1961 Louisville Transit Company Map
ERRATA: In a flurry of excitement over acquiring and scanning and making this map available to you, I did not look correctly at the revision dates. This map is not from 1954; it's from 1961.
Remember when a lot more people rode the bus in Louisville than they do today? Remember when the system map was small enough to fit on a letter-size sheet of paper? And it was in black and white?
This little item was put in with some other maps of Lexington and Louisville that I purchased off an online auction. When I discovered this item I was overjoyed, and decided immediately to scan this and make it available for the public's perusal.
It was sometime in 1950 when the Louisville Railway Company converted all trolley lines to buses, and shortly thereafter was known as the Louisville Transit Company. A few years later LTCo formalized the numbering system for bus routes that the Transit Authority of River City still uses to this day.
I have made this map available in three different resolutions from which you can choose. The hypertext links are used to display those images.
- low resolution: 75 dpi, 791x587, 93KB JPEG
- medium resolution: 150 dpi, 1582x1175, 287KB JPEG
- high resolution: 300 dpi, 3164x2350, 896KB JPEG
Routes In 1961
Most urban mass transportation systems change slightly over time. Especially in the United States, more and more people have moved to the suburbs, and so has industry. Bus routes get extended over time, and some get combined with others. For some people this map can bring back quite some memories; for others who are not old enough yet, the changes can still be quite fascinating.
Following is a list of bus routes in 1961, a description of which parts of town they served, and how those routes have evolved since 1961 to the present (December 2000).
2 — Second Street
The Second Street bus line ran from Downtown Louisville down Second and First Streets to Old Louisville and the University of Louisville. One branch took Floyd Street and Park Boulevard all the way to Highland Park, and another branch took Crittenden Drive to the New Kentucky State Fairgrounds, rejoining Park Boulevard at Wawa and Seneca. The route also continued down Park Boulevard to Saginaw and Woodlawn and seved Standiford Field, and also had a branch to International Harvester. See Route 34.
The Second Street bus line today now serves Southern Indiana and the United Parcel Service international hub.
4 — Fourth Street
The Fourth Street bus line took 4th and 3rd Streets in the Downtown Area. The line had branches to Southland Park via 5th and 6th and Woodlawn and Southside; Iroquois Park via 3rd; Peachtree/Bellevue via 5th and 6th; and Queen/Bohannon via Central.
Today, the Fourth Street line no longer serves Queen/Bohannon or Peachtree. Some rush-hour buses serve the Louisville Industrial Park on National Turnpike about 1/2 mile south of Southside.
6 — Sixth Street
The Sixth Street bus line took 5th and 6th in Downtown, and continued on 6th to Hill Street, jogging on Hill to 7th Street Road. Like today, one branch via Lindbergh and another via Arcade join togehter continuing south to Iroquois Park and Auburndale.
Aside from minor details, the Sixth Street bus line is mostly unchanged.
11 — Portland Shelby
Apparently, Portland Avenue was a two-way street in 1961. From the loop at 32nd and Portland the bus took Portland to 19th to Market and Jefferson to Shelby and Campbell (Campbell ``becomes'' Logan). Southbound buses on Shelby turned around by taking a left to Burnett, left on Texas, left on Goss, and right to Logan northbound.
Aside from minor details (street closings on Shelby and Campbell north of Broadway and changing Portland and Bank to one-way), the Portland-Shelby bus line was unchanged since the 1920s until 1997 when the route was merged with 43 Poplar Level Road. Poplar Level Road was a Blue Motor Coach line until the 1970s when it became part of the city bus system.
12 — Twelfth Street
The western loop of the 12th Street bus line was 29th/Duncan/30th/Alford. The bus line took Slevin and Griffiths and Duncan to 17th, making numerous jogs to 12th Street all the way to 11th and Hill.
Aside from minor details the route remained unchanged until the late 1990s when it got extended to 7th and Algonquin.
15 — Market Street
From a loop at Shawnee Park the Market Street bus line took Market all the way to Mellwood and Story. Westbound buses took Jefferson in the Downtown area. Continuing east on Mellwood and Story to Frankfort Avenue, then north on Ewing. One branch via Lindsay and Cleveland to V.A. Hospital; another branch via Brownsboro Road to Chenoweth Lane.
The Market Street bus line now serves Holiday Manor Shopping Center on weekdays and Saturdays. For some time the route also had a Goose Creek Road branch.
17 — Bardstown Road
The western terminus of the Bardstown Road route, like today, was at 7th and Main. The route took Jefferson and Liberty to Baxter to Bardstown Road. The route had a branch via Hawthorn and Bon Air to Wendell and Gardiner, and two more branches to Appliance Park, one via Bashford Manor Lane and Newburg Road, and the other via Shepherdsville Road.
Today, the Bardstown Road bus line serves the Fern Creek area. The Bon Air branch is now served by the Chestnut Street bus line, and some residential and industrial side streets in the Appliance Park/Newburg Area are now served by the Bardstown Road bus line.
18 — Preston Street
Even in 1961, the Preston-18th bus line was one of the stranger and longer routes in the system, serving the southwest areas of Jefferson County, taking Dixie Highway and 18th all the way to Downtown Louisville, then taking Preston and Jackson to Preston Street Road (now known as Preston Highway) to the Standiford neighborhood.
For a couple years in the 1990s, some portions of the Southwest County areas served by the Preston-18th line were served by suburban feeder routes, though service to Valley Station and Watson Lane is now on the mainline once again. Service via Preston Highway is now to St. Rita, taking some residential streets to get to Jefferson Mall, and some buses even go a little further eastward through more residential streets to Smyrna Parkway and Outer Loop.
