Appendix: DPU CPCN Review

A.1     Introduction

Operation of fixed-route bus service in Massachusetts is regulated at several levels of government, as detailed in Chapter 3 of this report. This appendix presents the findings of a CTPS examination of the files of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) on bus companies that currently hold Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCNs) issued by the DPU for fixed-route service. Most CPCNs, once issued, remain valid until they are either surrendered or revoked. Many of the CPCNs on file are for routes that are no longer operated by the carriers that hold them.

In addition to CPCNs issued by the DPU, a few carriers have CPCNs issued by the MBTA between 1964 and 1982, but most carriers that were issued such CPCNs are no longer in business. Starting in 1982, instead of CPCNs, the MBTA issued Service Agreements that were either time-limited or expired automatically if service was discontinued. The summaries below of CPCNs issued to individual carriers include CPCNs issued by the MBTA up to 1982 according to previous CTPS studies.

In years past, CPCNs were treated as granting exclusive rights to the routes they covered, whether exercised or not, and in considering applications for new CPCNs the DPU generally tried to protect established holders of CPCNs from competition. With DPU approval, CPCNs could be transferred from one carrier to another; the financial considerations in such transfers were mostly left to the parties involved.

More recently, however, DPU policy in issuing CPCNs has been to give more weight to the needs of the traveling public than to protection of bus companies from competition. Consequently, in implementing recommendations of the present study, whether for implementation of new bus routes or reinstatement of old routes, it would not be necessary to give priority to carriers that already hold CPCNs for the same or similar routes. However, a company that is already operating bus service of some sort in a particular area may well prove to be the most logical choice to operate a proposed new service in that area. In addition, knowledge of where routes have been run in the past but are no longer being operated may be helpful in predicting the level of success of similar routes.

Organization of This Appendix

Section A.2, below, details the sources used in collecting the information presented in this appendix. Section A.3 summarizes the general findings derived from the information. Each of the remaining five sections presents the findings in detail for a category of carrier:

A.2     Information Sources

The DPU website includes a list of names and addresses of all bus companies over which it has some jurisdiction, but the list does not distinguish between companies with fixed-route services open to the general public and those that operate only tour, charter, or school bus services. In the fall of 2011, the list had 367 entries. From these, CTPS identified 63 that are known to be operating fixed-route service at present, that are known to have operated such service in the past, or that were thought to possibly be holding CPCNs from the DPU.

CTPS requested that the DPU Transportation Oversight Division check the DPU files to determine which of the 63 companies identified by CTPS actually held CPCNs. The DPU found that 32 of the companies did. CTPS then reviewed the files of each of these 32 companies to determine whether their CPCNs were for intercity services that might duplicate changes to the intercity bus network in Massachusetts that are suggested in this report. In addition to using the information in the DPU files for this review, CTPS obtained information about these carriers from printed schedules, current company websites, and files from previous CTPS projects.

A.3     Summary of Findings

Of the 32 companies with CPCNs, only three, Greyhound Lines, Peter Pan Bus Lines, and Bonanza Acquisition, currently operate general-purpose intercity service. Bonanza is under the same ownership as Peter Pan, and some of the services of Peter Pan and Greyhound are operated under a pooling arrangement.

Five of the other companies operate long routes that are used mainly for commuting to and from Boston. These carriers are A Yankee Line, Bloom’s Bus Lines, DATTCO, Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company, and the Coach Company. Six companies only operate fixed-route services under contracts with other parties, and the routes that they operate would not be considered intercity service. These carriers are Crystal Transport, Fox Bus Lines, Joseph’s Limousine Service, M&L Transit Systems, McGinn Bus Company, and Paul Revere Transportation. For three companies, the only fixed-route services currently operated are sightseeing routes. These carriers are Barrett’s Tours, Brush Hill Transportation, and Salem Trolley. Two other companies, Back Bay Coach and Flight Line, operate limited-purpose routes. The rest of the 32 do not currently operate any fixed-route services open to the general public, but some of them operate school bus service.

A.4     General-Purpose Intercity Bus Operators

A.4.1    Greyhound Lines, Inc.

Greyhound is the only nationwide intercity bus company in the United States. (The Trailways Transportation System is made up of many independently owned companies.) Within Massachusetts, Greyhound’s intrastate service has always been incidental to interstate operations. Prior to federal deregulation of intercity bus service in 1982, Greyhound was prohibited from carrying intrastate passengers between many of the pairs of stops on its routes within Massachusetts. This was consistent with the DPU policy of trying to maintain the viability of the local bus industry by barring competition on most routes.

In recent years, Greyhound has concentrated increasingly on limited-stop service between major cities, and many smaller cities and towns that were once served by Greyhound no longer are. Consequently, as the system is currently operated there are fewer possibilities for intrastate trips within Massachusetts by Greyhound than there were before deregulation. An examination of DPU CPCNs held by Greyhound is at present mainly of historical interest, but it could be of more relevance if Greyhound were to spin off some of its operations to other carriers.

Organization of the Greyhound System in Massachusetts: 1930s to 1950s

Greyhound has been operating in New England in some form since at least 1930 but has gone through a number of corporate restructurings. Until 1935, interstate fixed-route bus services were not regulated at either the state or federal level. The Motor Carrier Act of 1935 required interstate bus operators to obtain CPCNs from the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), but companies already operating interstate routes at the time were entitled to “grandfathered” rights to them.

By 1936, two separate subsidiaries of Greyhound Lines were operating interstate bus routes serving points in Massachusetts. Eastern Greyhound Lines, Inc., of New England had two routes from Boston to New York City: the Shore Route via Providence and the Inland Route via Worcester and Springfield. Some trips continued through Boston to Salem. The same company also had a route from Boston to Portland, Maine, via Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Central Greyhound Lines, Inc., of New York had a route from Boston to Albany, New York, on across New York State to Buffalo, and to Cleveland Ohio. The New York Central Railroad had a controlling interest in this company. Several routing variations were used between Boston and Pittsfield. All of these Greyhound routes made several stops in Massachusetts, and except for one of the Albany route variations, these routes served only interstate passengers and did not require DPU CPCNs. Before 1935, similar routes had been operated by other bus companies, some of which had been affiliated with Greyhound.

By 1939, the two Boston–New York routes had been transferred to a third Greyhound subsidiary, New England Greyhound Lines, Inc. During World War II, the DPU awarded temporary rights to many bus companies, including the Greyhound subsidiaries, to carry passengers between stop pairs that had previously been linked exclusively by other carriers. After the war, some of these emergency rights were made permanent, though not always immediately.

Until 1949, Massachusetts bus regulations did not allow CPCNs to be transferred between companies even if they were under the same ownership. Instead, the DPU had to issue new CPCNs each time the carriers named on them changed. Consequently, it is difficult to determine the actual original date of issuance of any fixed-route rights granted to predecessors of the present Greyhound Lines before 1949. Operations of the Greyhound routes in Massachusetts were conducted under the names of the three subsidiaries until the early 1950s. After that, they were identified collectively as the Eastern Greyhound Lines Division of the Greyhound Corporation.

Origin of Greyhound CPCNs Issued before 1960

DPU files show that several CPCNs were transferred from the Greyhound Corporation to Greyhound Lines, Inc., on December 18, 1963. The oldest of these was CPCN 1789, which had been issued to the Boston & Maine Transportation Company (B&MT) in 1947 and transferred to the Greyhound Corporation in 1958. This CPCN covered a route from the New Hampshire state line in Salisbury to Boston, mostly via the present U.S. Route 1 and state Route 99. B&MT had been awarded War Emergency rights to this routing in 1942. An alternate routing via the Northeast Expressway and Mystic River Bridge (now Tobin Bridge) was added to this CPCN after the September 1958 completion of the expressway.

CPCN 1845 was apparently originally issued in 1948 to Central Greyhound Lines for several routings between Boston and the New York state line in the town of Hancock. This may have been done to make some War Emergency provisions permanent, as Central Greyhound had been running these routes since at least 1935. One variation generally followed the present state Route 9 from Boston to Worcester, then Route 12 to Auburn, U.S. Route 20 to Springfield, U.S. Route 5 to Northampton, Route 9 again to Pittsfield, and Route 20 to the State Line. Variations of this routing used Route 20 from Boston to Shrewsbury or from Springfield to Pittsfield. This certificate still included numerous restrictions on carrying passengers between points served by other bus companies, but it allowed some intrastate transportation.

Other routes operated by Greyhound companies in Massachusetts before the 1950s apparently carried only interstate passengers and did not require any DPU CPCNs. Some minor route variations were covered by CPCN 3037 issued to Greyhound in 1953 for Holyoke, CPCN 3079 in 1954 for Springfield, and CPCN 3100 in 1955 for Northampton. The first major addition was CPCN 3156, issued in 1957, which allowed operation over the newly opened Massachusetts Turnpike from the New York state line to Route 128, which linked it to Route 9. CPCN 3166, issued at about the same time, provided for a side diversion from Massachusetts Turnpike Interchange 11 in Millbury to downtown Worcester via state Route 122. These CPCNs could not be used by Greyhound to provide any new intrastate service, and they marked the start of a long decline in intercity bus service to smaller communities along Greyhound routes. The acquisition of intrastate rights between Salisbury and Boston through CPCN 1789 was the only significant move counter to that trend, but Greyhound no longer exercises those rights. 

CPCNs Issued to Greyhound in 1960 and Later

In September 1960, Greyhound established a stop at the Riverside MTA terminal, which had opened in 1959. CPCN 3156 was amended to allow Greyhound to diverge off Route 128 over Grove Street to Riverside. (The Trailways bus system had established a stop at Riverside in August 1960.)

CPCN 3388, issued to Greyhound Lines in February 1965, covered operation over the Massachusetts Turnpike Extension between Route 128 in Weston and South Station in Boston. Published Greyhound schedules continued to use the name Eastern Greyhound Lines for the routes serving Massachusetts until 1968, but by 1969 they were called Greyhound Lines East.

CPCN 3489, issued in August 1969, made some revisions to Greyhound’s approach into Springfield from the south. CPCN 3560, issued in January 1972, gave Greyhound some new routings through Worcester but did not include any new rights for intrastate service.

In September 1986, the CPCNs held by Greyhound Lines, Inc., for intrastate service in Massachusetts were transferred to a new subsidiary, Eastern Greyhound Lines. In June 1990, Greyhound Lines, Inc., filed for bankruptcy after a long and sometimes violent strike by its unionized employees. A reorganization plan was approved in the fall of 1991. The CPCNs held by Eastern Greyhound were transferred to the reorganized Greyhound Lines, Inc., in 1996.

Former Vermont Transit Lines Routes

In September 1974, the Greyhound Corporation (the holding company that owned Greyhound Lines) reached an agreement to purchase the stock of the Vermont Transit Company (VT), subject to ICC approval. VT, headquartered in Burlington, Vermont, had been an independently owned and operated bus company since 1929. It had initially served Massachusetts indirectly through connections with other bus companies, but it gradually took over connecting routes. Greyhound kept it as a separate company. VT service in Massachusetts had always been provided by buses making interstate trips, and VT had limited DPU CPCNs for intrastate service.

When it was sold to Greyhound, VT had two routes serving Boston. The main route ran through New Hampshire and Vermont to Montreal. The only Massachusetts stop outside Boston was in Lowell, but VT had no rights to serve intrastate passengers on that route. VT had begun serving the Massachusetts portion of this corridor around 1940 by partly duplicating a route that had been run by the Boston & Maine Transportation Company since the 1920s.

The other VT Boston route ran to Rutland, Vermont, via Keene, New Hampshire. Outside Boston, it included Massachusetts stops in Lincoln, Concord, Ayer, Fitchburg, Westminster, Gardner, and Winchendon. VT initially took over service between Keene and Boston in 1950, with intrastate rights contained in CPCN 1964 that provided for a routing from the state line in Ashburnham via the present state Route 119 to Concord, and via Route 2 from there through Cambridge to Boston. In 1955, VT took over operation of an alternate routing from the state line in Winchendon via Route 140 to Gardner and then via Route 2A to Concord. Both variations dated from the 1920s, except for some relocations onto newer highways. By 1958, VT had replaced operation of both of these variations with another one using the present Route 2 between Westminster and Concord. Service on Route 2A between Fitchburg and Concord was maintained by other carriers after that. CPCN 3418, issued in May 1966, allowed VT to use the Massachusetts Turnpike and Route 128 between Boston and Route 2 in Lexington.

In 1974, VT also had two routes in western Massachusetts. One of these ran from Burlington to Springfield, with stops in Greenfield, Northampton, and Holyoke. This was derived from a route that VT had taken over around 1940. VT was allowed to provide intrastate service in Massachusetts only to or from Greenfield on this route. The other route ran from Bennington, Vermont, to Pittsfield, with stops in Williamstown, North Adams, and Adams. This had been the first route in Massachusetts that VT had taken over, in the mid-1930s. It had originally been a replacement for a trolley line and apparently had no restrictions on intrastate passengers. VT discontinued this route in 1983, but Bonanza Bus Lines implemented a replacement route.

In April 1986, Greyhound turned over its service between Boston, Portland, and other points in Maine to VT. In June 1986, these routes were turned over again to New England Transit, a newly formed subsidiary of VT. At the same time, it was announced that all remaining Greyhound routes in New England would be transferred to New England Transit. However, before that plan was carried out, it was declared to violate labor agreements. In September 1986, Greyhound took back the routes that had already been transferred to VT but transferred them to the new subsidiary, Eastern Greyhound Lines. 

In 1987, the Greyhound Corporation sold Greyhound Lines, Inc., to GLI holdings of Dallas, Texas. In March 1988, the Greyhound Corporation also sold VT to GLI. The Greyhound routes in Maine were taken over again by VT in 1993. The VT Rutland–Boston route was discontinued in 2005. In 2008, after all services operated by VT had been cut back substantially, the remaining routes in the system were taken over by Greyhound Lines.

Greyhound Service in Massachusetts in the Fall of 2011

In November 2011, Greyhound Lines operated seven routes serving points in Massachusetts, but most of these did not carry intrastate passengers. Greyhound on-line schedules identified these routes with Table Numbers 60, 62, 67, 104, 105, 108, and 170. Table 60 was for a route from Bangor, Maine, to Boston, with no stops between Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and South Station. Table 62 was for a route from Montreal to Boston. Some trips stopped at Logan Airport as well as South Station, but there were no intermediate stops between the Manchester, New Hampshire, airport and Boston. Table 67 was for a route from White River Junction, Vermont, to New York City via Springfield. Other Massachusetts stops were in Greenfield and Northampton. Intrastate trips were permitted, but there was only one round-trip a day.

Table 104 was for a route between Boston and New York City via Hartford. Greyhound operated this service jointly with Peter Pan Bus Lines. Only two westbound and three eastbound trips a day were provided by Greyhound. All of these trips ran nonstop between Boston and Hartford except for one eastbound trip that stopped in Worcester. Passengers were allowed to travel from Worcester to Boston on that trip.

Table 105 was for a more limited-stops service between Boston and New York, also operated in cooperation with Peter Pan. On weekdays, it included six westbound and four eastbound Greyhound trips running nonstop between Boston and New York.

Table 108 was for a route from Boston to New York via Providence and the Foxwoods Casino. This route included no stops in Massachusetts other than South Station.

Table 170 was for a route from Boston to Albany, New York, and points west. The only Massachusetts stops other than Boston on this route were Worcester and Springfield. On weekdays one westbound trip stopped at Worcester but not Springfield, and one stopped at both. Eastbound, two trips stopped at Worcester, but none stopped at Springfield.

A.4.2    Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc.

Early Company History

This company was started in 1933 by Peter C. Picknelly d/b/a Peter Pan Bus Lines. Picknelly had been a co-founder in 1926 of Interstate Busses Corp. and had been its president until 1932. Peter Pan’s first bus route was acquired from a company called Yellow Cab Air Line. It ran from Northampton and Springfield to Boston. From Springfield, this route followed state Route 83 into Connecticut, continued on Route 190 through Stafford Springs, and reentered Massachusetts at Sturbridge. From there, it continued on a series of old state highways to Shrewsbury and then followed the present Route 9 to Boston. This was classified as an interstate route, and it predated regulation of such bus routes. Passengers traveling between Springfield or points north and Sturbridge or points east were considered to be interstate passengers.

