Early Streetcar Map
Several electric railways were eventually consolidated into the Aurora Elgin & Fox River Electric Co., providing local streetcar service within its two namesake cities, and interurban service along the Fox River between those two cities. All local streetcars were replaced by buses by 1934, and in 1936 all bus operations were taken over by the newly formed National City Lines.
The original National City Lines subsidiary was Aurora-Elgin City Lines. Which in 1940 was divided into three subsidiaries, Aurora City Lines, Elgin City Lines, and Aurora-Elgin Bus Line. In 1966, those subsidiaries were sold by National City Lines to Vernon Westover, a regional manager of National City Lines.
In 1968, the city owned Elgin Department of Transportation assumed operation of the buses. And in 1991, the Elgin Department of Transportation became a division directly operated by Pace, known as the River Division.
542 - Bluff City - was one of Elgin's first streetcar routes, opened in 1876 as a horse car route, electrified in 1890. Converted to buses 11/1/34. A Villa bus route was later created, eventually discontinued, with northbound Grove route changed to service some of those areas. Route subsequently underwent various minor modifications over the years.
543 - Dundee - was a streetcar route operating both directions via Dundee, opened in 1891, and converted to buses 11/1/34. Bus route later became a one way loop, with southbound buses returning to downtown Elgin via various streets east of Dundee. Effective 1/14/80, portions of return route transferred to new route #553 Summit. In 1992, remainder of former return route transferred to route #541.
544 - Chicago St. - was a horse car route, converted to electric streetcars in 1890. Operated both directions via Chicago, converted to buses in 1933. A Villa bus route was later created, eventually discontinued, with westbound Chicago route changed to service some of those areas. Bus route later revised again, with eastbound buses departing downtown Elgin via Summit. Effective 1/14/80, split into two separate routes, including new route #553 Summit. Route discontinued 8/22/2011, replaced with increased service on route #554, operating over this segment and further east to Schaumburg.
545 - Walnut - was a streetcar route, opened in 1891, and converted to buses in 1933. Route subsequently underwent various modifications over the years. Route discontinued 8/25/2003 as part of a restructuring of Elgin Pace routes, consolidated into route #546.
546 - Orange-Walnut - new bus route created 6/20/48 as the South route, and underwent a few modifications over the years. Effective 8/25/2003 as part of a restructuring of Elgin Pace routes, renamed Orange-Walnut and combined with route #545 - Walnut.
547 - Wing Park - original Wing Park streetcar route was discontinued 12/23/30, with no immediate bus replacement. Bus route was created by National City Lines, and underwent a few modifications over the years.
548 - Highland - was a horse car route, converted to electric streetcars in 1891, and converted to buses in 1933. Route subsequently underwent various modifications over the years.
549 - South Randall - introduced 7/15/74 as McLean route, originally a crosstown route on west side, and has undergone various minor modifications over the years. In 1994 was extended west to Otter Creek shopping center on Randall Road. Had operated north on McLean until 8/25/2003 when, as part of a restructuring of Elgin Pace routes, modified to operate into downtown Elgin terminal, and renamed South Randall.
550 - Elgin-Crystal Lake - introduced during 1980's as rush hour variation of route #552, became separate route #550 effective 8/25/2003 as part of a restructuring of Elgin Pace routes. Effective 8/17/2015, service expanded to operate all day and operate north to Crystal Lake. Service between Elgin and Crystal Lake had previously existed from 1978 to 1994 as route #805.
550 - Elgin-Bartlett - short lived rush hour route introduced 12/78.
551 - Elgin-Hanover Park - short lived rush hour route introduced 12/78.
552 - North State-Spring Hill Mall - North State had a short streetcar route, discontinued 12/23/30 with no bus replacement. Route #552 introduced in mid 1970's, operating as far north as River Road, near the Northwest Tollway. Extended north to Spring Hill Mall, after that major mall in the area opened in 1980.
553 - Park-Summit - originally was Park streetcar, discontinued in 1933. Replacement bus service was not originally provided on Park, but Chicago bus route was extended to form a loop via Liberty, Golf, and Hill. Chicago route subsequently underwent various modifications over the years, and became Pace route #544. In addition, the Dundee route underwent various modifications over the years, including to operate via Park westbound, and became Pace route #543. Route #553 introduced 1/14/80, replacing portions of routes #543 and #544. Route discontinued 8/25/2003 as part of a restructuring of Elgin Pace routes, consolidated into route #541.
554 - Elgin-Woodfield - introduced 11/25/96, with limited rush hour service only. Effective 8/22/2011, route becomes full service, replacing route #544 which already had basically operated over the same route within the city of Elgin.
555 - Elgin-Prairie Stone-Schaumburg - introduced 11/25/96 as a companion route to route #554, but over a more northerly route serving the new Sears headquarters. Discontinued 6/8/2001.
556 - Elgin-UPS Palatine - introduced 6/7/99, for the benefit of employees at the United Parcel Service terminal in Palatine. Discontinued 4/10/2009.
557 - Barrington Road Corridor - rush hour reverse feeder route introduced 8/27/2001, operating between Barrington Metra station, discontinued around 2012.
558 - Route 59 Corridor - rush hour reverse feeder route introduced 8/27/2001, originally operating between Barrington Metra station and Sears Headquarters in Hoffman Estates. Eventually, bus operated between Bartlett Metra station and Sears Headquarters. Discontinued 12/31/2004.
National City Lines Bus Map
RTA Bus Map 1985
Chicago Aurora & Elgin Web Site
Link to an excellent Web site with history, rosters, and other information about the Chicago Aurora & Elgin Railroad, which from 1906 to 1924 was part of the same company operating local streetcars.