Quantcast

A Look At CTA Buses, Streetcars And Signs Through The Years

CHICAGO — So that's how CTA buses and trains used to look.

Pete Kastanes, a Bogan High School graduate, is administrator of the Facebook page "Vintage CTA Bus Routes & Signs," which showcases old-time photos of Chicago's public transportation vehicles, signs, stations and stops.

The Facebook page is one of about 20 Kastanes runs, highlighted by "Chicago Extinct Businesses." He started the CTA page because, as a child growing up on the Far South Side, he and his family always relied on public transportation.

"I was always fascinated by the routes, CTA Roll Curtains, the turnarounds when the bus routes reach their destinations, and the CTA bus stop signs," Kastanes said.

According to Encyclopedia of Chicago, the CTA was created in 1945 with 3,560 streetcars, 152 electric buses, 259 motor buses and 1,623 rapid transit cars. Chicago's prior elevated and street railway companies "were owned by corporations that had become hopelessly mired in bankruptcy during the Great Depression because of overregulation by the city, corruption, and poor financial practices," according to Encyclopedia of Chicago.

Streetcars were eventually replaced by buses, and, in 1963, some elevated lines were expanded into the suburbs, plus O'Hare and Midway airports.

Check out some of the photos Kastanes found online or was sent by his thousands of followers.

For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: