Chicago Tribune March 26, 1917
Chicago’s new motor-bus line began operation yesterday with eleven double deck buses in service.
The first vehicle to make the trip from Devon avenue and Sheridan road to the downtown terminal carried Mayor Thompson and wife, Gov. Dunne and wife, Edward F. Dunne Jr., Health Commissioner Robertson, Roland B. Conklin, president of the Chicago Motor Bus company, and City Prosector Harry B. Miller. On the return trip the party was entertained at luncheon at the Edgewater Beach Hotel.
Fifty buses are to be put into commission within thirty days. The remaining thirty-nine already have been built and are on the way to Chicago. They have a seating capacity of fifty-one passengers, twenty-two on the lower deck, and twenty-nine on the upper. They have a stepless entrance and an enclosed stairway.
Chicago Motor Bus Company
With fifty in operation the buses will run from three to six minutes apart. The first bus made the trip downtown in forty minutes. It is proposed to shorten this schedule to twenty-five and thirty minutes. Express and local buses will be a part of the system. The fare is ten cents. At present the buses stop whenever hailed at street intersections.
The route is from Devon avenue south in Sheridan road through Lincoln park, the Lake Shore drive and Lincoln parkway to Ontario street, to Rush street, to Michigan avenue, to Randolph street, to LaSalle street to Adams street, to a terminal at State street.
The buses run from 6 o’clock in the morning until 1:30 at night. They are manned by a chauffeur and conductor.
Chicago Motor Bus Co. bus
Chicago Tribune, May 14, 1919
Tribulations of travelers on north side motor buses were described graphically to Public Utilities Commissioner Lucey yesterday by Herbert C. Moser, superintendent of transportation for the Fifth Avenus Coach company of New York. Mr. Moser also is identified with the Chicago Stage company, which would like to operate buses in Chicago’s south side thoroughfares—an ambition similar to that cherished by the Chicago Motor Bus company, proprietor of the north side line.
So few seats are provided by the bus company during the morning rush hours, Mr. Moser testified, that he had observed private motorists take compassion on intended bus passengers and, pausing in Sheridan road, offer to give them a lift.
Crowds Heep Off Many.
On one corner near Diversey boulevard he said he had observed, in making a survey of the service, twenty persons abandon efforts to ride on the buses, due to their crowded condition, and on another corner seven had eventually proceeded to their offices via the surface lines.
“The Chicago Motor Bus company,” he continued, “claims to own fifty-one vehicles. It operates In the morning rush hours a maximum of twenty-seven and in the evening a maximum of thirty-eight, whereas in New York the proportionate use of fifty-one buses is forty-six in the morning and forty-eight in the evening.”
The stage company’s contention is that its superior financial position and experience entitle it to the south side permit.
Like Battered “Tanks.”
Ninety per cent of the Chicago buses, Mr. Moser asserted, “resemble tanks that have been in action.
“Their damaged appearance tells of rear end collisions which the conductor is helpless to prevent, nor is the position of the chauffeur such that he can signal other vehicles by extending his hand.”
Mr. Moser also expressed the belief the buses were slow and the facilities for loading and unloading passengers inefficient.
The stage company also made public an extended document which, it was explained, had been abstracted from the testimony presented during a previous hearing of the controversy between the concerns.
Cites Conklin Ventures.
It charged that Roland R. Conklin, president of the Chicago Motor Bus company, had been identified with numerous unsuccessful ventures, including a Cuban telephone enterprise and a project to pipe water from Waukesha, Wis., to Chicago in World’s Fair year.
Colin C. H. Fyffe, counsel for the motor bus corporation, said Mr. Conklin had explained these enterprises in their entirety while a witness at the previous investigation.
The stage company will present further evidence when the hearing is resumed this morning.
Bus Transportation, December 1922
THE last obstacle blocking the initial expansion of the reorganized Chicago Motor Bus Company was surmounted success fully on Nov. 21 when a certificate of convenience and necessity was granted the company by the Illinois Commerce Commission. This certificate, together with the franchise obtained from the South Park Board on Oct. 23, opens the way for the starting of bus service over specified streets and boulevards in the south side district as soon as the necessary equipment can be obtained. Service will be furnished at first only over portions of the new routes, and then only when enough buses are available to maintain a schedule with headways not less than ten minutes. The fare will continue to be 10 cents. The company has already purchased ten new low-level double-deck buses from the Fifth Avenue Coach Company. Construction of ten more has been begun in the shops of the American Motor Bus Corporation, and every means will be used to expedite their completion.
