Current and historic transit in Dayton OH

Recent photos (Mar 16)
A few items have been changed since I last updated the page.

- Warren / Wyoming
-- The 7 was moved back to New Wyoming St in November 2015, following the completion of rebuilding Main St.
-- All wire was removed from Warren St in order to allow the city to tear up the street, replace drains/water, and rebuild the street. This was for the best, as at rush hour, heavy traffic on the single lane street slowed trolley travel
-- The south end of the 5 is severed from the rest of the system (no switch installed at Wyoming and Brown)


- NexGens
-- All four demonstrators operate regularly on the trolley routes
-- The lithium titanate batteries were installed last fall in 1403 and 1404
-- Three more rewiring pans have popped up at Cosler and Burkhardt, Huffman and Smithville, and Philadelphia and Harvard
-- Would appear that perhaps dual mode operation might be closer to starting on the 2, which has 3-4 miles of unwired segments on the east and west ends. However, a pan would also be needed at Third and Moses, as the wire is still down from the Courthouse across the river due to I-75. No NexGens have been spotted in revenue service on the 2.
-- Speculation is that the test and evaluation phase of the demonstrators has got to be coming to an end soon, although one would wonder if there would be a phase of operating the 2 as a true dual mode route before a purchase decision for new trolleys was made. Nevertheless, the feedback from many operators and passengers can be summarized by "When can we get more of these?"

- ETIs
-- No "new" trolleys have been pulled out of the dead line, and Mon-Fri ops continue on the 4, 7 and 8.
-- With the imminent delivery of the 1600 series diesels (1601 is on the property now, but hasn't been seen on the street yet), the retirement of the 2003 New Flyer diesels (and one 2001 New Flyer which escaped the purge of his brothers two years ago) is upon us. To celebrate, it appears the RTA has been retrofitting additional electronic signs in the ETIs
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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 March 25 2016, The Greater Dayton RTA regularly operates four trolley bus routes, Monday thru Friday. They are:
  - Rt 3, from Wright Stop Plaza to Eastown Hub three times a day
  - 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 7, from North Main and Philadelphia to Woodman and Patterson via Main and Wyoming/Watervliet (10-15 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, street construction, or downtown events. These routes operate thru the Wright Stop Plaza downtown off Main between Third and Fourth. All four dual mode NexGen demonstrators are being tested on these routes at various times. These four routes do not operate as trolleys on weekends.

As of March 25 2016, 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 5, a single morning and evening trip, due to the rebuilding of Warren St and no switch at Wyoming and Brown
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:
rtmatttrolleybusesdotnet



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.