|Rollsigns from Rockford, IL
|Public transportation in Rockford began in 1881 when the Rockford Street Railroad Co. introduced horse car service. In 1889, electric streetcars
replaced the horse cars. Over the next nine years, the ownership changed hands twice: First by the Rockford City Railway Co. in 1890, then by the
Rockford Railway, Light & Power Co. in 1898. In 1902, the Rockford & Belvidere Electric Railway Co. opened a line between those two cities. The RRL&P
Co. later merged with this service to create the Rockford & Interurban Railway Co. Meanwhile, the Rockford, Beloit & Janesville Railway Co. completed a
separate line between those locations, and then becomes part of the R&IR Co. in 1906. In 1904, The Rockford and Freeport Railway Co. completed a
line between those cities, and also became part of the R&IR Co. In 1910, Rockford City Traction Co. was created as a subsidiary of the R&IR Co. to
operate city streetcars within Rockford. Overall ownership changed hands twice again, being acquired by Union Railway Gas & Electric Co. in 1911 and
then by Commonwealth Power Railway & Light Co. in 1913.
The first bus service in the Rockford area began in 1919 with Fay Motor Bus Co. operating a route between Rockford and Camp Grant, and by 1920,
expanded to include several other suburban and interurban routes out of Rockford, however in 1922, the company was ordered to discontinue the
suburban routes because they duplicated the existing streetcar service. By 1930, all interurban lines were abandoned, and the remaining service was
rebranded the Rockford City Traction Co. Shortly after in 1931, the company was acquired by Central Illinois Electric & Gas Co. Under their ownership,
streetcars were discontinued in 1936, and trolley bus operations were discontinued in 1947. In 1951, the remaining Rockford bus service was sold to
Rockford Transit Co., a subsidiary of the Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad. When the CNS&M was abandoned in 1963, the Rockford bus
system was sold to the American Transit Corp. and was renamed the Rockford Transit Corp. Finally in 1970, the City of Rockford acquired all transit
operations from Rockford Transit Corp., and that created the Rockford Mass Transit District, which continues to provide service to this date.
|Former Rockford MTD Neoplan bus #8251, partially converted to a motor
home, is seen parked at a trucking yard on McKinley Pkwy near Ash Road in
Mishawaka/St. Joseph County, IN. on April 22, 2008. This bus is most likely
similar to the model that would have housed this sign.
The bus in this picture has since been removed.
P.O. 82 LP2790A
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