19 — Walnut Street
The western terminus of the Walnut Street line was 38th and Bohne. The bus went down Bohne to Wilson Avenue, then taking 28th north to Chestnut and Walnut all the way to east of Downtown Louisville where they joined up, continuing on Lexington Road and Payne Street, meeting up with Frankfort at Rastetter and Clifton. Down Frankfort Avenue, one branch took Breckenridge, Springhill, and Browns Lane (in that order). Another branch used Hubbards Lane and Winchester and Fairmeade.
Walnut Street is now known as Muhammad Ali Boulevard. Same for the bus line. Route 32, serving Cane Run Road, was merged into this route sometime later. Route 19 has since then also been extended to Dupont Circle, Oxmoor Center, and Anchorage and Berrytown via LaGrange Road.
21 — Chestnut Street
The western terminus of the Chestnut Street bus line was at a loop on Vermont near Shawnee Park. The bus line took Vermont to 28th, then continued on Walnut and Chestnut, heading south to Broadway via Shelby and Campbell, to Barret and Castlewood and Baxter Avenue. One branch took Newburg to Trevilian all the way to Bardstown Road. Anotehr branch took Shady to Norris to Richmond to Douglass Boulevard to Dundee to Strathmoor.
The Trevilian Way branch now serves the Bon Air/Wendell/Gardiner area once served by the Bardstown Road bus line. The Chestnut Street bus line also now serves Bashford Manor Mall.
22 — Twenty-Second Street
The western terminus of the 22nd Street bus line was at Carter and Northwestern. The line took 22nd all the way down to Maple. Northbound buses took 21st between Maple and Main, jogging along Main to meet 22nd. Continuing south on 23rd, the bus line jogged along Hill to Cypress to Algonquin all the way to 40th and 41st, then continued on Bells Lane just short of the Ohio River.
The bus line now stops at 40th and Bells. An additional branch serves the 38th and Bohne area.
23 — Broadway
The western terminus was at Shawnee Park and Broadway. The Broadway bus line took Broadway all the way to Baxter Avenue, taking Bardstown Road all the way to Gardiner Lane (one branch) or via Goldsmith Lane and some residential streets to Manner Dale (another branch). Another branch took Taylorsville Road to Hikes Point, and yet another branch took Dutchmans and Beauchamp Road (now Cannons lane).
The Broadway bus line now goes all the way to Jeffersontown and (in some cases) Billtown Road. The Dutchmans branch now goes to Dupont Circle and takes Browns Lane to Hunsinger/Pamela.
25 — Oak Street
The western end of the Oak Street line was on Southwestern Parkway near Shawnee Park. East of Bardstown Road one branch took Patterson, Everett, Glenmary, and Ray. The route also continued on Grinstead Drive to Stilz to Lexington Road to the Willis/Cannons/Hycliffe loop.
Aside from minor extensions (including service to 28th and Broadway) and changes, the route is pretty much the same.
27 — Hill Street
The Hill Street bus line met the Portland Shelby bus line at the 32nd/Portland loop. From there the bus took Northwestern Parkway to 37th and jogged to Bank Street to 44th, Herman, 41st, Garland, 34th, Southern, Catalpa, and Hill to Burnett, Shelby, and Delor. Continued on Delor to Clarks Lane, stopping short of Poplar Level Road.
Since 1961 Northwestern Parkway and Bank Street became a one-way pair. The Hill Street bus line was realigned to serve Burnett, Shelby, Delor, Texas, Burnett, Eastern Parkway, and Poplar Level to Audubon Hospital.
29 — Eastern Parkway
From Garrs Lane and Dixie, the route took 7th Street Road and Berry to Taylor to Winkler to 3rd to Eastern Parkway all the way to residential streets south of Cherokee Park. The route's eastern terminus was at Alta Vista near Seneca Park. The route also had a branch to Powell, Wheeler, and Southern Heights; and some buses cut short on Woodbourne and turned around at Taylorsville Road.
The Eastern Parkway bus line now serves Lake Dreamland (formerly served by Route 32) via Rockford Lane, and has been extended from Alta Vista to Lexington Road to Shelbyville Road, taking the Massie/Hubbards loop formerly served by Route 36.
31 — Middletown Express
Used to be, the Middletown Express was pretty much that. The map does not show what streets the bus took in Middletown so I can't say that much more.
Today, the bus line is a local route with some express trips (slated to become local trips).
32 — Cane Run Road
Route 32 met up with Route 19 at Catalpa and Dumensil, taking Wilson and Cane Run Road to Lower Hunters Trace. Also had a branch on Camp Ground Road to Lake Dreamland.
Lake Dreamland is now served by Route 29 Eastern Parkway. Cane Run Road is now served by the Muhammad Ali bus line.
34 — Crittenden Drive
This bus line was, of sorts, a continuation of the Second Street bus line to Ashbottom Road, with branches to Grade Lane, the Edgewood neighborhood, and Gilmore Lane.
Since then, service via Ashbottom (renamed as a continuation of Crittenden Drive) to Fern Valley Road was put on the Second Street bus line. The route now has to take I-65 and Grade Lane from the airport since Crittenden Drive was closed due to expansion of the airport.
36 — St. Matthews Feeder
This was a short bus line serving Chenoweth Lane and the loop consisting of St. Matthews, Massie, Hubbards, and Westport.
Chenoweth Lane is now handled by Route 62 Breckenridge Lane-Shepherdsville Road. The Massie/Hubbards loop is handled by the Eastern Parkway bus line.