Sunday, May 8, 2016

Take the Greyhound....'s a dog of a way to get around.  Apologies to Harry Chapin.
 Yesterday I went down to Train Day in Toledo.  I was kind of surprised to see a Greyhound bus parked in the front but I guess the train station there also doubles as a bus terminal.  Anyway, since I don't have too many bus pictures, I figured a couple wouldn't hurt.
Greyhound Lines was founded in 1914 by Carl Wickman.  He came to the United States from Sweden in 1905.  He worked in the mines in Alice, Minnesota.  He was laid off in 1914 and started to sell Hupmobiles in Hibbing, Minnesota (the birth place of Bob Dylan).  He was unable to sell the car and so he used his vehicle to start a bus service.  He would transport miners from Hibbing to Alice for $0.15 per ride.  In 1915, he joined forces with Ralph Bogan who was running a similar service in Duluth.  The new bus company was named Mesaba Transportation Company.
By the end of World War I, he owned 18 buses and was making $40,000/year.  In 1922, he joined forces with Superior Bus Lines.  In 1924, the company got its current name when a reflection of one of the buses reminded one of the operators of a greyhound.  By 1928, the company was making $6 million per year.
By 1935, the bus line was carrying more passengers than many Class 1 railroads.  At the time, they were also building many bus terminals.  Much like the railroads, Greyhound found it's happy times decline with the birth of the Interstate Highways and airlines.
In 1980's, there were many strikes and the company's first bankruptcy.  This trend continued through the 1990's.  In 2007, they were acquired by a Scottish company which tried to improve the image of the company.  Currently, Greyhound serves 123 different routes with 2,700 destinations.  Currently there are over 1,000 buses in the fleet.

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