All-Time List of Canadian Transit Systems

by David A. Wyatt

Sarnia, Ontario

Principal System

Sarnia Street Ry horsecar Sarnia Street Railway Company (1875 - 25 February 1931)
street railway/light rail Incorporated 1874 (Ont.) Converted from horsecars to electric cars in 1901, the last commercial operation of horsecars in Canada. Service in Sarnia and Point Edward. (photos: author's collection, Joseph Lamarche collection, flickr/snap-happy1).

Sarnia Street Ry electric car (Joseph Lamarche collection) Sarnia horsecar in 1912 (flickr/snap-happy1)

Sarnia Bus Co Ford Transit (flickr/snap-happy1) Sarnia Bus Company Limited (01 January 1932 - 1956?)
Took over from the SStRyCo. Service in Sarnia and Point Edward. Franchise renewed for five years from 22 June 1951 (Windsor Star Nov. 6, 1950, p. 10). (photo: flickr/snap-happy1).

Cities Bus Services Ltd. (1956? - circa 1960)
Company threatened to withdraw service in 1957 (Windsor Star Mar. 29, 1957, p. 8). Operating in 1958 (Canadian Coach 1966). Signed a four-month agreement for financial support with the City March 1958 (Windsor Star Mar. 4, 1958, p. 35).

Sarnia Transit Company Ltd. (circa 1960 - 1974?)
Ten-year operating agreement ratified March 1960 (Windsor Star Mar. 4, 1960, p. 7). (Canadian Coach 1967, Dawes et al. 1972). Acquired 1960's? by Charterways Transportation Limited from Hamilton Street Railway Company interests (Canadian Coach 1974, Transit Canada 1975).

Sarnia Transit 756 GM T6H-4523N new look (Bernard Drouillard 1979 Sep 17, Peter Cox coll.) Sarnia Transit (mid 1974 - present)
(Canadian Coach 1974, CUTA 1976-77, CUTA 1989, CUTA 1991/2, CUTA 1992, photo: Bernard Drouillard [Peter Cox coll.]).

Sarnia Transit logo
system logo
Service area population75,000 (1991)
Vehicle fleet25 buses (1998)
Employees49 (1991)
Ridership1,063,124 (2009)
Data sources:CUTA 1991/2
CTF [Aug. 2010] (ridership)
website 2010 (logo)

Secondary System

Miles Neilson (before 1931 - 31 December 1931?)
Bus operation, initially in competition with the SSRyCo, then as one of several independents before franchise with SBCo (CR&MW 1931).

Dial-a-Bus (24 June 1974 - 19 November 1974)
Transit service in Sarnia Township, connecting Bright's Grove and Camlachie to Sarnia. Owner Don Lasenby threatened to discontinue service without financial support from the township (Windsor Star Nov. 15, 1974, p. 5).


Ferries between Sarnia and Port Huron (postcard) ferry Ferry services operated between Sarnia, Ontario, and Port Huron, Michigan from as early as 1836. The Sarnia and Port Huron Ferry Company Limited was incorporated 04 February 1882. Also mentioned in references is the Port Huron Ferry Company which may be the same or another entity. Ferry service ceased in 1939, within a year of the opening of the Blue Water bridge in 1938. Ferry service was revived 1946, lasting until 1953. (Elford, photo: postcard).


Animal railway1875 - 1901 *
Electric railwayJanuary 1901 - 25 February 1931
Motor bus1931? - present
* Horse cars returned to service July 1912 after a power house fire.


Copyright ©1989-2015 David A. Wyatt. All Rights Reserved.
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The author is always interested in comments, corrections and further information. Please email to:
This page last modified: Friday, 04-Dec-2015 16:01:00 CST