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Passenger Transport Is 75!

This year, Passenger Transport is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its founding as a publication focusing exclusively on the challenges and opportunities facing the public transportation industry.

The American Transit Association, a predecessor organization of APTA, published the first issue of Passenger Transport.

The categories of news from that first issue aren’t too different from those in today’s publication, although homefront concerns related to World War II were a constant theme. Here’s a brief sampling from the first issue:

* News about public transit providers. The “Transit Market” column listed “new franchises and line extensions” in Kansas City, MO; Newark, NJ; Oklahoma City; Portland, OR; Raleigh, NC; and Richmond, VA. Many of these changes were related to improved public transit service to factories and other job centers providing support for the war.

* News about business members. The Mack Manufacturing Corporation announced that it had stopped manufacturing buses and moved the production line to heavy-duty Mack trucks for the armed forces. The Pennsylvania Railroad canceled three of its vacation trains following a federal call for the elimination of unnecessary rail and bus travel.

* News from the federal government. “Capital Stuff” reported on how employers could challenge the drafting of “a man with dependents in an essential occupation within an essential industry” and how much money local transit agencies could receive in federal expenditures to support war plant expansion.

* News about conferences. A session at the New England Regional Bus Conference in Boston laid out wartime concerns facing public transit and plans for postwar vehicle and service improvements. Similar issues would be addressed at the upcoming Midwest Conference in Chicago and the Eastern Conference in New York City.

* News about the workforce. Public transit agencies were actively recruiting women operators as greater numbers of men were called into military service.

Passenger Transport will continue to report highlights from its 75-year history throughout 2017.

From the archives: the front page of the first issue of Passenger Transport.

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