Cincinnati Street Railway Marmon-Herrington TC44 trolleybus #1300, photographed as new in 1947
Cincinnati Street Railway Marmon-Herrington TC44 trolleybus #1300, photographed as new in 1947
Trolleybus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on the Boston trolleybus system
A dual-mode bus operating as a trolleybus in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, in 1990
A dual-mode bus operating as a trolleybus in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, in 1990
San Francisco Muni ETI 15TrSF trolleybus #7108, on Van Ness Avenue at Geary Street, in 2004
San Francisco Muni ETI 15TrSF trolleybus #7108, on Van Ness Avenue at Geary Street, in 2004

This is a list of trolleybus systems in the United States by State. It includes all trolleybus systems, past and present. About 65[1]: 78  trolleybus systems have existed in the U.S. at one time or another. In this list, boldface type in the "location" column and blue background colored row indicates one of the five U.S. trolleybus systems still in operation.

Alabama

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Birmingham Electric Company Birmingham Transit [2] Birmingham 30 April 1947 22 November 1958  

Arkansas

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Little Rock 26 December 1947 1 March 1956  

California

See also: Trolleybuses in San Francisco

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Los Angeles 11 September 1910 1915 Located in Laurel Canyon. The first commercial trolleybus system in the United States.[3][4][5] Later, there were 1922 and 1937 demonstrations of newer vehicles.[1][6][a]
Los Angeles Transit Lines (1947–51); Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (1951–63)[5] 3 August 1947 30 March 1963 Lines 2 and 3
Construction of a new system was planned in the early 1990s, but the plans were cancelled in December 1993 because of a severe budget crisis.[8]
  (Oakland)     Construction started 1945, not completed. Vehicles built for Oakland were used in Los Angeles.
  San Francisco 6 October 1935   The first trolleybus line was opened by the former Market Street Railway Company (MSR). The San Francisco Municipal Railway ("Muni") opened the second trolleybus line on 7 September 1941. MSR was absorbed by Muni on 29 September 1944. Most of the current trolleybus system was built to replace MSR tramway lines.
  (Wrightwood)     Line planned ca. 1911 by Lone Pine Utilities Company, an affiliate of Laurel Canyon Utilities Company. Planned to connect Grava railway station (or halt) to Wrightwood. A contemporary account in a local newspaper states that construction was started but not completed.

Colorado

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Denver 2 June 1940 10 June 1955  

Connecticut

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Greenwich July 1897 c. January 1898 Demonstration (H. Van Hœvenbergh). First passenger-carrying trolleybus on a public road.[9] Operated for two hours a day, for six months.[9]
  New Haven 1903   Demonstration (A. Upham).

Delaware

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Wilmington 24 September 1939 6 December 1957  

Georgia

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Georgia Railway and Power Company (1937-1950), then Atlanta Transit Company (1950-1963) Atlanta 28 June 1937 27 September 1963 Mass conversion of 20 streetcar lines to trackless trolleys in 1949. In 1950, had 453 coaches and was the largest system in the United States.[10]

Hawaii

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Honolulu Rapid Transit Company Limited Honolulu 1936 - Demonstration
1 January 1938 22 June 1957  

Illinois

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Chicago Transit Authority Chicago 17 April 1930[11] 25 March 1973  
  Peoria 13 November 1931 3 October 1946  
  Rockford 10 December 1930 6 June 1947  

Indiana

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Fort Wayne 7 July 1940 12 June 1960  
  Indianapolis 4 December 1932 10 May 1957  

Iowa

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Des Moines Railway Co./Des Moines Transit Co. Des Moines 9 October 1938 24 January 1964 Trolleybuses here were known as "Curbliners".[12] One Des Moines trolleybus is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum.[13]

Kansas

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Topeka 27 March 1932 30 June 1940  

Kentucky

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Covington 11 September 1937 12 March 1958 System extended across the Ohio River to Cincinnati.
  Louisville 27 December 1936 7 May 1951  

Louisiana

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  New Orleans 2 December 1929 26 March 1967  
  Shreveport 15 December 1931 26 May 1965  

Maryland

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Baltimore:      
  ♦ Baltimore - Randallstown 1 November 1922 31 August 1931  
  ♦ Urban system 6 March 1938 21 June 1959  

Massachusetts

See also: Trolleybuses in Greater Boston

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
BERy
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority[b]
Boston: Cambridge - Watertown - Belmont 11 April 1936 12 March 2022 Four lines extended north and west from Harvard station in Cambridge and did not serve the city of Boston proper. However, trolleybuses operate in Boston proper on the Silver Line (Waterfront).
Boston: Somerville - Medford - Arlington 8 November 1941 31 March 1963  
Boston: Everett - Malden 17 September 1933 31 March 1963  
Boston: East Boston - Chelsea - Revere 5 January 1952 9 September 1961  
Boston: Dorchester 25 December 1948 6 April 1962 Not connected with remainder of the system.
Boston: Arborway 29 September 1951 1 October 1958 Not connected with remainder of the system.
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority South Boston Waterfront (MBTA's Silver Line – Waterfront) 17 December 2004   Dual-mode (diesel-trolley) buses use electric traction in the South Boston Waterfront tunnel and a short surface section, and diesel traction elsewhere.[15]
  Fairhaven 16 October 1915 1 December 1915 Experimental.
  Fitchburg 10 May 1932 30 June 1946 System also served Leominster.

Michigan

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Detroit 19 June 1930 11 August 1937 Also 1921 and 1924 demonstrations.
  15 December 1949 16 November 1962
  Flint 1936 Demonstration.
  6 December 1936 26 March 1956.

Minnesota

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Duluth 15 October 1931 15 May 1957  
Twin City Rapid Transit Company Minneapolis 5 May 1922 22 May 1923 Experimental. One-wire trolley pole overhead, and a shoe to streetcar rails below to complete the circuit.

Missouri

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Kansas City 29 May 1938 4 January 1959 Interstate line to Kansas City, Kansas opened 4 October 1950; closed 14 July 1951 because of flood damage.
  Saint Joseph 1 August 1932 22 November 1966  

Nevada

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Reno 1897 Demonstration. (W. Caffery).[9][16]

New Jersey

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Camden 1 September 1935 1 June 1947 "All-Service Vehicle" (ASV) system.[c]
  Newark 15 September 1935[d] 10 November 1948 "All-Service Vehicle" (ASV) system.[c][e]

New York

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Buffalo 30 December 1949 January 1950 Demonstration.
  Cohoes 2 November 1924 12 December 1937 (or 9 October 1933)  
  New York 1923 Demonstration.
  Brooklyn 23 July 1930 26 July 1960  
  Staten Island 8 October 1921 16 October 1927  
  Rochester 1 November 1923 22 March 1932  

North Carolina

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Greensboro 15 July 1934 5 June 1956  

Ohio

See also: Trolleybuses in Dayton

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Akron 12 December 1941 6 June 1959  
  Cincinnati 1 December 1936 18 June 1965  
Cleveland Transit System Cleveland 1 March 1936 14 June 1963  
  Columbus 3 December 1933 3 May 1965  
Dayton Street Railway Company (Dayton Street Transit Company) Dayton[f] 23 April 1933 (28 April 1941)[g] Sold to CRC.
Oakwood Street Railway Company (Oakwood and Dayton Transit Company) 19 January 1936 (1 October 1956)[g] Sold to CTC.
Peoples Railway Company (Peoples Transit Company) 11 October 1936 (9 March 1945)[g] Sold to CRC.
The City Railway Company (later The City Transit Company) 25 March 1938    
Dayton-Xenia Railway Company 1 October 1940 (31 October 1955)[g] Sold to CTC.
  Toledo 1 February 1935 28 May 1952  
  Youngstown 11 November 1936 10 June 1959  

Oregon

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Portland Traction Co.;
Rose City Transit Co.
Portland 30 August 1936 23 October 1958 Also demonstration, May 1935 - October 1935.

Pennsylvania

See also: Trolleybuses in Philadelphia

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Johnstown Traction Company Johnstown 20 November 1951 11 November 1967  
  Philadelphia 14 October 1923 Also demonstration in 1921. Service suspended 1 July 2003 – 14 April 2008.[17]
  Pittsburgh 28 September 1936 11 October 1936 Demonstration.
  1949 Demonstration.
  Scranton 1903 Demonstration. (A. Upham).[9]
  Wilkes-Barre 15 December 1939 16 October 1958  

Rhode Island

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Pawtucket 26 December 1931[18] 30 May 1953[18]  
  Providence 22 June 1935[18] 24 June 1955[18]  
  Providence – Pawtucket 9 November 1940[18] 6 July 1953[18]  

South Carolina

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Greenville 19 August 1934 20 February 1956  

Tennessee

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Knoxville 28 April 1930 1 July 1945  
  Memphis 8 November 1931 22 April 1960  

Texas

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Dallas 25 November 1945 28 July 1966  

Utah

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Salt Lake City 9 September 1928 September 1946  

Virginia

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Norfolk 1921 Demonstration.[19]
  1924 Demonstration.[19]
  Petersburg 19 June 1923 31 December 1926  
  Portsmouth 1923 Demonstration.
  Richmond 1921 Demonstration.

Washington

See also: Trolleybuses in Seattle

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Seattle Transit System (until 1973);
Metro (1973 to present)
Seattle 28 April 1940   Also 27 February 1937 – 9 March 1937 demonstration. All service suspended 21 January 1978 – 14 September 1979 for renewal.[h]

Dual-mode (diesel-trolley) buses operated 15 September 1990 – 24 January 2005 on routes using the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. The overhead wire system in the tunnel was not connected to that used by surface trolleybus services.

