DeBolt Transit Company was
formed in June of 1949 after purchasing 2 routes to Downtown Pittsburgh from the
financially troubled Bamford Brothers Motor Coach Lines. DeBolt had been around for
decades but as a trucking company hauling steel from the various steel mills in the
Pittsburgh area. The actual takeover of the old Bamford Homestead - Pittsburgh and Mt.
Oliver - Pittsburgh routes occurred on August 2, 1949.
The Bamford route purchase
also included limited charter rights for DeBolt. Additional charter rights, along with
Pittsburgh charter origination rights came in 1953 when DeBolt acquired the rights from
the Montour Motor Coach Lines which was going out of business. Interstate charter rights
came when DeBolt purchased Somerset Bus Company of Somerset, PA. DeBolt maintained the
Somerset Bus Company as a separate entity but was able to share charter rights between the
DeBolt and Somerset
frequently transferred buses back and forth so it was not uncommon to see a Somerset coach
running in the Pittsburgh area for charters and occasionally a regular run.
The first new line
DeBolt started was in 1953 and was a feeder route from Homeville to Homestead to connect
to the Homestead - Pittsburgh line. Also in December of 1953, DeBolt obtained permission
to extend service to Duquesne. This new route was in direct competition with
Railways Co. (PRCo) feeder route that ran an identical routing but in this
case DeBolt and PRCo were able to run as the 2 feeders served different
purposes. The DeBolt feeder to serve its buses and the PRCo feeder to serve
the streetcars and there was no transfer rights between the two carriers.
Another route was
added in 1954 which ran from Skyview Terrace to Homestead. An additional route was
acquired from Duquesne Motor Coach Lines in 1954 and ran from Homestead to the Irvin
Works. This was primarily a rush hour/shift change type service.
The company changed
its name to DeBolt Lines, Inc. in 1957 and all routes were transferred over to the new
company. No new routes were added and all service remained unchanged from 1954 through
1964 when PAT acquired the company.
DeBolt had an odd
numbering system for its coaches. TDM4515's were numbered in multiples of 10 and other
buses in multiples of 2 sandwiched in between the TDM4515's. School buses had numbers
ending in 5.
Lines was acquired by PAT and its garage used for several years, DeBolt retained Somerset
Bus Company and the charter rights. DeBolt Lines re-emerged later on in virtually the same
livery as the original company had. Once PAT moved out of the Homestead garage, DeBolt
came back as a charter company and runs charter along with some commuter service to this