DETROIT TRANSIT HISTORY
DETROIT TRANSIT HISTORY
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© 2006  (PAGE LAST MODIFIED ON 01-01-11)
The unique website which takes a detailed look back at the History of Public Transportation in
and around the City of Detroit.
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LAKE SHORE COACH LINES:
When the suburban bus company Lake Shore Coach Lines -- which provided service to the five Grosse Pointe
communities and St. Clair Shores into downtown Detroit -- had  announced in  early  1971  that  it  was  discontinuing  
its  operations at the end of July.  According to a 1972 edition of the Grosse Pointe News, the Lake Shores bus lines
primarily provided  daily bus transportation for about 5,000 individual trips to jobs in downtown Detroit and for 1,000
individual trips by minority domestic employees commuting to the suburbs.  On July 29, an agreement was reached for
SEMTA to buy and the line.    the
SEMTA  was  able  to persuade  the  six  communities  serviced  by  the  bus  
company  to  provide  (on a pro rata basis) the necessary $78,000 local share money.  This helped
SEMTA to acquire
a $156,000 federal grant to purchase the company.  

After the purchase of
Lake Shore Coach Lines on September 1, 1971, SEMTA became an official operating agency,
owning 56 buses (including ten retired GM TDH-5105 "old-looks" obtained from the
DSR to bolster service), four bus
routes and one bus garage, which it named its Lake Shore Division.  In addition, the six communities also agreed to
subsidize any operational loses (up to $5,000 per month) sustained by SEMTA's Lake Shore Division through December
31, 1972.  It was hoped that by that time Michigan Governor William G. Milliken's Mass Transportation Bill, which had
been passed by the House but stalled in the Senate Committee on Highways since February 1971, would become a
reality and relieve the communities

Since operating revenues were insufficient at the time to provide for the purchase new badly needed new buses,
Lake
Shore Coach Lines
 was not included in a cooperative agreement stuck in early 1971 to purchase new buses.  
Instead, after purchasing the company later that year, SEMTA purchased ten GM "old-look" coaches (model TDH-5105)
being retired by the City of Detroit from the DSR.  These coaches (former DSR coaches 1310, 1399, 1404, 1410,
1414, 1444, 1494, 1506, 1509 and 1512) were renumbered as #430-439 (respectively). One additional coach
(#1538) was purchased in 1972 and renumberd #442.
SEMTA PART 2 info

Finally,
in early 1973, SEMTA would begin receiving an ongoing dedicated funding source from the state.  On
December
31, 1972, the
Michigan State Legislature would amend Act 51 of the Public Acts of 1951 with the passage of Act
327 of the Public Acts of 1972
, which was signed into law by Governor William Milliken on January 3, 1973.  This
amendatory act would finally provide eligible state transit authorities with a continual source of funding by establishing a
separate statewide
General Transportation Fund within the state's motor vehicle highway fund.  The separate fund
was derived from a portion of state motor fuel taxes, with funds administered by the
Michigan Department of State
Highways and Transportation
(shortened to the current MDOT in 1978).


The separate fund was
derived from a portion of state motor fuel taxes, vehicle registration fees, and state sales taxes on automobiles and
other auto-related products, with funds administered by


The Urban Mass Transportation Assistance Act of 1970 (UMTAA) added acquisition of real property to the list of qualified
uses of federal funds and authorized the secretary to incur obligations on behalf of the United States to finance grants
and loans made under the act. UMTAA also mandated that planners prepare environmental impact analyses, hold public
hearings, and make "special efforts" to accommodate the elderly and handicapped.

The National Mass Transportation Assistance Act of 1974 added a provision requiring transit systems to charge elderly
and handicapped persons half-fares during off-peak hours. It also authorized states and localities to use up to one-half of
funds received under the act to defray transit system operating expenses.

The Federal Public Transportation Act of 1978 expanded the authorized uses of funds received under the act to include
capital and operating assistance for fixed rail projects, empowered the secretary to convert preexisting loans into
grants, and established the creation of "metropolitan planning organizations" (MPOs).
The following is a listing of the area's suburban transit bus companies and the dates purchased by SEMTA
(
Many of these companies had ties to the DUR and Detroit Motorbus operations of the 1920s)
FORMER SUBURBAN BUS COMPANIES PURCHASED BY SEMTA
GREAT LAKES TRANSIT CORP.

The company's vast number of routes were based off of three trunk lines along Gratiot, West Jefferson and Woodward
Avenues, but it has been reported that up to as many as 90 various minor alternate,  local  and  limited routes existed
off the main lines to form the company's operation.