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Little Known Black History Fact: Philadelphia’s First Black-Owned Transit System

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Philadelphia is the new home of its first black owned bus company, S-T-S-C Transportation Services. The company was founded by black attorney, Jeremy Walker, and a few other investors. The busline had it’s grand opening on June 27th. The new black-owned business comes after the U.S. Dept of Transportation shut down 26 bus operators last year for safety issues. Walker and the other owners of STSC plan to give extra safety training to their drivers to handle all types of situations. With 40 employees, the STSC Transportation Company hopes to bring a host of new jobs to the Philadelphia community.

Philadelphia’s history of segregation in the transit system left a significant historical mark in the mid 1940’s. President Franklin Roosevelt had to order the Army into the city to stop a sizable strike of thousands of white transit workers who protested against the federal order, which stated that the Philadelphia Transit Company (PTC) hire black trolley and bus drivers in 1944. With the president’s new War Manpower Commission taking effect, eight African American employees were named trolley car drivers, which angered the white workers. The city’s transit system was left paralyzed on August 1, 1944.

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