Rollsigns from Dayton, OH
This front route/destination mylar rollsign is designed for their 1998 built ETI-Skoda electric trolley buses, and features routes and destinations from
their trolley bus network only. The sign is dated May of 2005. It has 72 exposures, which include the white gaps. Its sign tag is shown below.
Greater Dayton RTA 1998 built ETI-Skoda trolley bus #9815
is seen northbound on Arbor Ave. at Clarence St. (south of
Wyoming St.) on a special "mini charter", July 30, 2009.
Electric transit in Dayton began with the White Line Electric Railway Company on August 8, 1888. Their new service
augmented the horse car/mule car services that existed at the time. Over time the various animal powered routes were
converted to electric. The City Railway Company acquired the Dayton Street Railway in 1941, and later absorbed the
People's Street Railway (the successor to the White Line Electric Railway Co.) in 1945. Service with electric streetcars
ended in September of 1947, when the 3rd Street line was converted to trolley bus service.
The first electric trolley buses made their appearance in Dayton on April 23, 1933, about 14 years before streetcar
service ended. Converted from rail service, the first trolley bus route was the Linden-Salem line. The City Railway
Company evolved into the City Transit Company in 1955. In November of 1972, the Miami Valley Regional Transit
Authority took over the operations of the system. In 2003, the system changed its name to Greater Dayton Regional
Transit Authority, and continues to provide both diesel and electric trolley bus service to this date.
With their system's continued commitment to provide electric trolley bus service, including the purchase of a new fleet
of ETI-Skoda trolley buses in 1998, Dayton has earned the distinction of having the longest continual electric transit
service in the entire United States. August 8, 2018 marked the 130th year of electric transit service in the city.
The sign tag:
TRANSIGN 12\5\97
The sign tag:
This front route number mylar rollsign is
designed for their 1998 built ETI-Skoda
electric trolley buses. It has 28 exposures,
however only the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7
and 8 were used because those are only
routes within the trolley bus network.
The sign is dated December 5, 1997. Its
sign tag is shown below.
In the early days of transit in Dayton, the standard buses and electric trolley
buses didn't use side or rear rollsigns. To identify the route number (or
"division" number) a simple metal frame was placed in either the first side
standee window or in the curb side rear window. A card with the route
number would be slid into this frame. This side route number card frame
was retrieved from 1948 built Dayton Marmon-Herrington TC-48 trolley
coach #525 (ex Little Rock, AR #634, purchased second hand in 1956).
The insert card in the photo is a replica, created from the photo seen below.
As seen in these photos, Dayton had the route number in the right front side
window and in the back window. This was a long-time practice. Former
manager Bill Owen was ahead of his time by putting a route number on the
back of buses.
(Photos from the collection of Clifford Kuhl. Used with permission.)
This mylar side route/destination sign
was also designed for one of Dayton's
ETI Skoda electric trolley buses. There
is no print date in the sign's info tag,
but it has the exact same readings as
the May 2005 dated one to the left.
This sign has 72 exposures, which
include the white gaps.
The sign tag: