The Fageol Safety Bus

In 1921, Frank Fageol began production of the Safety Bus in Oakland, California. It was "the first vehicle built for the sole purpose of serving as an intercity bus" (The San Diego Union, Dec. 6, 1964). In 1922 it came to San Diego and was widely promoted in advertisements as "the most comfortable car built" for seeing the many attractions in San Diego County (The San Diego Union, May 23, 1923). The San Diego Electric Railway company began two years of experimental use of the bus to expand transportation between San Diego, National City and Chulas Vista with its trolley lines.The Sweetwater Union School District adopted the bus in 1922. "Transportation of pupils to school this year is handled by the San Diego Electric Railway company. Buses are run from certain points in Chula Vista, and National City to the school. The new Fageol safety busses have made their appearance, and the service is satisfactory. Both teachers and pupils appreciate the improved method of transportation (The San Diego Union, Oct. 2, 1922).

"Trackless, Trolleyless Street Car Appears on Streets For Demonstration; Much Enthusiasm Is Aroused (photo) The Fageol Safety Bus, new type of trackless and trolleyless street car, which made its appearance here in demonstrations yesterday. Eleven cars of a similar type recently were purchased by the Denver Inter City Transit company. Ease of Boarding and Alighting by Very Low Step the Distinguishing Feature. Considerable comment was caused yesterday by the appearance on the city's thoroughfares of a new type of city or Inter-city trackless and trolleyless street car. It was the Fageol safety bus, the first of the kind, according to Frank Fageol. president of the Fageol Motors company of Oakiand, that has been deslgned from the ground up for city and Inter-city transportation purposes. Everywhere the new safety bus went yesterday It aroused admiration for its attractive lines. Smooth riding, case of operation and speed, as well as for the quickness the big bus at a 20-mlle clip could he brought to a full stop. Out in Kensington Park. where it stood for a few moments before one of the schools, school children and teachers congregated in the piayground clapped their hands and cheered, thinking the bus was already in actual service. This safety bus, which is almost Identical with the Fageol company's trackless street car, with the exception that the latter is larger, roomier and has a seating capacity of 29 passengers, was brought to San Diego for demonstration purposes. It made the trip from Los Angeles to San Diego Sunday in four hours and 15 minutes actual running time. It will remain on display today at the Andrews & Lamb garage on Second street near the Union building. Yesterday a trip was made to and from Kensington Park for demonstration purposes. The party making the trip included Claus Sprerkels. general manager of the San Diego Electric railway; E. J. Henning, W. A. Alien and F. C. Martin, members of the committee representing residents of Kensington Park. Universlty Heights, Normal Heights and Bonnie Brae appointed to cenfer with Mr. Spreckels on transportation, and a number of other street railway officials. The big safety bus was put through Its paces, and with due regard to the city's traffic ordinances was shown to have ample speed in reserve for any city or intenirban transportation purposes. From University avenue and Park boulevard to the end of the street car line at Kensington Park the trip was made In less than 12 minutes, including 10 stops. The car is equipped with a special Fageol-Hall-Scott motor of 62 horsepower. With President Fageol on his trip to this city were C. W. de Lancey, sales manager, and R. C. Smith, factory representative of the Fageol Motors company. The distingulshing feature of the body of the car outside of the attractiveness of its lines and general appearance is its lowness. The overall height Is about six and a third feet. Ease of boarding and slighting is gained by the step running board, entrance or exit being only a few inches from the ground. The bus has drop windows and adjustable ventilators. The floor is covered with linoleum and seats upholstered with No. 1 leather. The color of the Interior Is French gray, and a pleasing Indirect lighting effect Is provided by specially constricted dome lights." (The San Diego Union, March 14. 1922)


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