NORTH SHORE LINE BUSES
The Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad began operating buses in 1922 between Waukegan and Kenosha, and between Kenosha and Lake Geneva. Many additional bus routes were created between 1922 and 1928, supplementing rail service. And in 1926, a subsidiary Metropolitan Motor Coach Co. was formed to operate the buses.
In 1927, a competing company Chicago-Milwaukee Coach Lines was formed, which was soon combined into Metropolitan Motor Coach Co. It is possible that Chicago-Milwaukee Coach Lines had ties to Motor Transit Corp., a predecessor to Greyhound.
The bus system reached its peak in 1929, after the Chicago to Lake Geneva route was introduced. The map below shows the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad interurban transportation at its peak, in green. Also shown, in red, is Chicago Rapid Transit Co. trackage used to enter Chicago. Thick lines indicate interurban railways, thin lines indicate affiliated bus lines. In addition, bus service usually existed paralleling the interurban railways.
DECLINE OF INTERURBAN BUS SERVICE
In 1930, Metropolitan Motor Coach Co. acquired Western Motor Coach Co., which was the bus company affiliated with the Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railroad, also controlled by Samuel Insull. But in 1930, most of the routes were abandoned. The only interurban bus routes remaining in 1931 were Chicago-Milwaukee, Chicago-Lake Geneva, and the former Western Motor Coach Co. Chicago-Elgin route. In 1931, those remaining routes were sold to Northland Greyhound Lines, part of the Greyhound system.
The only bus routes remaining were the Waukegan local routes. In 1941, Metropolitan Motor Coach Co. was dissolved as a separate subsidiary of the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad.
Some information for this page is from various issues of the magazine "Motor Coach Age".
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