While every effort is being directed toward bringing the service on the south side up to the proposed standard, the company will seek the right to establish bus lines in the western section of the city.
The routes for which permission has just been secured extend from the Loop District of Chicago south on Michigan Avenue to and through the principal parks on the south side. The comprehensive scheme for making these parks available can be seen from the accompanying map. The total length of the new lines is about 42 miles. The present routes extending north from the Loop cover about 11 miles of street. In connection with the new system it will be noticed that the South Park Board has given permission for the use of several proposed boulevards. These are at present under construction in accordance with the city’s extensive lake front improvement program and will furnish a route several miles in length along the water’s edge through Grant Park.
A national campaign of advertising, to be started as soon as full service is established, is planned, calling attention to Chicago’s parks and boulevards. The entire system will be in operation within six months, the period allowed by the commission.
The reorganized Chicago Motor Bus Company, which has given bus transportation a new impetus in Chicago, is headed by John Hertz, president of the Yellow Cab Company, and Charles A. McCulloch, president of the Parmelee Company and also vice-president of the Yellow Cab Company. These men obtained John A. Ritchie and Col. George A. Green from the Fifth Avenue Coach Company to take active charge, although both Mr. Hertz and Mr. McCulloch will doubtless take a prominent part in the management. Mr. Ritchie, who has been made president and general manager, and Colonel Green, the vice-president and manager, are recognized leaders in the bus transportation field. Mr. Ritchie has complete charge of the company and Colonel Green, who is in charge of the mechanical maintenance, has supervision of the men and directs the general operation of the bus fleet.
The company estimates that at least 300 buses will be required to establish full service on all routes. For their manufacture a subsidiary organization has been completed and the plans are to build both single and double-deck buses not only for use in Chicago but for the trade as well. Ground has already been broken for this plant, which will cost about $500,000, on property adjacent to the site of the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company. After its completion production will be started on a large scale to supply buses at the rate of about thirty a month until at least 300 are on the streets.
There are twenty-one of these K-type buses. The new buses will seat sixty-eight passengers and follow this design closely (see actual bus below).
Improved Bus Designed
The new Chicago bus will be a composite design incorporating all the desirable features developed in Europe, New York and Chicago. The vehicle is a sixty-nine-passenger bus, a capacity about the same as the present Model K type, of which twenty-one have been built. This model was described in the May, 1922, issue of Bus Transportation, page 269. The improvements include developments that were not obtain able at the time the K type was built. There is no unit or part in the construction that has not been tested over many thousands of miles in actual bus operation, and while its construction follows conventional lines in nearly every particular, it has been found necessary to modify and improve the standard Chicago design in order to obtain maximum serviee.
Safety was a foremost consideration, and a large factor of safety, much in excess of standard practice, has been provided. A further object of the design was to provide a vehicle of the lightest weight consistent with maximum reliability, regardless of cost. Besides safety, ease of control, riding qualities, convenient and comfortable seating arrangement, heating, lighting and ventilating were studied carefully. As a result the company believes that no vehicle here or abroad has been developed equal to the Chicago bus.
The new bus seats thirty-one on the lower deck and thirty-nine on the upper. The rear platform has a height of 17 in. unloaded and 13 in. loaded, and a step of approximately 9 in. leading from the platform to the interior. All windows are fitted with metal sash, incorporated in which is an anti-rattling device. The main body frame is of wood, mostly oak and ash. Dovetail and shoulder joints are used wherever possible. An innovation will be the use of cast aluminum wheel pockets. They eliminate all corners which might cause injuries and their one-piece construction tends to minimize noise.
The height of the upper deck is 8 ft., which is 13 in. lower than the Fifth Avenue L type bus, the over-all length of the bus is 26 ft. and its total width 7 ft. 6 in.
One of the most important of the new features incorporated is the three-speed silent-chain transmission. Its use practically eliminates the noise so objectionable with gears in first and second speeds. This type of transmission, which has been used for many years by the London General Omnibus Company, has been strengthened so that it is now believed to be superior to those in use anywhere. The engine is the four cylinder sleeve-valve type as used in New York and Chicago. However, modifications as a result of operation have been made with the intention of increasing efficiency and of making construction more rugged. The radiator has an oval tube cooling section and cast-aluminum top and bottom tanks and sides. The characteristics of this construction are the absence from danger of freezing, efficient cooling, light weight and good appearance. A Zenith carbureter, which is consistently economical throughout its life, is used. The dry plate clutch has been improved so that inspection is possible without demounting.
