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Poskin Bus Lines

Acquired by PAT on March 6, 1964

Poskin Bus Lines had it origins as a trucking business in 1918 and hauled coal as well as oil field machinery in Washington County. The business was started by the brothers A.J. and J.V. Poskin and operated under the name of McDonald Express & Transfer Company.

During the early 1920's bus service between Carnegie and Burgettstown via McDonald and Oakdale was started by unknown operators, possibly jitneys, and operated as two separate companies and had a total of 25 buses along 45 miles of route miles. In 1928, the rights to this service were acquired by the West Penn Railways System's Penn Bus Lines McDonald Division which operated 2 Yellow Coach type X buses as feeders to its 3 1/2 mile Oakdale-McDonald streetcar line. This rail line was abandoned in 1927 and the Yellow Coaches continued to operate the route.

One route that was acquired by Penn Bus Lines in 1928 from the purchase of the 2 independent operators was a irregularly scheduled run from McDonald to the Shaw Mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Company. Penn Bus Lines was not particularly interested in operating this line and abandoned it in April of 1933. Miners who worked at the mine complained to the PSC about the lack of transportation so Penn Bus Lines hired A.J. Poskin (his brother left the partnership a year prior) in October of 1933 to operate the Shaw Mine run that was recently abandoned but still certified to Penn Bus Lines.

Records do not clearly indicate this but it is believed that Penn Bus Lines gave Poskin the rights to operate the all of the 1928 acquired routes as an inducement to run the Shaw Mine service. This is due to the fact that Poskin applied for rights to these lines with the PSC and there was no objection by Penn Bus Lines which held the rights. Currently there is no record as the the disposition of the original Oakdale-McDonald line and shuttle lines Penn Bus Lines started with but it is assumed they were absorbed into the routes acquired by Penn Bus Lines in 1928 as the McDonald Division was gone by 1934.

During February of 1934, Poskin Bus Lines officially came into existence. Service commenced with 3 Graham model YD coaches purchased from Penn Bus Lines. It is not known when but the first abandonment occurred very early on and was the Midway to Burgettstown portion of the route in Washington County. While not officially an abandonment as the certification for the route was never cancelled, service was eliminated and never reinstated.

The next change in service occurred on February 17, 1947 when Poskin received permission to extend service from Carnegie to Downtown Pittsburgh. This service ran closed door, in favor of the Oriole Motor Coach Lines, from Carnegie to Downtown via Noblestown Road. By this time Poskin was running a mix of buses which included White model 65's, International K5's and Yellow 739's.

In 1948, a large portion of Poskin's route was duplicated by a new operator named Gradison Auto Bus. It is unclear as to why but Gradison had no closed door restrictions on the Burgettstown to Oakdale portion of the route that Poskin held rights to (Poskin was not operating from Midway to Burgettstown by then but still held the rights). Gradison also overlapped, without restriction, a large section of the Montour Motor Coach Lines route from Pittsburgh to Carnegie. This overlap of service continued until 1951 when Montour put the Pittsburgh-Carnegie-Oakdale line up for sale.

Poskin purchased the line from Montour and immediately filed a motion before the PUC against Gradison which was upheld. Gradison was now required to run the route closed door over long portions of the route and as it was not a very profitable route for Gradison, it was sold to Poskin in 1954 along with two alternate routings for the line after Gradison purchased the remaining lines of Montour on July 1, 1954.

In May of 1957, certificates for all of the Poskin operations, as well as the McDonald Express and Transfer Company were transferred from A.J. Poskin to Donald A. Poskin and Graves Bernie. No other changes of operation were made until December of 1960 when Poskin received permission to run many of its Pittsburgh routes through the newly opened Fort Pitt Tunnel.

Poskin's service was always rather infrequent from the early days of the company up to the PAT takeover. Many of its 14 buses at the time of takeover were used except for the Beavers and a couple school buses. As was the case with Montour, a destination sign in a Poskin bus was rare and probably came with the used bus. Ridership the year prior to the PAT takeover was approximately 1,000 passengers a day. It should be stated, however, that the area Poskin served was sparsely populated during this time. Even today, the old Poskin territory still has many low population areas although if they had today's population back when Poskin was operating, they would have been considered crowded.

PAT did not acquire the trucking company that was also held by Poskin and Bernie. That was sold approximately the same time however to Wray Fullerton who continued to operate it through the 1970's.

Acquired Equipment (with PAT number if re-numbered)
Poskin Number Make Model Year PAT Number
25 Beaver B-35-PT 1948 -
28 Beaver B-35-PT 1949 685
30 Beaver B-35-PT 1950 683
34 Beaver B-35-PT 1951 682
35 Beaver B-35-PT 1952 -
39 Beaver B-40-PT 1953 684
41-42 GM TDM4008 1947 118-119
43-44 GM School Bus 1959 17-18
45 GM TDM4008 1947 126
46 GM TDM4008 1947 -
50 International School Bus 1950 16
51 GM TDM4008 1947 109

Note: Coaches 41-46 & 50-51 were second hand.

Routes (shown with PAT numbers)
31F McDonald
33F McDonald Express

Click on images for a full screen view

A typical Poskin roll sign display. This recreation was created from an original which was used in Poskin bus 34 and has all the available readings in the order they appeared on the sign. No manufacturer information was found on the sign as the white leader was severely deteriorated however it most likely was a Hunter sign given the font set and style of the original sign.


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This page was updated on January 17, 2010

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