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Blue and White Bus Company of Watts (SCRTD files)
45-DPGTL  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Related Materials

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Library and Archives
    Title: Southern California Rapid Transit District files on Blue and White Bus Company of Watts
    Creator: Southern California Rapid Transit District
    Identifier/Call Number: 45-DPGTL
    Physical Description: 1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1952-1974
    Date (bulk): 1970-1971
    Abstract: On November 26, 1967, Dr. Thomas William Matthew of the National Economic Growth and Reconstruction Organization (NEGRO) acquired two South Los Angeles bus companies from Frank and Herbert Atkinson. Atkinson Transportation Company (ATCO) and the South Los Angeles Transportation Company originally began in the 1920s as extensions of streetcar lines. They were merged to create the Blue and White Bus Company of Watts (Blue and White). The Blue and White Bus Company was an African-American owned company created out of a merger of two local bus companies and operated from 1967 to 1971. After much hardship, the bus company was taken over by the Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) in September of 1971. The collection consists of materials related to the Blue and White Bus Company of Watts collected by Rapid Transit District including correspondence, Public Utilities Commission hearings, financial and service studies, and newspaper clippings.
    Physical Location: LACMTA Research Library and Archive

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact LACMTA Research Library and Archive to make an appointment.

    Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the LACMTA Research Library and Archive. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the LACMTA Research Library and Archive as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement that may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the LACMTA Research Library and Archive collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], SCRTD files on Blue and White Bus Company of Watts, 45-DPGTL. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive.

    Acquisition Information

    Blue and White Bus Lines and Eastern Cities Lines files assembled by SCRTD were transferred to the SCRTD archives by Wayne Reinecke in the Planning Department on August 26, 1983, on the advice of Director of Schedules and Operations Planning Steve Parry. SCRTD was merged into LACMTA in 1993.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Dvorah Lewis with assistance from Angel Diaz; December 2015.

    Biography/Administrative History

    On November 26, 1967, Dr. Thomas William Matthew of the National Economic Growth and Reconstruction Organization (NEGRO) acquired two South Los Angeles bus companies from Frank and Herbert Atkinson. Atkinson Transportation Company (ATCO) and the South Los Angeles Transportation Company originally began in the 1920s as extensions of streetcar lines and were merged to create the Blue and White Bus Company of Watts. This new bus company was African-American owned and ran from 1967-1971.
    Blue and White’s Route #1 was abandoned in 1968 and shortly after another route, #6, was discontinued resulting in SCRTD enacting emergency services in 1970. At one point in 1969, SCRTD did have interest in acquiring the bus company, but did not carry through with the acquisition. On February 8, 1971 SCRTD created a new route, #123, that crossed four of the Blue and White routes. In response, Dr. Matthew had Blue and White operating along SCRTD’s route #3 giving passenger free rides while informing passengers of the conflict between the two companies. In May 24, 1971, Dr. Matthew created a new route, Route #9, without gaining permission first from the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC). One month later the PUC suspended Blue and White’s operating certificate after finding out the company failed to pay insurance premiums resulting in a loss of coverage.
    Ignoring the suspension, Blue and White continued to run, but on July 17th Blue and White employees went on strike when the bus company held insufficient funds to pay them. The buses were impounded by county marshals on August 10th for two days until drivers were paid. A month following this, the buses were impounded again but this time by the Internal Revenue Service when Blue and White failed to pay federal taxes. SCRTD immediately took over Blue and White’s routes and hired their bus drivers and mechanics. Dr. Matthew attempted to reestablish Blue and White providing services only in downtown Los Angeles and to Disneyland, but in 1972 the bus company officially went out of business.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection consists of materials related to the Blue and White Bus Company of Watts collected by the Southern California Rapid Transit District including correspondence, Public Utilities Commission hearings, financial and service studies, and newspaper clippings. Most of the correspondence is from Howard Beardsley, Assistant Manager of Rapid Transit and Surface Planning as well as Jack Gilstrap, the General Manager of SCRTD. The majority of materials are correspondence and studies related to PUC hearings, SCRTD’s interest to acquire Blue and White in 1969, conflict between SCRTD and Blue and White in 1971, and SCRTD’s takeover of Blue and White in September 1971.

    Arrangement

    There appears to be no intended order; materials seem have been placed together arbitrarily. Original order was not maintained for this collection. The collection is arranged in the following series (and subseries when necessary):
    1. Legal Proceedings, July 1969 - September 1971
    2. Cessation and Acquisition, 1965-1974
    3. General Operations, 1952-1971
    4. Diversion Contract, 1970-1971
    5. Public Relations, 1970-1971

    Related Materials

    55-DPGTL SCRTD files on Eastern Cities Transit

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Local transit -- California -- Los Angeles County
    Minority business enterprises -- California -- Los Angeles -- Watts
    Buses -- California -- Los Angeles -- Watts
    Local transit -- Social aspects -- California -- Los Angeles County
    Southern California Rapid Transit District
    California Public Utilities Commission