bus        9/12/26
 29   Eastern Parkway                 New Bus        5/ 8/40
      (Highlands)                     New Bus        7/22/23
      (St. Matthews)                  New Bus       1940's
 31   Shelbyville                     New Bus       1940's
(32)  Cane Run                        New Bus        8/  /43  Now Route 19
(34)  Crittenden                      New Bus        5/20/41  Now Route 2
(35)  Veterans Hospital               New Bus        1/ 2/52  Now Route 15
(36)  Brownsboro                      New Bus        9/12/26  Now Route 15
 40   Taylorsville                    Interurban    11/29/32  Blue Motor Coach
 43   Poplar Level                    New Bus       1950's    Blue Motor Coach
      (Portland-Shelby)               Streetcar     12/28/45  Formerly Route 11
(44)  St. Regis Park                  New Bus       1953      Blue Motor Coach/disc.
(59)  River Road                      Interurban    10/31/35  Paxton/disc. 2010

As the interurban railway lines were discontinued, replacement bus service was usually provided by independent bus companies, which eventually became part of the publicly owned TARC. The only Louisville Railway Co. bus route replacing an interurban railway, was an extension of the 18th St. route. After conversion of the main 18th St. streetcar route to buses, the extension was combined into the main converted bus route.

The only interurban railway line not to evolve to a TARC bus line was the line to Shelbyville. Competing bus service between Louisville and Shelbyville had already been operated by Southeastern Greyhound Lines, when the railway line was discontinued.

Because of the World War II conservation efforts, streetcars returned to the Market route effective 11/15/42, and on 6th St. north of Hill St. effective 1/10/43. 6th St. buses continued to operate south of Hill St. on the Taylor Blvd. segment. The Taylor Blvd. segment was originally a branch of the 4th St. route, revised to link with the 6th St. route upon to conversion to buses effective 9/21/41.

Effective 9/23/45, trolleybuses returned to the Market route, and buses returned to the 6th St. route, operating through to Taylor Blvd.

All trolleybus segments were replaced with motor buses effective 5/6/51.

The Middletown route was originally created by the Louisville Railway Co. as the St. Matthews Express route. In October 1953, Louisville Transit Co. extended the route to Middletown, replacing service which had been provided by Southeastern Greyhound Lines, and by Blue Motor Coach Co. between 8/15/48 and 1/13/51.

The Blue Motor Coach Co. was formed in 1932 to replace some interurban railway lines, and acquired the Virgil Pierce bus line in 1935.

Paxton Bus Line replaced an interurban railway line in 1935, and was later succeeded by Goebel's Bus Line, and finally Prospect Bus Line.

Chaudoin Bus Lines replaced an interurban railway line in 1935, and in 1945 was sold to Kentucky Bus Lines. Also operated was a line through Okolona and Shepherdsville, ending in Paducah.

The Buchel Bus Co. was originally the Newberg Bus Line, and was acquired by the Louisville Transit Co. in 1958.

All independent bus companies eventually became part of the publicly owned TARC.

Electric Interurban Railways In Southeastern United States

Includes further information on the interurban railways radiating from Louisville.

Go to Chicago Transit & Railfan Web Site