All-Time List of Canadian Transit Systems

by David A. Wyatt

Sydney, Nova Scotia

Including North Sydney - Sydney Mines.

Principal System

Cape Breton Electric Co [Sydney] tram (postcard) Cape Breton Electric Company (1901 - 15 June 1931)
street railway/light rail ferry Incorporated 30 March 1900 as Cape Breton Electric Tramway & Power Company. Name changed to CBE 1901. Operated local street railway service in Sydney, and a disconnected 6 mi. (9.5 km) line from North Sydney to Sydney Mines. Company also operated ferry service between Sydney and North Sydney (Due). For most of its existence the company was a direct subsidiary of the American Stone & Webster traction empire. Company went into receivership 23 March 1931. (photos: postcards).

Cape Breton Electric Co [North Sydney] tram (postcard) Cape Breton Electric Co. Sydney ferry wharf 1920

Eastern Light and Power Company (15 June 1931 - October 1931)
street railway/light rail Street railway operation abandoned in 1931. Interurban operations under separate ownership continued until 1947.

Sydney and Whitney Pier Bus Service 3570 (GM old look) (Peter Cox 1969) Sydney & Whitney Pier Bus Services Ltd. (01 October 1931 - 1975 or after)
Private unsubsidized transit service as late as 1975. Affliliated with the Irving Oil Company (Mike O'Neill 2007). (CR&MW 1931, TJ37-38, Dawes et al. 1972, TC75, Photo: Peter Cox).

Sydney & Whitney Pier ticket (front)

Sydney TCB new look (James B. Wyatt 1986) Cape Breton Regional Transit Authority (1983? - present.)
(observed circa 1986). The City of Sydney, and the Towns of North Sydney, New Waterford, Glace Bay, Sydney Mines, Louisbourg, and Dominion amalgamated to form the Cape Breton Regional Municipality 01 August 1995. A 1997 web page cited Transit Cape Breton (pb89, CUTA 1989, CUTA 1991/2, CUTA 1992, photos: James B. Wyatt).

Sydney TCB11 (James B. Wyatt 1986) Sydney TCB (James B. Wyatt 1986) Sydney TCB4580 GM new look (James B. Wyatt 1986)

Service area population100,000 (1991)
Vehicle fleet16 buses (2000)
Employees70 (1991)
Ridership311,296 (2009)
Data sources:CUTA 1991/2
CTF [Aug. 2010] (ridership)

Secondary Systems

? (circa 1900's)
omnibus Cameron writes that "in the early days" [of Sydney & Glace Bay interurban service], a horsedrawn wagon met the interurban cars at Dominion to take passengers to New Waterford.

Sydney & Louisburg Railway Company (circa 1910 - March 1963)
commuter rail Incorporated 1910 (N.S.) as a subsidiary of Dominion Coal Company. While primarily a coal hauler, the S&L also carried miners to and from work at mines around Sydney, Louisbourg, and Dominion. Passenger trains discontinued March 1963. [Commuter passenger service may have begun with one or more of the S&L's predecessor lines prior to 1910]. (Wikipedia 2011, A Chronology of the S&L Railway, p. 3, 2011).

Sydney Bus Company Ltd. (late 1920's - late 1940's)
Sydney - New Waterford Public Utilities Board operating certificate in effect 31 December 1930 (Gillis p 142). Certificate renewed 1938 (Gillis p 145). 1946 certificate for scheduled bus service covered Sydney - New Waterford and New Waterford - New Victoria via Scotchtown (Gillis p. 147). Does not appear in the list of 1927 or 1954 certificates.

Alex G. Traboulsee (late 1920's - mid 1930's)
P.U.B. certificate in effect as of 31 December 1930 for Glace Bay - New Waterford (Gillis p. 142). Does not appear in certificate list for 1927 or 1938.

