The country club that sparked
a bus line. That's probably the most apt description of one of the more out-of-the-way
lines that came under Port Authority ownership. Walter Fraser, a well-to-do Ben Avon
resident purchased land in 1906 which became the Ben Avon Country Club. Wealthy
Pittsburghers purchased summer home sites around the country club, which, even today,
retains much of its original splendor. But since this watering spot was at the top of the
hill, and the Pennsylvania Railroad Emsworth station at the bottom, how would the guests
and workers be transported? By means of a "powerful 4-ton truck with bus body"
which was to meet all the "best trains" at the station.
This service fell into disuse
until 1929 when J. M. Ferguson, a former Ben Avon Borough employee, asked for permission
for regular route and school bus operation. Two years later service started using a
station wagon, then second hand transit buses and school buses.
This operation was
more of a subscription service as opposed to the pay as you use operation of other systems
in Allegheny County. Children and domestics could ride for a flat $12 a month; adults paid
cash fares. Mr. Ferguson remained in charge of the operation until 1963. Four of his five
school buses were given PAT numbers.