The Ohio Museum of Transportation

Ohio's Transit History

This article was written by one of the Ohio Museum of Transportation members in 1970 and originally appeared in the February 1971 issue of the Motor Bus Society's publication Motor Coach Age. Due to it's size, it has been broken down by each individual carrier. We wish to thank the author for allowing us to post his article on our site.

Cleveland Suburban Buses - City of Euclid Transit System

By David B. Decsman

Owing to it's location on a wide, gently sloping plain, to it's industrial and commercial character, and most importantly to the fact that electric interurban railroads and not steam roads carried people to the surrounding towns years ago, Cleveland has bus lines radiating from the city center to outlying suburbs in all directions. The suburban operations are unusual in being completely independent from one another and from any larger companies, though some are basically one-route carriers, but even more unusual is the fact that many are publicly owned. In fact, public ownership came to some of the suburban lines even before Cleveland Transit System (CTS) succeeded from the old Cleveland Railway back in 1942.

In addition to seven suburban operations in business now, four others have been absorbed over the years by CTS. The extent of knowledge about some of these 11 operators is not great, but in this article we attempt to put them all together so that their separate stories will add up to a history of suburban bus service in Cleveland.

This section of the article looks at the City of Euclid Transit System.

City of Euclid Transit System

Euclid adjoins Cleveland to the east along the lake and has a population of about 65,000. Municipally owned buses have been operated continuously since August 16, 1935, when three front-engine Fords were purchased to give "on-call" shuttle service around town A garage on North Street was the operating headquarters, the buses moving in with City-owned autos and trucks and sharing the time of maintenance people--a situation that unfortunately persists today, though federal funds have been secured for a new garage now nearing completion.

Shuttle service was replaced by a system of fixed routes, including one into the adjacent suburb of Willowick, and the original Fords gave way to Yellow Coaches. Substantial expansion of the system took place after the war, as Euclid's population grew and spread out. The present garage on Lakeland Blvd. was occupied in 1946.

Until recently, the City of Euclid was the only Cleveland suburban operator without any direct service downtown. Through freeway service to Public Square began, and the line into Willowick was abandoned, when 13 new buses were delivered in May 1970. The abandonment avoided conflict with CTS Rt 43-Willowick Freeway Flyer, which passes through Euclid on the Lakeland Freeway without stopping, and the new line was routed withing Euclid to also avoid duplicating any part of CTS Rt 5-St. Clair Express. Federal funds for the new buses were conditioned on Euclid's not instituting any service that would compete with existing transit lines.

The 5306's were the first new buses to appear in orange and cream, colors copied from Columbus Transit Co. after nine TDH-5105's from that property were acquired in 1968. The local fare on all routes at present is 25 cents, with 5-cent transfer charge. As might be expected, special school routes are important adjuncts to the transit service, and intrastate charter service is also offered.

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Page updated on April 09, 2007