The Davison Shuttle's first existence as a bus route began on Nov. 17, 1938, after the DSR decided to discontinue its
Oakman East streetcar line — the east-side extension of the Oakman rail line that ran from the DSR Woodward
Carhouse in Highland Park, and operated via Woodward, Victor, Oakland, Davison, Mt. Elliott, and Nevada streets to
Van Dyke. The far east-end portion of the Oakman East line would be replaced by extending the Baker streetcar line
eastward along Davison from Jos. Campau to Nevada and Van Dyke. That portion of the Oakman East streetcar line
west of Jos. Campau would then be replaced by the new Davidson Shuttle bus line.
The original Davison Shuttle operated from the DSR Highland Park Terminal's Woodward Loop and traveled via
Woodward, Victor, Oakland, and Davison to Jos. Campau. However, this shuttle operation was somewhat short-lived
after the DSR decided to instead assign the entire service along Davison Street to the Baker route, and the Davison
Shuttle was discontinued on July 24, 1939. The service along Davison west of Jos. Campau would now become the
"Highland Park Branch" of the Baker streetcar line.
However, the shuttle bus would again be resurrected on March 22, 1942, when the Highland Park Branch of the Baker
rail line was discontinued to allow for the construction of the new Davison Expressway in Highland Park. That service
would be replaced by the new Davison Shuttle Rail Bus, which operated via Manchester, Oakland and Davison to Jos.
(NOTE: "Rail Buses" were buses that traveled streetcar routes but charged the 6¢ rail fare instead of the 10¢ bus fare.
However, all rail buses — including the Davison Shuttle — became regular bus routes on Jan. 1, 1946, when the rail
fare was raised to equal the 10¢ bus fare).
On Feb. 14, 1949, the Davison Shuttle was extended east of Jos. Campau for the first time, via Davison, Mt. Elliott, and
Nevada to Van Dyke, after the remaining Baker streetcar operation along Davison was discontinued. Beginning April
1, 1954, the west-end of the Davison Shuttle was rerouted, and now left the Woodward Loop via Manchester and John
R. to Davison (eastbound), but still returned via Oakland and Manchester (westbound).
A September, 1950, DSR route analysis summary shows that the Davison Shuttle operated 24-hour service, with
headways averaging 4-6 minutes. Service was assigned out of the Woodward Terminal in Highland Park, with 10-14
small-size buses used during peak-hours, four during the base, and two used for late-night "owl" service. When the
Woodward Terminal closed in October 1955, the route was transferred to the Highland Park Terminal next door.
Unfortunately, when the DSR began to cut service during the 1960s, the Davison line became one of the first
casualties. Effective July 7, 1966, the Davison Shuttle was discontinued and the Chene bus line was extended east
via Davison, Mt. Elliott and Nevada to Van Dyke.
DAVISON STREET HISTORY:
Davison Avenue — which runs through both Detroit and Highland Park — was named after Jared Davison (1814-
1870), an English immigrant who was one of the early settlers during the 1840s of a small rural farming community
located in Hamtramck Township. Although the Davison family owned other property in the surrounding area, the
Jared Davison farm was located along what today would be the south side of Davison Ave, between Woodward and
Oakland avenues. This, and the surrounding area, would later become part of the incorporated village of Highland
Park in 1889, which later incorporated as a city in 1918.
As the small 2.9-sq mile enclave known as Highland Park grew and developed, narrow Davison Ave would emerge as
the only available east-west thoroughfare that could carry traffic across the entire city of Highland Park from border to
border, and connect back with Detroit. Consequently, by 1940, major gridlock had developed along Davison during
rush hour traffic. In March 1941, a proposal was approved by city officials to widen Davison into a six-lane, limited-
access highway that could quickly move a high volume of motor vehicles across the city.
On Nov. 25, 1942, the 1.3 mile long Davison Expressway opened as the nation's first urban depressed (below-grade)
freeway, running border-to-border across the city of Highland Park. The new expressway reduced rush hour travel
time through that city from 15 minutes to three. The Davison Freeway would be extended one mile east to Conant
Street in Detroit in 1968, but plans to extend it two miles westward along Davison Ave to connect with the Jeffries
Freeway being built in Detroit were abandoned.
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 1950 DSR Schedule Analysis and Headway Reports courtesy of Tom
Breeding, and 1957-58 and 1963 DSR Service Maps in the author's possession. The Davison Shuttle route-map and transfer copy
courtesy of the Stan Sycko collection.
© 2007 – www.DetroitTransitHistory.info (TXV 10-30-14)
NOTE: MOST PHOTOS, IMAGES AND CHARTS HAVE BEEN REMOVED AND CAN BE VIEWED ON ORIGINAL WEBSITE PAGE
To visit original website version of this page see: www.detroittransithistory.info/Routes/DavisonShuttle.html
|This 1958 route-map shows the 4.6-mile long route of the DSR's Davison Shuttle bus line. The route remained unchanged from
April 1954 until the service was discontinued in 1966.
PRINTER–FRIENDLY TEXT VERSION: MOST PHOTOS, IMAGES AND CHARTS HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THIS PAGE