• By Don Dwiggins
  • Posted Thursday, May 6, 2010

The History of Safe Bus Company

Mrs. Tina Carson-Wilkins will present the history of Winston-Salem’s Safe Bus Company, the historic African American bus company that operated from 1926 to 1972. Safe Bus Company was formed to provide African American workers in East Winston-Salem with transportation to R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company plants. At the time, electric trolleys and other forms of public transportation did not operate near the eastern part of town where most African Americans lived. Over the next 40 years, Safe Bus Company’s riders and profits increased markedly, but eventually it was purchased by the Winston-Salem Transit Authority (WSTA) in an effort to expand integrated bus service.

The company’s name stems from a promise made to Mayor Thomas Barber in 1926 to operate a safe and organized bus system, as the company transitioned from individually owned jitneys to a fleet of 35 city buses. After the conclusion of the program the Winston-Salem Transit Authority will provide a free shuttle bus to from the MJEWHC for anyone interested in touring one of the historic buses from the 1960’s profiled in the program. For more information call 703-2950. Malloy Jordan East Winston Heritage Center, Wednesday, June 16th @ 10:0 am

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