Wisconsin

Name of system Location Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Kenosha 15 February 1932 1 March 1952  
Merrill Railway & Lighting Co. Merrill January 1913 December 1913 Experimental.
  Milwaukee 8 November 1936 20 June 1965  

Notes

  1. ^ First system connected Sunset Boulevard with a new housing development, "Bungalow Town," in Laurel Canyon. Built and operated by Laurel Canyon Utilities Company.[7]
  2. ^ The historic trolleybus ("trackless trolley") system of the Boston metropolitan area had six groups of lines.[14]
  3. ^ a b The "All-Service Vehicle" systems used gasoline-electric motorbuses modified for operation from external power or onboard engine-generator set. The route systems were not fully electrified, and operating depots had no overhead wires. (A modern-day equivalent of this is the dual-mode bus.)
  4. ^ The operator conducted a demonstration at Weehawken in 1934 prior to opening of public service with ASVs in 1935. Weehawken was served by the Newark system.
  5. ^ The Newark ASV system also served many adjacent towns, including the Hudson County towns of Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City and West New York, the Passaic County towns of Passaic and Paterson, and the Union County towns of Elizabeth and Plainfield.
  6. ^ Dayton was a notable exception to the "typical" U.S. trend of consolidation ("unification") of public transport services. Five companies operated tramway service from 1909 to 1933. All five companies operated trolleybuses for several months in 1940–41, prior to the beginning of consolidations. The largest company, the City Railway Company (CRC), became the City Transit Company (CTC) in 1955 and was taken into public ownership by the Miami Valley Regional Transit Authority in 1972. MVRTA is known today as the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority.
  7. ^ a b c d Date of sale
  8. ^ All overhead wires, other infrastructure and vehicles (but not most support poles for the wires) were replaced during the 1978–79 suspension, but the transition is not considered the end of one system and the beginning of a "second" system, because the suspension was only temporary, for upgrading. The current system is widely considered as having opened in 1940.[1]

See also

Sources

References

  1. ^ a b c Murray, Alan (2000). World Trolleybus Encyclopaedia. Yateley, Hampshire, UK: Trolleybooks. ISBN 0-904235-18-1.
  2. ^ "Tom's Trolley Bus Pictures Birmingham AL".
  3. ^ Sebree, Mac; Ward, Paul (1973). Transit's Stepchild: The Trolley Coach. Los Angeles: Interurbans. LCCN 73084356.
  4. ^ Murray (2000), p. 79.
  5. ^ a b Kunz, Richard R. (Spring 1986). "Twin Wires: First U.S. Trolley Buses". Bus World. Sunrise Enterprises. 8 (3): 26–29. ISSN 0162-9689.
  6. ^ "Los Angeles Transit Lines – The Trolley Bus in Los Angeles". Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Laurel Canyon Utilities Company". Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  8. ^ Trolleybus Magazine (TM) No. 194 (March–April 1994), p. 56. National Trolleybus Association (UK). ISSN 0266-7452.
  9. ^ a b c d Bruce, Ashley R. (2017). Lombard-Gerin and Inventing the Trolleybus, pp. 21, 26. Trolleybooks (UK). ISBN 978-0-904235-25-8.
  10. ^ Sebree, Mac; and Ward, Paul (1974). The Trolley Coach in North America. Los Angeles: Interurbans. LCCN 74-20367.
  11. ^ "Facts at a Glance". Chicago Transit Authority. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  12. ^ Gartner, Michael (17 October 2012). "Des Moines streetcars still run on memory". Cityview magazine. Big Green Umbrella Media, Inc. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Dayton Flyer 906 and Des Moines "Curbliner" 239 out for a ride in the snow". Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  14. ^ Clarke (1970)
  15. ^ Trolleybus Magazine (TM) No. 260, Mar.-Apr. 2005.
  16. ^ Caffrey, W. (1898). "The Caffrey Trolley Road Wagon". The Electrical Engineer. Williams & Company. 25 (507): 87.
  17. ^ Box, Roland (July–August 2010). "More about the 2000s". Trolleybus Magazine No. 292, p. 82. National Trolleybus Association (UK). ISSN 0266-7452.
  18. ^ a b c d e f Wonson, Richard (1983). The Trackless Trolleys of Rhode Island. Boston Street Railway Association. p. 67. OCLC 13058930.
  19. ^ a b Murray (2000), p. 131

Books and periodicals

  • Bruce, Ashley R. (2017). Lombard-Gerin and Inventing the Trolleybus. UK: Trolleybooks. ISBN 978-0-904235-25-8.
  • Clarke, Bradley H. (1970). The Trackless Trolleys of Boston. Cambridge (MA), US: Boston Street Railway Association.
  • Murray, Alan (2000). World Trolleybus Encyclopaedia. Reading, Berkshire, UK: Trolleybooks. ISBN 0-904235-18-1.
  • Porter, Harry; Worris, Stanley F. X. (1979). Trolleybus Bulletin No. 109: Databook II. North American Trackless Trolley Association.
  • Sebree, Mac; Ward, Paul (1974). The Trolley Coach in North America. Interurbans Special 59. Los Angeles, US: Interurbans. LCCN 74-20367.
  • Trolleybus Magazine (ISSN 0266-7452). National Trolleybus Association (UK). Bimonthly.

Further reading

Media related to Trolleybuses in the United States at Wikimedia Commons