Sullivan Bus Service Sydney - Florence Michael D. Sullivan (circa 1930 - 1943)
Suburban and intercity bus carrier in Cape Breton. Local bus service from Sydney and North Sydney to Little Bras d'Or and Florence. Enterprise sold to United Service 1943. (Mike O'Neill 2007, Gillis p. 142, photos Mike O'Neill coll., Sullivan family coll.).

Mike Sullivan Bus Service Dodge (Sullivan family coll.) Mike Sullivan Bus Service [greater Sydney] bus circa early 1940s (Sullivan family coll.)

Michael A. Musial (late 1930's - early 1940's)
P.U.B. certificate issued/renewed 1938 for scheduled bus service between New Waterford and Glace Bay (Gillis p. 146). Probably succeeded by his wife/widow.

Bertha L. Musial (early 1940's - late 1950's)
1946 P.U.B. certificate for service from New Waterford to Glace Bay (Gillis p. 148). Certificate renewed 1954 (Gillis p. 154).

Frank King (1939 - 1953)
Local bus service in greater Sydney including routes to New Waterford, Gaburs, Castle Bay, West Bay, St. Peter's and others (Mike O'Neill 2007). Sold to CBB&T.

Mike Sullivan Bus Service, Ltd. (1943 - circa 1950)
Subsidiary of United Service Corporation. 1946 Public Utilities Board operating certificate included local services Sydney to Little Bras d'Or Bridge and Sydney to Point Edward via Westmount and Edwardsville (Gillis p. 148). Reorganized as HL.

Donkin Bus Service (1940's)
Donkin Bus Service token (Eric Leighton collection) Bus service which issued tokins dated to 1942 (Atwood–Coffee p. 463). It's not clear if this is a predecessor, competitor or the operating name of Nello Tomada's operation.

Nello A. Tomada (1940's - late 1950's?)
1946 certificate for scheduled service between Donkin and Glace Bay [12 km] (Gillis p. 148) Certificate renewed 1954 (Gillis p 154).

CBBT (Glace Bay) 9 Main and Commercial (Abbass Studio 1953) Cape Breton Bus and Tram Company ( 16 May 1947 - 04 March 1957)
All-bus operation continued directly from interurban electric railway service (see below). 1946 P.U.B. certificate for scheduled bus service between Sydney and Glace Bay (Gillis p. 148). Added intercity and additional suburban routes on its 1954 P.U.B. certificate: Sydney - New Waterford and New Waterford - New Victoria via Scotchtown suburban routes. Intercity routes to Little Narrows, Christmas Island, and Stirling (Gillis p. 153). Bankrupt 1957. (photo

Oscar Louis Pettipas (1940's - 1957?)
1946 P.U.B. certificate for scheduled bus service between Birch Grove and Glace Bay [9 km] (Gillis p. 150). Certificate renewed 1954 jointly in the names of Oscar Louis Pettipas and Gustave Pettipas. Pettipas family later organized the Glace Bay Bus Company.

Michael MacDonald (1940's - 1950's?)
1946 P.U.B. certificate for scheduled bus service between Port Morien and Glace Bay [14 km] (Gillis p. 150) Certificate renewed 1954 (Gillis p 155).

Angus A. McDonald (1940's - early 1950's?)
1946 certificate North Sydney - Scotch Lake via Little Bras d'Or [17km] (Gillis p150). Not on 1954 certificate list.

David Robertson (1940's - 1956)
1946 certificate for scheduled bus service from Sydney Mines to Alder Point via Florence, Florence Colliery, Little Pond and Bras d'Or [12 km] (Gillis p. 150). Certificate renewed 1954 (Gillis p. 155) and transferred to A.J. MacLean the next year.

Highland Lines Ltd. (circa 1950 - 1955)
Suburban and intercity carrier in Cape Breton. Subsidiary of United Service Corporation, parent company of Acadian Lines. Discontinued suburban service in the Edwardsville area of Sydney circa 1951 (Gillis p. 44). 1954 P.U.B. certificate included three local routes (Sydney - Sydney Mines, Sydney - Naval Base via Westmount, and North Sydney - Sydney Mines intertown service) as well as intercity routes to Louisbourg and Inverness (Gillis p. 153). US Corp. bus operations consolidated as Acadian Lines 1955.

