Numerous transit companies, all privately owned and operated, competed in providing transportation for Metropolitan Omaha and
surrounding communities from 1867 until June 30, 1972, when declining ridership forced the remaining two transit providers, the
Omaha Transit Company and the City Transit Lines, Inc. of Council Bluffs, to curtail service. With a decline in ridership, both
companies separately applied for a respective fare increase. Their requests were respectively denied and they were left with no
alternative but to discontinue service. The private transit providers in Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa, exempt from federal
subsidies available to public transit providers with the passage of the Urban Mass Transit Act of 1964, could not compete with the
public’s increasing preference for private ownership of the automobile. After the announcement of the discontinuance of private
transit service, the Railway Commission granted a temporary five (5) cent fare increase. This was done to enable the Omaha
Transit Company to remain in service until June 30, 1972, when either the City of Omaha or State of Nebraska would assume
responsibility for public transportation in Omaha. City Transit Lines agreed as well to remain in service under the existing subsidy
until June 30, 1972. In response to Metropolitan Omaha’s need for public transportation, a bill was passed “enabling” the creation
of the Transit Authority, City of Omaha, a governmental subdivision of the State of Nebraska autonomous in nature. While Metro is
responsible for the administration and operation of transit service in both Metropolitan Omaha and surrounding communities,
funds obtained form Omaha’s tax levy cannot be used to offset transit service operating expenses incurred outside of Omaha.
Transit service outside of the Omaha city limits is provided by contractual agreement between Metro and the respective political
jurisdictions and agencies, wherein they agree to reimburse Metro for all operating expenses not recovered through fare box
receipts and federal and state subsidies. The level of service, miles and hours of operation, is dictated by individual contract.
These two mylar front route number signs (left) and the mylar route name sign (right)
make up the three rollsign set for the front of the bus. They were designed for an AM
General Metropolitan. Both the curb side sign (left) and the center position sign (middle)
are dated June 23, 1975 and they each have 12 exposures including the blanks at either
end. The partial route sign (right) is missing the end exposures and the sign tag, so its
print date is unknown. It has 41 complete exposures and two torn exposures at the end.
Rollsigns from Nebraska
(Omaha, Nebraska)
Left -
Right -
The area in gray
and everything
after are missing
from this scroll.
The side route numbers and box resemble
what is normally used for run or block numbers
on the dash of a bus. The left and right scrolls
from the sign are shown below. They have no
print date, and each has 15 exposures
including the black area at each end.
The complete side route number and box assembly. This would be
mounted in the first window behind the front doors on the side of the bus.