The progressive type of spring is used, but the customary link suspension has been discarded in favor of rubber blocks. Pressed alloy steel is used in the frame, which has a kick-up at both ends and is designed to resist bending so as to relieve the body of strains. The rear axle has an inverted worm drive and a forged steel banjo housing. The front axle is designed for a short turning radius. The turning circle is 63 ft. in diameter. All the units are underslung on the chassis to keep the center of gravity low and to aid in holding the height to the clearance limitations.
The buses will have open upper decks, but it is planned ultimately to develop a removable top for use in the winter months. The over-all height of the bus with the top will be 13 ft. 3 in. At all points where the clearances are not even sufficient for the open upper-deck buses, it is proposed to provide service with single-deck buses or by transferring.
Buses Will Not Carry Standees
When operation is begun on the new routes certain changes in present practice will be adopted. The rule of “no standees” will be put in effect, for the intention is to develop a thoroughly satisfactory service that will result in speed and comfort for passengers. The fare collection system will also be changed from the present hand collection method with International registers to the Rooke system in use in both New York and Detroit. These changes will, of course, be uniform over the entire bus system. Mr. Ritchie will build up the same high-grade operating organization that characterized his management of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company. An attempt will be made to instill added pride into the present operating personnel, which will be the nucleus of the large staff that will eventually be required. Every man will be made proud of the uniform he wears and the company to which he belongs.
The financing of the reorganized concern will be done with 35,000 shares of $100 par value preferred stock and 45,000 shares of common stock having a par value of $5. These two issues make a total capitalization of $3,725,000. All the stock is to be issued except 2,500 shares of each, which will be held for employees who wish to invest in the enterprise. A petition was filed on Nov. 17 with the Illinois Commerce Commission asking authorization to issue stock to the extent mentioned.
With the conclusion of the hearings on the petition before the Illinois Commerce Commission on Nov. 6, it was understood that the utility body said it “had never listened to a case more logically, completely or clearly presented by any company appearing before it.” The burden of proof resting with the Chicago Motor Bus Company was, of course, to show that there was a real need for additional transportation service in the south side districts which it proposed to serve and that the company was in a position adequately to furnish this service. A mass of evidence was introduced, much of which is valuable in illuminating the characteristics of city bus operation on a large scale, aside from the fact that it was effective in proving the case before the commission. Data were prepared showing that the proposed lines would provide more convenient and adequate accommodations for a certain part of the people, that the operation of buses over Michigan Avenue would cause a negligible increase in the present congested traffic conditions, and that the nature of the riding was largely of a character non-competitive with the existing transportation facilities. The major portion of the engineering work in the preparation of the case was done by Ford, Bacon & Davis, Incorporated, who made detailed traffic studies at various points along the proposed routes and collected all data possible from other bus companies which would have any bearing on conditions as anticipated in Chicago.
Map showing south side streets and boulevards over which the Chicago Motor Bus Company has received operating rights from the South Park Board and the Illinois Commerce Commission.
Vehicular Traffic Surveyed
For the purpose of securing accurate data as to the degree of traffic congestion at the most critical points, a survey of vehicle traffic was made for a period of five days with a force of about sixty men. Observations were taken from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at eleven of the principal corners of the Loop District and on Michigan Avenue. Traffic was observed and recorded in each direction by ten-minute periods, together with the time of each traffic policeman’s signal and the interval between. These observations were plotted on diagrams illustrating the variation in traffic in each direction throughout the day, and for the heaviest half-hour morning and evening a plat was made for each of the street corners observed, showing the relative volume of traffic moving in each direction.
During the same period, observations were taken on the average rate of speed of traffic on the routes proposed to be followed by the bus lines, and also observations on the average number of persons per automobile.
These traffic observations will be made the subject of a later article.
