JOHN R. NORTH
However, John R. would soon become the DSR's busiest bus route. In July of 1926, seven of the
DUR's Yellow Coach double-decker coaches were also leased for peak-hour service on both the
John R. and the Conant line -- which serviced the Dodge Brothers Plant in Hamtramck. After fifty
new
American Car and Foundry (ACF) built double-decker coaches were delivered to the DSR in
November of 1926, eleven were assigned to the new
Second Avenue Garage (located on Second
and LaBelle in the
DSR's Highland Park facility) for "full-time" service on the John R. line. By January
of 1927, headways on
John R. averaged 5 minutes during peak-hours and 10 minutes during the
base. Eight to nine
ACF double-decker coaches operated during the peak, while four were used the
rest of the day.

In the meantime, while the
DSR was operating bus service along the north end of John R. Street, the  
privately-owned
Detroit Motorbus Company (DMB) was also operating a John R. route south of
Manchester into downtown Detroit. However, when the
DMB's license to operate in Detroit was
revoked by the
Common Council, effective on January 1, 1932, the DSR took-over that company's
city bus lines. As a  result, the
DSR ended up with two John R. bus routes. To avoid confusion, the
DSR's John R. route was renamed "John R. North," while the former Detroit Motorbus line was
renamed as
"John R. South." This "John R. North" designation would follow the northern route for
its duration as a bus line.

During the
DSR years, the John R. North bus route would undergo a few adjustments. By 1932, the
route had already been adjusted along John R. -- now operating along John R. from Six Mile to Eight
Mile Roads. By 1939, the service along Eight Mile Road had been gradually extended as far east as
Hoover,  but was cut back to Oakland when the
Eight Mile East bus line was launched on May 20,
1940.  In 1942, the service was extended north along Oakland and Stephenson Highway (both now
I-75), then via John R. and Nine Mile to Woodward.  However, this  extension  was  discontinued  in
1947, with one final route adjustment to East Eight Mile and Dequindre made in June of 1957.

During its remaining years of operation, the
John R. North would see dramatic reductions in its
service.  After the
Ford Motor Company began moving most of its operations to its Ford Rouge
facility, ridership on the
John R. North line plummeted. Back in 1950, the John R. North operated
24-hours a day, with headways averaging six to seven minutes during peak-hours and 14 minutes
during the base.  Seven of the small 27-passenger
Ford Transit coaches were used during
peak-hours, three operated during the off-peak, with one coach operating during owl hours. By 1968,
headways had increased to 23 minutes all day, and 25 minutes during evening hours, with service
now ending around 2:30AM.

By the time
DDOT arrived in July of 1974, only one bus was needed to operate the line, as headways
had increased to 45 minutes during peak-hours, with no service offered off-peak hours.  With
increasing low ridership numbers, and the route basically being duplicated by the
SEMTA #495 John
R
line, DDOT decided to eliminate the John R. North, effective on Tuesday, September 6, 1988. Bus
service along one of the city's historic bus routes had come to a close. However, the suburban bus
operation along this route has continued on throughout the years.


FOOTNOTE:  Although DDOT bus service along John R. was discontinued on September 6, 1988, this would not be
the end of DDOT's presence along John R. Street.  DDOT bus service would later return to John R. three more times
during the coming years.  This DDOT service is dealt with in articles on the
Woodward-John R. and John R. Limited
bus lines.


JOHN R. STREET FACTOID:
Did you know???  ...That in addition to Woodward Avenue, John R. street also divides the city of Detroit along its east
and west sides.  Many Detroiters naturally assume that it's only the city's main throughfare - Woodward Avenue - which
geographically divides the city, beginning from the Detroit River out to the city limits at Eight Mile Road.  Actually,
Woodward does serve as a dividing line where the east-side meets the west-side through most of Detroit.  However,
this is not the case north of Highland Park or Six Mile Road (McNichols). The last two northern miles of the city is
divided east and west by John R. Street. Go check it out!!


Information for the above article compiled from data information supplied by Jack E. Schramm, courtesy of  "DSR BUS ROUTES,
1922-1932"
("Detroit's DSR, Part 1" -- January-February 1991 edition of Motor Coach Age magazine),"DSR BUS ROUTES, 1932-1945"
(
"Detroit's DSR, Part 2" -- March-April 1992 edition of MCA magazine), and "DSR BUS ROUTES, 1945-1974" ("Detroit's DSR, Part 3" --
May-June 1993 edition of MCA magazine). Additional info from 1957-58 and 1963 DSR Service Maps in the author's possession. The
1977 John R. North transfer courtesy of the Stan Sycko transfer collection.
© 2007
Although it's been many years ago, at one time bus service along
John  R.
provided an  important service for those residents who
lived on the north-end of the city.  The territory north of the City of
Highland Park had only recently become part of Detroit, having been
annexed by the City from Greenfield Township in 1916. But because
the area, which had been primarily farmland, was located too far to
the north of the city's existing streetcar lines, the residents found
themselves without any adequate form of public transportation.

However, after the
Ford Motor Company's Highland Park
Assembly Plant
-- the birthplace of the Model T -- opened in 1910,
it soon spurred tremendous grown with- in that area. When Henry
Ford began offering the $5-a-day wage to his employees in 1914,
the population surrounding the plant boomed. With 70,000 workers
employed at the huge facility by 1923, Henry Ford would begin to
demand better service to the plant from the
DSR.

Consequently,  it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that almost  
immediately after the
DSR's motor-bus division began operations on
January 1, 1925, that bus service along
John R. would soon follow.  
With a "temporary" leased garage now located on Woodward and
Stevens, one block south of Six Mile, bus service on the
John R.
bus line would begin on February 1, 1925. The
John R. route would
become the seventh bus line to be put into service by the
DSR's
motor bus division.

The new
John R. line operated from the Ford Highland Park Plant
on Woodward and Manchester, and then traveled via Woodward,
Ferris, John R., State Fair and Oakland to Eight Mile.  But it wouldn't
take long for the
DSR to realize that its fleet of small-size
21-passenger
Graham buses were overwhelmed by the line's
tremendous passenger loads. This would force the department in
1926 to lease 10, larger-size, 29-passenger
Yellow Coach Type Z
coaches from the
DUR's People's Motor Coach Company, to
service
John R.  These buses could handle 44 passengers,
including standees.
D.S.R. Route #47
D-DOT Route #26