Deere Brothers was formed in 1927 as a successor to a bus
company owned by H.B. Deere. Prior to the formation of the Deere Brothers
operation, H.B. Deere had operated a single bus line from Renton to New
Kensington. In 1925, the Deere operation purchased a bus company owned by
J.E. Bryson which ran 2 routes from Wilkinsburg to Universal and Renton. At
this time Deere reconfigured the three routes with one route that from
Wilkinsburg to Universal via Renton. Two extensions were added in 1926 that
ran from Universal via Saltsburg Road and from Unity to New Kensington.
In 1927, H.B. Deere and two of his brothers, W.J. Deere and T.E. Deere
formed a partnership which renamed the operation to Deere Brothers.
Operating feeder routes only, the early Deere Brothers operation used mostly
school buses and early style sedan type coaches. The year of 1929 saw the
addition of charter rights being added to the operation.
Only two extensions were added between the formation of Deere Brothers in
1927 and 1941. These two extensions were added in 1932 and went from
Wilkinsburg to Verona Boulevard and Wilkinsburg and Peterman's Corner. With
these two extensions, Deere Brothers was operating a total of five routes.
Deere Brothers transformed itself from a feeder service operation to a
commuter operation in 1941. On December 8, 1941, the approval came for a new
route from Universal to Downtown Pittsburgh via Saltsburg Road, Verona Road,
Frankstown Road, Hamilton Avenue, Baum Boulevard and Bigelow Boulevard. This
route was cutback to Frankstown Road in 1942. In addition several changes to
other Deere Brothers routes occurred that year and approval was granted for
a new feeder route from Universal to East Pittsburgh.
A somewhat odd arrangement occurred in 1943 when Deere Brothers was approved
to take over two bus routes from Critchlow Bus Lines. These two lines ran
from Dorseyville to Etna and to Oakdale via Cheswick. These routes were well
outside of the Deere Brothers normal operating territory and it has been
suggested that this was a wartime measure as the 2 routes went back to
Critchlow Bus Lines in 1945. During this period of time, Deere Brothers
received PUC approval to discontinue service on lightly traveled portions of
the various routes in order to be able to provide service on the routes that
had heavier passenger traffic. The elimination of several of the routes left
Deere Brothers with three regular routings, its charter rights and a
roundabout loop routing to and from the garage to continue to serve areas
effected by the cuts.
Feeder service took on less importance as the commuter service to Pittsburgh
became the main focus starting in 1950. The Universal - Pittsburgh route had
an alternate routing added which went via the Churchill Valley. The feeder
to East Pittsburgh was eliminated at this time as well. An extension from
Center to Apollo and Vandergrift was added in 1958 after purchasing the
rights, as well as four buses, from Edwards Motor Transit Company.
Deere Brothers ran a well maintained fleet of buses. On average, the average
fleet age was under 10 years and over the years represented many
manufacturers. The 1940's saw Beaver's, Mack's, Reo's and White's as the
fleet makeup and included some school buses that were used for mostly for
school service as well as some that routinely ran regular line service. The 1950's saw the arrival of more Whites as well as the GM's
hitting the streets under the Deere Brothers name. They also added 5 GM new
looks to the new PAT fleet in 1964. There were also 15 school buses in the
fleet at the end for various school contract services.
At the takeover in 1964, the Deere Brothers routes were deemed similar
enough that PAT lumped them all into one new PAT route, the 77B.