Roger Townsend Ward

ACRES HOMES TRANSIT COMPANY. The Acres Homes Transit Company, a small suburban transportation organization established in 1959, operated in response to the need for public commuter services in the predominantly African-American community of Acres Homes, nine miles northwest of downtown Houston. Acres Homes was outside of the city limits until the late 1960s, when it was annexed to Houston. Prior to 1959 local bus service in the community had been provided by the Yale Street Bus Line, which was owned by the Pioneer Bus Company, the largest of the suburban, privately owned transit companies in Houston. The Yale Street Bus Line ceased commuter services in Acres Homes in the fall of 1958. Left with no adequate system of public transportation, many of the area residents used "jitneys," or small, used-car taxis driven by independent operators. In Acres Homes these operators were usually residents of the community and went about their daily routine in open violation of municipal transportation codes. By July 1959 several residents from the area, including teachers, ministers, businessmen, and civic leaders, petitioned city hall for a permit to operate a suburban bus franchise from Acres Homes. The AHTC received a charter from the state of Texas and, on July 1, 1959, the city council granted a temporary permit to the company. Four buses made forty-three round trips a day between downtown Houston and Acres Homes. The AHTC became the first bus franchise in the South owned and operated by African Americans. The buses were driven by local drivers hired especially for the task. Acres Homes was annexed to Houston in 1967. The AHTC board members sold the company to the Houston Rapid Transit Lines, the largest privately owned transit company in the city, in June of 1968 for $5,000.


Inez Elmore, Times to Remember: A Dynamic Autobiography (Hicksville, New York: Exposition Press, 1979). Houston Metropolitan Research Center Files, Houston Public Library (City of Houston Public Service/Public Transportation).

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Handbook of Texas Online, Roger Townsend Ward, "ACRES HOMES TRANSIT COMPANY," accessed August 21, 2019,

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Modified on December 17, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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