When federal regulation of intercity bus service began in 1935, Peter Pan received “grandfathered” rights to this route from the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). However, the company was not permitted to carry local passengers between any two points on the same side of the segment in Connecticut where this would have duplicated service for which other carriers already had CPCNs from the DPU.

In May 1947, the DPU awarded CPCN 1770 to Peter Pan for an intrastate routing between Springfield and Boston mostly on Route 20 west of Worcester. It contained restrictions against transportation of passengers between certain pairs of points. In 1951, the original company was succeeded by Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc. However, formal transfer of the CPCNs issued to Peter Picknelly, d/b/a Peter Pan Bus Lines did not take place until July 1954.

Service Expansion 1957 to 1980

In May 1957, the DPU issued CPCN 3157 to Peter Pan Bus Lines for operation over the newly opened Massachusetts Turnpike from West Springfield to Route 128 in Weston, and on Route 128 to Route 9. This CPCN also included connections from several of the Turnpike interchanges to points on Peter Pan’s older Springfield-Boston route, allowing the company to implement many route variations. CPCN 3180, issued to Peter Pan in June 1958, provided for additional connections from the Massachusetts Turnpike through downtown Worcester, but still contained restrictions preventing Peter Pan from carrying passengers between stops in the Worcester area and Boston. CPCN 3382, issued to Peter Pan in January 1965, covered operation over the Massachusetts Turnpike Extension from Route 128 to downtown Boston.

In July 1957, Peter Pan took over operation of a route between Springfield and Worcester via the Brookfields, mostly following U.S Route 20, and state Routes 67, and 9. This route had been run previously by several different carriers since the 1920s. The DPU transferred CPCN 3057 to Peter Pan for this route from Interstate Busses Corp. which had operated it since 1953. Peter Pan kept it as a separate route rather than using it as a variation on the Springfield-Boston route. It was run by Peter Pan until 1984.

In 1959, Peter Pan extended its Northampton route to Amherst, to serve the main campus of the University of Massachusetts. In 1966, Peter Pan was issued CPCN 3409 for a further extension of this route from Amherst via state Route 116 and U.S. Route 5 to Greenfield. This CPCN had restrictions to protect service operated by Vermont Transit between Greenfield and Springfield, and the extension north of Amherst was not run for long by Peter Pan.

CPCN 3454, issued in December 1967, allowed Peter Pan to use the recently opened route I-91 in Holyoke, Easthampton, and Northampton as an alternative to the company’s long-established routing between Springfield and Northampton. CPCN 3468, issued in November 1968, covered the segment of I-91 through West Springfield between Holyoke and Chicopee. Also in 1968, Peter Pan instituted service between Springfield and Bradley International Airport in Connecticut under ICC rights. 

CPCN 3524, issued to Peter Pan in February 1971, allowed for another routing variation east of Worcester, using I-290 from Shrewsbury to Marlborough and I-495 from there to the Massachusetts Turnpike in Hopkinton. This CPCN also provided for operation over all interchanges along the route, but did not allow for any additional local service.

The first notable expansion of Peter Pan Bus Lines out of its historical Northampton-Springfield-Boston corridor was a seasonal route from Springfield to Cape Cod. This was covered by CPCN 3633, issued in 1974. It used the Massachusetts Turnpike and I-495 as far as Foxborough, where I-495 ended at the time. It then followed Routes I-95, 140, and 106 to West Bridgewater, Route 24 to Raynham, Route 25 (now part of I-495) to Wareham, and Route 28 to Falmouth. (At around the same time, the DPU had issued CPCN 3624 to the Worcester Bus Company for a route from Worcester to Dennis using the same routing as CPCN 3633 between Millbury and Buzzards Bay. That CPCN was transferred to Fox Bus Lines in 1978. A similar route had been issued to The Gray Line, Inc. under CPCN 3616.) Peter Pan ran Springfield-Cape Cod service on various routings in summers until the mid-1990s.

In 1979, Peter Pan obtained ICC rights to operate between Springfield and Albany via the Massachusetts Turnpike and the New York State Thruway. (For many years Peter Pan and Bonanza Bus Lines had arranged their schedules to allow passengers to travel between Boston and Albany by transferring at Springfield.) In June 1980 Peter Pan obtained a temporary DPU license for a variation of this route, using the Massachusetts Turnpike as far west as Lee and U.S. Route 20 from there to the state line in Hancock. This routing included local stops in Lee, Lenox, and Pittsfield. CPCN 3736 was issued to Peter Pan in December 1980 for this routing. Peter Pan phased out most of its through service between Boston and Albany by 2006. In November 2011, all Peter Pan service between Boston and Albany was provided by connections at Springfield to and from buses running between Providence and Albany, and there were only two trips a day in each direction.

Peter Pan’s 1986 Acquisition of Trailways Routes

The greatest one-time expansion of the Peter Pan system took place in 1986 with the purchase of rights to 800 miles of routes from Trailways, Inc. That company was ending its service in New England and other points in the Northeast at that time. Most of the rights involved were for routes outside of Massachusetts. The most important exception was a route from Boston to New York City via Hartford. This route used the Massachusetts Turnpike and I-84, and was covered by ICC rights.

Also included in the Trailways acquisitions were CPCNs for several routes running north out of Worcester. Some of these were being operated by Trailways up to the time of the transaction. Others had not been run for several years but were reactivated by Peter Pan. In November 1957, Trailways of New England, Inc. (TNE) had acquired CPCNs 337, 645, and 1366, and part of CPCN 1994 from the Boston & Maine Transportation Company (B&MT). These covered the Massachusetts segments of a route between Worcester and Concord, New Hampshire via Lowell. B&MT had begun operating this route in the 1920s, but did not have intrastate rights on the segment north of Lowell until 1950.

This route ran mostly on state Route 110 between Worcester and Lowell, and the present Route 3A between Lowell and the state line. Trailways had used these rights in conjunction with older Trailways rights between Lowell and Newburyport to institute a new route from Worcester to Newburyport. The older Trailways rights were in CPCN 1740, which covered a long route from Springfield to Newburyport via Fitchburg that had been run by various Trailways predecessor companies since the 1930s. It mostly followed Route 110 from Lowell to Haverhill and Route 113 from there to Newburyport. West of Lowell, it originally mostly followed Route 110 to Littleton and Route 2A to Fitchburg.

In 1963, TNE was granted new CPCN 3338 covering operation over the newly opened I-495 and Lowell Connector between Lowell and Littleton and the present Route 2 between Littleton and Westminster via Fitchburg. This CPCN also included rights to operate between Fitchburg and Worcester via state Route 12, but local transportation of passengers between Worcester and stops south of Fitchburg was not allowed. TNE used these rights to reroute service from Haverhill to Worcester via Fitchburg, with one Newburyport-Worcester round-trip remaining on the older route. TNE had discontinued through service from Worcester to Concord, New Hampshire by the early 1960s, but reinstated one trip as far as Manchester about 1965.

In 1968 TNE acquired CPCN 1602 from the Short Line, Inc. It covered service from Worcester to Fitchburg on Route 12 with fewer restrictions than those in CPCN 3338. This was a former New England Transportation Company route dating from the 1930s, but the Short Line had discontinued most of the service on it by the mid-1960s.

TNE changed the schedules and endpoints of its service north out of Worcester many times between the 1960s and the 1980s. In 1980, these routes were transferred from TNE to Trombly Trailways, but in 1983 they were transferred to Trailways, Inc., the national Trailways company. In the final years before the Peter Pan transaction, Trailways was running one round-trip a day between Haverhill and Worcester and one between Lowell and Worcester, both via Fitchburg. Completion of Route I-190 between Leominster and Worcester in 1983 offered a faster alternative to Route 12, but also resulted in elimination of intermediate stops on that segment.

After acquiring these routes in 1987, Peter Pan also made many changes in schedules and northern endpoints. A trip from Worcester to Concord was reinstated from late 1987 to about 1992, and has been run again since about 1997. In November 2011, the only remnant of this service being operated was a daily round-trip between Concord and Worcester with intermediate stops in Manchester, Nashua, Lowell, and Leominster. Except to make side diversions for stops, it used limited-access highways for most of the way.

Despite having acquired the Trailways routes in 1987, Peter Pan did not begin using the name Peter Pan Trailways on printed schedules until about 1991, and was not given official approval by the DPU to conduct business under that name until 1995. Peter Pan dropped the Trailways name again in January 1999, when a traffic pooling arrangement between Peter Pan and Greyhound Lines went into effect.

Peter Pan’s Acquisition of Route 9 Local Service and Framingham Logan and Express Routes

In January 1988, Massport awarded a contract to Peter Pan for operation of a new express route from Shoppers World in Framingham to Logan Airport. Due to a misunderstanding, Peter Pan began operating this route without a CPCN. In March, the DPU issued a 180-day temporary license to Peter Pan to continue this route. In July, CPCN 3755 was transferred from Bonanza Bus Lines to Peter Pan for a route from Worcester to Logan via Westborough and Framingham. Bonanza had discontinued that route in March, but it gave Peter Pan the rights needed to run the Massport Logan Express route. Peter Pan was the contractor for that route until 1993.

In August 1988, Peter Pan took over operation of local bus service between Worcester and Boston via Route 9. This service had been operated by a number of different carriers since it replaced an interurban trolley line in 1931 and 1932. Peter Pan ran this route under a temporary license until March 1989, when the DPU transferred the CPCNs covering it from Marathon Lines. That company had taken over the route in 1984 but had contracted it to another carrier in January 1988. CPCN 573 covered the segment of the route between Shrewsbury and Framingham Centre. CPCN 669 covered the segment from Framingham Centre to Boston. Peter Pan had run buses on Route 9 east of Shrewsbury since 1933, but had only been permitted to serve passengers going to or from points west of Worcester. Peter Pan discontinued operation on Route 9 east of Shoppers World in Framingham in 1999, west of Temple Street in Framingham in 2002, and between Temple Street and Shoppers World in 2006.

Also in August 1988, Peter Pan took over operation of commuter service between Framingham and Boston via the Massachusetts Turnpike from Priority Express. That service mostly utilized rights originally issued in 1965 to the Boston-Worcester Corporation in CPCN 3393. This CPCN had been transferred among several carriers since then. Peter Pan gradually phased out this service as a separate operation. In November 2011, the only Peter Pan service between Boston and Framingham was provided by buses going to or from points further west.

Peter Pan Service Extension to Williamstown

On January 31, 1992, Englander Coach Lines discontinued a long-established bus route between Boston and Williamstown via Fitchburg, Greenfield, and North Adams mostly on state Route 2. To provide replacement service on the west end of this route, Peter Pan was issued a 120-day temporary license for service on Route 2 between Greenfield and Williamstown. Peter Pan combined this with its older operating rights between Springfield, Amherst and Greenfield to provide through service between Springfield and Williamstown. The operating authority west of Greenfield was made permanent in July 1992. These trips also continued to North Bennington, Vermont until 1996. In addition, Peter Pan ran one Sunday trip from Boston to Williamstown via Pittsfield and North Adams. Starting in September 1998, Peter Pan instead served Williamstown with one round-trip a day over the former Englander route through Fitchburg. It is unclear from DPU files what operating authority Peter Pan used for the segment between Boston and Greenfield. Peter Pan dropped this service after one year and replaced it with a daily round-trip between Boston and Williamstown via Pittsfield. By 2001 that was replaced with a connection to Bonanza buses between Pittsfield and Williamstown.

Peter Pan Bus Lines Route Status in Fall of 2011

In November 2011, Peter Pan’s main routes serving points in Massachusetts were Boston to Springfield, Boston to New York, Boston to Hartford, Springfield to New York, and Springfield to Amherst. The Boston-Springfield trips operated entirely on the Massachusetts Turnpike except for slight diversions on some trips to serve intermediate stops. On weekdays, of eight round-trips between Boston and Springfield shown on the Peter Pan website, two each way made no intermediate stops. One westbound trip made one stop at Chicopee. All the other trips in both directions stopped at Framingham or Worcester or both, and one eastbound trip stopped at both Chicopee and Framingham. Peter Pan ran nine daily round-trips between Springfield and UMass Amherst, but only one trip each way continued through to Greenfield.

The amount of Boston-New York service operated by Peter Pan was difficult to determine from the Peter Pan website because it was operated jointly with Greyhound. More detailed schedules on the Greyhound website indicate that of 11 southbound and 12 northbound weekday trips, four in each direction were operated by Peter Pan and the rest by Greyhound. Three of the Peter Pan trips ran nonstop between Boston and New York. One westbound trip made one stop at Hartford, and one eastbound trip made one stop at Worcester. On the Springfield-New York route, also operated jointly with Greyhound, the Greyhound website indicated that six weekday trips each way were operated by Peter Pan. Most of these stopped at Hartford. The Greyhound website showed that Peter Pan also operated seven westbound and eight eastbound weekday trips between Boston and Hartford. Except for two nonstop eastbound trips, all of these stopped at Worcester. About half also stopped at Framingham, and one each way stopped at the Riverside MBTA terminal.

As noted above, Peter Pan also operated one daily round-trip between Worcester and Concord. New Hampshire. These trips were scheduled to make close connections at Worcester with service to and from Hartford. Passengers going to or from New York would have had to transfer again at Hartford.

Former routes of Bonanza Bus Lines acquired by Peter Pan in 2003 and now operated as the Peter Pan Providence Division are discussed in the next section of this memorandum.

A.4.3    Bonanza Acquisition, LLC

This is one of five limited liability companies organized in 2002 by Peter Pan Bus Lines Trust for the purpose of acquiring the operating properties of five bus companies owned at the time by Coach USA, Inc. One of these was Bonanza Bus Lines, Inc., which had been controlled by Coach USA since 1999. The Surface Transportation Board approved the Trust acquisitions effective February 10, 2003. The DTE approved the transfer of intrastate CPCNs from Bonanza Bus Lines to Bonanza Acquisition in June 2003. (Some certificates for long-inactive routes were not transferred.) The Trust already owned Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc. Former Bonanza operations are currently run as Peter Pan Bus Lines Providence Division. For the purposes of the present discussion these have been kept separate from operations of the pre-2003 Peter Pan Bus Lines, covered above.

Background of Bonanza Bus Lines

Bonanza Bus Lines was the result of a 1970 consolidation of two much older bus companies based in Rhode Island. These were the Short Line, Inc., and Interstate Busses Corp. The Short Line was originally chartered as the Newport & Bristol Ferry Railway Company in 1902. The name was changed to the Newport & Providence Railway in 1903. In 1904 the company opened a trolley line from Newport to Bristol Ferry, with connections to Providence via ferry to Bristol and from there via the New Haven Railroad. This route was advertised as the “Short Line” to Providence. In 1926, the Newport & Providence Railway replaced the trolley line between Newport and Bristol Ferry with a through bus route between Newport and Providence. About 1928, this company took over operation of bus service between Newport and Fall River that had replaced another trolley line in 1925. The Newport & Providence Railway Company was officially renamed the Short Line, Inc. about 1930. (During the 1930s, the Short Line name was also used by several other bus companies in the Northeast that were under the same ownership or otherwise affiliated with the Rhode Island company.) After World War II, George Sage of Newport bought the original Short Line company.

Interstate Busses Corp. was founded in 1926, and Peter Picknelly who later started Peter Pan Bus Lines was one of its owners until 1932. This company originally ran a bus route between Providence and Hartford, but added a route from Providence to Albany via Springfield in its early years. George Sage bought Interstate Busses Corp. in 1958. On September 2, 1970, the DPU approved the transfer of all CPCNs held by Interstate Busses Corp. for intrastate service in Massachusetts to the Short Line. On October 2, the name of the Short Line was changed to Bonanza Bus Lines. On February 1, 1971, the DPU formally reissued all of the Massachusetts CPCNs that were held by the Short Line to Bonanza.

Since the 1950s George Sage had also owned another bus company, Englander Coach Lines. That company was not included in the Bonanza merger, but its service was mostly run with Bonanza buses, sometimes through-routed with trips on other Bonanza routes.

The Bonanza Bus route network in its final form consisted mostly of routes that had been taken over from other bus companies that had either gone out of business or no longer wanted to operate the routes that Bonanza was taking. Some of the CPCNs acquired by Bonanza or the Short Line were for routes that had already been discontinued by the previous operators and were not reactivated.

Bonanza Route Status as of 1970 Consolidation

At the time of the 1970 consolidation that created Bonanza Bus Lines, service run by the Short Line in Massachusetts included local and express routes between Boston and Providence and between Boston, Fall River, and Newport, a route from Providence to Cape Cod points via Fall River and New Bedford, and a route from Providence to Worcester. Former Interstate Busses service in Massachusetts consisted of local and express variations of a route between Providence and Albany via Springfield. This route included several Massachusetts stops between Southbridge and Pittsfield.

The Providence-Cape Cod route and the Boston-Providence local route had both been started by the New Haven Railroad’s bus subsidiary, New England Transportation Company, in the 1930s and had been acquired by the Short Line in 1958. The Short Line began operating the Boston-Providence express route under ICC rights in the mid-1960s, when Route I-95 was completed between Route 128 and Providence. The Short Line had acquired the local and express routings between Boston and Fall River from the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company in 1964. That company had started the local routing in 1939 and the portion of the express routing outside Route 128 in 1962. The latter routing was covered by CPCN 3280. The DPU issued CPCN 3451 to the Short Line in 1967 to allow the Fall River route to enter Boston via the Southeast Expressway. Bus service between Fall River and Newport had originally replaced trolley service between those cities in 1925. The route from Providence to Worcester was another former New England Transportation route dating from the 1930s. It had been acquired from that company in 1958 by Johnson Bus Lines, which was bought out by the Short Line in 1962.

Interstate Busses had been operating a route between Providence and Albany since the 1920s. The intrastate rights between Springfield and Pittsfield, mostly on U.S. Route 20, were covered by CPCN 58-B, which would have been issued originally in 1925 to a prior company. After the opening of the Massachusetts Turnpike in 1957, Interstate began routing some trips over it west of Springfield. CPCN 3158 authorized this routing. By 1970, Interstate was operating all of its trips via the Massachusetts Turnpike between Springfield and Lee.

Changes to Bonanza Route Network after 1970

In January 1972, Bonanza began operating an express route from Providence to Logan Airport, with one intermediate stop in Foxborough. Interstate transportation on this route was covered by a CPCN from the ICC. Intrastate service within Massachusetts was first run under a temporary license and then by CPCN 3569, issued by the DPU, in April 1972. CPCN 3569 restricted service to transportation of passengers going to or from Logan. The only authorized operation off limited-access highways was in Foxborough and at Logan, so this was effectively the only intrastate stop-pair that could be served.

In October 1973, Bonanza took over operation of a route between Pittsfield and New York City from Super Service Coach Corp., which had started it in 1970. It ran mostly on U.S. Route 7 between Pittsfield and the Connecticut border in Sheffield. The intrastate rights transferred to Bonanza were covered in CPCN 3508, but this allowed intrastate service only between Great Barrington and the state line in Sheffield. Bonanza extended the route from Pittsfield to Albany using former Interstate Busses rights.

In March 1974, Bonanza’s CPCNs for the Boston-Providence local route, the Providence-Worcester route, and some routes that Bonanza itself had never operated were transferred to an independent bus company, based in North Providence, Rhode Island, A. B. C., Inc. That company discontinued all of its fixed-route service by the end of the 1980s.

In September 1978, Bonanza acquired CPCNs 2031, 3221, 3278, 3378, 3472, 3483, 3526, 3656, and part of 3349 from Almeida Bus Lines. These covered service between Boston and Woods Hole (except a gap between Middleborough and Brockton) and had originally been issued to Almeida between 1951 and 1969. Bonanza combined these with rights in its Fall River express route certificates to operate service between Boston and the Cape via the present Routes 24 and I-495.

In August 1979, several CPCNs were transferred from Bonanza Bus Lines to Bloom’s Bus Lines, as discussed in the section on that company. These were for the local route between Boston, Taunton, and Fall River, and were among the CPCNs that had come to Bonanza from the Short Line.

In 1983 Vermont Transit Lines discontinued operation of a long-established bus route between Bennington, Vermont and Pittsfield, via Williamstown, North Adams, and Adams. Bonanza started a replacement route on a different alignment. By June 1984, one round-trip a day started at North Adams, went west to Williamstown, and then south on U.S. Route 7 to Pittsfield. On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, a second round-trip started at Bennington, went to Williamstown, and continued to Pittsfield omitting North Adams. These trips were through-routed to New York via the former Super Service Coach route. This occurred after deregulation of interstate bus service, so it apparently did not require any additional CPCN from the DPU.

About 1987, Bonanza began providing daily service to Bennington. Bonanza stopped serving North Adams in 1990 and dropped the segment between Bennington and Williamstown in 2003. The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA) now provides service between North Adams and Pittsfield via Adams, with a connecting route between North Adams and Williamstown.

In March 1987, the DPU issued CPCN 3755-B to Bonanza for a route from Worcester to Logan Airport. This route had been started in 1981 by Quickway Transportation, Inc. The CPCN authorized routing between Worcester and Westborough either via state Route 9 or via I-290 and I-495. Route 9 was used from Westborough to Speen Street in Natick, and the Massachusetts Turnpike, Central Artery, and Harbor Tunnels from Interchange 13 to Logan. Bonanza discontinued operation of this route in March 1988. In July 1988 the DPU issued CPCN 3755-C to Peter Pan Bus Lines for this route, but that company used it only for service from Shoppers World in Framingham to Boston. 

Fall 2011 Route Status

In November 2011, former Bonanza Bus Lines routes were operated by Peter Pan Bus Lines as its Providence Division. Routes operating at least partly in Massachusetts were Boston to Woods Hole, Boston to Fall River and Newport, Boston to Providence, Providence to Cape Cod, Providence to Albany, and Williamstown to New York City via Pittsfield. On the Williamstown route, Peter Pan did not carry passengers between any pairs of points also connected by the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority. Most trips on the routes from Boston to Providence and Woods Hole served both South Station and Logan Airport. Some of the Providence trips were through-routed to New York City nonstop from Providence. Some others served T. F. Green Airport in Rhode Island.

A.5     Companies Mostly Providing Boston Express Commuter Service

A.5.1    A Yankee Line, Inc.

The earliest transaction involving this company in the DPU files was dated January 9, 1981. At that time the charter license of Leo R. Dee, d/b/a Dee Charter Bus Service, was transferred to A Yankee Line. This license had originally been issued to Dee in 1967. Dee did not have any fixed-route CPCNs, but had operated a peak-period commuter trip between Littleton and Boston by arrangement with Englander Coach Lines during part of 1980. In October 1980, a new company, Rabbit Transit, took over operation of Englander’s commuter service between Fitchburg and Boston along with the Littleton round-trip. In 1982, A Yankee Line began operating the Littleton service under a lease arrangement with Rabbit. Because of financial problems following an accident in October 1982, Rabbit went out of business early in 1983. A Yankee Line was interested in continuing to run the Littleton trip, but Rabbit sold the rights covering it to Marathon Bus Lines. Marathon subsequently cut back the outer end of the Fitchburg-Boston route to Fort Devens, and dropped the route entirely in 1985.

In April 1986, the DPU granted a 120-day temporary license to A Yankee Line for service between Littleton and Boston. This license expired in October, but on December 16, the DPU issued CPCN 3808 to A Yankee Line for the route. Initially the only intermediate stop between Littleton and Boston was in Acton. In 1990 and 1991, A Yankee Line operated a second round-trip on this route under a state/MBTA contract. In 1991, A Yankee Line added a stop at Concord Center to replace service being discontinued by another carrier. The outer end of the route was cut back from Littleton to Acton about 1996.

Several different bus operators have served this corridor over the years, beginning in the 1920s with the Boston & Maine Railroad’s subsidiary Boston & Maine Transportation Company. Improvements to commuter rail service on the Fitchburg Line since the 1980s have left little demand for bus service to Boston from this area, however.

The DPU files do not indicate that A Yankee Line has ever had any CPCNs other than the one for the Littleton-Acton-Boston route. In November 2011, the company was still operating one round-trip a day between Acton and Boston, but its main business was charter and tour bus service.

A.5.2    Bloom’s Bus Lines and H & L Bloom, Inc.

Company Background

In 1966, Harry and Lillian Bloom established a bus company in Taunton, H&L Bloom, Inc. A 1970 DPU directory of carriers under its jurisdiction shows Bloom as operating both charter and common-carrier service. In April 1979, the Blooms incorporated a second company, Bloom’s Bus Lines, for the purpose of taking over the operation of a bus route between Fall River, Taunton, and Boston that Bonanza Bus Lines wanted to discontinue.

Route Acquisition and Changes, 1979 to 1992

On August 27, 1979, the DPU transferred CPCNs 555, 1257, and 1743 to Bloom’s Bus Lines from Bonanza Bus Lines. CPCN 1257 covered the route between Fall River and Boston. As issued to Bloom’s this route generally followed state Route 138 from Fall River to Easton, then Route 106, limited-access Route 24, Route I-93, and the Southeast Expressway to Boston. This was a combination of the previous Bonanza CPCN 1257 south of Easton and a new routing between there and Boston. CPCN 555 covered several alternate routings in Dighton and Taunton. CPCN 1743 provided additional coverage in Fall River. 

Bonanza’s corporate predecessor, the Short Line, Inc., had acquired CPCNs 555 and 1257 in December 1964 from the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company. The original CPCN 1257 had been issued to the Eastern Mass. in 1939, and it used old state highways all the way into Boston. CPCN 555 had been issued to the Eastern Mass. in 1930. CPCN 1743 had originally been issued to the New England Transportation Company in 1947 and transferred to the Short Line in 1958.

Bloom’s used the CPCN 1257 rights mostly for trips between Taunton and Boston, but also ran one round-trip a day between Fall River and Boston via Taunton. Bloom’s discontinued operation of the Fall River-Taunton segment in June 2008.

After 1979, most new fixed-route operating rights issued to Bloom’s were in the form of amendments to CPCN 1257 rather than new CPCNs. An October 1980 amendment to CPCN 1257 allowed Bloom’s to operate a route between Taunton and Middleborough on U.S. Route 44. Bloom’s was not allowed to sell through tickets from Middleborough to Boston, in order to limit competition with the more direct route between those points operated by Interstate Coach. Bloom’s ran the Middleborough-Taunton route for a few years but discontinued it by 1987.

In August 1982, Bloom’s was granted temporary authority to extend service to East Taunton on Taunton-Boston trips. That authority was made permanent by an April 1983 amendment to CPCN 1257. In December 1984, Bloom’s was granted temporary authorization of a side-diversion of the Boston route to serve the Westgate Mall in Brockton. That authorization was made permanent by an April 1985 amendment to CPCN 1257. Another amendment in February 1992 allowed the East Taunton trips to serve the Galleria Mall. Bloom’s operated East Taunton/Galleria service until 2000.

Bloom’s Acquisition of Interstate Coach Routes

In September 2003, Bloom’s Bus Lines was issued a temporary license to take over operation of the route from Middleborough to Boston from Unda’s Bus Service, d/b/a Interstate Coach. In December 2003, the DTE approved the transfer of CPCN 3713 to Bloom’s for this route. Bloom’s also took over operation of a reverse-commuting route between Boston and the Canton Commerce Center that Interstate had started in 1999 under a service agreement and subsidy contract with the MBTA. Bloom discontinued that route in July 2004.

Unda’s Bus Service had been founded in 1938, and had operated a number of different local and long-distance commuter bus routes over the years. CPCN 3713 was originally issued by the DPU in November 1979 to Bay State Commuter Lines, Inc. under the same ownership as Interstate. Bay State initially received a temporary DPU license for this route in April 1979 to replace a service of Almeida Bus Lines, which was going out of business. Almeida had been operating bus service between Middleborough and Boston since 1947, as part of a route from New Bedford. It had originally followed older state highways, but was shifted to limited-access highways as they were completed in the 1950s and ’60s.

CPCN 3713 authorized operation from Middleborough Center to Route 24 either via Routes 28 and 25 (now I-495) or on a local routing through Bridgewater to Route 24 at Route 106 in Bridgewater. The rest of the way to Boston was on Routes 24, I-93, and the Southeast Expressway. Starting about 1983, printed schedules identified the service as Bay State Commuter Lines operated by Interstate Coach. Starting in 1984, this service was subsidized by the state through the MBTA. The MBTA restored commuter rail service to Middleborough and Bridgewater in 1997. By 2000, most of the Interstate Coach Middleborough trips were cut back to stopping only at park-and-ride lots at Route 24 interchanges in Bridgewater and West Bridgewater. The Bay State name was also dropped around 2000.

Fall 2011 Route Status

In October 2011, Bloom’s Bus Lines was operating 14 inbound and 12 outbound trips a day between Boston and Taunton. The only remnant of the Bay State/Interstate route was that the Taunton trips included a stop at the park-and-ride lot in West Bridgewater, which Bloom’s had not been allowed to serve before acquiring CPCN 3713.

A.5.3    DATTCO, Inc.

This company’s website describes it as a family-owned business, established in 1924, and headquartered in New Britain, Connecticut. DATTCO has been operating fixed-route bus service in Massachusetts only since May 2004, when the DPU approved the transfer of CPCNs covering a route between Fairhaven, New Bedford, Taunton, and Boston from American Eagle Motor Coach, Inc. to DATTCO.

Background of DATTCO Predecessor Service

Most of the CPCNs held by American Eagle Motor Coach had been transferred to that company in August 1981 from Medeiros Bus Co., Inc., which was under the same ownership. These certificates had all been issued to Medeiros between 1979 and 1981. Before that, Medeiros had been in business as a charter bus company. A 1972 DPU directory of carriers under its jurisdiction included Medeiros Private Livery, Inc., in Fairhaven with restricted common-carrier service, but this company was not in the 1970 directory.

CPCN 3710, issued to Medeiros on October 5, 1979, was for a route from New Bedford to downtown Boston, mostly on limited-access highway Routes 140, 24, I-93, and the Southeast Expressway. This was a replacement for a route that had been operated for many years by Almeida Bus Lines, which had gone out of business earlier that year. Two other bus companies had provided replacement service under temporary licenses before Medeiros got the permanent certificate. Almeida had been operating bus service between New Bedford and Boston since 1947. The route originally followed older state highways, but was shifted to limited-access highways as they were completed in the 1950s and ’60s.

CPCN 3717, issued on February 8, 1980, authorized some additional connections to the Boston routes over local streets in New Bedford. CPCN 3723, issued on April 18, 1980, covered a route between New Bedford and Middleborough, mostly on state Routes 18 and 105. Almeida had operated a similar route, but it is unclear how Medeiros used these rights. CPCN 3725, issued May 21, 1980, authorized a side-diversion off the Boston route to serve downtown Taunton. This certificate restricted the provision of service to the carrying of passengers going to or from points south of Taunton. CPCN 3726, issued a week later, added a short connection in downtown New Bedford.

CPCN 3733, dated September 24, 1980 was for a route from Fairhaven through New Bedford, Freetown, Lakeville, and Middleborough to Bridgewater, but it is unclear how Medeiros used it. In November 1980, Medeiros was granted a temporary license for an extension in Boston from the old Trailways Bus terminal in Park Square to a new temporary terminal next to South Station. CPCN 3734, issued November 21, 1980, covered this extension. The last CPCN issued to Medeiros was 3743, on March 13, 1981. It covered a short extension in Boston from South Station to another temporary bus terminal on Atlantic Avenue, plus another new short connection in New Bedford.

After all of the CPCNs discussed above were transferred from Medeiros to American Eagle the latter company obtained very little additional operating authority. In 1992, American Eagle extended all New Bedford trips to or from the company garage in Fairhaven. At least some of the extended trips had probably been running over this segment without passengers for years anyway. Also in 1992, American Eagle added an off-peak side-diversion off the Boston route to the Silver City Galleria Mall in Taunton. The DPU files show only the transfer of CPCN 3710 from American Eagle to DATTCO. It may have been amended to include all of the coverage that DATTCO needed, as much of the coverage in the other CPCNs was for segments that American Eagle was not operating by 2004.

