Monday, Jan. 25, 1932
STREET CAR SYSTEM PASSES AS BUSSES TAKE OVER TASK OF TRANSPORTATION IN CITY
Little Ceremony Attends Last Runs of Electric Lines. Motorman Who Rode on First Trip Is Passenger as Last Car Makes Its Way to Barns.
Missoula’s street railway service passed into history early this morning when the late car on the university line pulled into the carbarns. It was operated by Ralph L. Starr, motorman on the afternoon-night run of the “U” line for several years.
Its last pay passenger was Spencer Esmay, motorman on the cross-town run who had turned his car in a few minutes before, walked down the street and paid his token for the ride of a few blocks on the last run to the barns.
Mr. Esmay realized a wish. He had been a passenger on the first car in Missoula and wanted to ride the last. He said that when the cars were delivered in Missoula 22 years ago he was one of the boys who saw them unloaded. A free ride to Bonner was given to those in the vicinity and he was one those who was on the run.
The last day of operation for the street cars in Missoula saw more than usual business. Many persons, especially women with children, took rides, many of them taking in all of the runs. Sunday’s travel on the cars was more like it was a few years ago when they found patrons waiting at most of the stop corners. Many took the last rides to use up the tokens which they had on hand and others who were not in the habit of riding cars, boarded them Sunday to take in the city from an angle which had been neglected by them in late years.
Missoula people have always been proud of the street car system and there naturally were many who regretted to see the cars abandoned, while an equally large number welcomed the new bus service which starts today with enthusiasm, as they believe that it will be quicker. Motormen reported that much of the last day’s business was on the 10-cent cash fare basis as against the four tokens for a quarter because the patrons did not wish to invest in tokens which they would not have an opportunity to use.
Daly Cars Off First.
The two Daly addition cars were the first to quit Sunday night. Their runs were completed before midnight when Warren Mayhew and Samuel Myers turned in their cars in order.
Then came the East side car operated by Spencer Esmay. The next in line was a University car, operated by Ed Ashenbrenner.
The Bonner car on its last run arrived on Higgins avenue from Bonner at midnight and headed for the barns with Frank Williams at the controls. Walter Mannix operated the West Side car in, it leaving Higgins avenue and Front street a few minutes after midnight for the barns. Then came the last University car with Ralph Starr as motorman.
The other motormen who finished their runs at 3 o’clock in the afternoon were Roy Downs, George Richards, Warren E. Thieme, Knute Frye, Walter Hufford, W.C. LaMontague, Gordon Tracey and Peter Baron.
On his final trip from the Northern Pacific depot to the old Country club, Mr. Richards, oldest motorman on the University run, was “held up” by a dozen of the passengers who have been riding with him for years. During the two-minute stop at the end of the line, the delegation crowded around the front platform where the bewildered motorman was compelled to listen to a few brief words from Dean A.L. Stone of the School of Journalism.
“We want you to know how much we’ve appreciated riding with you, George, and we wish you good luck always,” said the Dean as he presented the veteran with a fine fishing rod.
The motormen who operated street cars for the Montana Power company have been popular with the public for their courtesy.
Master Mechanic George Witcomb who has had charge of the cars here since the street railway was introduced into Missoula has been responsible for seeing that equipment was up to the standard demanded by the operators. The cars and the shops at the barns have been a pride of Mr. Witcomb, who for years was connected with the street railway system in Butte.
Busses Start Today.
Abandonment of the street car service makes room for a faster means of transportation by a fleet of 11 busses which will go into operation today under the administration of the United Transit company.
Slight changes were announced by United Transit company late Sunday on its previously pubblished schedule. Under the changes the busses will start in the mornings 20 minutes earlier than previously announced on the University, Daly addition, West Side and East Side lines.
The daily time schedule upon which the busses will operate permanently if the lines are patronized follows:
University line – Leave Northern Pacific depot at 2, 22 and 42 minutes past the hour and leave the University at 12, 32 and 52 mInutes past the hour from 7:02 a. m. to 11:42 p.m.
Daly addition line—Leave Northern Pacific depot at 10, 30 and 50 minutes past the hour and leave Tenth and Arthur streets on the hour and 20 and 40 minutes past the hour from 6:50 a. m. to 11:10 p. m.
West side line—Leave Broadway and Higgins avenue at 3, 23 and 43 minutes past the hour and leave Cowper and Phillips streets at 9, 29 and 49 minutes past the hour from 7:03 a. m. to 11:23 p. m.
East side line—Leave Broadway and Higgins avenue at 15, 35 and 55 minutes past the hour and leave Elm and Van Buren streets at 19, 39 and 59 minutes past the hour from 7:15 a.m. to 11:15 p.m.
Higgins avenue line—Leave Northern Pacific depot at 7:30, 8:30 and 12:10 a.m. and 5:10 and 6:10 p.m..; and leave South and Higgins avenues at 7:40, 8:40 and 12:40 a.m. and 5:40 and 6:40 p.m.
Fort Missoula line, via Brooks street—Leave Broadway and Higgins avenue at 1:15, 7:55, 9:50 and 11:50 a. m.; 1:50, 4:05, 5:30, 6:05, 7:50, 9:05, 10:20 and 11:15 pm. Leave Fort Missoula at 7:30, 8:30, 10:30 a. m.; 12:30, 2:30, 4:20, 5:45, 6:30, 8:40, 9:20, 10:45 and 11:30 p.m.
Bonner line—Leave Broadway and Higgins avenue at 7:15, 7:45, 8:50 and 10:45 a.m.; 12:45, 2:45, 4:45, 5:05, 6:45 and 9:35 p.m. Leave Bonner at 7:35, 8:30, 9:30, and 11:30 a. m.; 1:30, 3:45, 5:10, 6:30, 1:30 and 10 p.m.
Five Cent Fares.
Five cent fares will prevail on the busses which go into operation this morning. For the regular five cent bus fare students will be given transfers on a temporary arrangement. School children, however, in able to secure transfers, will be required to purchase tickets at the Bus Terminal building, 129 West Front street at the rate of 20 tickets for $1.
With the new bus service today a traffic regulation will go into force whereby the busses will make stops once only in a block, the stop to be at the street intersection.