Acadian Lines (1955 - 1961)
Province-wide intercity and suburban carrier. Initial Sydney-area suburban routes were Sydney - Naval Base via Westmount, and North Sydney - Sydney Mines intertown service (Gillis p. 158). Acquired Sydney suburban routes from bankrupt CBB&T 1957. Routes included Westmount, North Sydney, and New Waterford (Mike O'Neill 2007). Abandoned Sydney-area suburban routes 1961 (Gillis p. 70). (Leger & Lawrence).

Allen James MacLean (1956 - ?)
Assumed Sydney Mines - Alder Point route of D. Robertson 1956.

Glace Bay GBBC27 GM old look (William A. Luke) Glace Bay Bus Company (circa 18 March 1957 - 1970)
(CC74). Suburban service in Glace Bay. Assumed local Glace Bay service after the end of CBB&T bus operations. Also operated buses in Moncton, New Brunswick beginning in 1962. (photo: William A. Luke).

Eddy Gordon Bus service (? - ?)
Operated bus service between Sydney and East Bay (Mike O'Neill 2007).

East Bay Bus Line Nov. 1962 (Farrell family coll.) East Bay Bus Line (1960 - 1963)
Owner John Angus Farrell. Bus service between Sydney and East Bay via Portage, Howie Centre, and Sydney River (Tom Farrel 2011). (photo: Farrell family collection).

Gus Leblanc (1960 - 1970)
Hourly bus service on the Westmount route. Also operated less frequent services from Sydney to Louisbourg and Arichat (Mike O'Neill 2007).

Allen Buses Ltd.(1960's? - 1970's?)
P.U.B. 1975 certificate to operate scheduled bus service for: Glace Bay environs, Glace Bay - Sydney, and Glace Bay - New Waterford (Gillis p. 174). (Canadian Coach 1970). Sydney, North Sydney, Sydney Mines suburban service.

C and M Coach Lines (1961 - 1975)
Ended New Waterford - Sydney suburban service 1975 (Gillis p. 173). (Canadian Coach 1974).


Electric railway1901 - October 1931 (Sydney)
1903 - 1929 (North Sydney - Sydney Mines)
07 January 1908 - 1938 (Glace Bay)
Motor bus?1931 - present (urban)
1920's - present (suburban)

Sydney & Glace Bay Interurban

Sydney and Glace Bay Railway Company (October 1902 - 01 June 1911)
electric interurban Incorporated 27 March 1902 (NS). A joint ownership venture of the Cape Breton Electric Company and the Dominion Coal Company. Operated from Sydney via Reserve Junction, Glace Bay and Dominion to Reserve Junction. From 07 January 1908 operated local streetcar service in Glace Bay (one car interleaved between interurban cars) which continued under successive operators until 1938. Merged with the CBE in 1911, Dom. Coal taking CBE stock in exchange for its share of the S&GB.

Cape Breton Electric Company (01 June 1911 - 15 June 1931)
electric interurban Company went into receivership 23 March 1931.

Eastern Light and Power Company (15 June 1931 - 23 November 1931)
electric interurban Application to abandon interurban operations granted, but employees stepped in to buy the operation and operate it for what they thought would be the year or so it would take to find other work.

Cape Breton Tramways 301 at Reserve Jct 1944 (caperpics) Cape Breton Tramways Company Limited (23 November 1931 - 30 September 1944)
electric interurban Employee owned operation. Local car operation in Glace Bay converted to buses 1938. (photo caperpics).

Cape Breton Bus and Tram Company (30 September 1944 - 15 May 1947 -)
electric interurban (RFC). Company operated buses in intercommunity and local Glace Bay service until 04 March 1957 (see above). CYB erroneously reports end of electric railway service as 21 May 1947.


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