Fall 2011 Route Status

In October 2011, the Fairhaven-New Bedford-Taunton-Boston route was the only general-purpose fixed bus route in Massachusetts shown on the DATTCO website. The site also showed daily service to the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut, with Massachusetts stops in Wareham, Fairhaven, New Bedford, Fall River, and Somerset.

A.5.4    Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company

Company Background

The Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company (P & B) advertises itself as “America’s Most Experienced Bus Line, Established in 1888.” This refers to the incorporation date of its oldest predecessor company, the Plymouth & Kingston Street Railway, which opened a trolley line between those two towns in 1889. This company was absorbed in 1899 by the Brockton & Plymouth Street Railway, which extended the line from Kingston to Whitman in 1900. Tracks of another company were used to operate through service between Plymouth and Brockton. The present P & B was incorporated in 1922, as successor to the Brockton & Plymouth which was sold by receivers in July of that year. P & B abandoned trolley service between Kingston and Whitman in the fall of 1925, with replacement bus service being provided by an unrelated company.

P & B Bus Operations, 1927 to 1947

In March 1927, P & B was issued DPU CPCN 303 for bus service between Plymouth and Kingston in addition to trolley service. In August 1927 P & B was issued CPCN 340 for seasonal service between Plymouth, Kingston, and Duxbury. P & B finally gave up operating trolley service in June 1928. For the next 20 years, the only additional CPCNs issued to P & B were numbers 424 and 417 for local service in Plymouth, issued in 1929, and 1394 for a route between Plymouth, Kingston, and Duxbury, issued in 1942. In April 1942
P & B was granted a War Emergency certificate for a route between Plymouth and Boston. This route ran for the duration of World War II, but was discontinued in the fall of 1945.

P & B System Expansion, 1947 to 1952

The Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company was sold to George Anzuoni in late 1947. Expansion of the P & B system began in February 1948, when the company was granted a temporary license to operate Sunday service from Plymouth to Boston to replace discontinued railroad passenger service. P & B was unable to obtain all the local licenses needed for a permanent certificate, but in February 1949 the DPU issued it CPCN 1938 for a route from Plymouth to Brockton. This route generally followed state Route 27, as the long-abandoned P & B trolley line had, and the CPCN included restrictions to protect the carriers still providing bus replacement service for the trolleys.

In May 1949, the DPU issued CPCN 1945 to P & B for a through route between Plymouth and downtown Boston. It generally followed the present state Route 53 between Duxbury and Quincy, continuing into Boston over Hancock Street and Neponset and Dorchester Avenues. CPCN 1955, issued to P & B in July 1949, covered a route from the Monponsett railroad station in Hanson to Kingston via state Routes 58 and 106.

In July 1950, the DPU transferred CPCNs 1782 and 1870 to P & B from South Shore Transit, Inc. CPCN 1782 covered a route from Scituate Harbor to Hingham Depot via Cohasset. This route had been awarded to a predecessor of South Shore Transit in 1946, and may have been run as a War Emergency route before that. CPCN 1870, issued to South Shore Transit in 1948, provided for an extension of the earlier route, from Scituate Harbor to the Greenbush Railroad Station. Commuter rail service to Greenbush was being reduced at that time.

Also in July 1950, CPCN 2000 was issued to P & B for a new through route between Duxbury and Boston. This route started in the Millbrook section of Duxbury and followed state Routes 3A and 139 through Marshfield to Route 53 in Pembroke. From there to Boston it duplicated the routing in CPCN 1945.

In January 1951, P & B took over operation of a bus route between Hingham Depot and Queen Anne’s Corner via Main Street. This route had been operated by other bus companies since 1926, when it replaced a trolley line. In June 1951, this was incorporated in a new P & B route between South Duxbury and Boston covered by CPCN 2040. This route used state Route 3A from the border of Kingston and Duxbury to Route 139 in Marshfield, partly overlapping the coverage of CPCN 2000. From there it continued on Route 3A through Marshfield and then Country Way in Scituate, and South and North Main Streets in Cohasset to Hingham. It then continued to Hingham Depot and south on Main Street, joining P & B’s other Boston routes at Queen Anne’s Corner.

In July 1951, the DPU approved the transfer to P & B of all CPCNs previously held by Bryantville Auto Service. CPCN 231, originally issued in 1926, had provided replacement service for the segment of the original P & B trolley route between Whitman and the Bryantville section of Pembroke. CPCN 231A, issued in 1930, extended this route from Bryantville to Kingston, again via the old trolley line routing. CPCN 1415, issued in 1942, provided a branch from Bryantville to Oldham Pond in Pembroke. CPCN 1621, issued in 1946 and reissued in 1948, covered a route from Oldham Pond to North Pembroke, then on Route 53 into Hanover, on unnumbered local roads to West Hanover, and on Route 139 through Rockland to the North Abington railroad station.

In September 1951, the DPU issued CPCN 2050 to P & B for a route between Plymouth and Buzzards Bay. It generally followed the present state Route 3A from Plymouth to the Sagamore Bridge and then U.S. Route 6 west along the north side of the Cape Cod Canal. It was intended for use in combination with older P & B rights to provide through service between Boston and Cape Cod. However, P & B was not allowed to carry passengers traveling between points north of Quincy Center and Buzzards Bay or points south. (Almeida Bus Lines had been awarded rights for service between Boston, Buzzards Bay, and points south a few months earlier.)

In August 1952, the DPU transferred all CPCNs of South Shore Coach Lines, Inc., to P & B. There were five of these as described below. South Shore Coach had acquired CPCN 1855 from another company in December 1949. It covered a local route in Hanover, Rockland, and the edge of Norwell. It had been issued to the previous carrier in February 1948, but much of it had been served by a series of companies after replacing a trolley line in the 1920s.

CPCN 1963 was originally issued to South Shore Coach in August 1949, for a route from Green Harbor in Marshfield to Quincy Square. It mostly followed the present state Routes 139 and 53, and overlapped the coverage of P & B CPCN 1945. CPCN 1963 contained a restriction against carrying local passengers on the overlapping segment. A June 1950 amendment to CPCN 1963 allowed a closed-door extension from Quincy Center to the Field’s Corner rapid transit station.

In December 1950, CPCN 2012 was issued to South Shore Coach for a new routing between Marshfield and Route 53 in Hanover. It included several variations within Marshfield, but in Norwell it mostly used Route 123. Some of the local coverage in Marshfield had been provided by other carriers between 1943 and 1948. CPCNs 2055 and 2056, issued in November 1951, gave South Shore Coach additional rights in Marshfield and in Hanover.

Additions to P & B Route Network, 1953 to 1970

After acquiring the South Shore Coach CPCNs P & B did not take over any more routes from other carriers until the 1970s, but did institute a few new routes. In September 1953, P & B cut back Duxbury-Scituate-Boston service to a connecting service to Queen Anne’s Corner. In January 1954, the DPU issued CPCN 3051 to P & B for a routing between the Cohasset/Hingham town line and Quincy Center mostly via the present state Route 3A.The DPU amended CPCN 2040 to revoke P & B’s operating rights between Hingham Center and Queen Anne’s Corner. Service on that segment was taken over by the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company.

CPCN 3225, issued to P & B in September 1959 and amended in April 1960, provided for a new routing between Boston and Braintree via the Southeast Expressway, then south on Route 37 and Grove Street to Weymouth, Columbian Street, Park Avenue, Ralph Talbot Street, and Oak Street to Hingham, and Derby Street to the present Route 53. CPCN 3225 also covered a new routing through Scituate and Cohasset to Hingham on the Chief Justice Cushing Highway (Route 3A). CPCN 3228, issued in October 1959, allowed
P & B to operate over the present Route 3 from the Braintree/Quincy Line to Derby Street in Hingham where Route 3 ended then. CPCN 3265, issued in April 1961, authorized P & B to resume operating Scituate service from the Cohasset border to Queen Anne’s Corner via Main Street in Hingham, the route that had been used from 1951 to 1954.

CPCN 3273, issued in May 1961, allowed P & B to extend its Cape Cod service from Sagamore Circle to Hyannis via U.S. Route 6 and state Route 132. (The New Haven Railroad had discontinued passenger service between Boston, Cape Cod, and intermediate points in June 1959.) CPCN 3294, issued in January 1962, authorized P & B to use the present Route 3 from Derby Street in Hingham to Route 53 in Hanover. CPCN 3314, issued in September 1962, authorized P & B to use the present Route 3 from Route 3A in Duxbury to Sagamore Circle. (That section of the highway had been opened in November 1957.) CPCN 3342, issued in September 1963, allowed P & B buses to diverge off the Southeast Expressway in Milton and Quincy to make a stop at East Milton Square. CPCN 3359, issued in February 1964, covered the final section of the present Route 3 between Route 53 in Hanover and Route 3A in Duxbury.

Changes in P & B Route Network, 1970 to 1980

As discussed in the section of this appendix on the Brush Hill Transportation Company, in December 1973 P & B took over operation of a route between Milford and Boston, but Brush Hill was the actual operator of this route for most of the time after that.

In a survey conducted by the DPU in 1974, P & B reported that several of the routes covered by CPCNs described above were no longer active. These included the routes from Whitman to Pembroke in CPCN 231; the portion of CPCN 1621 between Abington and Rockland; Scituate Harbor to Hingham Depot in CPCN 1782; CPCN 1938 between Plymouth and Brockton; the local routing between Weymouth and Boston in CPCN 1945; South Duxbury to Boston in CPCN 2040; and Hingham to Quincy in CPCN 3051.

In May 1974, CPCN 3619 was issued to P & B for an express bus route between Brockton and Boston. This route used local roads from downtown Brockton to Route 24, and then took that highway, I-93, and the Southeast Expressway. P & B had begun operating it under temporary rights in February of that year. There had been no through bus service from Brockton to Boston for about six years before that. This route received some state funding through the MBTA starting in 1984. The route was discontinued in September 1998, one year after the MBTA restored commuter rail service between Brockton and Boston.

In April 1979 Almeida Bus Lines, which had operated bus service from Boston to Barnstable since 1951 and Hyannis since 1953, went out of business. To make up for the lost service, P & B increased the frequency of its Hyannis trips. P & B also took over the route of former Almeida subsidiary Southern Massachusetts Bus Lines between Hyannis and Chatham. That route had been operated by the New Haven Railroad’s bus subsidiary New England Transportation Company from the 1920s to 1955, after which it had been operated by a series of local bus lines. P & B initially obtained a 120-day temporary license for this route. When that expired, Brush Hill Transportation was granted a temporary license. P & B was issued a permanent CPCN for the Chatham route at the end of November 1979, and operated it until 1990. The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority now provides bus service between Hyannis and Chatham.

Changes in P & B Route Network after 1980

In November 1982, P & B was issued CPCN 3766, allowing it to through-route service on several of its long-established Boston routes to Logan Airport via the Callahan and Sumner Tunnels. This CPCN originally contained a restriction preventing P & B from picking up passengers in downtown Boston to go to Logan or vice-versa. In October 1986 the wording was modified to allow P & B to carry Logan passengers transferring to or from P & B trips that did not run through to the airport. Starting in 1995, P & B Logan service used the Ted Williams Tunnel.

In 1985, P & B took over operation of a limited-stops route between Marshfield, Hanover, and Boston from the MBTA, which had started it in 1982. P & B operated this route, with some state funding through the MBTA, until 2008.

In November 1987, P & B began operating an express bus route between the Quincy Adams rapid transit station and Logan Airport under a contract with Massport. The DPU issued CPCN 3807 to P & B for this route. From 1988 to 1990, the outer end of this route was extended from Quincy Adams to Plymouth, with no intermediate stops, under an MBTA contract. In November 1990, the Quincy Adams stop on this route was replaced with a separate parking lot in Braintree and CPCN 3807 was amended to reflect this change.
P & B continued to run a few Plymouth-Logan nonstop trips until 1991. P & B was the contract operator of the Braintree-Logan route until March 1998, when Massport awarded the contract to Paul Revere Transportation.

In August 1988, P & B took over the business of Cape Cod Bus Lines. The DPU transferred 20 CPCNs from that company to P & B, but most of these were for routes that were either inactive or were restricted to sightseeing service. The only general-purpose route that P & B acquired in this transaction was one from Hyannis to Provincetown. Like the Chatham route, this route had been run by the New England Transportation Company from the 1920s to 1955. The original routing, which used local streets and state Route 6A from Hyannis to Orleans, was covered by CPCN 243, issued in 1926. This CPCN was transferred in 1955 to Falmouth Bus & Taxi Company, which was renamed Cape Cod Bus Lines in August 1963. CPCN 3217, covering operation on the present U.S. Route 6 between Yarmouthport and Orleans, was issued to Falmouth Bus & Taxi in September 1959.

Since the 1990s P & B’s route network has been reduced substantially. The Greenbush-Hingham-Boston route, which was once the most heavily served route in the P & B system, was down to three round-trips a day by September 1998. Only one round-trip remained when the route was discontinued in September 2003. The Greenbush commuter rail line, on which service was restored in October 2007, includes stations in Scituate, Cohasset, and Hingham.

Fall 2011 Route Status

In 2011, the only route on which P & B operated frequent all-day service was the Hyannis-Boston route. Intermediate stops on this route were at park-and-ride lots in Barnstable, Sagamore, Plymouth, and Rockland. In Boston, most peak-period trips served Park Square in addition to South Station, and most off-peak trips also served Logan Airport. A few trips served Logan but not South Station or Park Square. P & B also ran a few connecting trips between Hyannis and Provincetown.

In addition to the Hyannis route, P & B ran several peak-period trips between Plymouth and Boston, with intermediate stops only in Kingston and Rockland. A separate P & B route with two inbound weekday trips and one outbound weekday trip ran from South Duxbury to Boston with several intermediate stops in Marshfield. 

A.5.5    The Coach Company

Origins of Routes of the Coach Company

The fixed-route bus services operated by the Coach Company are derived mostly from routes started in 1965 in response to significant cutbacks in commuter rail service. These bus routes have survived even though commuter rail service in the same territory has expanded again.

In January 1965, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) authorized the Boston and Maine Corporation (B&M) to discontinue all intrastate passenger trains and almost all interstate passenger trains that it was then operating in and out of Boston. The MBTA, which had been established in 1964, had already reached an agreement with the B&M to maintain and increase service within the MBTA District if the ICC approved the discontinuances, but service outside the District would end unless funded by other parties. Until 1965, the route that is now the MBTA Newburyport Line had passenger service extending to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The ICC order allowed the B&M to end all service on that line except for one round-trip a day between Boston and Newburyport. The route that is now the MBTA Haverhill Line had passenger service as far as Portland Maine. The ICC order allowed the B&M to discontinue that service except for one round-trip a day between Boston and Dover, New Hampshire.

On the Newburyport Line, the MBTA District ended at Hamilton then, so Hamilton/Wenham Station became the temporary end of the line except for the one Newburyport round-trip. In June 1965 the MBTA extended service to Ipswich under a contract with that town. All Haverhill trains had been running via the Lowell Line as far as Wilmington. Stations beyond that were all outside the MBTA District then, so they were served only by the one Dover round-trip.

To make up for the loss of commuter rail service, the DPU issued temporary operating certificates to bus companies in the affected areas. One of these companies was Michaud Bus Lines. In 1959, Michaud had taken over operation of an interstate bus route from Springvale, Maine through Durham, New Hampshire, to Boston. Within Massachusetts this route followed Interstate Route 95 and U.S. Route 1. When Michaud acquired this route, the DPU issued CPCN 3229 to the company, allowing it to carry intrastate passengers only between the town of Amesbury (on the state line) and Boston. When the B&M service was cut back, Michaud was granted a temporary license for a route from Newburyport to the Salem commuter rail station. This was replaced in March 1965 by CPCN 3389, for service between Newburyport and Peabody on U.S. Route 1. Buses were run through to Boston under the authority of CPCN 3229. Another bus company initially provided replacement service to Haverhill. In September 1965, the DPU issued CPCN 3403 to Michaud for a route from Haverhill through Groveland to I-95 in either Georgetown or Boxford. This followed state Routes 113, 97, and 133, and was also used in conjunction with CPCN 3229 for through service to Boston.

