INDIANAPOLIS TRANSIT ROUTES

CONCISE HISTORY

Included are present bus route numbers, along with former route numbering systems. The first route numbers were devised in 1932, although route numbers were originally not displayed on destination signs, and routes were more commonly publicized by name.

The first route numbering system in 1932 was similar to the numbering system in Pittsburgh, where routes were numbered in order according to direction, counterclockwise from north. Only streetcar and trolleybus routes were numbered. Some route maps used letters to identify motor bus routes, but only for clarity on the maps.

A new route number system was adopted in 1951, with trolleybus routes numbered 1 through 11, and motor bus routes numbered 20 through 39. At the time, the only remaining streetcar route was College, route number 40. Letter suffixes were used to designate certain route branches. And with certain routes with two segments connected through downtown, one segment would have a "B" suffix. Some significant renumbering occurred in 1957, when the last trolleybus routes were converted to motor bus.

The following notations are used:

NEW PMC BUS - new bus route created by People's Motor Coach Co.
NEW ISR BUS - new bus route created by Indianapolis Street Railway Co.
NEW IRY BUS - new bus route created by Indianapolis Railways, Inc.
NEW ITS BUS - new bus route created by Indianapolis Transit System
NEW IPT BUS - new bus route created by Indianapolis Public Transit Corp.
NEW SL BUS - new bus route created by Suburban Lines

People's Motor Coach Co. was absorbed into the main company in 1943. All trolleybus routes were converted to motor buses in 1956 and 1957.

Some early new bus routes were created as feeders to the streetcar routes, later routed through after conversions of streetcar routes to buses. In many cases, one route would consist of two segments, joined together through downtown Indianapolis. A single route number is assigned to the two segments where this situation presently exists.

Extension buses on east 10th St. and east 25th St. were later replaced with the though routing of trolleybuses.

Several routes at the end of the list were later discontinued. Not listed are certain short term and experimental bus routes. Route numbers in parentheses were discontinued 6/27/2004.


Route   Route Name                  Mule  Street   Motor   Trolley  1932  1954  1974
Number  (Segment/Former Name)       Cars  Cars     Buses   Buses    No.   No.   No.

  2   East 34th St. (Central)       1868  1892              3/21/37   47    2     2
  2   East 34th St.                 NEW ITS BUS      1955                         2A
  3   Michigan (West)               1887  1894              4/16/34   11    3B    3
  3   Michigan (East)               1879  1892   11/23/47             34   22    20
  3   Michigan (East New York)      NEW PMC BUS   8/21/24                  22    20
  4   Fort Harrison                 IRR   1901       1941  Fort Harrison Bus
  5   East 25th St. (Columbia)      1883  1892              7/ 8/34   43    4     5
  5   East 25th St.                 NEW ISR BUS   2/ 1/26   7/23/39         4     5
  5   East 25th St. (Brightwood)    1889  1894              9/20/34   42    1     1
  6   North Harding (Riverside)           1900             12/20/32    9   10    15
  6   North Harding (Indiana)       1879  1893    6/11/34   7/13/34    8   10    15
  8   Washington (East)             1866  1891    8/11/50   8/14/50   33    6     8
  8   Washington (East Ext.)        IRR   1900       1935  Central Swallow Coach
  8   Washington (West)             1864  1894    1/ 4/48  10/15/51   12    7B    9
  8   Washington (West Ext.)        NEW ISR BUS  10/ 1/25  Ind. Transit Inc.
 10   10th St. (Massachusetts)      1865  1892              5/20/34   40    5     7
 10   10th St. (East)               1888  1892              5/20/34   40    5     7
 10   10th St. (East Ext.)          NEW ISR BUS  11/10/25   6/ 8/41         5     7
 10   10th St. (West)                     1904              4/16/34   10    9B   13
 11   East 16th St.                 NEW ISR BUS  11/19/25                  30    12
 12   Beechcrest (Minnesota)              1915    4/21/38   5/14/39   24    8A    4
 13   Beechcrest (S. East)          1892  1894              8/23/34   21    8A    4
 14   Prospect                      1868  1892              8/ 5/34   25    9    14
 14   Prospect (East Ext.)          NEW ISR BUS   4/24/32                  24    14
 15   Riverside (Clifton)           NEW IRY BUS   9/15/35                  27B   15
 16   Beech Grove (S. Meridian)     1879  1894             12/ 4/32   17   10B   16
 16   Beech Grove                   BGT   1911    1/ 8/37                  20    23
 17   College                       1865  1891    1/ 9/53             45   40    17
 18   Nora (Meridian)               NEW PMC BUS   4/21/29                  27    18
 18   Nora (Broad Ripple)           I&BR  1894              3/21/37   48    2    18
 19   Castleton (Pennsylvania)      1870  1894              9/28/34   50   21    19
 19   Castleton (Central)           NEW PMC BUS   1/ 7/24                  21    19
 19   Castleton (Central)           NEW ISR BUS  12/ 3/24                  21    19
 19   Castleton (46th/52nd St.)     NEW ISR BUS  12/ 8/25                  21    19
 21   East 21st St. (Brookside)           1904              6/ 7/34   41    3    21
 21   East 21st St.                 NEW ISR BUS   2/13/27                  30    21
 22   Shelby (Virginia)             1864  1892    3/ 3/46             22   28    22
 22   Shelby                        1888  1892    3/ 3/46             22   28    22
 24   Mars Hill                           1914   10/21/34             14   31    24
 24   Mars Hill (W. Indianapolis)   1890  1891              5/ 7/34   15    1B   11
 25   West 16th St.                 NEW ISR BUS  11/19/25                  33    25
 26   Keystone Crosstown            NEW IPT BUS   4/22/96
(27)  Butler (Capitol)              NEW ISR BUS  12/ 3/24                  27A   28
(27)  Butler (Illinois)             1890  1890   10/15/51  12/30/51    3   11A   27
 28   St Vincent (Illinois)         1864  1890   10/15/51  12/30/51    2   11    28

