SUBURBAN TRANSIT ROUTES

ROUTES 200-206

EVANSTON/CTA

The Evanston Bus Company was formed in 1937 as a consolidation of the Evanston Railway and the Evanston and Niles Center Bus Co. The Evanston and Niles Center Bus Co. was formed in 1930 as a consolidation of the Niles Center Bus Co. and an earlier Evanston Bus Co.

The Evanston Bus Company ceased operations 4/23/73, due to a strike. No buses operated in Evanston until 9/10/73 when the city of Evanston began subsidizing service operated by CTA.

CTA bus routes in Evanston were originally route numbers 201 through 204. The 6/22/2003 restructuring of the Evanston bus routes resulted in four revised routes numbered 200, 201, 205, and 206. In addition, the #93 California route would be extended from Chicago into Evanston, replacing the #204 Dodge route.


200 - Main Shuttle - created 6/22/2003, replacing route #202 Main-Emerson. Significant point of activity on route was Rand McNally headquarters, route discontinued 9/6/2009 after closure of headquarters.

201 - Central-Ridge - evolved from Evanston Bus Company route #1, which traces its roots to the only streetcar route in Evanston. Route had originally operated north from Howard St. primarily via Chicago, Sherman, and Central to Crawford. Until 6/22/2003, CTA route was named Central-Sherman. The 6/22/2003 restructuring resulted in the route operating south of Davis St. station via Ridge, which had been Evanston Bus Company route #2, and later part of CTA route #203 Ridge-Grant. The 6/22/2003 restructuring would put the Chicago Ave. service as part of new route #205 Chicago-Golf. Effective 4/25/2004, traditional streetcar routing on Sherman north of downtown Evanston replaced with operation via Sheridan Rd., more conveniently serving Northwestern University.

202 - Main-Emerson - operated from South Blvd./Sheridan Rd. to Davis St. station, primarily via Main, Fowler, and Emerson. Route had been created from portions of Evanston Bus Company routes #3, #4, and #6. Replaced 6/22/2003 with route #200 Main Shuttle, with service discontinued to South Blvd. and via Fowler, and service on Emerson replaced by extension of #93 California route from Chicago.

203 - Ridge-Grant - operated from Howard St. terminal, primarily via Ridge and Grant to Central/Crawford. Route had been created from portions of Evanston Bus Company routes #2 and #3. Replaced 6/22/2003 with route #205 Chicago-Golf, with service on Ridge transferred to newly revised route #201 Central-Ridge.

204 - Dodge - resembled Evanston Bus Company route #7, operating from Howard St. terminal to Davis St. station, primarily via Dodge. Replaced 6/22/2003 with extension of #93 California route from Chicago.

205 - Chicago-Golf - created 6/22/2003, replacing portions of route #201 Central-Sherman and #203 Ridge-Grant.

206 - Evanston Circulator - created 6/22/2003, supplementing other routes.


EVANSTON BUS COMPANY

The Evanston Railway Co. had operated the one streetcar line in Evanston. And older Evanston Bus Co. had begun operating bus service in 1924, and the Niles Center Bus Co. began operating buses in 1921 in the suburb of Niles Center, which was later renamed Skokie. The Niles Center Bus Co. was sold to the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad in 1923, and sold to the Evanston and Niles Center Bus Co. in 1929. The original Evanston Bus Co. merged into the Evanston and Niles Center Bus Co. in 1930, and that company merged with the Evanston Railway Co. in 1937 to become the new Evanston Bus Co.

The Evanston Bus Company was operating 13 routes in 1973, prior to ceasing operations. Most replacement service is now operated by CTA, while some replacement service in neighboring suburbs was established by Nortran, now Pace. The following descriptions of Evanston Bus Company routes include present CTA and Pace routes which can be traced back to these routes.


1 - Sherman Avenue - traces its roots to the only streetcar route in Evanston, operating between Howard St. CTA terminal and Crawford/Central. Streetcar service introduced by Chicago North Shore Street Railway Co. in 1893 from Chicago, extending as far north as Emerson. Service north of Emerson introduced in 1897 by Evanston Electric Railway. Both companies merged into Chicago Consolidated Traction Co. in 1899, sold to County Traction Co. in 1910, sold to Evanston Railway Co. in 1913. Converted to buses 11/9/35. Portions of CTA routes #201 and #205 most closely resemble this route.

2 - Ridge Avenue - operated between Howard St. CTA terminal and downtown Evanston (Davis/Sherman). Introduced 4/26 by original Evanston Bus Co. The southern portion of CTA route #203 would operate over this route until 6/22/2003, when it would be replaced with the southern portion of CTA route #201.

3 - Main-Grant - operated between South Blvd. and Grant/Prospect. Introduced on Main on 1/28/24 by original Evanston Bus Co. as its route #1, extended 5/28 onto Grant. A portion of this route operated via Greenwood, where service was introduced 1/28/24 by original Evanston Bus Co. as its route #2. And another portion of this route operated via Davis, where service was introduced 1/28/24 by original Evanston Bus Co. as its route #3. The northern portion would be covered by CTA route #203 until 6/22/2003, when it would be replaced with the northern portion of CTA route #205. And the segment serving South Blvd. would be covered by CTA route #202, until discontinued 6/22/2003. But no service was ever operated by CTA over most of the southern portion of this route.

4 - Emerson - operated in a loop northwest of downtown Evanston. Introduced 1/28/24 by original Evanston Bus Co. as its route #4. There is little resemblance to any CTA bus route, except CTA would serve Emerson Ave., first with route #202, and effective 6/22/2003 with extension of route #93 from Chicago.

