The Brentwood Motor Coach
Company was formed on August 7, 1929 after D.L. Feick purchased 2 older bus companies, the
Carrick & Bruceton Auto Bus Line and an un-named operation owned by Antonio Maddalon.
This purchase by Feick was spurred by the need for additional service to the area after
the Liberty Tunnels were opened in 1924 and created a suburban development boom.
Until 1931, service only was
feeder in nature to Pittsburgh Railways (PRCo) car lines. On March 31, 1931, permission
was granted for Brentwood to extend service into Downtown Pittsburgh via then then new Saw
Mill Run Blvd. Even though the PRCo car lines in the Saw Mill Run Valley were perched on
the sides of hills and not easily accessible, Brentwood was forced to run "closed
door" service on a long portion of the new road until 1937.
Brentwood was in direct
competition with PRCo in many places along its service route as well as
Coach Lines. In one case in 1937, Bamford and Brentwood applied for a route along
Becks Run Road to East Carson Street that virtually mirrored each other and put them in
direct competition between PRCo and each other. The PUC allowed this direct competition
between the two bus companies but restricted operations when traveling in areas that PRCo
had trolley operations. This restriction lasted until WWII and was never put back into
to expand and tinker with service right up to the PAT acquisition. Trial service was in
place on a Brentwood route shift when PAT took over operations. At the time of takeover,
Brentwood was running 10 routes with various deviations or fingers on the routes.
Brentwood Motor Coach #30, which
was a 1954 FitzJohn FTG coach, in Downtown Pittsburgh.
Photo from Motor Coach Age April
As far as
equipment goes, Brentwood was somewhat unique. They operated the largest fleet of FitzJohn
coaches (some purchased new) in the area but were also known for their continued purchase
of used equipment. What made this somewhat noteworthy is that Brentwood never ran any bus
that wasn't in its three color, plus striping, paint scheme and all had the proper
signage. Brentwood also operated "metropolitan" style buses late into
existence with the last of these running in 1958.
The numbering system
was very strange due to the re-use of coach numbers. This practice was extremely common
with Brentwood but not with the other independents. This was due to the fact that
Brentwood purchased many second hand buses over the years and the turnover rate on these
used units was rather fast. As a bus was retired and replaced, the replacement usually
received the same number as the retired coach. This led to buses coming in at the same
time being assigned numbers that were separated by older and different makes of coaches.
The Brentwood garage
is still in existence today on Route 51 in Brentwood although no longer active as a bus