Before the era of the automobile, the growth and development of populated areas depended on the availability of good public transportation. At first, these modes of transportation existed only to carry passengers from one town or village to another. Later, as some areas steadily grew in population and geographic size, modes of public transportation were developed which could carry residents between destinations within their own cities. It’s not surprising then that Williamsport, which has been the largest city in northcentral Pennsylvania almost from its beginnings, boasts a long and varied history of local public transportation.

  • Early Forms of Transit

    Timeline Image

    Settlers began coming to the Williamsport area in the mid-1700’s. They came either by flat boats poled upstream or by foot and pack horses over narrow Indian paths. Later, after 1772 when construction of several roads had begun, the settlers were able to use wagons.

  • The Streetcar Era

    Timeline Image

    In the city of Williamsport itself, there was great growth and prosperity in the mid-1800’s. These were the days of the Lumber Boom, and throughout the nation Williamsport was known as a town of millionaires. These millionaires, in an expression of civic pride and ambition, provided the funds and impetus..Read More

  • The End of an Era

    Timeline Image

    There were few extensions of trolley service after the late 1890’s, the only major one being the Cemetery Line which opened for service May 10, 1908 and which ran from the intersection of Park and Campbell to the Wildwood Cemetery gate. The rolling stock was continually upgraded though, and in..Read More

  • Bus Service Begins

    Timeline Image

    The new bus service officially started service at 5:30 a.m. on June 11. Buses were now Williamsport’s principal form of public transportation. Bush established headquarters for the Williamsport Transportation Company at the former Rothfuss garage on East Third and Penn Streets. This building housed the company’s management offices, a maintenance..Read More

  • Privately Owned System Declines

    Timeline Image

    By 1954, privately owned public transportation systems across the country were beginning to feel the pressure of competing with the automobile. As the number of cars and highways grew, attitudes toward mass transportation rapidly changed, especially in small urban areas such as Williamsport. Rising bus fares and reduced schedules added..Read More

  • Public Takeover

    The bus company’s low-profit margin prohibited the purchase of any new vehicles, and only an excellent maintenance program kept the old buses running. The worsening condition of the entire system prompted the Central Lycoming Planning Commission to evaluate the future of the company. Their studies indicated the need for a..Read More

History

1772
Jan 01, 1772

Early Forms of Transit

Timeline Image

Settlers began coming to the Williamsport area in the mid-1700’s. They came either by flat boats poled upstream or by foot and pack horses over narrow Indian paths. Later, after 1772 when construction of several roads had begun, the settlers were able to use wagons.

1863
Apr 15, 1863

The Streetcar Era

Timeline Image

In the city of Williamsport itself, there was great growth and prosperity in the mid-1800’s. These were the days of the Lumber Boom, and throughout the nation Williamsport was known as a town of millionaires. These millionaires, in an expression of civic pride and ambition, provided the funds and impetus..Read More

1908
May 10, 1908

The End of an Era

Timeline Image

There were few extensions of trolley service after the late 1890’s, the only major one being the Cemetery Line which opened for service May 10, 1908 and which ran from the intersection of Park and Campbell to the Wildwood Cemetery gate. The rolling stock was continually upgraded though, and in..Read More

1925
Jan 01, 1925

Bus Service Begins

Timeline Image

The new bus service officially started service at 5:30 a.m. on June 11. Buses were now Williamsport’s principal form of public transportation. Bush established headquarters for the Williamsport Transportation Company at the former Rothfuss garage on East Third and Penn Streets. This building housed the company’s management offices, a maintenance..Read More

1954
Jan 01, 1954

Privately Owned System Declines

Timeline Image

By 1954, privately owned public transportation systems across the country were beginning to feel the pressure of competing with the automobile. As the number of cars and highways grew, attitudes toward mass transportation rapidly changed, especially in small urban areas such as Williamsport. Rising bus fares and reduced schedules added..Read More

1967
Jun 01, 1967

Public Takeover

The bus company’s low-profit margin prohibited the purchase of any new vehicles, and only an excellent maintenance program kept the old buses running. The worsening condition of the entire system prompted the Central Lycoming Planning Commission to evaluate the future of the company. Their studies indicated the need for a..Read More

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