EARLY BUS AND AUTO STAGE LINES

CALIFORNIA


EARLY CERTIFICATES OF CONVENIENCE AND NECESSITY

Beginning in 1917, intrastate bus service was regulated by the California Railroad Commission. Information from annual reports is available through early 1924.

Most of these are newly introduced bus or auto stage routes. Missing is the history of such routes prior to the 1917 adoption of regulation. Some routes were resold to other operators. Routes are listed according to when first identified in the California Railroad Commission reports, some routes had existed prior to regulation.

Most bus lines were identified by the proprietors or partnerships operating the lines. Although later, bus lines were identified by the areas served. In the reports, some information on sales is vague, including the full names of some operators. And some spellings and numbers are uncertain, due to a lack of clarity in some scanned images.

Some routes might have actually been trucking companies, although every attempt was made to avoid their inclusion.

Known Earlier Bus Companies

Certificates Granted 1917-1918
Certificates Granted 1919
Certificates Granted 1920
Certificates Granted 1921
Certificates Granted 1922
Certificates Granted 1923-1924

Bus Companies Existing in 1929

Bus companies listed in later reports of the California Railroad Commission. By then, most bus lines were identified by the areas served, although most ownership continued to be proprietors, partnerships or families.


CALIFORNIA'S LARGEST EARLY BUS COMPANIES


Pacific Greyhound Lines

Many early bus and auto stage companies eventually became part of Pacific Greyhound Lines, which was the regional Greyhound bus company serving California and neighboring states. Incorporated in 1929 as Pacific Transportation Securities, and renamed in 1930 to Pacific Greyhound Lines. Pacific Greyhound Lines was partially owned by Southern Pacific Railroad, which in 1927 had formed a bus subsidiary Southern Pacific Motor Transportation Co., which then became part of Pacific Greyhound Lines.

These are the earlier bus and auto stage companies evolving to Greyhound. Some companies evolving to Greyhound were of a more suburban nature in the San Francisco Bay area, and those successor bus routes eventually became part of publicly owned transit systems.

Pickwick Stages (Northern Division) - began operations in 1918
Original route: Los Angeles-San Francisco

Pickwick Stages (Southern Division) - began operations in 1912
Original route: San Diego-Los Angeles

Imperial Valley Stage - began operations in 1911
Original route: San Diego-El Centro
In 1914 sold to Pickwick Stages (above)

Packard Stage Line - began operations in 1921
Original route: Los Angeles-Bakersfield
In 1925 sold to Pickwick Stages (above)

United Stages - began operations in 1913
Original routes: various directions from Los Angeles
Sold to Pickwick Stages (above)

Star Auto Stage Co. - began operations in 1916
Original routes: various directions from Stockton
In 1921 renamed California Transit Co.

Western Motor Transport Co. - began operations in 1919
Original route: Oakland-Sacramento
In 1922 sold to California Transit Co.

Oakland-Vallejo Transit Co.
Original route: Oakland-Rodeo
In 1919 sold to Western Motor Transport Co. (above)

W. A. Gentry
Original route: Vallejo-Sacramento
In 1919 sold to Western Motor Transport Co. (above)

Valley Transit Co. - began operations in 1920
Original route: Fresno-Visalia-Porterville
In 1925 sold to California Transit Co.

Pacific Auto Stage Co. - began operations in 1916
Original route: San Francisco-San Jose

By 1929, when Pacific Greyhound Lines predecessor Pacific Transportation Securities was formed, most of the above companies had been consolidated into either Pickwick Stages or California Transit Co. While Pacific Auto Stage Co. had remained independent. Pacific Transportation Securities was formed through the merger of these three companies, along with Southern Pacific Motor Transportation Co.

Pacific Greyhound Lines subsequently acquired the following early companies:

Kern County Transportation Corp. - began operations in 1920
Original route: Bakersfield-Taft (acquired from Western Auto Stage Co.)
Acquired in 1936

Peninsula Rapid Transit Co. - began operations in 1915
Original route: San Francisco-Palo Alto
Acquired in 1936

Union Auto Transportation Co. - began operations in 1917
Original route: San Mateo-Palo Alto
Acquired in 1936

Pierce Arrow Stage Line - began operations in 1921
Sacramento-Placerville-Tallac
Acquired in 1941


Motor Transit Co. (O. R. Fuller)

O. R. Fuller was a dealer in motor vehicles, who in 1916 sold two buses to Passenger Express Stage Line, operating between Los Angeles and Fullerton. After that company failed, Fuller repossessed the buses and began operating his own White Bus Line over the same route. Fuller subsequently acquired additional bus companies, and in 1920 consolidated them into a new company, Motor Transit Co.

White Bus Line - began operations in 1916
Original route: Los Angeles-Fullerton-Santa Ana
1913-1916 was Passenger Express Stage Line

A.R.G. Bus Co. - began operations in 1915
Original route: Los Angeles-Ontario-Riverside
In 1919 sold to O. R. Fuller/Motor Transit Co.

Clark Bus Line - began operations in 1914
Original route: Los Angeles-Ontario-San Bernardino
In 1919 sold to O. R. Fuller/Motor Transit Co.

El Dorado Stage Co.
Original route: Los Angeles-Bakersfield-Taft
In 1920 sold to O. R. Fuller/Motor Transit Co.

San Bernardino Mountain Auto Line - began operations in 1911
Original route: San Bernardino-Big Bear Valley
In 1920 sold to O. R. Fuller/Motor Transit Co.

In 1921, Motor Transit Co. acquired the Los Angeles-San Diego route from United Stages.

In 1926, Los Angeles-Bakersfield route sold to California Transit Co., and Los Angeles-San Diego route sold to Pickwick Stages, both of which later became part of Pacific Greyhound Lines (above).

In 1930, Motor Transit Co. was sold to the Pacific Electric Railway.


Additional Significant Bus Companies

Prior to the 1917 adoption of regulation of motor transportation by the California Railroad Commission, major routes had multiple competing bus or auto stage companies. These are such companies, it is not known when they ceased operations or were acquired by other companies.

Crown Stage Line
Original route: Anaheim-Santa Ana

Golden State Auto Tour Corp. - began operations in 1916
Original routes: Los Angeles-San Bernardino/San Jacinto/Lancaster

Southern California Stages
Original route: Los Angeles-San Diego

Valley Stage Line
Original route: Los Angeles-Anaheim

White Star Auto Stages
Original routes: San Diego-El Centro/Imperial Valley


Additional Early Bus Companies (Los Angeles Area)

Additional Early Bus Companies (San Francisco Bay Area)


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