Opposition to the granting of a certificate came from several directions. The most persistent effort to block the plan was on the part of the Depot Motor Bus Company, which had also applied for permission to open lines extending into the south side. Its application was denied when the commission approved the plan of the Chicago Motor Bus Company. Neither the Chicago Surface Lines nor the Chicago Elevated Railroads, the latter having entered applications for three feeder lines several months ago, appeared as obstructionists, but argued that nothing should be allowed that would endanger a transportation system on which the bulk of the people was dependent. Opposition was registered by the Illinois Automobile Club because the buses would further congest the boulevards. In other words it wished to restrict the use of the boulevards for the apparently selfish convenience of automobile owners. What appeared as a rather far-fetched intervention was that registered by the Chicago Federation of Labor, whose only reason can be based upon organized labor’s an tipathy to Mr. Hertz as the organizer and chief executive of what is probably the greatest open shop in Chicago, the Yellow Cab Company.
How the Case Was Presented
The arguments as presented were substantially as follows: In densely inhabited city districts, such as the greater part of the new lines will serve, there is need of local services on every important street to reach stores, theaters and other traffic objectives. In movements along a street where no railway line exists it is a considerable hardship in bad weather for passengers to walk one or more blocks to and from a car line. Where impediments like this exist the volume of such movements is naturally restricted, and where direct transportation service is provided traffic of this character is encouraged and therefore increases. It is not feasible, of course, to have a transportation line on every street, but the attractiveness of the boulevards makes them very important from a traffic standpoint so that local or direct transportation along every boulevard is now or will be a great necessity. Rail routes are entirely impracticable upon boulevards. The proposed bus system exactly fulfills this requirement and it is the only mode of public transportation which can do so. The vehicles, being free to move laterally, will not obstruct other traffic, and they will be entirely unobjectionable in point of noise.
It was maintained that the proposed lines to the south side, being located on Michigan Boulevard, would provide direct service to and from the important retail stores, office buildings, hotels and other traffic producing points located on the boulevard, to reach which now requires a considerable walk from surface and elevated lines. Conversion of South Michigan Avenue into a district of high-class shops if bus service is permitted was predicted by John A. Ritchie. He said that bus service there ultimately will do what it has done for Fifth Avenue in New York—build up a thorough fare from a residential aspect into a street of smart shops, which will enormously increase property values.
In the residential districts to be served by the south side buses many points are to be found that are not convenient to the elevated lines, and many not convenient to surface lines which reach certain important de livery points in the Loop District without the inconvenience of a transfer. Of the population located within one-quarter mile of the proposed south side bus lines, about 105,000 people live more than one-half mile from an elevated station. A walk to reach Michigan Boulevard from one of the existing transportation lines, or a walk of more than one-half mile to an elevated station, may not be objectionable in good weather, when a passenger has plenty of time. Under other conditions a direct means of transportation becomes a necessity.
It was pointed out that according to the report of the Chicago Subway Commission published in 1916, fully 60 per cent of the elevated traffic in Chicago moves during the rush hours, which were defined as extending from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. During the greater part of these hours, the existing transportation systems carry all they can, so that as a transportation problem it is necessary to make the fullest use of every available instrument of transportation.
Open Air to Everywhere
One of the cardinal purposes of a boulevard, it was claimed, is to provide a pleasure-riding course. The public bus is the only means of making a boulevard available to the large proportion of the population who cannot afford to own or hire automobiles. A well-designed bus is well adapted to pleasure riding, and very often attracts even automobile owners. The privileges afforded by the buses are available to the population of a large city from the standpoint of health as well as esthetics, in that they provide an opportunity and actually attract people to ride in the open air.
From the records of the present lines of the Chicago Motor Bus Company, it was estimated that more than one-eighth of its traffic comes from pleasure riding. This was indicated by conclusions drawn from a study of the yearly, weekly and daily traffic curves. The accompanying computation, based upon traffic records of the north side bus lines, shows the proportion which can be ascribed to pleasure riding. There was no way of determining the pleasure riding during the midday and afternoon periods. This is considerable in amount, and if added would undoubtedly show the total pleasure riding to be nearly 20 per cent of the traffic handled.
If all the travel in excess of that carried in the month of March should be ascribed to pleasure riding, then pleasure riding would amount to 24 per cent of the total annual traffic. The accompanying charts show the distribution of daily traffic by the different hours of the day, the distribution for the month by the days and further for the year by months. In July travel on every Sunday was high, while in March Sunday was usually the smallest day. A considerable part of the excess summer traffic, however, is undoubtedly due to regular travelers using the open upper decks, thereby combining pleasure with business. On the other hand, many regular patrons of the bus line in winter are out of town for all or part of the summer, and, further, many bus patrons use privately owned automobiles to a greater extent during the summer.