In 1967, Michaud was issued CPCNs 3447 and 3448 covering local service in Haverhill, Groveland, Newburyport, West Newbury, and North Andover in place of another bus company that had gone out of business.

In June 1967, the B&M received ICC approval to discontinue the Newburyport and Dover trains it had been required to keep operating in 1965. The city of Newburyport contracted with the MBTA to continue the one round-trip, but Rowley declined and lost its stop. Haverhill, North Andover, Lawrence, and Andover contracted with the MBTA to keep the Dover trains running as far as Haverhill. Train frequency was not increased on either line at that time, so the Michaud bus routes continued.

Boston Commuter Lines, Inc., and Kinson Bus Lines

In December 1972, the DPU transferred CPCNs 3229, 3389, 3403, 3447, and 3448 covering the routes described above from Michaud Bus Lines to a new company, Boston Commuter Lines, which used the trade name Bos Com. This company was partly owned by members of the Michaud family. In June 1974, Bos Com was granted CPCN 3621 for a side-diversion of the local Newburyport route in Topsfield and Boxford.

In 1975, Bos Com arranged with Basil S. Kinson, Inc., d/b/a Kinson Bus Lines, to operate the former Michaud routes to Boston from Amesbury and Newburyport. In April 1977, the DPU transferred CPCNs 3229, 3389, and 3621 from Bos Com to Kinson, but renumbered them as 3229-A, 3389-A, and 3621-A. At the same time, the DPU reissued the portion of certificate 3229 between Georgetown and Boston to Bos Com along with part of CPCN 3621 to allow that company to continue operating the Haverhill-Boston route.

Kinson had previously operated a bus route between downtown Newburyport and Plum Island, under CPCN 319. That number indicates that it was originally issued in 1927, but does not show what operator it was issued to. Kinson had also been issued CPCN 3441 for service in Newburyport in 1967 and CPCN 3613 for service in Georgetown in 1974. Prior to July 1973, Kinson operated buses under his own name rather than through a corporation.

In September 1981, Kinson was issued a temporary license to operate the Haverhill-Boston route in place of Bos Com, which was going out of business. (Kinson had already been operating the route under an arrangement with Bos Com.) In December 1981, the DPU transferred all of Bos Com’s CPCNs to Kinson.

Formation of the Coach Company

In 1985, the McGregor-Smith Motor Company of Merrimac purchased all shares of Basil S. Kinson, Inc. but continued to operate that company’s services as Kinson Bus Lines. McGregor-Smith also owned a Plaistow, New Hampshire bus company called Timberlane Transportation. That company had been in business since the 1960s. In 1989, Laidlaw Transportation purchased Timberlane’s school bus operation, but other Timberlane services were retained by McGregor-Smith as Timberlane Coach d/b/a the Coach Company. In another corporate restructuring, McGregor-Smith was succeeded by MRS, Inc. In July 1990, that company purchased all shares of Basil S. Kinson, Inc., which then began doing business as the Coach Company instead of as Kinson Bus Lines. In October 1991, the DPU amended CPCN 3389A to allow the Coach Company to add a side diversion on Route 129 (Salem Street) in Lynnfield on some Haverhill trips to replace service discontinued by Hudson Bus Lines. 

The Coach Company has operated several variations of the Boston routes discussed above over the years, mostly involving extensions to various points in southern New Hampshire. In most years, some service has been operated to Plaistow. Route segments within Massachusetts were subsidized by the state through the MBTA from 1987 to 2008. Service to Amesbury was discontinued in 2008.

Fall 2011 Route Status

In November 2011, the website for the Coach Company identified it as a Milton Smith company. Fixed-route service consisted of two weekday peak-period round-trips on the Haverhill-Boston route and six on the Newburyport route. The Haverhill trips all made intermediate stops in Groveland, Georgetown, Boxford, Topsfield, and Peabody. One AM inbound and two PM outbound Newburyport trips made intermediate stops in Peabody, but otherwise they ran nonstop between a park-and-ride lot off I-95 in Newburyport and Boston. Two of the inbound AM trips and three of the outbound PM trips served downtown Newburyport. Most of the bus trips actually began or ended at the Coach Company garage in Plaistow. Two inbound Newburyport trips made scheduled stops at a park-and-ride lot in Plaistow. Both outbound Haverhill trips and five outbound Newburyport trips stopped on request at the Plaistow lot on the way to the garage. The Coach Company also operates charter buses, and runs a daily scheduled trip from Portsmouth, Newburyport, and Lawrence to the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut.

Competition in the Service Territory of the Coach Company

The bus routes operated by the Coach Company were originally started to replace commuter rail service that was being discontinued, but that service was later restored. This has limited the potential demand for bus service in the area. The one Newburyport commuter rail round-trip remaining in 1965 was replaced by an extension of an Ipswich round-trip in October 1975. That trip was cut back to Ipswich in April 1976, when Newburyport declined to continue funding it. Newburyport was then served only by buses until October 1998, when the MBTA extended most Ipswich trains through to Newburyport with an intermediate stop in Rowley.

Commuter rail service on the Haverhill Line was discontinued in June 1976, after all the communities on the line stopped contributing to its funding. In December 1979, the MBTA extended some Reading trains to Haverhill under an arrangement with the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority, and the number of Haverhill trains gradually increased. Although these commuter rail restorations compete with the Coach Company bus routes in Haverhill and Newburyport, the other municipalities served by the buses do not have commuter rail service.

The Coach Company has also always had competition from interstate bus companies for traffic between Newburyport and Boston. Because of federal deregulation of intercity bus service, these carriers have not been required to obtain CPCN’s in Massachusetts since 1982. C&J Bus Lines currently serves Newburyport on a route from Dover, New Hampshire to Logan Airport and South Station. C&J began as an airport limousine operator in the 1970s, but expanded to operating general-purpose intercity bus service in 1988.


A.6.1    Crystal Transport, Inc.

This company was established in November 1983, by Linda Carroll, formerly the chief operating officer of William S. Carroll Bus Lines. In September 1984, Crystal acquired the charter license of Rabbit Transit of Concord, Mass. That company had ceased operating as a result of financial problems following an October 1982 accident.

Most of the CPCNs issued to Crystal have been for special service to colleges, limited to their students, faculty, or other personnel and valid only while contracts with those colleges are in effect. The oldest such CPCN in the DPU files was issued to Crystal in April 1984, for routes from Wellesley College to MIT and from Wellesley College to Babson College and Brandeis University. Correspondence in the files indicates that Crystal had begun operating these routes sometime previously before being notified by the DPU that a CPCN was required. Crystal is not currently operating any of the Wellesley shuttles.

Next was CPCN 3789, issued to Crystal in April 1985 for a route between the Newton Center and Brighton campuses of Boston College, and to the Cleveland Circle area. In September 1989, the DPU issued CPCN 3822 to Crystal for a route from the Boston University campus in Allston to the B.U. Medical Area in the South End. This route was restricted to carrying B.U. faculty and students.

The only authorization to Crystal for routes open to the general public was a temporary 180-day license issued on July 31, 1992 for Framingham LIFT Routes 5 and 6 from Framingham to Milford and to Ashland. The reason for this was that the previous carrier, Big W Trans, was going out of business. However, Crystal was not issued permanent DPU rights to these routes after the temporary license expired.

A.6.2    Fox Bus Lines, Inc.

On May 12, 1978, the DPU approved the transfer of a charter license and CPCNs for several fixed routes in the Worcester area to Fox Bus Lines from the Worcester Bus Company. These included a route from Worcester to Millbury, a route in Sutton and Douglas, and a route from Worcester to Yarmouth and Dennis on Cape Cod. The latter route was restricted to picking up or discharging passengers in Worcester, Yarmouth or Dennis. Worcester Bus had obtained the rights to that route in 1974. It is unclear how long Fox operated any of these routes.

In early 1982, Fox Bus Lines was granted a temporary 120-day license for a fixed route from Worcester via Auburn, Oxford, Webster, and Dudley to Southbridge, to replace a route discontinued on January 30 by Denise, Inc., doing business as Travel Time. State law does not allow renewals of 120-day licenses to the same company. When this one expired, another for the same route was issued to an affiliated company, Fox Bus Corp. On October 20, 1982, Fox Bus Lines was awarded permanent CPCN 3764 for the Worcester-Southbridge route, with further extensions to Sturbridge and Charlton. However, the route proved unprofitable, and on June 4, 1983 Fox discontinued it and surrendered the CPCN for it to the DPU.

On April 5, 1993, the DPU awarded Fox Bus Lines a CPCN for a route from the border of Southborough and Framingham via Route 9 to Speen Street and via the Massachusetts Turnpike, Central Artery, and harbor tunnels to Logan Airport. This certificate was restricted to provision of airport service under contract with Massport. A route from Shoppers World in Framingham to Logan had previously been operated for Massport since 1988 by Peter Pan Bus Lines. It is unclear if Fox ever attempted to serve the segment between the Southborough line and Shoppers World. 

On July 10, 2000, the DTE awarded Fox Bus Lines CPCN RB-165 for a route from park-and-ride lots at Massachusetts Turnpike interchanges in Auburn and Millbury to downtown Boston. A published schedule for this route in the DPU files shows that service was to begin with a 6:30 AM inbound trip from Auburn to Boston, followed by an 8:00 AM reverse-commuting trip to high-tech businesses on South Street in Hopkinton. In the afternoon there was to be a 3:15 trip from Boston to Auburn, followed by a 5:00 trip from Hopkinton to Boston and a 7:30 PM trip to Auburn. Some trips were also to stop at the Riverside MBTA station.

Correspondence in the DPU files shows that Fox had proposed in February 2000 instituting this route as justification for having leased a bus from the Executive Office of Transportation and Construction for about the previous two years. Fox had been using the bus exclusively in charter service, in violation of a requirement that it be used mostly in fixed-route service. The route only operated for a short period of time and was discontinued because of low ridership.

As of October 2011, Fox Bus Lines was operating charter and tour bus service under the names Fox Bus Tours and Silver Fox Motor Coaches. Fox was also still the operator of the Framingham Logan Express route for Massport.

A.6.3    Joseph’s Transportation (also known as Joseph’s Limousine & Transportation)

Internet information furnished by this company says that it was first established in 1957, and started out with one limousine. The company’s first entry into fixed-route service occurred in the late 1980s when it leased another carrier’s operating rights for a shuttle service between the offices of Arthur D. Little in Cambridge and the Alewife Red Line terminal. In December 1990 the DPU awarded CPCN 3827 to Joseph’s Limousine Service for this route, along with a charter bus license. In July 1993 the DPU amended the CPCN to allow Joseph’s to operate a shuttle service from the Arthur D. Little offices to Logan Airport. This route used a combination of unnumbered local roads and state Route 60 through Somerville, Medford, Everett, and Chelsea to East Boston, but local stops along the way were not allowed. It is unclear how long this service was run. DPU records indicate that CPCN 3827 was the only one ever issued to Joseph’s by that agency (or by the DTE, which replaced the DPU from 1998 to 2007).

In February 1994, the MBTA awarded a contract to Joseph’s Limousine Service for a route on Fulton Street in Medford. The former long-time operator of the Fulton Street route, Hudson Bus Lines, had just gone out of business. The history of the route itself dated back to 1933. In 1999, the MBTA assigned it route number 710. Another company held the MBTA contract for Route 710 from 2000 to 2004, but Joseph’s has been the contractor again since 2004.

Joseph’s has bid on other MBTA local bus contracts from time to time but has thus far not been awarded any of them. In 2011 the company also operated charter and tour buses, limousines, and corporate sedans.

A.6.4    M & L Transit Systems

This company began operating as M & L Transportation Services in 1984. It initially operated fixed-route service to Logan Airport from Merrimack and Nashua, New Hampshire, under ICC authority. In 1987, due to a complaint filed by Hudson Bus Lines, the DPU conducted an investigation of service being provided by M & L to Logan from points in Chelmsford, Lowell, Burlington, and Bedford in conjunction with the New Hampshire route. The DPU ruled that M & L did not have proper authority to operate such service, and M & L apparently discontinued it.

In June 1990, the DPU issued charter license 89-73 to M & L. In January 1994 M & L was awarded a contract by the town of Framingham to operate the LIFT bus system, replacing the carrier that had operated it for the previous two years. M & L operated the route for about a year, but was forced to give it up when the DPU ruled that it did not have the proper operating authority. The service was then taken over by AAA Charter, a company that had been issued charter license 93-122 by the DPU in September 1993. In March 1995 AAA Charter was renamed A&A Charter, and in June 1995 the DPU issued CPCN 95 RB-3 to this company covering all of the LIFT routes in Framingham, Natick, Hopkinton, Ashland, Holliston, and Milford. In November 1999, M & L Transportation Services merged with A&A Charter, and the merged company was re-named M & L Transit Systems.

The LIFT system was taken over in July 2007 by the newly organized Metrowest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA). Fixed-route services provided by the MWRTA are currently operated under contract by First Transit, a nationwide transportation management company based in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Around 1988, the Route 128 Business Council established a shuttle service between the Alewife Red Line terminal in Cambridge and several businesses in Lexington and Waltham. This service was operated by M & L, but was apparently not considered by the DTE to be a service requiring fixed-route rights as it was operated under contract and was intended mostly to carry employees of the businesses it served.

Around the year 2000, the Route 128 Business Council established another shuttle service between the Newton Highlands Green Line station and several businesses in the vicinity of Route 128 in Needham. This service was also operated under contract by M & L. The DTE did not require a CPCN for this service. In 2005, the Business Council sought to expand the Needham route to include some businesses in Newton, and requested clarification from the DTE as to what authority was needed. The DTE responded that it considered this to be a charter service for which no local street licenses or a CPCN were required.

In January 2002, the city of Cambridge contracted with M & L to operate a new shuttle service between the MIT/Kendall Square area and North Station. This service, called EZ-Ride, was managed by the Charles River Transportation Management Association (TMA) also under contract with the city. The DPU apparently determined that a CPCN was not required. In this case, because the city was the entity that contracted for the service, it stipulated the streets over which EZ-Ride was to operate in the form of a street license. Each time revisions were subsequently made to the route, the city issued amended licenses. M & L is no longer the operator of EZ-Ride, having been replaced in 2008 by Paul Revere Transportation, LLC. 

In October 2011, M & L was described on its website as offering Boston bus charters and group transportation throughout Greater Boston and Massachusetts. The company was still operating the Route 128 Business Council shuttles under contract.

A.6.5    McGinn Bus Company, Inc.

According to this company’s website “McGinn Bus Company has been providing excellence in passenger ground transportation service since 1918.” The earliest DPU records for a predecessor of the present company show that on January 26, 1940 a charter license was issued to Francis A. McGinn, d/b/a McGinn Bus Company. Licensing of charter bus service by the DPU was first required by legislation enacted in 1939. McGinn had apparently not operated any services that would have been under DPU jurisdiction previously. At McGinn’s request, his charter license was temporarily suspended from January to October 1945 because of wartime and early post-war conditions. After Francis McGinn’s death, the DPU transferred his charter license to his widow, Marguerite E. McGinn, on June 1, 1959.

McGinn Bus Company, Inc. was organized by members of the Anzuoni family, owners of several other greater Boston bus companies, on October 2, 1961. The DPU transferred the McGinn charter license to the new company on May 18, 1962. Since then, McGinn has been mostly a charter-bus operator.

In October 1977, the DPU issued a 120-day temporary license to McGinn to operate a special-purpose fixed route to transport employees of the Morse Shoe Company between Boston and the company’s new location in Canton. This was a replacement for a non-renewable temporary license for the same route previously issued to Brush Hill Transportation, another Anzuoni company. McGinn did not obtain permanent rights for this route. 

On August 13, 2001, the DPU issued a 120-day temporary license to McGinn for a new route from Peabody to Logan Airport, to be operated under contract with Massport as part of the Logan Express network. This route was scheduled to begin on August 31, but several of the cities and towns through which it was to operate nonstop had not responded to McGinn’s application for street licenses. The DTE subsequently invoked a provision of the law that authorizes it to issue street licenses if municipalities have not responded within 60 days. The DPU issued CPCN 01 RB-206 to McGinn for the Peabody route on December 11, 2001 just as the temporary license was due to expire.

In October 2011, McGinn Bus Company was still the operator of the Peabody Logan Express route. The DPU files do not show CPCNs having been issued to McGinn for any other fixed-route service. At one time, McGinn was the contractor for the city of Lynn for two loop routes that had been run by the MBTA as minibus routes from 1973 to 1977, but these apparently did not require DPU certificates. 

A.6.6    Paul Revere Transportation, LLC

In May and June 1990, the DPU issued two charter licenses to Alternate Concepts, Inc. and Modern Continental Construction Company, d/b/a Joint Venture. Alternate Concepts had been organized the previous year by former MBTA General Manager James O’Leary and others. In February 1992, the d/b/a name of the joint venture was changed to Paul Revere Transportation. About 1996 the joint venture was succeeded by Paul Revere Transportation LLC. This company in its various configurations has been the operator of a number of fixed-route and shuttle bus services under contracts from other parties, but has never operated any unsubsidized bus routes in Massachusetts.

The earliest contract awarded to Paul Revere was from Massport, for the long-established network of shuttle buses connecting the Logan Airport terminals, Massport offices, the MBTA Blue Line Airport Station, and the Logan water transportation terminal. In July 1991, the MBTA awarded the contract for bus service between the Orient Heights Blue Line station and points in the town of Winthrop to Paul Revere. These routes had been run by a private carrier, Rapid Transit, Inc., since 1940, when they replaced the abandoned Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn narrow-gauge railroad. The MBTA had been subsidizing them since 1968. Paul Revere has continued to be the operator of these routes, which were assigned MBTA numbers 712 and 713 in 1999.

From 1992 to 1993 and from 2000 to 2001, Paul Revere operated shuttle bus service between South Station and Logan Airport under contract with Massport. Both of these services were discontinued because of low ridership. MBTA Silver Line Waterfront Route SL1, established in 2005, now connects South Station with Logan, and is partly funded by Massport.

In November 1995, Massport awarded the contract for Woburn Logan Express bus service to Paul Revere. The DPU issued CPCN 95-RB-43 to Paul Revere for this this service. The route had been operated for Massport by other contractors since it was first established in 1992. (The outer terminal was relocated from Mishawum Station to the Anderson/Woburn Regional Transportation Center in 2001.)

In September 1997 the Cambridge City Council granted three jitney licenses to Paul Revere to operate a shuttle service around the MIT campus.

In March 1998 Paul Revere also won the contract for the Massport Braintree Logan Express route, which had been operated by the Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company since 1987. (The outer terminal had been relocated from Quincy Adams Station to the present location in 1990.) Paul Revere was awarded CPCN 98-RB-106 for this route.

In November 2001, Paul Revere took over contract operation of the Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization (MASCO) fixed-route buses and shuttle vans serving the Longwood Medical Area (LMA). These currently include Route M2 between Harvard Square and the LMA and a route from the JFK/UMass and Ruggles MBTA stations to the LMA. A shuttle van is operated between the Landmark Center and other offices in the Fenway area and the LMA. Another shuttle operated by Paul Revere runs between the Landmark Center and South Station.

MASCO was originally organized in 1972 as the Medical Area Service Corporation. A MASCO subsidiary called MetroBus was operating five routes in Cambridge and Boston by 1989.

In September 2008 Paul Revere took over contract operation of the EZ-Ride Shuttle which runs between North Station and the Kendall Square and MIT campus areas of Cambridge. This service was originally started in January 2002. It has always been funded by the City of Cambridge and managed by the Charles River Transportation Management Association. M & L Transit Systems, discussed elsewhere, was the original contractor. The cities of Cambridge and Boston issued licenses specifying the streets over which EZ-Ride was to operate, but CPCNs from the DPU were apparently not required. This service was subsequently combined with the MIT campus shuttle.


A.7.1    Barrett’s Tours

This company operates narrated sightseeing buses on Nantucket Island from April to November. There is no potential for this to overlap with intercity bus service, so CTPS did not review the DPU files for Barrett’s. According to a Nantucket tourism website in 2011, Barrett’s Tours had been a family-owned business for 75 years. The 1970 DPU directory of bus companies under its jurisdiction includes Chester S. Barrett, Jr., d/b/a Barrett’s Tours, and shows that the company had a charter license and a fixed-route license limited to island sightseeing.

A.7.2    Brush Hill Transportation Company

Company Origin and History before 1970

The Brush Hill Transportation Company was organized in 1920. When state regulation of bus companies began in 1925, Brush Hill was operating a local route in Milton and the northern edge of Canton, for which the DPU granted it CPCN 60. Most of the CPCNs issued to Brush Hill over the next several decades were for variations of or extensions to the original route. CPCN 1052, issued in July 1936, extended operating rights south to Washington Street at Turnpike Street in Canton. CPCN 1055 issued in September 1936 brought the north end of the routes into the Mattapan trolley terminal. In February 1938, CPCN 1152 extended Brush Hill’s rights south to Stoughton Center.

By 1939, Brush Hill Transportation was under the same ownership as Warwick Coach Lines of Malden. When that company went out of business in 1953, Brush Hill was sold to three individuals who resold it to George Anzuoni in 1954. Brush Hill has remained in the Anzuoni family since then.

In April 1963, Brush Hill was granted CPCN 3325 for a route between Canton and the Route 128 commuter rail station. This was to be valid only for the duration of a demonstration project contract with the Mass Transportation Commission.

Changes in Brush Hill Routes after 1970

In August 1973, Brush Hill began the first bus operation outside its traditional operating territory, when the DPU issued it a temporary license for a route between Boston and Milford to replace service by a company that was going out of business. This route had changed hands and configurations several times since it was first established in the 1920s. In December 1973, CPCN 3605 was issued to the Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company, also owned by the Anzuoni family, for the Milford-Boston Route. It mostly followed state Route 109 between Milford and Westwood. From there to Boston the CPCN included optional routings via Route 128 either north to the Massachusetts Turnpike or south to the Southeast Expressway. Also included was an express routing from Milford via I-495 and the Massachusetts Turnpike. Although Plymouth & Brockton held the CPCN, Brush Hill continued to be the actual operator of the route. The DPU files for Brush Hill indicate that the reason for this arrangement was that Plymouth & Brockton already had operating rights in downtown Boston but Brush Hill did not.

In April 1977, the DPU amended CPCN 3605 to provide an extension from Milford through Hopedale and Mendon to Bellingham. This extension was discontinued in December 1978.

In November 1977, the MBTA issued Certificate 51 to Plymouth & Brockton for a route in traditional Brush Hill territory. This route started at a park-and-ride lot on Route 138 in Canton north of I-93. From there it proceeded north and east through Milton to the Southeast Expressway at East Milton Square, and on to downtown Boston. In October 1984, the MBTA transferred Certificate 51 from P&B to Brush Hill, which may have been the actual operator before that. This route was subsidized by the MBTA in 1988 and 1989. Brush Hill discontinued it when the subsidy ended. After that, it was run by another carrier until 1990, but has not been run since then.

In April 1980, Brush Hill reduced service on the Stoughton-Mattapan route, which it had been operating since 1938, to one weekday round-trip. This was discontinued in 1986. In June 1980, Brush Hill discontinued service on its route between the west side of Milton and Mattapan that it had assembled mostly from CPCNs issued in the 1920s and 1930s. The MBTA then operated a replacement for that route until April 1981.

In February 1984, the DPU approved the transfer of CPCN 3605 for the Milford-Boston route, with some amendments, from Plymouth & Brockton to Brush Hill. However, the route was still included in P & B system schedules until September 1987, when it began to receive state/MBTA funding and service was cut down to two round-trips a day. It was cut back to one round-trip in August 1999, and discontinued in July 2003 when the subsidies ended. Since then no other carrier has served this corridor.

In July 1984, Brush Hill was granted a temporary license for a route between the UMass Boston Harbor campus, the Red Line Columbia (now JFK/UMass) Station, and the UMass downtown Boston campus at Park Square. A permanent certificate was granted to Brush Hill for this route in November 1984. The route was restricted to carrying UMass students and personnel and was run under a contract with the university. The MBTA had operated this route with a minibus from January 1974, when the Harbor campus opened, until June 1975, after which it was run by private contractors. The DPU records do not show how long Brush Hill had the contract, but the route was last operated in 1992, when the UMass downtown campus closed.

The end of the Milford route was also the end of Brush Hill’s operation of general-purpose fixed-route bus service. However, since 1981, the company has operated sightseeing tours of Boston and other points of interest in eastern Massachusetts. It has been the local affiliate of the Gray Line worldwide network of local sightseeing companies since 1993. In conjunction with the sightseeing service, the DPU has granted Brush Hill some CPCNs restricted to carrying passengers between hotels and the starting point of the sightseeing trips at the State Transportation Building in Boston.

In December 1985 Brush Hill was granted a temporary license to operate a route between Logan Airport and Copley Square. A permanent certificate for this route was issued to Brush Hill in November 1986. Brush Hill was one of several private carriers that have operated such a route over the years. By 1990 Brush Hill was no longer operating it. 

A.7.3    Salem Trolley

This company’s website says that it was established in 1982, and is locally owned and operated. The DPU reported to CTPS that Salem Trolley holds some CPCNs, but the file was not available on the days that CTPS was reviewing other DPU files. The Salem Trolley website shows its operations as including one-hour narrated tours of Salem from April to October with a reduced off-season schedule. The company also operates a shuttle service among 13 points of interest in Salem, including the terminal of the ferry that runs to Boston in spring, summer and fall. There would be no conflict between the authority provided in CPCNs for these operations and those for potential intercity bus service.

A.7.4    Back Bay Coach

This company first obtained a charter service license from the DPU on February 9, 1995. On the same date, the company was issued CPCN No. 3841 for fixed-route service between Logan Airport and several hotels in the Back Bay section of Boston. Over the next few years, amendments to this CPCN expanded the territory in which the company was authorized to provide fixed-route services. The largest expansion occurred in May 2003, when CPCN 3841 was amended to include rights in about 50 cities and towns, to replace Logan Airport service formerly provided by a company called Transnet/Shuttle King that had gone out of business. That company had taken over service formerly operated by U.S. Shuttle, which shut down as a result of reduced demand after September 11, 2001. Some of the rights included in CPCN 3841 were only for closed-door service or for operation on limited-access highways that passed through the cities or towns listed.

Back Bay Coach also used CPCN 3841 to implement a daily shopper’s bus from points in Boston and Cambridge to the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets in the town of Wrentham. On July 17, 2003, the DTE issued CPCN RB-261 to Back Bay Coach for service between points in downtown Boston and Constitution Wharf in Charlestown, probably for sightseeing.

On May 26, 2005, CPCN 3841 and RB-261 were both transferred from Back Bay Coach to a new company, Newton Airport Express, doing business as Boston Common Coach. As of October 2011, the Boston Common Coach website indicated that the only fixed-route service being operated by that company was daily trips to the Wrentham Village Outlets from several points (mostly hotels) in downtown Boston and Cambridge. The Back Bay Coach website also listed that route even though that company no longer operated it directly. Otherwise Back Bay Coach advertised demand-responsive service to Logan Airport from cities and towns within Route 128.

A.7.5    Flight Line

This company is in the business of providing van service to and from Logan Airport. In January 1996, the DPU awarded Flight Line CPCN 95-RB-28 for service from a hotel in Andover to Logan. Flight Line had previously been operating such service under ICC authority as part of a route between New Hampshire points and Boston. The DPU certificate was sought after other carriers providing intrastate service to Logan had questioned the legality of Flight Line’s Andover service. DPU files do not indicate that Flight Line was ever issued any other CPCNs. As of October 2011, Flight Line’s service was provided mainly on a demand-responsive basis. This included service to South Station or the Black Falcon cruise ship terminal in addition to Logan. Also advertised were scheduled departures from Logan every 30 minutes to park-and-ride lots in Andover and Methuen, but inbound service was by reservation only and overnight parking was not allowed.


DPU records indicate that each of the following companies holds at least one CPCN for fixed-route bus service. However, as far as could be determined by CTPS, none of these companies was providing service under these CPCNs as of November 2011. As in other sections of this memorandum, the companies are listed in alphabetical order.

A.8.1    Cavalier Coach Trailways

Cavalier Coach began as an operator of interstate charter bus service under a license issued to it by the Interstate Commerce Commission in August 1987. Cavalier was granted an intrastate charter license by the DPU in October 1988.

Cavalier Coach entered the fixed-route bus business in August 1992, when it replaced Big W Trans, Inc. on a one-round-trip-a-day commuter service between Northborough and Boston via Marlborough, Sudbury, Wayland, and Weston. This route followed U.S. Route 20, state Route 128, and the Massachusetts Turnpike. The service was being partly funded by the state through the MBTA at the time. The route was covered by CPCN 3784, which had first been issued by the DPU in 1983, and had changed hands twice before being transferred to Cavalier. The segment outside state Route 128 dated from the 1920s, with the connection into Boston originally having been via Route 20. (Among the other carriers to have operated this route was Ritchie Bus Lines, discussed elsewhere in this section.)

During 1994 Cavalier operated a route between Salem, New Hampshire and Boston under temporary rights after the previous carrier serving the route went out of business.

From 1998 to 2001, Cavalier also operated a reverse-commuting route between downtown Boston and several high-technology companies and hotels in Marlborough. That route used the Massachusetts Turnpike and I-495. Cavalier operated it initially under temporary rights. CPCN 3784 was amended to include it in February 1999.

Cavalier became a member of the Trailways Transportation System in 2006. In September 2006 the DTE granted a 120-day temporary license to Cavalier for a route between Marlborough and Boston via Southborough and the Massachusetts Turnpike. Permanent rights were later granted through another amendment to CPCN 3784. This route had been discontinued in June 2006 by Gulbankian Bus Lines, which had been operating it in various forms since 1981. Cavalier initially received a state/MBTA subsidy for this route. Subsidies for both routes ended in 2008 as part of a general elimination of the program through which the funding had been provided.

In February 2011, Cavalier discontinued service between Northborough and Marlborough and combined the remaining service into a long loop line that ran outbound to Marlborough via the MassPike and Southborough and returned inbound via Route 20. This route was discontinued on October 21, 2011 due to low ridership, leaving Cavalier as a charter and tour bus operator. The DPU files indicate that the routes discussed above were the only ones for which Cavalier ever had fixed-route rights.

A.8.2    King Ward Coach Lines

The official name of this company is Terrien Transportation, Inc., d/b/a King Ward Coach Lines. Terrien Transportation was started in 1983 as a provider of school transportation for special-needs children. In December 1987, the company was sold to Robert King and was incorporated. In December 1988, the DPU approved the transfer to Terrien of the charter license and CPCNs of the Holyoke Street Railway Company covering fixed routes in 13 cities and towns in the Holyoke area. Russ Ward, a former manager for the Holyoke Street Railway Company, went to work for Terrien Transportation, which adopted the King Ward name at that time.

The Holyoke Street Railway Company was one of the last bus companies in the state to have started out as a streetcar operator. The transferred CPCNs had been issued by the DPU between 1930 and 1971. The Holyoke Street Railway Company was a contract operator for the Pioneer Valley Regional Transit Authority (PVTA) for 10 years starting in 1978, but was being dissolved after losing the contract when it was rebid. The immediate benefit to King Ward of purchasing the Holyoke Street Railway Company’s DPU rights was to obtain the charter license. DPU files indicate that King Ward was also considering bidding on a PVTA contract in the future, but it never won such a contract. In July 1997, King Ward bought out another bus company, U.S Express. King Ward’s website shows that in October 2011 the company was strictly a charter and tour bus operator.

