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Founded 1936
Headquarters Fairfax, Virginia
Service area United States
Service type Intercity coach service
Routes ?
Daily ridership ?
Operator Cooperative
Chief executive Gale Ellsworth

The Trailways Transportation System is an American group of 80 independent bus companies that have entered into a franchising agreement. The company is headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia.[1]


The predecessor to Trailways Transportation System was founded February 5, 1936, by Burlington Transportation Company, Santa Fe Trails Transportation Company, Missouri-Pacific Stages, Safeway Lines, Inc., and Frank Martz Coach Company.

The system originated with coast-to-coast service as the National Trailways Bus System (NTBS). Greyhound Lines had grown so quickly in the 1920s and 1930s that the Interstate Commerce Commission encouraged smaller independent operators to form the NTBS to provide competition. Unlike Greyhound, which centralized ownership, Trailways member companies became a formidable competitor while staying an association of almost 100 separate companies. In the 1950s, Morgan W. Walker, Sr., of Alexandria, Louisiana, became head of the southern division of the company. He had entered the business on a small scale during World War I as the Interurban Transportation Company of Alexandria.[2] During the 1950s and 1960s, consolidation among bus operators resulted in four of the five original Trailways members becoming part of a new company, Continental Trailways, which eventually operated the majority of Trailways routes.[3][4][5][6][7]

In 1968, under the leadership of major stockholder Kemmons Wilson, Holiday Inn acquired Continental Trailways, which remained a subsidiary of Holiday Inn until 1979, when Holiday Inn sold Trailways to private investor Henry Lea Hillman, Sr., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the years during which Trailways was a subsidiary of Holiday Inn, television commercials for Holiday Inn frequently showed a Trailways bus stopping at a Holiday Inn hotel.

Regular route bus ridership in the United States had been declining steadily since World War II despite minor gains during the 1973 and 1979 energy crises. By 1986, the Greyhound Bus Line had been spun off from the parent company to new owners, which resulted in Greyhound Lines becoming solely a bus transportation company. It was sold off to new owners headed by Fred Currey, a former executive with the largest member of the National Trailways Bus System. The old Greyhound parent had changed its name to Dial Corporation.

Under the new ownership in 1987, led by Currey, Greyhound Lines later acquired the former Continental Trailways company, the largest member of the rival National Trailways Bus System, effectively eliminating a large portion of bus competition.[8] Although Greyhound negotiated cooperative schedules with Carolina Coach Company and Southeastern Trailways, two of the larger members of the Trailways system, many smaller carriers were effectively forced out of business. Greyhound later acquired Carolina and the intercity operations of Southeastern.[9][10] Most of the survivors diversified into charters and tours.

Current Trailways members

Today Trailways members are spread across North America. They provide charter bus service, bus tours and scheduled route services, with some members providing regular route service to areas not served by any other bus company on an interlining basis with Greyhound Lines, each other, and independent companies. Members also offer motorcoach charters and tours in competitive markets.

List of members (current and former)

