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Community Transit Service

Bridgeville & Allegheny Valley Divisions

Acquired by PAT on March 2, 1964

The Community Transit System (CTS) came into being as a result of 10 Penn Bus Company employee's, along with 6 others, purchasing a single line from Pittsburgh to Avella in Washington County. This line can be traced back to 1920 from a local route that was started by an unknown operator with the origination starting in Bridgeville and extending towards the Washington County line.

This line became part of the West Penn system in 1929 under the Penn Bus Lines name and was extended to Pittsburgh. Penn Bus Company was formed in 1931 to succeed Penn Bus Lines and bring other carriers under West Penn's system under one name. Although Penn Transit in McKeesport also descended from Penn Bus Lines, the Penn Bus Company operation became part of the Blue Ridge operation which was the trade name used for West Penn's interurban bus system. Penn Transit Company had no ties with the part of the operation run by Penn Bus Company even though they shared the same corporate owner.

When formed, the CTS began operations with 2 ex-Penn Bus Company TG-3608's and 10 ex-West Penn Railways TDH-3612's. The 3612's were only a few years old when acquired as West Penn Railways decided to give up transit operations in its operating territory. Operations began on August 12, 1953 on the single route which ran from Pittsburgh to Avella via the West End, Noblestown Road, Carnegie, Heidelberg, Bridgeville, Cecil and Bishop with a variation in Carnegie of Main Street and Carothers or Washington Avenue routings.

Branches off the CTS's single line followed. The first was approved by the PUC in December 1953 and went from Bridgeville to Fairview on Boyce Road. A second, and seasonal only route, was approved in June of 1954 to serve Cabana Beach Park in Cecil. In December of 1955, the PUC approved an alternate routing which served Mayer Heights via Prestley Road. The only location the PUC imposed restrictions against local traffic was between Pittsburgh and Carnegie and this restriction remained the entire time of CTS's existence.

The CTS didn't have many new buses. The first buses purchased new were purchased in 1957 when 4 TDH4512's were received from GM. The second group of new buses arrived in 1963 and were 40 foot TDH5304's, a rarity in Pittsburgh. From the production listings of these orders, it appears that Community may have purchased some cancelled orders (before the bus was built but after the serial was assigned as the Final Delivery Record does list CTS as the purchaser) from GM as the serial numbers are scattered through the year. These new buses held down the base schedule while the second hand equipment was used for rush hours, replacement trips and extra trips. Unlike Penn Transit Company, which also had various Divisions, the CTS didn't swap buses between divisions as both Divisions had proper maintenance facilities.

Starting on April 1, 1961, CTS created the Allegheny Valley Division to service the 3 routes and 16 buses it had purchased from the Harmony Short Line which went out of business. The original CTS operation became the Bridgeville Division once the Allegheny Valley Division was created. It is speculated by some that the CTS purchased these lines due to the history tie in with Penn Bus Company as one of the Harmony routes acquired was originally a Penn Bus Company route and all were way out of CTS's original service area.

The CTS added additional midday trips to the new routes as "Shoppers Specials". Additional changed included cutting back many trips on the Pittsburgh - New Kensington via East Liberty route to Oakmont as well as a complete reorganization of the Arnold-Natrona local route.

There were a total of 47 buses assigned to both divisions. While the Bridgeville Division was the original division, many people associate CTS with the Allegheny Valley Division and directly link the CTS to the Harmony Short Line. This is just perhaps yet another example showing how strong the Harmony Short Line heritage was in the Pittsburgh area.

The Bridgeville Division garage of the CTS was located in Sygan, just west of Bridgeville. The Allegheny Valley Division used the former Harmony Short Line garage in Tarentum as its main operating facility. The CTS also leased some space at the former Harmony garage in Oakmont (which happened to originally be owned by Penn Bus Company) to store some buses. When PAT took over the CTS, PAT used the Sygan facility was used as both an operating garage as well as a storage facility for buses PAT almost immediately retired after takeover. The area of the Sygan garage looks pretty much the same today as it did in 1964.

Acquired Equipment (with PAT number if re-numbered)
Community Number Make Model Year PAT Number
101-102 GM TDH3612 1949 706-707
103-108 GM TDH3612 1949 700-705
109-110 GM TDH3612 1949 708-709
115-118 GM TDH4512 1957 347-350
119-120 GM TDH4509 1950 481-482
123-125 GM TDH4008 1947 116,115,117
126-134 GM TDH4509 1951 426-434
135-137 GM TDH5304 1963 1963,1961-1962
622-624 GM TD4007 1946 101,100,102
641-643 GM TDH4507 1948 120-122
645-646 GM TDH4507 1948 123,125
769-771 GM TDH3207 1947 770-772
773-776 GM TDH3207 1947 773-776
778 GM TDH3207 1947 777

Note: Coaches 622 through 778 and coach 137 served the Allegheny Valley Division. Coaches 101-136 served the Bridgeville Division.

Coach 116 was air conditioned.

Coaches 119-120 were ex-Greyhound and in suburban configuration.

Coach 775 has been preserved

Routes (shown with PAT numbers)
Allegheny Valley Division Routes
1A Pittsburgh-New Kensington-Arnold via North Side
3A Pittsburgh-New Kensington-Arnold via North Side Express
77A Pittsburgh-Oakmont via East Liberty
78A Pittsburgh-Oakmont via East Liberty  Express
5A Arnold-Natrona to Birdville
5B Arnold Natrona to Tarentum
5C Birdville-Tarentum-Allegheny Ludlum Mill
Bridgeville Division Routes
31D Bridgeville via Washington Avenue
33D Bridgeville via Washington Avenue via Parkway Express
31E Bridgeville via Main Street
33E Bridgeville via Main Street via Parkway Express

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This page was updated on June 16, 2008

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