NATIONAL CITY LINES
CITIES SERVED BY NATIONAL CITY LINES
The following cities had transit systems which were at one time owned by National City Lines. Included are the years of NCL ownership, and the systems which NCL did convert from streetcars after acquisition. This conversion to buses has sometimes been referred to as "bustitution".
Also included are companies owned by Pacific City Lines, which until 1948 existed as a separate company, although with ties to NCL. Not included are certain companies, which at one time were owned by executives of NCL, while actually separate companies.
National City Lines also had significant control of the following additional transit systems.
- Aurora/Elgin, IL (1937-1966)
- Beaumont, TX (1937-1972) BUSTITUTION!
- Bellingham, WA (1938-1946) BUSTITUTION!
- Bloomington, IL (1936-1966) BUSTITUTION!
- Burbank, CA (1944-1946)
- Burlington, IA (1941-1959)
- Butte, MT (1938-1946) BUSTITUTION!
- Canton, OH (1940-1971)
- Cedar Rapids, IA (1937-1966) BUSTITUTION!
- Champaign, IL (1936-1966) BUSTITUTION!
- Danville, IL (1936-1964) BUSTITUTION!
- Davenport, IA (1950-1974)
- Decatur, IL (1936-1972) BUSTITUTION!
- East St. Louis, IL (1935-1963)
- El Paso, TX (1943-1976)
- Eureka, CA (1939-1946) BUSTITUTION!
- Everett, WA (1938-1946)
- Fresno, CA (1939-1946) BUSTITUTION!
- Galesburg, IL (1934-1936)
- Glendale, CA (1940-1962) BUSTITUTION!
- Great Falls, MT (1938-1946) BUSTITUTION!
- Houston, TX (1966-1974)
- Inglewood, CA (1942-1946)
- Jackson, MI (1936-1964)
- Jackson, MS (1939-1966)
- Joliet, IL (1934-1970)
- Kalamazoo, MI (1936-1967)
- Kewanee, IL (1936-1937) BUSTITUTION!
- Lansing, MI (1936-1937)
- LaSalle/Peru, IL (1936-1937)
- Lincoln, NB (1942-1971) BUSTITUTION!
- Long Beach, CA (1946-1963)
- Mobile, AL (1939-1971) BUSTITUTION!
- Montgomery, AL (1935-1974) BUSTITUTION!
- Oshkosh, WI (1933-1934)
- Ottumwa, IA (1941-1951)
- Pasadena, CA (1940-1963) BUSTITUTION!
- Peoria, IL (1955-1964)
- Pontiac, MI (1936-1960)
- Port Arthur, TX (1937-1950) BUSTITUTION!
- Portsmouth, OH (1939-1959) BUSTITUTION!
- Quincy, IL (1936-1966)
- Rock Island, IL (1950-1974)
- Sacramento, CA (1943-1955) BUSTITUTION!
- Saginaw, MI (1936-1962)
- Salt Lake City, UT (1944-1968)
- San Jose, CA (1938-1963, 1970-1973) BUSTITUTION!
- Sioux City, IA (1953-1967)
- South Bend, IN (1956-1967)
- Spokane, WA (1945-1968)
- Stockton, CA (1939-1963) BUSTITUTION!
- Tampa, FL (1942-1971)
- Terre Haute, IN (1939-1955) BUSTITUTION!
- Tulsa, OK (1936-1957)
- Wichita Falls, TX (1950-1971)
"Bustitution" was not significant with these transit systems. Jacksonville had already converted to buses. The Key System discontinued all remaining local streetcars in 1948, but retained the interurban trains over the San Francisco Bay Bridge until 1958. Some streetcars remained in Los Angeles through the public takeover in 1958. And the original streetcars in Baltimore and St. Louis outlasted Chicago's streetcars, and those cities now have new light rail systems. And Philadelphia still has streetcars.
- Baltimore Transit Co. (1944-1972)
- Jacksonville - Motor Transit Co. (1943-1945)
- Los Angeles Transit Lines (1945-1958)
- Oakland - Key System Transit Lines (1946-1960)
- Philadelphia Transportation Co. (1955-1966)
- St. Louis Public Service Co. (1940-1963)
Roster including most buses acquired by National City Lines. The overwhelming number of buses were acquired from General Motors.
WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?
This is of course the landmark 1988 film which brilliantly combines live action and animation. The scene is Los Angeles, Hollywood, and "Toontown", where all of Hollywood's cartoon characters lived. The main story involved a cartoon rabbit who was framed for murder. As it turns out, the real murderer was the evil Judge Doom, the sole stockholder of "Clover Leaf Industries". The time period is the late 1940's, when the "Red Cars" (Pacific Electric Railway) ran throughout the Los Angeles area. Judge Doom's scheme was, through Clover Leaf Industries, acquire the Red Cars, the cartoon industry, and the Toontown land. He would then want to dismantle the Red Car system and replace it with a freeway running through the Toontown land. The freeway would be lined with gas stations, motels, fast food places, auto dealers, etc.
But in the Hollywood tradition, good triumphs over evil in the movie, Judge Doom is eliminated, and the Red Cars and Toontown survive. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the actual Pacific Electric cars. Although National City Lines never did control Pacific Electric, the red cars went the way of most electric railways in the 1940's and 1950's.
National City Lines did however acquire the remaining Pacific Electric local streetcars in Pasadena and Glendale, and replaced them with buses. And National City Lines for a while had significant control of Los Angeles Transit Lines, which during that time replaced many streetcar lines with buses.
In the January 1989 issue of Passenger Train Journal, Curtis L. Katz had an interesting perspective of the movie. In the late 1940's, not only were electric railways in decline, but also quality animation. But by 1988, animated featured films were making a comeback. Urban electric railways were also making a comeback, although now usually referred to as "light rail".