Abbott Trailways, Roanoke, VA
Adirondack Trailways, Hurley, NY
Alpha Trailways, Cincinnati, OH
Amador Trailways, Sacramento, CA
AmericanStar Trailways, Pismo Beach, CA
Anchor Trailways, Nashville, TN
Arrow Trailways of Texas, Killeen, TX
AS Midway Trailways, Baltimore, MD
Atlantic Coast Trailways, Hagerstown, MD
Bieber Trailways of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA
Birnie Trailways, Rome, NY
Bristol Trailways, Bristol, VT
Bristol Trailways of Florida, Orlando, FL
Burlington Trailways, West Burlington, IA
C&J Trailways (now C&J Bus Lines), Portsmouth, NH
Cantrail Coachlines Inc., Western Trailways, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Capital City Trailways of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
Capital Trailways of Alabama, Montgomery, AL
Capital Trailways of Huntsville, Madison, AL
Capital Trailways of Mississippi, Richland, MS
Capitol Trailways of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA
Greyhound Lines, Inc.
Cavalier Coach Trailways, Boston, MA
Central States Trailways, St. Louis, MO
Colonial Trailways, Mobile, AL
Concord Trailways (now Concord Coach Lines), Concord, NH
Continental Trailways, Dallas, TX
Cross Country Tours Trailways, Spartanburg, SC
Dakota Trailways, Spearfish, SD
Dean Trailways of Michigan, Lansing, MI
Dixon Meyers Trailways, Mt. Morris, IL
Eagle Trailways, Irving, TX
El Camino Trailways, South San Francisco, CA
Empire Trailways, Rochester, NY
Endeavor Trailways, Miami, FL
Excursions Trailways, Ft. Wayne, IN; Ottawa, OH
Express Trailways, Orlando, FL
First Class Trailways, St. Petersburg, FL
First Priority Trailways, District Heights, MD
Flagship Trailways, Cranston, RI
Fullington Trailways, Clearfield, PA
Gentry Trailways, Knoxville, TN
Georgia Trailways, Macon, GA
Gold Line Trailways, Tuxedo, MD
Golden Express Trailways, New York, NY
Gotta Go Trailways, Ft. Worth, TX
Great Canadian Trailways, Ontario, Canada
Heartland Trailways, St. Joseph, MO
Huskey Trailways, Festus, MO; Columbia, MO; Ozark, MO
King Ward Trailways, Chicopee, MA
Kobussen Trailways, Kaukauma, WI
La Chaudiere Trailways, St. Georges, Quebec, Canada
Lakefront Trailways, Cleveland, OH
Lancaster Trailways, The Carolinas, Lancaster, SC
Lion Trailways, Rio Grande, NJ
Little Rock Trailways, Little Rock, AR
Lone Star Trailways, Tyler, TX
Louisiana Trailways, Marrero, LA
Martz Trailways, Wilkes-Barre, PA
Memphis Trailways, Memphis, TN
Miller Trailways, Louisville, KY; Indianopolis, IN
Myers Trailways, Export, PA
National Coach Trailways, Fredricksburg, VA
New York Trailways, Hurley, NY (formerly Empire Trailways of Rochester, New York)
NorthEast Trailways of ME, Lewiston, ME
Northwestern Trailways, Spokane, WA
Orange Belt Stages, Visalia, CA
Pacific Coachways Trailways, Garden Grove, CA
Paradise Trailways, W. Hempstead, NY
Pine Hill Trailways, Hurley, NY
Prairie Coach Trailways, Dell Rapids, SD
Prairie Trailways, Chicago, IL
Precious Cargo, Chagrin Falls, OH
Rimrock Trailways Billings, MT
Rocky Mountain Trailways, Rexburg, ID
Royal Tours Trailways, Randleman, NC
Salter Trailways, Jonesboro, LA
Samson Trailways, Atlanta, GA
Seitz Reisen Trailways of Germany, Ruhmansfelden, Bayern-Regen, Germany
Sierra Trailways of California, Sacramento, CA
Sierra Trailways of Texas, South Houston, TX
Silver State Trailways of CA, Placentia, CA
Silver State Trailways of NV, Las Vegas, NV
South Texas Trailways, San Antonio, TX
Southeastern Trailways, Indianapolis, IN
Starkville Trailways, Ridgeland, MS
St. Cloud Trailways, St. Cloud, MN
Sun Travel Trailways, Beaumont, TX
Susquehanna Trailways, Avis, PA
Swept Away Trailways, Savannah, GA
Tennessee Coach Company, Knoxville, Tennessee
Thrasher Brothers Trailways, Birmingham, AL
Transportes InterCalifornias Trailways, Los Angeles, CA
Travel Mates Trailways, Harrisonburg, VA
Utah Trailways, Salt Lake City, UT
Viking Trailways, Joplin, MO
VIA Trailways, Tempe, AZ; Merced, CA
West Point Trailways, Vails Gate, NY

See also

Virginia portal
Cooperatives portal
Buses portal


External links

  • Trailways website
  • Bluehounds and Redhounds, the histories of Greyhound and Trailways
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