LEFT: Relative volume of vehicular traffic at various points on Michigan Avenue, Chicago, during the time when the greatest number of vehicles per half hour passed the corner of Michigan Avenue at Washington Street. At left is traffic from 8:30 to 9:00 am. At right is traffic from 4:40 to 5:10 p.m.
RIGHT: Comparative riding curves Chicago Motor Bus Company North Side lines. At top—Hourly riding on typical weekday, March and July. In middle—Daily riding for each day in March and July compared as to days of the week. At bottom—Total passengers carried by months for 1920, 1921 and 1922.
When the Buses Are Used
From the standpoint of pleasure travel, it was maintained that bus lines on the boulevards are a necessity unless it be considered that the privileges of the boulevards should not be made available to more than that half of the city population which does not own automobiles. An analysis of the passengers carried monthly shows in general the nature of bus riding in Chicago. On an average, 16.3 per cent of the year’s traffic is carried in the three winter months of January, February and March; 28.1 per cent in the spring, 34.8 per cent in the summer and 20.8 in the fall. The buses probably get very little, if any, pleasure riding in January and February. The excess in other months, which is very largely pleasure riding, amounts to 43.7 per cent of the total annual passengers, being distributed 2.3 per cent in March, 14 per cent in the spring months, 20.7 per cent in the summer months, and 6.7 per cent in the fall. The total traffic carried in the six spring and summer months is more than double that carried in January and February.
The chart showing the number of passengers carried by hours on typical days of each season indicates, as was pointed out, a very large increase in travel after 7 p.m. in July and October as compared with January and March. In January and March only about 13 per cent of the day’s riding was after 7 o’clock, whereas in July it was 26.6 per cent and in October 18 per cent; these percentages being the average of figures for north and southbound traffic. Of the total increase of July as compared with January about 40 per cent is after 7 p.m.
At the Chicago River bridge, on Michigan Boulevard, which is approximately the maximum load point on the line, 75 per cent of the total passengers on the line are carried. This indicates that the local or short-haul riding which does not pass the maximum load point is one-quarter of the total. After 5 o’clock in the evening the ratio of local riding on southbound buses is decidedly greater than before that time. On northbound buses the ratio of local riding is decidedly greater before 1 p.m.
Fifth Avenue Statistics
For comparative purposes some statistics with regard to the Fifth Avenue Coach Company’s operations were cited. The revenue taken in after 8 p.m. was held to be an indication of the amount of pleasure riding. The excess of revenue after 8 p.m. of each month over that of the average of January and February for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 1922, amounted to $811,588, which was about 14 per cent of the annual revenue of the company.
Again, the number of passengers on buses at Fifty-seventh Street and Fifth Avenue in New York for five normal days of winter and summer showed that after 7 p.m. in summer the daily travel exceeded that in winter by 172,791. This is practically altogether pleasure riding and is more than 25 per cent of the summer travel.
The Fifth Avenue daily shopping traffic was estimated at 20,000, based on number of passengers boarding and alighting from buses between Fiftieth and Thirty-fourth Streets on Fifth Avenue between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. both north and south bound. This gives a total of 5,000 000 shopping passengers, which amounts to 12 per cent of the total annual passengers carried.
Saturday pleasure riding for the Fifth Avenue Coach Company for the year 1921 was estimated by taking the excess of each Saturday’s revenue on and after March 12, over $13,000, which is the average of fair Saturdays from Jan. 1 to March 12, when it is assumed that there is practically no pleasure riding. The total period included in this estimate is from March 12 until Dec. 31, on the Saturdays of which period the revenue was $715,877, while the excess over an average of $13,000 a day was $166,866.
An estimate of the Sunday pleasure riding on the Fifth Avenue lines for 1921 was derived by taking the excess of Sunday’s revenue on and after March 5 until Dec. 25, over $11,000, which is the average of fair Sundays from Jan. 1 to March 6 and was assumed to represent normal Sunday riding with practically no pleasure riding included. The total revenue on these days within this period was $654,252, while the total of the excess over the $11,000 Sunday revenue was $195,390.
