I found this old bus token, which reminded me that I had all but forgotten about bus tokens. The little paper card with the magnetic strip eliminated these for obvious reasons of convenience (and I would assume cost). Not that I ever thought about them as a kid, but I would imagine that if you were a regular bus (or rail) rider these dime size tokens lead to lots of futzing around with change as you got on the bus. This had to be done while holding two bags of groceries, while the bus driver rapidly altered between the accelerator and brake, thus making the entire routine a complicated balancing act. (Bob Newhart’s Bus Driving School routine comes to mind.)
Anyway, this token was from the Evanston Bus Company, which is a suburb of Chicago. The company had a trolley line and a few bus routes. While I couldn’t find the reasons why, I did discover that the drivers went on strike and the company permanently collapsed in April of 1973. This didn’t end bus service in Evanston; the city ended up subsidizing the CTA to take over the main routes which they continue to run today.
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