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Colorado City-Snyder route inaugurates intercity bus service in Texas


On this day in 1907, inventor W. B. Chenoweth inaugurated intercity bus service in Texas by driving his six-cylinder "motor driven stage coach" from Colorado City to Snyder. He abandoned this line and another operation from Big Spring to Lamesa before leaving the bus business. The first regularly scheduled, successfully maintained, and more or less permanent intercity bus line in Texas began operating between Luling and San Marcos in 1912. The Texas busing industry grew rapidly over the next few years, spurred in part by the passage of the Federal Highway Act in 1916 and the rise of oil boomtowns such as Ranger, Breckenridge, Eastland, Mexia, and Desdemona. In 1927 the state legislature passed a law giving authority over the state's bus lines to the Railroad Commission. The busing industry suffered during the Great Depression but rebounded vigorously during World War II, when tire and gasoline rationing encouraged would-be motorists to travel by bus instead. Both ridership and revenues declined after the war, however, and most of the small lines ceased operation or sold out to the larger networks of Trailways and Greyhound, which merged in 1987.

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