Comparative space occupied by proposed bus service of Chicago Motor Bus Company and present vehicular traffic through the Loop District, Chicago. The space occupied by vehicles and buses is based upon the lineal feet of vehicles and buses passing per half hour of maximum traffic at the points and in the directions indicated.
Buses Will Improve Accessibility of Parks
It was brought out in the hearings that the parks can now be reached, at their outer edges, by the surface lines, and in a few cases by the elevated lines and the Illinois Central Railroad. Several of the proposed bus lines are routed through Jackson and Washington Parks, so that people can see and enjoy the parks at small cost. Many of the proposed park bus lines also run through or touch other parks and also furnish direct service to populous districts not otherwise provided with such direct service. Transportation lines which enlarge the usefulness of the parks were held to be an important public convenience.
Buses likewise provide a means of sightseeing superior to all others, even including the privately owned automobile. This was considered of extreme importance to a city like Chicago, which is a large commercial center and attracts a large number of visitors for business and pleasure. The system projected by the Chicago Motor Bus Company is so comprehensive, it was pointed out, that at small cost a visitor can obtain an adequate impression of the city that it is practically impossible to obtain by the use of any existing methods of transportation.
Another important factor of utility of bus service in Chicago is that it is economically possible in districts and on streets where the density of travel is not great enough to warrant the construction of railway lines; thus it can be applied on streets where no other service could be furnished.
Bus vs. Rail Service
Buses can also provide a character of service that cannot be offered by rail lines and one that is necessary for the comfort of a considerable portion of the population. There is a great public need for city transportation service of a grade or quality between that of surface cars and taxicabs. In many particulars motor buses such as are contemplated by the Chicago Motor Bus Company will fill this need at reasonable cost. The passenger can expect a high quality of service and avoidance of over crowding.
Moreover, it was argued that a bus system is, in a large measure, non-competitive with rail lines for a number of reasons:
1. A very large proportion of its business is pleasure-riding and sight seeing, which are created by the bus lines.
2. During the rush-hour periods, which cover six hours of the business day, the peaks of the loads on the rail lines are probably carried at a loss, so that the taking of passengers by the bus lines at these hours will be a relief to the rail lines as well as provide additional and more comfortable accommodations for a portion of the traffic.
3. Considerable part of the traffic of the bus lines will be local movements along the streets they occupy, and these movements will be largely created by the facilities offered.
4. Some of the mileage of the proposed bus lines occupies streets where it is probable that surface car lines could not be built without economic loss.
5. The superior service offered by the bus lines will attract a considerable portion of the traveling public which now uses privately owned automobiles
The bus system was claimed to possess unique advantages which make it valuable to a community and which rail lines cannot approximate.
Principal among these advantages are:
1. Flexibility. Routes can be changed quickly in emergencies.
2. Routes can be changed readily after actual trial has shown changes to be desirable.
3. Special routes can be operated easily to accommodate conventions, exhibitions and other extraordinary traffic requirements.
4. Shorter running time can be obtained to outlying and suburban points by limited stop service.
5. Temporary service can be provided in advance of relief by subway or elevated lines.
6. Bus service can be installed where its need is demonstrated, upon very short notice.
And, finally, figures were prepared to show the fast growth in population of the south side. In the decade 1910-1920 the population of the south side of Chicago increased at a greater rate than that of the city as a whole, the rate of increase being 27.3 per cent for the south side and 23.6 per cent for the city. Of the total population increase in that period, namely 516,422, over 40 per cent was on the south side. The density of population on the south side is very much less than that of the city as a whole, the density of the south side in 1920 being 14.2 per acre as compared with 21.2 per acre in the entire city and 33.7 per acre for the north side. This indicates that the opportunity for future growth is greater in the south side than in any other part of the city.
The gross area of the respective sides of Chicago are as follows:
The population within one-quarter mile of the proposed south side bus lines is approximately 12,000 per mile of line, excluding park driveways. The approximate population tributary to the south side lines is about 363,000 within one-quarter mile of the route and 570,000 within one-half a mile of the route.
Figures showing the annual attendance at conventions in Chicago give an indication of the transient population in Chicago, all of whom would be potential sightseeing passengers. In 1921 there were 722 conventions of fifty or more people and 572 of less than 50 people, the total attendance being 676,000. The transient population of the city was estimated at 2,660,000 people based on the estimate of 14,000 hotel rooms being available and an occupancy of 200 guests per room per year.
