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Key System

 

The Key System was best known for its extensive network of streetcar rail lines throughout the San Francisco East Bay. East Bay Motor Coach Lines Ltd ran the bus system in 1930. It also, famously, ran “bridge units” across the Oakland San Francisco Bay Bridge into San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal.

“Officially the San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose Consolidated Railway, Key System, or Key Route was a privately-owned mass-transit provider in Oakland, California and surrounding area between 1903 and 1960. The service area included the cities of Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Emeryville, Piedmont, San Leandro, Richmond, Albany, and El Cerrito in the eastern San Francisco Bay Area. The outer destinations resembled “loops” in the inside part of a key, while the Oakland-San Francisco route along the pier provided the shaft and teeth of a key. Due to this similarity, the service was called the Key System.

This operating franchise was owned by National City Lines, a bus and streetcar holding company between 1946 and 1960. During the National City Lines years, the system was known as Key System Transit Lines.”

Source: Canadian Public Transit Discussion Board

Some of the Key System rail routes are echoed by today’s much smaller BART system, and the streetcar operations were replaced by buses.

At midnight on Saturday, October 1, 1960, the Key System was taken over by the AC Transit public transit agency.  The Pacific Bus Museum has Key System #2103 played a significant role in local transit history. 

Key System Logo

 

See also the Key System motor coach operation called the Key System Transit Line.

 

Pages on this site about Key System

#308 – East Bay Motor Coach Lines
#308 - East Bay Motor Coach Lines

East Bay Motor Coach Lines (Key System) acquired 11 model 15 “baby” Twins starting in January 1931.

The PBM acquired the #308 from the estate of the late Jerry Graham in 1996.

#308 was included in the filming of the movie “Oppenheimer”.

3-Speed Manual, East Bay Motor Coach, Hercules, Key System, Transit, Twin Coach


#2103 – Key System Transit Lines

This “Old Look” TDH-4801 in an order of 21 buses for Key System Transit Lines that were delivered, new, in 1958.

#2103 was the first bus in revenue service for AC Transit when the agency took over operations from Key System Transit Lines

#2103 was donated to the PBM in April 2013.

2-Speed Hydromatic, Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit), General Motors, General Motors, GM Truck & Coach Division, Key System, Key System Transit Lines (KSTL), Santa Clara County Transit District (SCCTD), Transit, Western Railway Museum


#400 -East Bay Motor Coach Lines (Key System)

This 28-passenger Twin Coach Model 30 was delivered to East Bay Motor Coach Lines in September 1933.

The PBM acquired the #400 from the estate of the late Jerry Graham in 1996.

3-Speed Manual, East Bay Motor Coach, Hercules, Key System, Twin Coach


Paddle Archives mentioning Key System

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