Misc. Monday: Map Your Way Home via Trolley or Bus

Written by on August 25, 2014 in Misc Mondays - 3 Comments
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1939 Indy Bus Stops

1939 Indianapolis. Some of the streets have changed, but not the names–check out this map with street car, trackless trolley and bus stops in the epicenter of Indy. You could easily navigate from here to Broad Ripple or Mars Hill or other suburbs of old.

In a recent conversation about how ‘The Circle’ could have more activity outside business and symphony hours, one person–quite rightly–asserted that without a higher concentration of immediate downtown residents, a constantly bustling circle didn’t seem likely.

But what if we had a circulating trolley that dipped into the nearby neighborhoods, even two to five miles out from the circle? Those of us who live too far to walk, but are annoyed at how close it is to drive would certainly become part of the bustle if such options were again available.

Anyone else ever wonder what it might have been like to live in Pre- World War II Indy? As some of us long for the return of  effective mass transit, I do.

Check out this sampling of routes for buses, trackless trolleys and streetcars. See what would be yours here?




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Tiffany Benedict Browne is the founder and driving force behind HistoricIndianapolis.com. She loves learning, sharing and inspiring Indy's stories.

3 Comments on "Misc. Monday: Map Your Way Home via Trolley or Bus"

  1. basil berchekas jr August 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm · Reply

    This “model”, even augmented by the interurban “model” of approximately 25 years prior to this pre war (1939) transit presentation, would be a worthy goal to work toward…

  2. Tom Davis August 26, 2014 at 11:43 am · Reply

    I would have taken whichever one of those routes my Grandfather would have been driving since that’s what he did for at least part of the 30s and early 40s. Somewhere I have a bad photocopy of a newsclipping showing he and another driver donating blood as part of an early WWII blood drive.

  3. Ray Featherstone August 27, 2014 at 8:53 am · Reply

    In the 1940s it was said that all Indianapolis residents lived within three blocks on the average from public transportation. Then, Indy public transportation consisted of the streetcar, bus and trackless trolley lines. For example, at that time I lived on the north side of Indy one block from the nearest Central Avenue bus stop, two blocks from the nearest College Avenue streetcar line stop and six blocks from the nearest Illinois Street Trackless Trolley stop. P.S. I often hitchhiked a ride downtown instead of having to pay the public transportation ten cent one-way fare.

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