To overcome the objections in regard to the increase in traffic that the buses would cause, a diagram was drawn to show the relative lineal distance occupied by the existing traffic and the buses that will be operated. This chart shows that on Jackson Boulevard the buses would occupy about 5 per cent of the space of the present vehicular movement. On Michigan Avenue, where much heavier traffic prevails, the largest percentage is only 4.1. Another exhibit indicated that during the maximum half hour of travel buses would carry 46.5 per cent of the total passenger movement while constituting about 4 per cent of the total traffic according to the amount of space used. Further data on traffic conditions were pointed out by citing the number of buses operated in heavy traffic sections in other cities. In Table V it will be noted that the density in New York and London is considerably higher than what the operation proposed in Chicago will produce. As a further bearing on the traffic problem the results of the installation of electric signals in other cities were cited as indicating that traffic movement can be expedited. The increase in traffic subsequent to the adoption of signals was shown to be 29 per cent or an amount, if obtained in Chicago, which would more than offset the additional vehicular movement caused by bus operation.
Two views of the inclosed upper deck sixty-passenger bus of the Chicago Motor Bus Company.
Trade Article 1936
NEW STREAMLINE DOUBLE DECK MOTOR COACH FOR CHICAGO
The present Double Deck motor coaches operated by the Chicago Motor Coach Company will soon be a thing of the past if the new fully enclosed streamlined double deck coach which has made its appearance on the lines of the Company in the last few days proves itself in operation.
This new mass transportation vehicle is the “last word” in fully enclosed double deck coaches. Built according to the specifications furnished by the Chicago Motor Coach Company, after many years of experimentation, it is the five hundred and sixty-third coach used in service by the Company since the entrance into the transportation system of Chicago in 1923.
This new coach is the result of a development both by the Chicago Motor Coach Company and the General Motors Truck Corporation engineers, covering a period of over three years and entailing a cost of over $200,000 in development expense.
The new stream-lined coach has been subjected to severe tests on the proving grounds, and has performed beyond all expectations.
Chicago Motor Coach Company
Coach No. 146
The body is Duraluminum and seats 75 passengers. To keep the overall height under 13 feet, in order to clear over-head structures, and still afford ample headroom on both decks, as well as to provide for safe, boarding and alighting, necessitated the designing and locating of the motive power at the rear of the coach.
The engine is cross-wise at the rear of the bus and it is in no way visible to those on the street. This improvement eliminates all gas odors in the bus, which has heretofore been quite a problem. The street area occupied by the “hood” is now available for seated passengers.
The bus has no chassis, thus reducing the height of the floor so that one may step from the coach immediately into the body of the coach.
The transmission is of the automatic type and is known as the Motor Drive developed in Chicago. This type of transmission is an innovation in the motor coach industry, and is being pioneered by the Chicago Motor Coach Company.
The shifting of gears is accomplished automatically—there is no gear-shift lever or clutch pedal to operate—relieving the driver of many “push” and “pulls” in the course of a day’s work. This automatic transmission overcomes practically all the noise previously incident to gear shifting. It produces smoothness in operation equal to that of steam operation.
The illumination has been greatly improved and is of scientific design and modernistic style, adding greatly to reading comfort. Ventilation, generally has been greatly improved.
One of the outstanding features of the coach is the easy-riding quality. This has been accomplished by an even distribution of the weight and the scientific spring construction.
The seats are of an entirely new construction; made of cellular rubber, covered with mohair, and are self-ventilating. The use of springs in seats has been eliminated. It is the first time this type of seat has been used in a multiple carrier. and is as comfortable as one’s own automobile.
Many of the innovations incorporated in this new coach were engineered by the riders who have patronized the service.
The Chicago Motor Coach Company was formed in 1923 after a merger of three motorbus carriers, Chicago Motor Bus Co., the Chicago Stage Co., and the Depot Motor Bus Lines. In 1924, Hertz merged Chicago Motor Coach and the Fifth Avenue Motor Coach Corp. of New York City, creating the Omnibus Corp. In 1952, when it owned nearly 600 buses, Chicago Motor Coach’s operations were taken over by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), the city’s public mass-transit enterprise.
Chicago Motor Coach Pictorial Map of Chicago
The Glason Map Co.
Chicago Motor Coach