Current and historic transit in Dayton OH
Recent photos (Jan 15)
Completed a modest update to the website, mostly to fix menuing difficulties. The previous format of constant detailed discussions
citing the progress of the restoration of the trolley system is no longer necessary (unless there are people who believe its future operation
is in question). Otherwise, use the menus at the top of the screen (everything is now clickable) to move around. The former photos from the
last 3 1/2 years have been sorted by number into folders.
Also updated the overhead map.
And a few photos from December 2014 and early January 2015
Older Dayton trolleybus photos
Dayton streetcars and interurban photos
Vosslohs, ETIs, BBCs, a few Flyers and a few diesels
Interurbans, streetcars, maps, signs, rosters, dates, reports, studies
Trolleybuses: A Dayton Local Legacy
Dayton Public Transit: 1870-Present
The Washington St Calamity
The Vossloh-Kiepe Dual Modes
As of Feb 15 2015, The Greater Dayton RTA has four Vossloh-Kiepe dual mode "NexGen" buses. Two diesel-electrics and two battery-electrics.
They are being tested and evaluated by the GDRTA for suitability as future ETI fleet replacements.
Where do trolleybuses currently operate in Dayton?
As of Feb 19 2015, The Greater Dayton RTA regularly operates four trolley bus lines, Monday thru Friday. Those lines are:
- Rt 4, from Westown Hub to Eastown Hub via Hoover Ave, West Third St and Xenia Ave (20-25 min at rush; 30-40 min midday)
- Rt 5, a single morning and evening trip
- Rt 7, from North Main and Philadelphia to Woodman and Patterson via Main and Wyoming/Watervliet (15-20 min rush; 20-25 min midday)
- Rt 8, from Northwest Hub to Westown Hub via Salem and Germantown/Lakeview (10-15 min rush; 20 min midday).
These routes are usually operated as trolley, unless disrupted by accidents or street construction.
These routes operate thru the Wright Stop Plaza downtown off Main between Third and Fourth.
The dual mode trolley demonstrators are being tested on these routes at various times.
These four routes do not operate as trolleys on weekends.
As of Jan 7 2015, the following routes are temporarily suspended, and operate with diesels:
- Rt 1/2, a single morning and evening trip, due to I-75 construction on Third St (the wires are removed)
- Rt 3, three trips morning, midday and evening, due to construction on Smithville Rd (the wires are removed)
Why does it appear you have four websites containing nearly the same information?
Answer: I control three of the sites, and provide webspace to host the fourth. Material is nominally segregated:
- www.daytontrolleys.net contains photos of Dayton I own, or material I've created. Mostly recent photos, with some historical material covering history back to 1869. If it's a historical writeup, illustrated with pictures, it's likely here.
- www.trolleybuses.net contains trolleybus photos from cities all over North America taken by or owned by others. Primarily older photos and ads. If somebody besides me took the photo in Dayton, it's likely here.
- www.newdavesrailpix.com is a site originally built by Dave, which contains photos of electric rail transit from all across the country, including Dayton. With Dave's passing, I host that material. If I don't possess the physical Dayton streetcar/interurban photo, it's likely here.
- Cory's page is my friend Cory's page on Dayton buses which I host in my webspace. That site contains his photos.
Any comments? Let me know at:
Dayton Ohio's transit history started in 1869, with the first horsecars on Third St, running from King St (today JH McGee Blvd)
to Findlay St, the then city limits. First electric operation in Dayton came in 1888, with streetcars on the White Line, which ran from N Main
and Forest to Home Ave and King which was an interchange with horsecars and a steam railroad to the National Military Home
(today, the VA Home). Horsecar operation grew through 1890, with operations on Third, Main, Fifth, Brown, Salem, Valley, Wayne and Richard.
The last of the horsecars came off Wayne Ave in 1896, and electric streetcars then served Dayton's transit needs.
Electric operations grew, and from 1909 to 1933, there were six independent streetcar companies in Dayton. After a disastrous carbarn
fire on the Dayton Street Railway in August 1932, that line, extending from Linden and Santa Cruz to Salem and Catalpa, was converted to
trolleybuses in April 1933, the first such operation in Ohio. Over the next 14 years, the remaining streetcar operations were converted to
trolley and gasoline buses. Last streetcar operation in Dayton was in November 1947. Since then, the electric operations have grown to
follow population movement, diesel bus operations were inaugurated, trolley operations were contracted, diesel operations expanded,
and in the late 1990s, a renaissance and expansion of the trolleybus system. Dayton has seen (arguably) four generations of trolleybuses
since 1947, with the most recent advancement, the dual-mode "NexGen" trolleys, capable of on-wire and extended off wire operation,
whose demonstrators first arrived in 2014.
Meanwhile, by 1956, those six streetcar companies turned into a single bus company, City Transit, whose operations were in turn purchased
in 1972 by the Miami Valley RTA, renamed the Greater Dayton RTA in 2003. In doing so, the transit
operation which originally served the City of Dayton now operates throughout Montgomery County, providing over 9 million passenger
trips per year.
The utilization of trolleybuses make Dayton a part of a unique set of transit operators in North America; there are only five trolleybus cities in the
US (Dayton, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia and Boston) and one in Canada (Vancouver), although trolleybuses are operated extensively in Europe and
China. The uniqueness of this mode of transit is the focus of this website. This website is not affiliated in any way shape or form with the
Greater Dayton RTA.
Info and material to share is always welcome.