Note: The following is one of a series of articles looking at events in the history of Bulloch County.
The Chicago Daily Tribune issue of Oct. 13, 1925 announced the “Palatial New Greyhound Safety Coach Service (with) Observation Coaches (running) 9 times daily from Chicago to all Cities Along the Shore.”
“Luxurious Easy-Riding California-Style Observation Coaches w/Air-Cushioned Arm Chairs. Glass-Enclosed Observation Platform Furnished w/Adjustable-back Easy Chairs. Warm & Comfy in Chilly Weather.”
The Bulloch Times-Statesboro News-Statesboro Eagle issue of Jan. 3, 1929 heralded the arrival of a “Palatial Bus,” which was on display for local residents to see as part of a new long-distance bus service.
The small operation which had started up as the "Greyhound Lines of Georgia," had established bus routes between Chattanooga, Tennessee and Jacksonville, Florida.
Its route passed through Atlanta and Macon as it passed through almost the entire length of the Peach State. It was created in 1928 as part of the Motor Transit Corporation, the original Greyhound firm.
The Greyhound Bus lines representatives arrived in Statesboro in one of their special new specially-built buses. Greyhound stated they may build 26 of these palaces on wheels.
“The forward compartment provides berths for nine passengers. The rear compartment is made up of a spacious combination observation parlor and dining room.
“It is equipped with dining and card tables, radio, phonograph, and electric fans. Between the forward and rear compartments is located a compact kitchenette.”
It consists of “electric refrigerator, gas range, pantry locker and kitchen sink. From the kitchenette, light lunches and beverages are sold. To the left of the kitchenette is found a complete tiled bathroom.”
It contains “a wash basin, toilet, and shower bath. Hot water is supplied with a standard home-sized coil heater. A 70-gallon, built-in water tank supplies water for the bath and kitchen."
“The coach is also hot-water heated. A steward, porter, and two drivers accompany each coach. Furnished in polished walnut and deep mohair upholstery, the interior is a model of luxury.”
S.O. Wall rode up from Jacksonville on these new coaches as Greyhound sent their representatives out on tentative routes to work out stoops along the route as well as choose specific routes would be used.
Buses would leave New York City and Jacksonville at 9 each morning and evening. The estimated time of arrivals in Statesboro were 2 a.m. and 2 p.m. heading south, and 4 a.m. and 4 p.m. heading north.
Wall revealed Greyhound’s ground-breaking deluxe Florida to New York service would pass through Savannah, Augusta, Raleigh, Richmond, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia while cruising the East Coast.
He boasted Greyhound was already America’s largest bus system, with coast to coast and border to border services. The Statesboro stop was to get a regular bus depot with a full-time agent.
Then, the July 9, 1937 Bulloch Herald advertised Greyhound’s new “Stream-Lined Air-Cooled Vacations in New, Cool Zephyr Super-Buses, at incomparably low fares."
The paper continued, "Breeze along lovely summer highways — to your chosen vacation spot— anywhere in America — in the luxurious comfort of a Greyhound Zephyr Bus."
So, "You can travel three miles this way at the cost of driving your car one mile. Round-trip fares average less than 1 1/4 cents-per-mile — far lower than any other kind of public transportation."
Roger Allen is a local lover of history who provides a brief look each week at the area's past. Email him at email@example.com.