A.8.3    Knight’s Airport Limousine Service

About 1985, Knight’s Limousine Service began providing on-call service between Logan Airport and several communities west of Boston, mostly in or near the corridor from Framingham to Worcester. In March 1994, the DPU granted a charter license to Knight’s. A 2004 inventory by CTPS of Logan ground transportation services showed Knight’s operating door-to-door service between Logan and 63 communities in central Massachusetts.

In August 1995, the DPU awarded CPCN 95 RB-22 to Knight’s for fixed-route service between Worcester and Logan Airport. This route followed state Route 9 from Worcester to Framingham, continuing to Boston on the Massachusetts Turnpike. Stops were mostly at selected hotels, and there was a side-diversion to a hotel in Westborough. Plans for an additional diversion to a hotel in Marlborough were dropped because of opposition by another company already serving that location.

Knight’s was the latest in a series of carriers that had operated fixed-route service between the Worcester-Framingham corridor and Logan starting in 1972. It is unclear how long Knight’s operated scheduled service on this route. In October 2011, the Knight’s website advertised door-to-door service “throughout Central Massachusetts” to Logan and to T. F. Green Airport in Rhode Island. The company also operated van and minibus charter services. However, no fixed-route services were provided.

A.8.4    Local Motion, Inc.

This company was formed in June 1993. Originally its main business was transporting children between schools, after-school activities, and homes, as a supplement to school bus services provided by others. This was essentially a shared-ride van service, run under contracts with families.

In November 1995, the DPU issued charter license 95 RB-21 to Local Motion. Since then the company has expanded into school and tour bus service, with a fleet ranging from vans to over-the-road motor coaches. This company was among those that were reported to CTPS by the DPU to be holding CPCNs. However, the files examined by CTPS did not include any records of CPCNs being issued to Local Motion.

A.8.5    People Care-iers, Inc.

People Care-iers, Inc. was originally organized in July 1989 in order to provide wheelchair accessible van service between the UMass Boston Harbor campus, the JFK/UMass Red Line station, and the old UMass Boston downtown campus near Park Square. This service was run under contract with the university and was a supplement to conventional bus service provided on the same route by another carrier. The DPU granted CPCN 3826 to People Care-iers for this service in July 1990 after determining that one was required. People Care-iers was also awarded a charter service license by the DPU in January 1991.

People Care-iers operated two fixed routes for the MBTA under contract for a short time in the 1990s. Both of these were long-established routes that had been operated by private bus companies during most of their existence. Route 714 between Hull and Hingham was run by People Care-iers between 1992 and 1995. Route 716 between Canton and Mattapan was operated by People Care-iers between 1994 and 1998. This company does not appear to have ever operated unsubsidized fixed-route bus service. In October 2011, this company had no website.

Some additional information related to the company appeared in an obituary of Robert E. White of Newton, Mass. in the Boston Globe in February 2010. This account says that Mr. White went into the bus business in the 1970s, and in 1973 was awarded the largest share of the busing contract for the desegregation of the Boston public schools. It also says, “He was a principal of a Boston based charter bus company, People Care-iers, Inc. at the time of his death.”

Independent websites indicate that in 2011 People Care-iers was in the business of providing special-needs transportation, and was run by Robert White’s widow, Shirley White, from her home in Auburndale. This had been the business address of the company since at least 1991.

A.8.6    Reliable Bus Lines, Inc.

This company was originally a school bus operator based in New Bedford. In September 1981, the DPU issued CPCN 3753 to Reliable for a fixed route between New Bedford and Wareham. The main purpose of the route was to transport employees of Commonwealth Electric to offices that had been relocated to Wareham. The certificate originally allowed only transportation of passengers going to or from the Wareham Industrial Park.

In June 1982, Bonanza Bus Lines discontinued making local stops between New Bedford and Wareham on a long-established route between Providence, Rhode Island and Cape Cod. Reliable Bus Lines applied to the DPU for a 120-day certificate for replacement service for this route. This was denied on the grounds that there was insufficient need. A route of the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) partly overlapped the Bonanza route. Reliable was, however, permitted to add one stop at an industrial plant in Marion. In November 1982, the DPU further amended CPCN 3753 to allow passengers to be picked up or discharged anywhere along the route provided that they were not traveling entirely within the SRTA district. Reliable was also prohibited from combining the route authorized by CPCN 3753 with any other route for which it might obtain operating rights either directly or in cooperation with another operator.

In April 1983, Reliable notified the DPU that effective May 2, service on the New Bedford-Wareham route would be reduced from five days a week to Mondays and Fridays only. On October 22, 1984, Reliable suspended service on the route permanently due to continuing unprofitability.

DPU records do not show any other fixed-route CPCNs ever having been issued to Reliable Bus Lines. In December 1987, the DPU issued charter license 87-152 to the company. In October 2011, Reliable Bus Lines was still operating school bus service from a garage in New Bedford, but did not have a website showing whether the company operated any other services. SRTA was still providing bus service on the segments of its network that would have been overlapped by the Reliable New Bedford-Wareham route. These are Fairhaven to Mattapoisett and Fairhaven to New Bedford.

A.8.7    Ritchie Bus Lines, Inc.

Early History

In 1959, Robert J. Ritchie of Northborough began operating a school bus business under the name of Ritchie Bus Lines. In 1971, the DPU issued a charter license to Ritchie. In March 1973, the city of Marlborough and the town of Southborough awarded their school bus contracts to Ritchie. Their former school bus contractor, Hughes Bros. Bus Company, went out of business because of losing the contracts. Since 1963, Hughes Bros. had operated a fixed-route bus for the general public between Shoppers World in Framingham and Hudson via Marlborough and Southborough. This had been a replacement for a bus route discontinued at that time by the Boston-Worcester Corp. That route had replaced a trolley line in 1925. Ritchie began operating the Framingham-Hudson route at the end of March 1973, for which the DPU issued new CPCN 3588.

Post Road Route Acquisition and Operation

In September 1973, the Gray Line, Inc. discontinued service on a route from Worcester to Boston via the Boston Post Road (U.S. Route 20). The DPU transferred CPCN 674 covering this route from Gray Line to Ritchie. This CPCN had originally been issued in 1932 to the Boston, Worcester, & New York Street Railway Company. (A corporate predecessor had started the route new in 1924 before the beginning of state regulation of bus routes, and the DPU had issued the first CPCN for it in 1926.)

Since 1966, a few trips on the Post Road Line had been run between Weston and Boston via U.S. Route 20 and the Massachusetts Turnpike. The Boston-Worcester Corporation (B & W Lines) had been issued CPCN 3427 for the segment between Weston and the Massachusetts Turnpike in August 1966. The segment on the Massachusetts Turnpike was covered by CPCN 3393, which B & W had been issued in April 1965 for service between Framingham and Boston. Ritchie diverted increasing numbers of trips to the MassPike routing, but does not appear to have obtained a permanent CPCN for the segments of this route between Weston and Boston.

At the same time that Ritchie took over the Post Road route, the company name was changed from Robert J. Ritchie, Inc. to Ritchie Bus Lines, Inc. Within a few months, Ritchie replaced weekday through service between Worcester and Boston with separate routes between Northborough and Boston and between Worcester and Northborough. By September 1974, Ritchie was operating the Framingham-Hudson route on Saturdays only. By October 1975, Ritchie had discontinued weekday service between Worcester and Northborough, but was still running through service between Worcester and Boston on Saturdays. By 1980, Ritchie was running the segment between Northborough and Worcester with a single round-trip on Monday mornings only.

End of Fixed-Route Operation by Ritchie

On March 7, 1980 the DPU issued a temporary license to Ritchie for the routing between Weston and Boston via Route 128 and the Massachusetts Turnpike, suggesting that through some oversight the company had been operating it without proper authority for several years. On April 28, 1980, the DPU transferred both this license and CPCN 674 from Ritchie to Gray Line Post Road Commuter Corp., a new subsidiary of Gray Line. This route changed carriers many times after that and was most recently discontinued by Cavalier Coach in October 2011.

On March 26, 1980, the DPU had issued CPCN 3722 to Ritchie for a route between Worcester and Northborough via Route I-290, but it was restricted to carrying passengers between Worcester and the Northborough plant of the Parker Manufacturing Company.

On April 17, 1984, the DPU transferred CPCN 3588 for the Hudson-Framingham route from Ritchie to Michael Gulbankian, doing business as Gulbankian Bus Lines. Gulbankian subsequently used this certificate in combination with one he had been issued in 1981 for service between Southborough and Boston to start a new route between Hudson and Boston. The Framingham LIFT bus system restored local service between Marlborough and Framingham Center via Southborough in February 2000, mostly following the same streets as the former Ritchie route. This is now Metrowest Regional Transit Authority Route 7. 

In October 2011, Ritchie Bus Lines was still in business as a charter bus operator. The DPU files indicate that in addition to restricted CPCN 3722, Ritchie still holds CPCN 572 for operation on Grafton Street in Shrewsbury. This certificate was transferred from Gray Line to Ritchie in 1973 along with CPCN 674, but it was never used by Ritchie and is of no use by itself.

A.8.8    Sansone Motors, Inc.

Early History

In November 1939, when the DPU began regulating charter bus service, one of the first licenses it issued was to Norwood Taxi. DPU records do not show how long that company had been providing bus service. In 1942, this charter license was replaced by a new one issued to Anthony Sansone, d/b/a Norwood Motor Tours. During World War II, this company operated some fixed-route bus service in the Norwood area under temporary War Emergency certificates issued by the DPU.

In July 1946, the DPU issued CPCN 1629 to Sansone for a seasonal route from Norwood Center to Willet Pond in Walpole. In April 1948 the DPU revoked this CPCN and the charter license issued to Sansone in 1942, but issued a new charter license and CPCN 1863 covering the same route to Sansone Motors, Inc. This company was under the same ownership as the previous one, but until 1949 state laws on bus regulation did not allow for direct transfers of charter licenses or CPCNs between companies.

CPCN Acquisition, 1948 to 1963

In December 1948, CPCN 1920 was issued to Sansone for a route from the Norwood/ Westwood town line to the Norwood Arena, a stock car race track that operated from 1948 to 1972. In October 1954, the DPU issued a temporary license to Sansone for a route between Westwood and Norwood that was being discontinued by Dedham-Needham Transit Lines. This route had been operated by various companies since 1926. Sansone was granted CPCN 3084 for it in November 1954. A small variation to this route was added by CPCN 3104 in July 1955.

In January 1955, Sansone was issued CPCN 3088 for a route from the New Haven Railroad’s Route 128 Station in Westwood to the Factory Mutual Insurance Company property in Norwood. This was an early example of feeder bus service between a suburban employment location and a commuter rail station.

In October 1963, Sansone was issued CPCN 3347 covering several streets west and east of the center of Norwood. Most of these had previously been covered by certificates held by Canton & Blue Hill Bus Line. CPCN 3347 may have been intended mostly to provide school bus service, but Sansone filed a fare tariff for it showing separate fares for children and for adults. It is unclear how long Sansone operated it. Sansone apparently did not operate regular service on any of the routes covered by CPCNs discussed above after the early 1960s, but DPU records indicate that the CPCNs have never been revoked. Since then, all CPCNs issued to Sansone by the DPU have been for special-purpose routes. 

Changes since 1963

In October 1974 the DPU issued CPCN 3637 to Sansone for two routes in Norwood going to a Star Market on Nahatan Street. This route was restricted to carrying senior citizens residing in Norwood, and was to be valid only for the duration of a contract between the Star Market and Sansone. Sansone had previously operated one of the routes under a 60-day temporary license during the summer of 1974. This was part of a program under which Star had similar contracts with other bus companies to serve other Star Market locations. These routes were typically served with one round-trip one day a week.

In December 1979, the DPU issued a temporary license to Sansone for a route between Cambridge, Boston, and Norwood to be operated under agreement with Teledyne Acoustic Research. CPCN 3720 was issued to Sansone for this route in March 1980, but Teledyne was merged into another company (now also defunct) in 1985.

In August 1980, the DPU issued CPCN 3730 to Sansone in place of temporary rights for a route between Wellesley College and MIT. This route was to be operated under a contract with MIT, in conjunction with a student exchange program between the two colleges. By 1984, the route had been taken over by another carrier. The exchange program is still offered, but for many years the bus route has been operated by Peter Pan Bus Lines.

In October 2011 Sansone Motors did not have a website, but was reported by other sites to be in the bus charter and rental business.

A.8.9    Transit Bus Line, Inc.

Early Company History

In September 1942, the DPU issued a War Emergency certificate for a route between Walpole Center and the Canton Junction railroad station to Michael J. Connolly, d/b/a Michael J. Connolly Bus Line. This seems to be the earliest record of DPU regulation of this company. In April 1943, Connolly was granted a second War Emergency certificate, for a route between Walpole Center, Norfolk, and Franklin.

In September 1945, after the end of the war, the DPU granted a charter service license to Connolly. In March 1946, Connolly was granted a permanent CPCN for the Walpole-Franklin route, and in June he was granted a CPCN for an extension of that route to Norwood. In October 1947 Connolly was granted CPCN 1817 for a new route from Norwood to Cobbs Corner (on the border of Canton and Sharon), and in December 1947 he was granted CPCN 1839 for the former wartime route from Walpole to Canton Junction.

In May 1948, Connolly sold the Norwood-Franklin route to a new company, Transit Bus Line, and the DPU issued CPCN 1871 to the new company for that route. (Until 1949, state laws on bus regulation did not allow for direct transfers of CPCNs between companies.) In October 1948, Connolly was granted CPCN 1914 providing a connection to the Norwood Arena from his other routes.

In September 1950, Connolly sought permission from the DPU to purchase Transit Bus Line and to sell CPCNs 1817, 1839, and 1914 to Sansone Motors, Inc. of Norwood. The DPU approved his purchase of Transit Bus Line, contingent upon transfer of the three CPCNs to that company rather than to Sansone. These transactions were completed in June 1951, along with a transfer of Connolly’s charter license to Transit.

System Expansion, 1952 to 1959

In March 1952 the DPU issued a 60-day license to Transit Bus Line for a route between Mansfield and Framingham that was being discontinued by another company. This route had been in operation since 1933 as a replacement for discontinued railroad passenger service. It intersected other Transit Bus Line routes in Walpole. CPCN 2081 was issued to Transit Bus for this route in May 1952. Some of the rights originally included in this certificate were transferred to Joseph F. Unda, d/b/a Unda’s Bus Service, in 1954.

In September 1952, the DPU issued CPCN 2091 to Transit Bus Line for an extension of the Walpole-Franklin route from Walpole to the Forest Hills rapid transit terminal in Boston. Originally a restriction in the certificate allowed passengers on the extension to be picked up or dropped off only at Forest Hills. An amendment in May 1953 also allowed passengers to be carried between points south of Spring Street in Walpole and points in Westwood or Dedham. A further amendment in February 1956 allowed passengers to be transported between Forest Hills Station and the Factory Mutual Insurance Company in Norwood.

In April 1957, Transit Bus Line acquired five CPCNs from Pierce Bus Lines, which was winding down its operations in that area. CPCN 166, originally issued to Pierce in 1926, included routes from Walpole to Norwood, Walpole to South Walpole, and Walpole to East Walpole. These routes had been started in the early 1920s as replacements for abandoned trolley lines. CPCN 566, originally issued to Pierce in 1930, was for a route between Walpole and Norfolk. CPCN 968, dating from 1935, was for a route between East Walpole and the Norwood town line. CPCN 1785, originally issued in 1947, covered a route from Walpole to the Sharon town line. CPCN 2097, issued in 1952, added more street coverage in Walpole.

In June 1958, the DPU issued a temporary license to Transit Bus Line for a network of routes in Dedham and West Roxbury that was being discontinued by Dedham-Needham Transit. These routes had been started at various times between the 1920s and the 1940s, and the oldest ones had replaced abandoned trolley lines. CPCN 3190 was issued to Transit for these routes on July 31, 1958. An April 1959 amendment to this CPCN added a closed-door extension to Cleary Square in Hyde Park. CPCN 3207, issued in May 1959, added a small amount of additional coverage in Dedham.

