Worst bus service

The following story appeared in The Book of Heroic Failures by Stephen Pile (first published in 1979):

Can any bus service rival the fine Haley to Bagnall route in Staffordshire? In 1976 it was reported that the buses no longer stopped for passengers.
This came to light when one of them, Mr. Bill Hancock, complained that buses on the outward journey regularly sailed past queues of up to thirty people.
Councillor Arthur Cholerton then made transport history by stating that if these buses stopped to pick up passengers they would disrupt the time-table.

Versions of the story have subsequently appeared in other books, and have circulated online. However, all these other versions seem to rely on Pile's reporting.

And when I searched newspaper archives I couldn't find any confirmation that this incident happened. Which makes me wonder if it really did.

Of course, it might have been reported in a local paper that was never archived online. But some searching around the Internet reveals that I'm not the only one to have wondered if the story might not be true. Check out this comment by "skifans" in the CasualUK subreddit:

it would be great if anyone can prove me wrong but I can't find any record online of councillor Arthur Cholerton existing - let along from that area in that time frame. If you google the name all the results return varieties of this story, there isn't any other record of what they did other then this.
This PDF of Staffordshire County Council elections also makes no mention of anyone of that name. A Cholerton stood (and won) a seat in 1973, 1977, 1981 and 1985 - and did not stand in future elections. The seat they stood in for the first to is Stoke On Trent No. 19 (9630), maybe someone knows how to work out where this is but I can't, but for the last 2 it's called Great Fenton - thats in Stoke but not the right area for a route between Hanley and Baghall, on Google maps Great Fenton looks to be just south of the city center and Hanley just to the north, with Bagnall being a small village further to the north east. But the bigger problem, Councillor Cholerton has the first initial F, not A.
There was also an Arthur Cholerton in Stoke, but not as a counciler. Someone with that name was Lord Mayor - but they held the position between 1971 and 1972. ( Alternatively maybe F. Cholerton and Arthur Cholerton are the same person? Between 1981 and 1989 Frederick Arthur Cholerton held the position of chairmen of Staffordshire county council, may they have gone under both names?

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 11, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Mass Transit, 1970s, Bus

Bus Starts

Back in 1985, city officials in St. Louis decided that the term 'bus stop' sounded too negative, so they voted to rename them 'bus starts.' 1800 new 'bus start' signs were duly installed.

A year-and-a-half later, when it became clear that people were confused by what a 'bus start' was supposed to be, the city conceded defeat and went back to using the traditional term. This, of course, meant buying even more new signs.

St. Louis Post Dispatch - Mar 28, 1985

St. Louis Post Dispatch - Aug 24, 1986

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 06, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Odd Names, 1980s, Bus

Brazilian bus driver training

In Cariacica, Brazil, part of the bus driver training is to have the drivers ride on a stationary bike while a bus zooms by them at top speed, to give them a sense of how cyclists feel.

It seems like with each pass the bus got closer.


Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 25, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles, Bus

Bus Road Test

"Bus Tilter" is my new desired job.

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 20, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: 1950s, Bus

Follies of the Madmen #366

Our service is a dead artifact sealed off from all human contact.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri May 18, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Business, Advertising, 1960s, Bus

An urge to conquer something big

1961: A 14-year-old boy commandeered a Trailways bus and drove it fifteen blocks because he "had an urge to conquer something big" and wanted to drive it "somewhere."

Compare this to Bronx bus driver William Cimillo who, in 1947, instead of following his daily route drove the bus to Florida because he was overcome by "that old spring-time urge."

There must be a name for the psychiatric condition of being overcome by a desire to drive a bus to somewhere far away.

Camden Courier-Post - Sep 2, 1961

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 07, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: 1960s, Bus

The Love Machine

Created in the late 1960s by Hollywood auto customizer George Barris, who's best known as the designer of the original Batmobile.

The Love Machine featured velvet upholstery, a revolving circular bed, psychedelic lights, entertainment console, mirrored ceiling, and a crystal chandelier. It did the rounds at auto shows until the mid-1970s, where it was promoted as the "world's first x-rated car."


Hillsdale Daily News - Mar 17, 1972

In the late '70s, the Love Machine was rebranded and it went on to have a career in Hollywood. From Hemmings Daily:

Barris, ever the opportunist, managed to get the Love Machine cast as the lead vehicle in the 1977 vansploitation flick SuperVan. To do so, he simply gave the Love Machine a repaint and redid the interior with even deeper plush carpeting. Though technically known as Vandora in the movie, the Super Van moniker stuck, thanks to Barris’s promotional efforts.

Nor would SuperVan be the van’s only screen appearance. It also showed up in the 1986 made-for-TV movie Condor, repainted gold and black; then in 1989’s Back to the Future II as a Hill Valley Transit bus, painted green; in the 1990 movie Solar Crisis, painted white; and then on an episode of the 1990s TV show SeaQuest DSV, still painted white. Then, in about 2003, the Guild of Automotive Restorers began a restoration on the van that brought it back to its Super Van configuration.


You can check out more of Barris's creations in the recent book King of the Kustomizers: The Art of George Barris.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 26, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Motor Vehicles, Bus, 1970s

Bus Driver’s Revenge

Today of course he would face federal charges for kidnapping, and many, many lawsuits.

Original article here.

See clean transcription below.


“They’re going to fire bus driver William F. Jackson today but he doesn’t care—he already quit in spectacular fashion.

"Passengers—phooey,” was his battle cry yesterday when he revolted against traffic jams, abusive drivers, supervisors and noisy children and took what someday may be known as “Jacksons’s ride.”

The Chicago Transit Authority driver was inching his bus through Loop traffic, swollen to three times its usual density by the Christmas rush, when he suddenly decided he was sick of it.

He slammed the doors shut and from then on nobody could get off.

“Passengers—phooey,” he muttered darkly.

He rolled out of the busy Loop on his regular route. But when waiting citizens pounded to get into his bus Jackson was aloof. When his angry passengers demanded to be let off he would not relent.

When a company supervisor tried to board the bus at an intersection Jackson ignored him too.

Finally he wheeled the big vehicle into one of the CTA barns, turned off the ignition, and hopped off the bus.

He headed straight for his boss, stared him straight in the eye and announced:

“I quit.”

Wounded CTA officials said, “He can’t quit just like that, but tomorrow we’ll fire him.”

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 12, 2016 - Comments (8)
Category: Annoying Things, Jobs and Occupations, 1950s, Bus, Nausea, Revulsion and Disgust

Ziggin and Zaggin

Back in 2003, the Pittsburgh Port Authority wrote the slogan "Ziggin Zaggin" on nine of its buses. Why ziggin and zaggin? Because, as one resident put it, "A vehicle zigs and zags through the city to pick somebody up. It’s a bus." But recently a driver noticed that if you read the slogan backwards, it spells an offensive word. The city has now announced that the slogans will be promptly removed. [CBS Pittsburgh]

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 05, 2015 - Comments (8)
Category: Political Correctness, Bus

The Brown Line

The number 2 bus runs on number 2 so I figure that's the brown line.

Posted By: patty - Mon Mar 16, 2015 - Comments (9)
Category: Garbage, Trash, Waste and Other Detritus, Mass Transit, Utilities and Power Generation, Excrement, Natural Resources, Bus

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