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 - Maple Heights Transit

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 Maple Heights Transit.

Maple Heights Transit

Under different names at different times, the village (now city) of Maple Heights has operated direct bus service to Public Square  and a crosstown line connecting with the Van Aken Boulevard line of Shaker Heights Rapid Transit ever since 1935. In that year, four municipally owned Indianas replaced a single bus of an unknown operator who had failed to respond to municipal requests for improved service. Late in the 1940's, in spite of higher wage costs for all municipal employees, the village administration refused to allow fare increases on the buses, but soon it was found that the people preferred to have the bus service pay its own way than subsidize it out of general tax revenue. Since 1952, Maple Heights Transit has operated in the black.

Midday and Saturday service to Cleveland is offered every half hour, with Sunday trips every two hours. Headways on the Dunham-Crosstown route are about the same. As used to be the case with Berea Bus Line, school service is an important feature, though with the City owning the buses, there is only one fleet doing both jobs. The 16 schools in the service area schedule thier opening and closing times so that the line buses can be used for school work as well.

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Page updated on August 13, 2004