The story as an urban legend has been written about by Martha Bianco, Scott Bottles, Sy Adler, Jonathan Richmond and Robert Post. In the latter half of the 19th century, transit systems were generally rail, first horse-drawn streetcars, and later electric powered streetcars and cable cars. Streetcars paid ordinary business and property taxes, but also generally paid franchise fees, maintained utility trucks for sale los angeles least the shared right-of-way, and provided street sweeping and snow clearance. They were also required to maintain minimal service levels.
Many electric lines—especially in the West—were tied into other real estate or transportation enterprises. The Pacific Electric and the Los Angeles Railway were especially so, in essence loss leaders for property development and long haul shipping. By 1918, half of US streetcar mileage was in bankruptcy. Conspiracy theorists connect Hertz’s New York and Chicago bus enterprises with an alleged larger conspiracy. Hertz, better remembered for his car rental business, was also an early motorbus manufacturer and operator. By 1930 most streetcar systems were aging and losing money.
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Yellow Coach tried to persuade transit companies to replace streetcars with buses, but could not convince the power companies that owned the streetcar operations to motorize. The New York Railways Corporation began conversion to buses in 1935, with the new bus services being operated by the New York City Omnibus Corporation, which shared management with The Omnibus Corporation. Opposition to traction interests and their influence on politicians was growing. For example, in 1922, New York Supreme Court Justice John Ford came out in favor of William Randolph Hearst, a newspaper magnate, for mayor of New York, complaining that Al Smith was too close to the ‘traction interests’. 1920 as a minor bus operation by E. Roy Fitzgerald and his brother, was reorganized “for the purpose of taking over the controlling interest in certain operating companies engaged in city bus transportation and overland bus transportation” with loans from the suppliers and manufacturers. From 1939 through 1940, NCL or PCL attempted a hostile takeover of the Key System, which operated electric trains and streetcars in Oakland, California.
The attempt was temporarily blocked by a syndicate of Key System insiders, with controlling interest secured on Jan 8, 1941. 1945, which had been in financial trouble for some time. He also questioned who was behind the creation of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, which had caused such difficulty for streetcar operations, He was later to write a history of North Jersey Rapid Transit. The verdicts were upheld on appeal in 1951. The San Diego Electric Railway was sold to Western Transit Company, which was in turn owned by J.
The Baltimore Streetcar system was purchased by NCL in 1948 and started converting the system to buses. The Pacific Electric Railway’s struggling passenger operations were purchased by Metropolitan Coach Lines in 1953 and were taken into public ownership in 1958 after which the last routes were converted to bus operation. In 1970, Harvard Law student Robert Eldridge Hicks began working on the Ralph Nader Study Group Report on Land Use in California, alleging a wider conspiracy to dismantle U. Politics of Land: Ralph Nader’s Study Group Report on Land Use in California.