WEST CHICAGO
This 1968 map shows the 6.4-mile route of the DSR's former #93 W. Chicago bus line. When it became a separate bus line in November,
1948, the eastern terminus for the line looped via Beechwood, Joy Road, Yosemite, Ravenswood, and Grand River. The circled area
shows the route adjustment made effective, February 19, 1968.

The West Chicago bus line was the third bus line to begin operations under the DSR's Motor
Coach Division
, but was actually the 'sixth' bus route to be put into service by the DSR. Service on
the
DSR's first three bus routes was originally contracted out to other bus companies. But shortly after
the department's
Motor Coach Division began operations on January 1, 1925, the DSR would
begin operating those lines using its own buses.

The
West Chicago bus line actually began on January 11, 1925 as the "Plymouth" bus line. This
was because prior to 1926, the street we know today as
"West Chicago" — although known as
Chicago Blvd. west of the city limits, in what was then Greenfield Township — was originally known as

"Plymouth Road"
within the then Detroit city limits, which at that time ended at Meyers Road.  
Meanwhile, the street we know today as "Plymouth Road" was known then as
"Coon Avenue." But
when the last portion of Greenfield Township — between Meyers and Greenfield Roads — was
annexed to the City of Detroit in 1926, Coon Avenue was then renamed Plymouth Road, while the
former Plymouth Road (one-half mile to the south), between Meyers and Grand River, was renamed
West Chicago.

The original bus route served as a feeder line to the Grand River streetcar, operating from Chicago
Blvd. (Plymouth) and Monnier Road (the present-day Schaefer Road) in Greenfield Township, via
Chicago (then known as Plymouth) to Grand River in Detroit.  The route was extended via Grand
River to Ravenswood, near the recently opened Riviera Theater, on September 18, 1925.  The route
was renamed the
"West Chicago" bus line on September 22, 1926, when the former Plymouth Road
in Detroit was renamed as West Chicago. In January of 1928, service was extended to W. Chicago
and St. Marys (west of Greenfield).

Early service along W. Chicago operated out of the
DSR's leased American Garage, which was
located on Grand River and American street. Headways averaged 10 minutes during peak-hours and
20 minutes for the base. The line was later transferred to the new
Coolidge Terminal shortly after it
opened in 1928.

On November 1, 1931, the
West Chicago line was combined with the Broadstreet bus line forming
the
Broadstreet-West Chicago line. Although the Broadstreet-West Chicago service only
operated along West Chicago to Coolidge (Schaefer), rush-hour trips were made to St. Marys.  
Service along W. Chicago was later extended to Abington, then to Penrod, and by May, 1940, service
had been extended via Evergreen to Joy Road. However, the combined routing with the
Broadsrteet
line was discontinued on November 21, 1948, and the
West Chicago once again became a separate
bus route.

Effective  January 21, 1949, service was extended along W. Chicago to Burt Road and Western Drive
(the present-day Orangelawn) in Rouge Park. Burt Road has continued as the western terminus for
Chicago bus service to this day. During the post-war years, service operated 24-hours, with one owl
coach operating only to Evergreen Road. However, 24-hour service on the line was discontinued
during the early 1950's.

A June, 1954,
DSR route analysis summary shows that head-ways on the West Chicago line
averaged 6½ to 9 minutes during peak-hours and 20 minutes during the base, with 7-8 coaches
needed to maintain peak-hour operation, and 3 the remainder of the day. By 1968, the headways had
increased to 18-20 minutes during peak-hours, 30 minutes during the base, and 60 minutes during
evening hours. But aside from a few route adjustments made along the route's eastern end —
primarily because of the construction and completion of the
Jeffries Freeway along the Grand River
corridor — the route itself would remain unchanged through its remaining years of operation. However,
major service changes would soon be in store for passengers along West Chicago.

During one of the last major route adjustments made under the
DSR, the #93 West Chicago bus line
was once again combined with the
#7 Broadstreet line, effective June 15, 1973. On that day, a total
of six bus routes were combined and a number of routes were eliminated.  When the
DSR became
DDOT on July 1, 1974, service along W. Chicago was being operated as the Broadstreet-W.
Chicago
line.

Fourteen days after
DDOT took over operations, a new express bus service was added along the
West Chicago portion of the route.  Effective, Monday, July 15, 1974, the
Rouge Park Express via
W. Chicago began operations. The route serviced W. Chicago west of Grand River, and then
operated via express along Grand River into Downtown Detroit. The new service would remain in
operation until July 20, 1981—the day most
DDOT express routes were discontinued.

Meanwhile, major changes would occur during one of the first major route adjustments to be made
under the
Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT).  Effective on Wednesday, September 4,
1974, the combined
Broadstreet-W. Chicago route was separated once again. Although the #7
Broadstreet
line would again become a separate bus route, the former #93 West Chicago route
was instead combined with the portion of the
#72 Oakman route which operated north of W. Chicago.
This resulted in the formation of the
#93 Chicago-Davison route, which continues operating to this
day.

Shortly thereafter, new routes numbers were assigned to all
DDOT bus routes. The new route
became route
#15 Chicago-Davison, while the express service became route #83 Rouge Express.


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 obtained from 1954 DSR Schedule Analysis and Headway Reports courtesy of Tom
Breeding, and 1957-58, 1963 and 1968 thru 1972 DSR Service Maps in the author's possession. The 1970 West Chicago transfer courtesy of the
Stan Sycko collection.
© 2007
D.S.R. Route #93