Home > Labor > 1952 Quad Cities Transit strike

1952 Quad Cities Transit strike

From A QC Century

Setting up the Rock Island-Moline City Lines as a local division, this national company, which had local operations all over the U.S., oversaw the mass transit bus system in the Quad-Cities.

As public and popular as bus usage was, it suffered from the trappings of private industry just the same. In 1952, a strike ceased all bus service. For more than 70 days, the buses did not run.

Though the percentage of private citizens who owned cars had grown exponentially over the previous 20 years, that figure was still well below the number of today. Many found themselves without transportation. Carpooling was common, and some even took to hitchhiking just to get to and from work.

As the strike stretched on, talk began about a city-run bus system, one that would be free of the possibility of a paralyzing strike. Eventually, the issues were resolved, and the strike ended, and although the talk subsided, it was not forgotten.

For the next decade, bus patronage steadily declined. In addition to the effect of the expansion of private automobile ownership, many had found alternate means of transportation after the strike fiasco. In the early ’60s, the Rock Island-Moline City Lines wasn’t profitable, and began to cut back on its routes.

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