Changes after 1960

The final addition to the Transit Bus Line system was an extension from the Dedham town line to Readville, under CPCN 3436, issued in May 1967. Later that year after losing the Dedham school bus contract, Transit Bus Line discontinued all of the former Dedham-Needham Transit routes and the extensions to these it was still operating. The MBTA arranged for the Middlesex & Boston Street Railway Company to take over those routes starting in November 1967. Since then, what remains of that network has been operated by several different carriers. Since 1974, operation has been through contracts with the town of Dedham.

In 1969, the DPU approved the sale of all of the stock of Transit Bus Line, Inc. to Michael J. Connolly & Sons, Inc. By 1971, the only remaining general-purpose fixed- route bus service operated by Transit Bus Line was a route from Walpole to Norwood. This was discontinued in 1986. A special-purpose route from Forest Hills for visitors to the state prison in Norfolk had been discontinued in 1974.

Neither Transit Bus Line nor Michael J. Connolly, Inc. has a website. Information from other Internet sources shows that they are still doing charter and school bus work.

A.8.10 Trombly Motor Coach Service, Inc.

Early History

Some advertising for this company shows a founding date of 1911. However, a company history prepared by one of its managers in 1977 clarifies that that date refers to the beginning of a delivery truck business owned by a member of the Trombly family. Trombly bus operations began in 1952, with school and charter service in North Andover.

In 1956, Francis J. Trombly d/b/a Trombly Motor Coach Service, acquired the ICC rights for bus service between Manchester, New Hampshire and Lawrence, previously operated for many years by the Boston & Maine Railroad’s subsidiary Boston & Maine Transportation Company. This service was scheduled to connect at Lawrence with B&M trains to and from Boston. The ICC rights did not allow transportation of passengers entirely within Massachusetts. However, in 1959 Trombly was issued DPU CPCN 3150 to transport intrastate passengers between the northern part of Methuen and Lawrence Station.

In January 1965, the B&M discontinued all but one round-trip train a day between Lawrence and Boston, taking away much of the reason for the Manchester bus. Trombly dropped it except for a Monday-only franchise run at about that time.

Acquisition of Lawrence-Boston Route

In March 1968, the MBTA purchased all of the assets of the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company, which operated bus routes both inside and outside the MBTA district. This acquisition was made to settle challenges by the Eastern Mass. to the MBTA’s plans for rapid transit and commuter rail service expansion that were expected to divert large numbers of riders from the Eastern Mass. system. The MBTA temporarily continued operation of all of the former Eastern Mass. routes, but required that services outside of the MBTA district be funded by other entities if they were to be maintained beyond the end of 1968. This predated the formation of regional transit authorities outside the MBTA district, so individual cities and towns had to make arrangements for maintaining their bus service. Some chose to contract with the MBTA to continue service, but the City of Lawrence solicited proposals from private carriers. Trombly was selected to operate a network of local routes in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, and an express route between Lawrence and Boston via I-93. The latter route had been started by the Eastern Mass. as part of a federally funded demonstration project in 1963, but continued after the end of the project. Trombly began operating these routes, initially under temporary licenses, on December 28, 1968.

Because of opposition from MBTA unions, Trombly was at first unable to get approval from the City of Boston for permanent rights to operate into Park Square. The express route terminated at the Sullivan Square rapid transit station until October 1969, when the dispute was resolved through an act of the legislature. The DPU issued CPCN 3470 to Trombly covering that route and the local routes. By 1971, Trombly had extended some trips on the Boston-Lawrence route to North Andover, using some of the rights the company had initially obtained for local service between Lawrence and North Andover.

When Trombly first began operating service into Boston in 1969, I-93 ended at Mystic Avenue in Somerville, and buses continued from there via the McGrath and O’Brien Highways. Although I-93 was extended into Boston in 1973, Trombly did not get a certificate amendment allowing use of it until February 1978.

Trombly Acquisition of Other Former Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Routes

Trombly also took over a former Eastern Mass. route between Lawrence and Lowell in 1968, but problems in obtaining permanent rights resulted in suspension of service on that route from February 1969 until 1974. Meanwhile, in March 1972, the CPCNs previously issued to Francis J. Trombly were transferred to a new company, Trombly Motor Coach Service, Inc. The DPU issued CPCN 3612 to this company for the Lowell-Lawrence route, with several variations, in March 1974.

In September 1975, the DPU issued CPCN 3650 to Trombly Motor Coach for several routes in Methuen and between that town and Lawrence. These were former Eastern Mass. routes that Hudson Bus Lines had taken over in 1968. In 1976, Trombly through-routed some trips on the Boston-Lawrence route to Manchester using the rights obtained in the 1950s.

Commuter rail service to North Andover ended in 1974, and service to Lawrence in 1976. Service was restored to Lawrence in 1979, with frequency gradually increasing and providing more competition with bus service to Boston.

The Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA) was formed in 1977, and assumed responsibility for providing local bus service in Lawrence and surrounding towns. Trombly Motor Coach was the contract operator for MVRTA for a few years after that. In 1981, Trombly cut back the Manchester-Boston service to Salem-Boston, and only one round-trip a day. The Friday evening trip continued running through to Manchester, and then returned to Lawrence.

The City of Lowell contracted with the MBTA to continue former Eastern Mass. routes serving that city after December 1968. The Lowell Regional Transit Authority (LRTA) was formed in 1975, and chose to shift this service to a private carrier. Trombly won the contract through a new subsidiary, LoLaw Transit Management, Inc. and took over the routes in June 1976. Trombly also started a new express bus route between Lowell and Boston in place of an MBTA route that was being cut back to within the MBTA district. Trombly was allowed to pick up and drop off passengers only on segments of the route outside the MBTA district, and in downtown Boston.

Trombly did not initially obtain new rights for the Lowell-Boston route, but instead used a combination of rights covered in the Lowell-Lawrence and Lawrence-Boston routes to get from Lowell to I-93 and on into Boston. Trombly was also issued a 60-day temporary license for an alternate routing to I-93 via I-495, U.S. Route 30, and Route 128. The purpose of this routing was to serve the Middlesex County House of Correction in Billerica. This authority was allowed to expire at the end of the 60 days, but in June 1977 Trombly was granted CPCN 3685 to cover it. In May 1977 Trombly had been granted a 120-day temporary license for service from Chelmsford to Boston. That was made permanent by CPCN 3693 in October 1977.

In January 1980, the MBTA implemented an experimental extension of commuter rail service on its Lowell Line to Concord, New Hampshire via Nashua. In an effort to recapture riders diverted to this extension from Lowell-Boston buses, Trombly extended a few trips on that route through to Nashua. The commuter rail extension ended in February 1981, but the bus ridership never returned to pre-1980 levels. By January 1983, Trombly’s entire Boston-Lowell-Nashua service had been cut back to one Friday evening trip, which was gone from printed schedules by that summer. MBTA commuter rail service was by then attracting most of the transit trips between the Lowell area and Boston. Trombly’s Lowell-Lawrence route was also dropped. These routes had not been covered in the LRTA contract, which went to another private carrier at about that time.

Trombly Trailways (1980 to 1983)

In April 1980, Trombly Motor Coach organized a subsidiary, Trombly Trailways, to take over two routes from Trailways of New England. One of these ran from Haverhill to Worcester via Lawrence, Lowell, Ayer, and Fitchburg. The other route diverged from this one at Fitchburg and continued west and south through Gardner, Orange, New Salem, Pelham, Amherst, Northampton, and Holyoke to Springfield. Both routes had been run in various forms since the early days of intercity bus service, as discussed in greater detail under Peter Pan Bus Lines. The oldest CPCN covering portions of them had been originally issued by the DPU in 1927. Trombly extended one of the Worcester-Haverhill round-trips to Hampton, New Hampshire, using Trailways rights that had been inactive for several years. The east end of the Springfield route was changed from Haverhill to Nashua, New Hampshire.

The Trailways routes were unprofitable for Trombly. In March 1981, Trombly announced plans to reduce service to one round-trip a week between Haverhill and Springfield and one round-trip a day between Haverhill and Worcester. Starting in March 1981, Holiday Charter Service of Clinton began operating one round-trip a day between Fitchburg and Worcester for commuters, by arrangement with Trombly. Operation of the Springfield route was suspended entirely in May 1981. Printed schedules indicated it would resume when fall classes started at colleges in the Pioneer Valley, but it never did. In early 1983 Trailways, Inc. took over the Worcester-Haverhill route, ending Trombly’s involvement in the Trailways system.

Changes since 1985

In 1985, Trombly left fixed-route bus service entirely for a few years, having found it unprofitable. Merrimack Transportation, a subsidiary of the Gray Line, then took over the route between Boston, Lawrence, and North Andover, but the Lawrence-Salem service was dropped. In 1987, the state began subsidizing the remaining service, but in 1988 Gray Line announced plans to discontinue it anyway. When the state solicited bids for a new operator, the contract went to Trombly Commuter Lines, Inc., a newly formed subsidiary of Trombly Motor Coach, in February 1989.

In 1993, when the amount of the operating subsidy was reduced, Trombly discontinued the Lawrence-North Andover segment. However, from 1994 to 1997 Trombly ran one round-trip a day through to Salem, New Hampshire again. In 1997, Trombly cut the Salem trips back to a park-and-ride lot in Methuen, but also extended all of the other Lawrence trips to that location. At the same time, Trombly started running a nonstop express round-trip between the Methuen park-and-ride lot and Boston.

In January 2003, Trombly discontinued all of the Methuen-Boston trips except the express trip. The MVRTA then began running two round-trips a day between Boston and Lawrence, and extended them to the Methuen park-and-ride lot in July. Trombly ran the Methuen express trip without a subsidy until August 2005, but discontinued it then when the company ownership within the Trombly family changed.

In October 2011, the Trombly Motor Coach Service website described the company as a contract operator of school bus service in Andover, Lawrence, and Methuen. The company also offered charter service using school buses.

A.8.11 Vocell Bus Company, Inc.

In June 1940, when the DPU was still granting charter licenses to companies that had been in that business prior to the 1939 law that instituted licensing, one of the license recipients was Ernest T. Vocell, d/b/a Vocell Bus Company. DPU records do not show how much earlier that company had been in business, but advertising of a successor said the company was established in 1916. Vocell’s charter license was suspended at his request in 1943 for the duration of World War II.

In May 1948, Vocell formed a partnership with his sons Ernest T. Vocell Jr. and Joseph T. Vocell, again doing business as Vocell Bus Company. Until 1949 state law did not allow transfers of charter licenses, so a new one was issued to the new Vocell partnership. Following the death of the elder Vocell in 1949, his sons carried on the business under the Vocell Bus Company name and were granted a new charter license.

Vocell Bus Company first entered the fixed-route business in February 1952, by taking over a route from Woburn to Billerica via Burlington from a company that had gone out of business. Vocell initially ran this route under a temporary license, and was issued CPCN 2076 for it in April. This route had originally been started in 1924 as a replacement for an abandoned trolley line. In February 1953, Vocell was granted CPCN 3011 for some additional coverage in Billerica.

In March 1957, Vocell started a route between Woburn and Lexington under new CPCN 3149. This route had not had any transit service for many years.

In April 1968, the Vocell family sold their bus business to Benjamin R. Goodman, who formed Vocell Bus Company, Inc. for this purpose. The sale included the charter license and CPCNs discussed above. In October 1968, Vocell was granted additional rights to provide service to the new Burlington Mall, under CPCN 3459.

In January 1969, the MBTA discontinued operation of segments outside the MBTA district of several routes it had taken over through the purchase of the Eastern Massachusetts Street Railway Company in 1968. Several of these routes were taken over by private carriers. Vocell was granted CPCN 3469 for one such route, from Billerica through Chelmsford to Lowell. The MBTA continued to operate over the same route until 1976, but on a closed-door basis. Vocell operated service under CPCN 3469 as an extension of the older Woburn-Billerica route.

Vocell Bus Company discontinued operation of all of the routes covered by the certificates discussed above in 1979. All of the stock of the company was transferred from Benjamin Goodman to Paul Goodman in November 1979. The company is now a charter and school bus operator and is based in Malden. It is still owned by the Goodman family.

A.8.12 Wilson Bus Lines, Inc.

Early History

In November 1939, the DPU issued CPCN 1271 to William M. Wilson of Ashburnham for a local bus route between Ashburnham and South Ashburnham. The Boston & Maine Transportation Company had previously operated bus service between those points since the 1920s as a replacement for discontinued passenger train service on a branch line. In December 1939 the DPU granted a charter license to Wilson. In April 1945, the CPCN and charter license were amended to change the name to William M. Wilson d/b/a Wilson Bus Lines. The DPU issued CPCN 1598 to this company in May 1946 for a route from Ashburnham to Fitchburg through the edge of Westminster. CPCN 1622, issued in July 1946, provided additional street coverage in Ashburnham. In November 1947, Wilson incorporated his business as Wilson Bus Lines. In January 1948, the DPU replaced Wilson’s original CPCNs with CPCN 1846 issued in the name of the corporation, and in February 1948 the Wilson’s charter license was likewise replaced. Wilson discontinued the service between South Ashburnham, Ashburnham, and Fitchburg covered by CPCN 1846 in 1957.

Gardner-Templeton Street Railway Acquisition

In April 1957, the Gardner-Templeton Street Railway Company went out of business. Wilson Bus Lines purchased most of that company’s bus fleet and 15 CPCNs originally issued between 1926 and 1954. The oldest of these, CPCN 177 was for replacement of a trolley line between Gardner and Templeton. The others covered various local routes in these municipalities and in Athol, Orange, Phillipston, and Winchendon. Wilson discontinued some of the routes covered by these CPCNs immediately, and had dropped most of the rest by the mid-1960s. The Winchendon route was discontinued in 1972. A 1974 DPU survey of the status of outstanding CPCNs indicated that Wilson was still operating some service in Gardner and Templeton under four of the CPCNs acquired from the Gardner-Templeton Street Railway.

Other Route Acquisitions

In June 1963, Wilson acquired nine CPCNs from Flanagan Bus Lines, which was going out of business. That company had started operating charter and fixed-route service in December 1957, and had acquired all of the CPCNs from another carrier then. They had originally been issued between 1925 and 1945. The DPU file for Wilson does not indicate what carrier had these CPCNs before Flanagan, but based on the location of the routes they covered and the date Flanagan got them they were probably originally Boston & Maine Transportation Company routes. The oldest of them, dating from 1932, covered a route from Gardner to Worcester through Westminster, Sterling, Princeton, and West Boylston. Most of the rest were local variations of this route. The DPU files indicate that Wilson may have been operating some service on the Worcester route as late as 1974, but it did not appear in a 1978 inventory conducted by CTPS for the Executive Office of Transportation and Construction. 

In August 1965 Wilson acquired the charter license and CPCN 1767 from Thomas V. Bushey d/b/a Bushey’s Bus Lines. That company had been in operation since 1962. The CPCN was for a route in Winchendon. It was originally issued in 1947, but the prior carrier was not identified in the DPU’s Wilson files. Wilson discontinued operation under this CPCN about 1967.

In addition to the CPCNs acquired from other companies, Wilson was also issued some new CPCNs for service in Gardner, Fitchburg, Westminster, and Leominster in 1965, but had discontinued these routes by 1967. The last CPCN issued to Wilson by the DPU was CPCN 3705, in September 1978, for a route in Gardner.

Commuter Rail Service in Wilson Lines Service Area

In January 1965, the Boston & Maine Corporation received approval from the Interstate Commerce Commission to discontinue all intrastate passenger trains to and from Boston. On the Fitchburg Line, service at that time ran between Boston and Fitchburg. Under a contract with the MBTA, the B&M continued running service between Boston and West Concord. In June 1965, under agreements between the MBTA and towns outside the MBTA district, service was restored as far as South Acton, with a few trips continuing to Littleton and Ayer. Service beyond South Acton was discontinued in 1975, but in 1980 with new funding mechanisms available, the MBTA restored service through to Fitchburg and beyond to Gardner. Passenger service beyond Fitchburg had previously ended in 1960.

In January 1987, commuter rail service was cut back from Gardner to Fitchburg. From then until June 1993, Wilson Bus Lines operated substitute bus service on this segment under contract with the MBTA.

In November 2011, the Wilson Bus Lines website described the company as a charter and tour bus operator.