Route   Route Name                  Mule  Street   Motor   Trolley  1932  1954  1974
Number  (Segment/Former Name)       Cars  Cars     Buses   Buses    No.   No.   No.

 30   30th St. Crosstown (East)     NEW PMC BUS      1925                  38    26
 30   30th St. Crosstown (West)     NEW PMC BUS  12/17/23                  38    26
 31   Madison                       IRR   1901       1941  Suburban Lines
 34   Michigan Road (Northwestern)  1867  1892              4/30/34    7    4A    6
 34   Michigan Road (North Ext.)    NEW SL BUS       1949  Suburban Lines
 37   Lafayette (Park 100)          NEW IPT BUS   2/23/75
 38   West 38th St.                 NEW IPT BUS   8/18/84
 39   East 38th St.                 NEW ITS BUS      1955                         2B
(40)  Chapel Hill Express           NEW ISR BUS  10/ 1/25  Ind. Transit Inc.
(44)  Castleton Express             NEW IPT BUS   9/ 4/79
(46)  South Meridian Express        NEW IPT BUS  11/11/75
(48)  Mitthoefer Express            NEW IPT BUS  10/27/75
(49)  Decatur Express               NEW IPT BUS   9/ 4/79
 55   English                       1875  1892              8/15/34   27    7    10
 55   English (Extension)           NEW ISR BUS  11/10/25                  23    10
 86   86th St. Crosstown            NEW IPT BUS   6/10/13
      (Alabama)                     1873  1891    5/23/37
      (Blake)                       1864  1892
      (Cornell)                           1906    4/10/32
      (Kentucky)                    1890  1891
      (Lexington)                         1899   12/ 2/40
      (Stock Yards)                 1881  1894    5/ 3/40             16   32
      (Garfield Park)               1879  1896              2/14/37   20   25
      (Brightwood)                  NEW PMC BUS      1924
      (Madison)                     NEW ISR BUS  12/ 8/25                  25
      (Millersville)                NEW ISR BUS   4/28/26
      (Ravenswood)                  NEW ISR BUS   6/12/26                  37
      (Belmont Crosstown)           NEW ISR BUS  10/ 6/27                  35
      (Allison Plant)               NEW ISR BUS   7/ 3/40

SUBURBAN TRANSIT ROUTES

A portion of the Beech Grove route was originally operated by Beech Grove Traction Co. (BGT), which was replaced with buses operated by Beech Grove Transit Co, which was merged into People's Motor Coach Co. in 1941. And a portion of the Nora route was originally operated by Indianapolis & Broad Ripple Transit Co. (I&BR), which by 1926 was fully integrated into the Indianapolis Street Railway Co.

Several bus routes evolved from services provided by independent operators in various suburbs. Some of these routes evolved from interurban trains operated by Indiana Railroad (IRR) and other companies.

The west Washington extension routes, including the Chapel Hill Express, were sold in 1950 to Indianapolis Transit, Inc. (no relation to Indianapolis Transit System, Inc., which operated the city bus system from 1954 to 1975). Those routes rejoined the main system when it became publicly owned in 1975.


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