5 - Skokie - rush hour bus between Central St./Green Bay Rd. and Hamlin/Foster in Skokie, operating primarily via McCormick Blvd. Introduced in 1942. No similar route presently exists.

6 - Fowler-Main - operated between Chicago/Main and Church/Fowler. Introduced during 1950's or 1960's. This route would basically be covered by CTA route #202 until 6/22/2003, when replaced with route #200.

7 - Dodge-Howard - operated between Howard St. CTA terminal and downtown Evanston (Davis/Sherman). Introduced 3/8/47. CTA route #204 would most closely resemble this route until 6/22/2003, when replaced with extension of route #93 from Chicago.

8 - Evanston-Old Orchard - operated between downtown Evanston (Davis/Sherman) and Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie, using Church St. in Evanston and Golf Rd. in Skokie. Service on Church was originally created in 1920's by Niles Center Transit Co., which later became part of Evanston Bus Company. Route was #6. Service on Golf Rd. introduced in 1946 by American Coach Co., operating between Davis St. station and Glenview Rd. and Waukegan Rd. New route #8 to newly opened Old Orchard shopping center introduced 8/22/56. New route largely duplicated original route #6, which was discontinued 5/10/57. Effective 3/18/74 after the Glenview Bus Co. ceased operations, United Motor Coach Co. introduced "Emergency Routes" #2 and #3, reintroducing service over this segment, and operating beyond Old Orchard to areas previously served by the Glenview Bus Co. Emergency Route #2 evolved into Pace route #212, while part of Emergency Route #3 eventually became Pace route #220. Those Pace routes would be discontinued effective 3/5/2005 as part of a major restructuring of north suburban Pace routes. Route #212 would then be redundant to route #208 and recently expanded CTA route #205.

9 - Evanston-Irving Park-Cicero - operated via various streets between downtown Evanston (Davis/Sherman) and the shopping area of Irving Park/Cicero/Milwaukee on Chicago's northwest side. Acquired 1959 from American Coach Co., original route had been introduced in 1941 from Harrison St. and Crawford Ave. to Irving Park/Cicero/Milwaukee via Crawford Ave., Oakton St., Lincoln Ave., and Cicero Ave. Pace route #216 was introduced 11/73 by United Motor Coach Co., replacing portions of this route, discontinued 8/25/86. No similar route presently exists.

10 - Old Orchard (via Crawford Ave.) - operated between Howard St. CTA terminal and Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie. Acquired 1959 from American Coach Co., service on Crawford Ave. north of Oakton St. was part of a route introduced in 1941, originally operating 3 blocks north of Golf Rd. to Harrison St. Pace route #215 was introduced 11/73 by United Motor Coach Co., exactly following this route.

11 - Old Orchard (via Oakton and Niles Center Rd.) - operated between Howard St. CTA terminal and Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie. Acquired 1959 from American Coach Co. Route was actually very similar to CTA route #97, and was perhaps considered redundant.

12 - Irving Park and Cicero to Old Orchard/Edens Plaza - operated between those points primarily via Cicero Ave./Skokie Blvd. Acquired 1959 from American Coach Co., their original route #1 had been introduced in 1941 from Harrison St. and Gross Point Rd. to Irving Park/Cicero/Milwaukee via Harrison St., Crawford Ave., Oakton St., Lincoln Ave., and Cicero Ave. Pace route #216 was introduced 11/73 by United Motor Coach Co., replacing portions of this route, discontinued 8/25/86. Present route most closely resembling this route is CTA route #54A, extended north to Old Orchard effective 6/11/79.

13 - Evanston-Glencoe - operated between those towns via Green Bay Rd. Introduced around 1959. Service is now provided by Pace route #213, introduced in 1974.


NILES CENTER BUS COMPANY

Introduced four bus routes between 1921 and 1929, none of which survived long into the Evanston Bus Co. era. The first three routes introduced between 1921 and 1925, connected with the Ravenswood (now Brown) elevated line. One route operated from the Western Ave. stop to Morton Grove, mainly via Lincoln Ave. Another route connected with the first route at Devon Ave./Lincoln Ave., operating via McCormick Ave. and Church St. to the Davis St. stop in Evanston. And a third route operated from the Kimball terminal via Lawrence, Elston, and Central, ending at the Oakton station on the North Shore Line, in Niles Center (now Skokie). A fourth route, introduced in 1929, operated on Howard St. between McCormick Blvd. and Lincoln Ave.

In 1930, Chicago Surface Lines introduced a trolleybus extension route on Elston, cutting into ridership and resulting in discontinuance of the bus route from Kimball later that year. And in 1930, Chicago Surface Lines extended its Lincoln Ave. streetcar route, cutting into ridership of the Western Ave. to Morton Grove bus route. And in 1931, bus service was discontinued between Western Ave. and Niles Center (now Skokie). Also in 1931, service was discontinued on McCormick Blvd. between Devon Ave. and Church St.

Service on Howard was discontinued, but later became part of Evanston Bus Co. route #10, now Pace route #215. And service on Church later became part of Evanston Bus Co, route #6, later route #8, eventually Pace route #212. Route #212 would be discontinued effective 3/5/2005 as part of a major restructuring of north suburban Pace routes. Route #212 would then be redundant to route #208 and recently expanded CTA route #205.

Service on Lincoln Ave. was later revived in the late 1930's by Suburban Transit System, sold in 1944 to American Coach Co., and sold in 1959 to United Motor Coach Co. Route is now Pace route #210.


Click for 1972 Bus Map

(The map image may take a while to download, with a dial-up connection.)

Click for American Coach Co. Bus Map

(Map shows routes as of around 1950, in 1959 certain American Coach Co. routes were acquired by Evanston Bus Company.)