I found a stack of old newspapers at an estate sale last weekend. One from right about the end of World War II caught my eye. I think that what I found is pretty damn important since it documents a transit monopoly that isn't in the much-discussed Snell Report. He certainly did a great job but in the several years I've been researching the history of transit, I've found some pretty massive relevant cases that he doesn't, iirc, talk about except to say in general terms that such activities were going on. I'm hoping that by posting this sort of thing I can shed a bit more light on what really created our current appalling situation. Hopefully some of y'all will link or this or, even better, copy it and spread it around.
No effective discussion of the viability of public transit in America is possible if we still believe that "the market" caused what was, over and over, the result of corporate sabotage and even government collusion.
As you read this, remember, this means that the companies named below, if these charges are valid, which I very much suspect they are, were undermining transport up and down the west coast right before and during World War II. As far as I'm concerned, that is treason and every key decisionmaker should have been taken out and hanged at dawn.
Wednesday, October 24th, 1945
Travel Conspiracy Charged
WEST COAST BUS ROUTES IN QUESTION
Monopoly Rap Hits S.P., Greyhound, Standard Oil Co.
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 24 - The government today charged eight companies, including the Southern Pacific Railroad company, the Pacific Greyhound Lines and the Standard Oil company of California, with conspiracies in restraint of trade and with attempts to monopolize trade routes in West Coast states.
In a suit filed in federal court here under the Sherman antitrust act, the companies were accused of conspiracy and of monopolizing trade and commerce in transporting bus and rail passengers along routes between Portland and San Francisco and along the Coast highway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The other companies named are the Greyhound Corporation of Chicago; Dollar Lines of Portland; Interstate Transit Line and Interstate Transit Lines, Inc., and the Union Pacific Stages, Inc., all of Omaha, Neb.
"CLOSED DOOR" ALLEGED
The complaint alleged the defendants have been in a combination to eliminate and keep out competitors along the above named routes, and to control west-bound passenger traffic by "closed door' agreements.
The suit was filed here by James McI. Henderson, chief of the West Coast offices of the anti-trust division, acting under order from U.S. Attorney General Tom C. Clark in Washington, D.C.
"The abuses we are aiming to correct are beyond the scope of the interstate commerce commission," Henderson said. "We want to implement its efforts to create a competitive system between San Francisco and Portland, and between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the Coast route."
The government charged that since 1936 Pacific Greyhound Lines and Dollar Lines have operated the only common carriers for transportation of passengers by bus between Portland and San Francisco and along the Coast highway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Dollar Lines was named as being controlled by the Pacific Greyhound Lines and used as a second-class service "to forestall competition from any new motor carrier."
It is further charged Southern Pacific is active in the management of the Pacific Greyhound Lines and that, with the Greyhound Corporation, it controls all voting stock in the Pacific firm. The suit seeks to divest Southern Pacific and Greyhound of interest in the Dollar Lines.
Also sought is cancellation of all contracts and agreements between Pacific Greyhound, Dollar Lines, Greyhound corporation, Standard Oil and the Southern Pacific which in any way would restrict competition among such concerns and their affiliates.
The suit alleged Standard oil, in consideration of purchase by Pacific Greyhound of some $750,000 annually in gas and oil, allows the bus firm a free hand in operating the Dollar Lines.