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The Antique Motor Coach Association of Pennsylvania

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Bigi Bus Company

Acquired by PAT on March 11, 1964

Ezio Bigi started a jitney service that connected Bridgeville with the end of the Pittsburgh Railways 42 Dormont car line about 1922. Service ran along local roads including McLaughlin Run, passing near the present day Drake Loop, Brookside Road and Washington Road. As development hit the South Hills the route was shifted to Painter's Run Road and Cedar Boulevard. An alternate routing operated via Bower Hill Road. Unlike many of the other independents, Bigi stuck to its two main routes. Through service into Downtown was started in 1931. In 1935 service via Bower Hill was extended to serve the now-defunct Mayview State Hospital. Closed-door restrictions were lifted in 1938, about the same time an extension into the Willow Terrace area was started. The Railways apparently did not view the Bigi operation as much of a threat; although it was faster in getting to Dormont, the fares were higher and the service less frequent.

Click for larger viewThe opening of the original Kane Hospital saw branch of the Bower Hill route created as well as a shuttle that ran from the end of the Rt. 28 car line in Heidelberg. In 1954 an assortment of extensions were created to serve communities that had sprung up along Bower Hill Road. These were merely 'fingers" off of the main line but were given unique route numbers. On paper, then, it appeared as if there were eight routes under operation, when in reality it was two, or maybe two and a half if you counted the Heidelberg shuttle.Click for larger view

Routes were operated by a succession of Whites, FitzJohns, Macks and eventually GMs . The fleet was always resplendent in cream and dark green. PAT 330, ex-Bigi 56, has lost its independent livery in favor of an "Early Action" paint job. It's shown at Mesta, performing South Park shuttle service.

In the "life was more simple in the good old days" vein, a former Port Authority instructor had started at Bigi as a mere lad, sweeping, cleaning and performing minor maintenance. One afternoon the dispatcher looked at him and inquired if he knew how to get to Pittsburgh. When lad replied in the affirmative, a coin changer was thrust at him with the instructions "Good, you're the 5:10 to Mayview." Never mind uniforms, CDLs, route qualifications, classes in accident prevention, passenger relations, etc., just drive the bus!

Equipment (with PAT number if acquired)
Make Model Bigi Number Year PAT Number
GM TDH4512 48-53 1957 324-329
GM TDH4512 56-57 1958 330-331
GM TDH4512 62-64 1954 332-334
GM TDH4517 58 1960 500
GM TDH4517 59 1960 520
GM TDH4517 65-68 1962 521-524
GM TDH4519 54-55 1963 552-553 (A/C)
FitzJohn FTG 32-33 1950 619-620
FitzJohn FTG 34-36 1951 621-623
FitzJohn FTG 37-38 1952 624-625
FitzJohn FTG 39-40 1953 626-627
FitzJohn FTD 41-42 1954 628-629
FitzJohn FTD 43 1956 630
White 782 23 1946 987 - Tow Bus


Routes (shown with PAT numbers)
41B Bridgeville via Bower Hill
41C Bridgeville via Cedar Blvd
45A Heidelberg - Kane Hospital

Click on images for a full screen view


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This page was updated on June 13, 2008

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