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Back in Time: Mini-parade showed off companies’ bus fleets

Back in Time: Mini-parade showed off companies’ bus fleets

Seventy-eight years ago today, the Schenectady Railway Co. showed off its new fleet of buses.

Schenectady residents didn’t have to wait for a bus on Monday, June 16, 1930. Seventeen big transports were on the move in the city’s Mont Pleasant section.

The Schenectady Railway Co. was showing off its stock on Crane Street. Some buses were taking over for trolley cars on Crane; others would roll in the Rosa Road area, which had been inadequately served in past years.

The parade of buses included 10 orange-cream colored buses from Schenectady Railway and seven green-cream colored vehicles that belonged to the Schenectady Rapid Transit Co.

None was open to the public during the parade. A.V. Louer, who managed both companies, offered free rides to his executives, city officials, staffers from the Schenectady Chamber of Commerce and representatives from the General Electric and American Locomotive companies.

“After the guests were comfortably settled, two brands of cigars were passed around by a local official of the railway company, and the passengers proceeded to marvel at the luxurious new transportation offered by the railway and transit companies,” the Schenectady Gazette reported.

The bus routes challenged some of the new drivers. They had some trouble maneuvering around cars parked on narrow Hulett and Schenectady streets. Men at the wheel tried not to toot their horns.

Folks on the street eventually got the chance to sample the “luxury.”

“As soon as the buses reached the starting point, four of them were dispatched to the waiting room at the foot of Crescent Park and waited there for the transferring of passengers from Crane Street trolley cars,” the newspaper reported. “One other bus was put into service on the Rosa Road line, while the others were returned to the Fuller Street barns to await the evening rush hour.”

Kids who saw the fleet were not interested in rides. They seemed happy enough to leave their toys for a few minutes and watch the big machines.

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