CHEAP TRAVEL IN THE
By the time I graduated from high school and began to wander away
from the farm busses were the principal means of transportation for
those not near a railroad. And even in areas with railroads the busses
were more convenient and in most cases more economical.
In 1935 when I graduated and journeyed to
The operation of the business depended on salesmen or other
travelers who were willing to take a passenger along for a fee. The
bureau kept a percentage of the fee and the driver received the rest of
the fare. A driver who was traveling and wished to make a little extra
money registered with a bureau and was listed as a carrier along with
the approximate time of departure and the destination. In towns that had
more than one bureau the businesses cooperated with each other by
exchanging information. If a prospective passenger wanted to go to a
particular city the information was passed from one to another and if a
driver registered at any bureau to take a passenger the first interested
passenger was directed to the office from which the traveler was to
depart. The referring bureau received a small percentage from the bureau
arranging the deal.
There were signs on the front of the buildings telling the prices
to different cities. I remember one that listed
Country drivers in those days were very willing to stop and ask
any walker if he needed a ride. Ordinarily I did not have too many miles
to walk – drivers were very accommodating!
Sometimes on longer trips the driver allowed the passenger to
drive while he got some sleep. For a traveler who had little money for
tourist courts or hotels an arrangement like this allowed him to drive
at night and save the overnight lodging expense.
A city like
In 1936 I was traveling from
I was told that travel bureaus were not legal in all states but
in every state I traveled in they were in operation. The ride sharing
bureaus disappeared when the big war preparation movement started in
1940. I guess so many travelers were working they were able to drive
their own automobiles.
Ella and I were driving a 1937 Chevrolet when the depression
finally went away and we didn’t need to use a travel bureau for
Were the travel bureaus fun? It would be hard to give a positive
answer to that question. Some were fun and some were not! They offered
cheap travel. Traveling cheap was fun!