SAN JOSE/SANTA CLARA TRANSIT ROUTES

CONCISE HISTORY

This is the "Silicon Valley", which experienced much of its population and economic growth during an era after the automobile had become the dominant form of transportation. But the Santa Clara County Transit District, followed by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, has done a remarkable job in developing a successful transit system in this growth area. Prior to the public takeover in 1973, a medium size city bus system existed in San Jose, and a smaller city bus system existed in Palo Alto, along with a suburban and interurban bus system. Most of these routes had evolved from streetcar and interurban railway routes.

The Santa Clara County Transit District's first significant attempt at expansion was in 1974, when dial-a-ride service was introduced, with Santa Clara County divided into 18 zones. But the dial-a-ride service proved to be grossly inadequate, and in 1975 was replaced with a new comprehensive fixed route bus system throughout the county.

In addition to expanded bus service, a new light rail line opened in 1987. And commuter rail service in the area has been upgraded. The result is a comprehensive system bearing little resemblance to that inherited from the private operators. Thus no attempt is made to compare historic routes with the present routes, and only the historic routes from the days of prior ownership are listed.

The only route numbers listed are those used by San Jose City Lines for its local bus routes.

The Linda Vista line originally used steam dummy trains, until electrified.

Routes are divided into three groups: San Jose city routes, interurban and Palo Alto city routes, and suburban and interurban bus routes introduced by Mayfair Bus Lines.



San Jose  Route            Original  First First     Bus      Notes
Route     Name             Company   Horse Electric  New or
Number    (streets)        Initials  Car   Streetcar Convert

     Stockton              PHR       1879  ----      --------  Discontinued   1890's
     North Side            NSHR      1875  ----      --------  Discontinued   1901
     South East Side       SESHR     1877  ----      --------  Discontinued   1901
1    Santa Clara           SJ&SC     1868  1890       4/10/38
1    Linda Vista           AR        1896  1902       4/10/38  Steam 1896-1902
2    First Street          FSR       1872  1891       7/25/35
2    Tenth Street          SJ&SC     ----  1895       2/23/35
3    Willow Glen           FSR       1883  1894       7/25/35
4    Delmas                MS&WG     1877  1892       2/23/35
4    Naglee                PR        ----  1907       2/23/35
5    Bascom                PR        ----  1907       4/10/38
5    Seventeenth Street    PR        ----  1907       4/26/36
6    San Jose-Airport      SJCL      ----  ----        1940's
7    Park Avenue           PR        ----  1906       6/28/35
     Hanchett Park         SJ&SC     ----  1906        1924    Discontinued  4/26/33
     Santa Clara Depot     PR        ----  1913      --------  Discontinued  1/27/23
     Julian                SJR       ----  1894      --------  Discontinued  3/21/33
     Seventh Street        FSR       1894  1894      --------  Discontinued   1927
     Hobson                FSR       ----  1891        1918    Discontinued   1920's
     Oak Hill              FSR       ----  1894       8/25/18  Discontinued  4/26/33

Streetcar routes in San Jose were originally introduced by several different companies, which by 1909 all came under the same ownership, becoming San Jose Railroads. In 1933, San Jose Railroads acquired the local trackage and operations from the Peninsular Railroad, which at the time was abandoning its interurban railway service.

The last San Jose Railroads streetcars were replaced with buses in 1938. And in 1939, the bus operation was acquired by National City Lines, renaming the operation San Jose City Lines.


Peninsular                 Original  First First     Bus      Notes
Interurban                 Company   Horse Electric  New or
Route                      Initials  Car   Streetcar Convert

San Jose-Saratoga-Los Gatos    SJLG  ----  3/19/04    3/12/33  Peerless Stages bus
San Jose-Campbell-Los Gatos    SJLG  ---- 11/26/04    4/ 1/32  Peerless Stages bus
Saratoga-Congress Springs      SJLG  ---- 11/26/04   --------  Discontinued  4/ 1/32
San Jose-Cupertino             PR    ----     1907   10/ 1/34  PR then PAT bus
Cupertino-Mayfield             PR    ----  3/ 5/10   10/ 1/34  PR then PAT bus
Mayfield-Palo Alto             PR    ----  3/ 5/10   10/21/29  PR then PAT bus
Cupertino-Los Gatos            PR    ----  1/ 4/14   --------  Discontinued 1933
Berryessa Road                 PR    ----  9/12/13   --------  Discontinued 1934
King Road                      PR    ----     1923   --------  Discontinued 1934
Palo Alto/University Ave.      SCIR  ---- 11/15/06    7/20/25  PR then PAT bus
Palo Alto/Waverly St.          SCIR  ---- 11/15/06    9/28/25  PR then PAT bus
Palo Alto/Stanford University  PR    ----  3/ 5/10   10/21/29  PR then PAT bus

The two oldest Peninsular Railroad lines operated between San Jose and Los Gatos, acquired in 1909 from San Jose-Los Gatos Interurban Railway. At the time those lines were discontinued, Peerless Stages was already operating bus service competing with both lines. But with no bus service along the San Jose to Palo Alto route, Peninsular Railroad was ordered to introduce replacement bus service upon discontinuance of the interurban trains.

The streetcar routes in Palo Alto were originally constructed by Santa Clara Interurban Railroad, acquired in 1909 by Peninsular Railroad and replaced with buses in 1929. In 1933, the local bus routes were sold to Palo Alto Transit Co. Palo Alto Transit Co. also acquired the San Jose to Palo Alto bus route in 1934, as Peninsular Railroad was disolved. In 1941, the local routes were sold to Palo Alto City Lines, which in 1949 was reorganized as Peninsula Transit.


Mayfair                    Original  First First     Bus      Notes
Bus                        Company   Horse Electric  New or
Route                      Initials  Car   Streetcar Convert

Story Road                Mayfair    ----  ----       8/  /53  To Peerless Stages
McKee Road                Mayfair    ----  ----        1956    To Peerless Stages
San Jose-Agnews-Alviso    Mayfair    ----  ----       7/  /57  To Peerless Stages
San Jose-Loyola           Mayfair    ----  ----        1957    To Peerless Stages

Between 1953 and 1957, Mayfair Bus Lines, later Mayfair Suburban Lines, introduced four suburban bus routes serving San Jose. One route to Loyola was acquired from Peninsula Transit. In 1961, Mayfair Suburban Lines was sold to Peerless Stages.


Original Streetcar and Bus Companies

AR - Alum Rock Railway Co.
FSR - First Street Railroad
Mayfair - Mayfair Bus Lines/Mayfair Suburban Lines
MS&WG - Market Street & Willow Glen Railroad
NSHR - North Side Horse Railroad Co.
PHR - Peoples Horse Railroad Co.
PR - Peninsular Railroad
SCIR - Santa Clara Interurban Railroad
SJ&SC - San Jose & Santa Clara Railroad Co.
SJCL - San Jose City Lines
SJLG - San Jose-Los Gatos Interurban Railway
SJR - San Jose Railroads
SESHR - South East Side Horse Railroad Co.


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