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HoP: Key Route #12





For many years prior to 1902 the local transportation facilities of the Fast Bay cities were & most unsatisfactory proposition. The total mileage of track was large, but it was composed of a number of separate and independent lines. Having no traffic interchange arrangements, there were no "through" cars connecting distant localities, and each company in its turn collected a fare from the passenger who had to use two or more lines in order to reach his destination.


In March, 1898, first results of the efforts made toward gathering the many weak and struggling independent lines into a consolidated system became visible. The work was continued during the succeeding four years until the last independent line was absorbed in March, 1902.


The consolidation of all these existing lines under a single management and having a universal transfer system, was only a good beginning of an enormous task. Many of the lines had been built as horsecar lines, and afterwards changed to use cable-roads also ha been electrified; most of them were narrow-guage; nearly all were of obsolete type, as to track, power station and car-stations were numerous, and scattered and convenient tract connections between the various lines were consciously lacking.


In the spring of 1902 active operations under a comprehensive plan for the improvement of the entire transportation system were started. The program embraced the reconstruction of the old lines with modern type of track; the construction of many new lines of the extension of existing lines into growing localities; the modernization of rolling stock, and its concentration into yards at convenient points; the abandonment of a number of scattered power-stations and of a considerable mileage--unnecessary tracks.


The most important project on the new program was that of a ferry line across the bay, to be operated in connection with rail lines suitable for heavy trains. Thus was the so-called "Key Route" born.


From 1902 to the present date the Key System have been running on a profitable basis and on the rule: “Always please your clients”


The Passenger revenue for the year 1927 was $7,306, 392.80 compared with  $7, 447, 397.20 for the year 1926--which is a reduction of $1 41, 004,40, The total operating revenues decrease $144, 762,99, from $7,579,584.79 for the year 1926 to $7,452, 821.80 for the year 1927.


The passenger carried on the Transbay Division increased 328,850 during the year 1927 as compared with the year 1926. The largest increase took place in the 8 2/3 commute passengers carried Transbay, which amounted to 352, 392 passengers. The 21 passengers increased 23, 542, and the 3 ½ cent school passengers increased 5,401. All other classes of passengers decreased, including the 21cent passengers received from the Sacramento Short Line, which was more than enough to offset the increase in the passengers carried on the lines of this company. The total revenue passengers on the entire system decreased 2, 399, 271, which is 2.75% less than the previous year.


Operating expenses increased $468, 559.86, which was largely due to increased maintenance charges and reduced construction work. Sufficient service was eliminated to offset the increase in the average rate of wages paid platform men, and in addition to show a small reduction in the conduction transportation costs for the year 1927 as compared with the previous year. Taxes decreased $42,111,87, which is the result of decreased revenue because the largest item of taxes is based on the gross receipts. The increase of depreciation 142,000.000 is the result of installing additional property.


The interest on bonds and funded debt for the year amounted to $1,153,992.35 which is an increase of $176,616.08, over the year 1926. This is largely due to the issuance of the Series “D” First Mortgage Bonds and the Equipment Trust Notes. In addition to the interest charge of $1,153,992 35 there was a serial maturity on the equipment note issue of $175,000.00 and sinking fund installments of $ 34,935.00 making the total fixed charges for the year $1,363,927.35. The operations for the year 1927 resulted in a deficit of $579,017.70


The Company has a great many motor bus lines now operating even though most of the motor lines show a loss, there have been consistent demands for extensions of the bus service. The Telegraph line, for an example, operation in an ideal transportation territory on a well pared street, a short route and closely built up district, shows an operating loss on the 7 cent fare with a free transfer, although the line is greatly Patronized. The net loss from motor bus operation for one year has been $206, 305.03.


When the earnings for the year have been unsatisfactory, the bondholders and stockholders receive their interest up to the date, but only by the adoption of drastic measures.



Through the city of Piedmont the Key Route system runs the Piedmont Line (10) and the Grand Are. Line No. (12), The Piedmont Line runs from Hopkins in East Oakland up Broadway to Piedmont Ave, then turning West of Piedmont Ave to Highland Ave., then along Highland ending at Crocker Ave. in East Piedmont.


The Grand Ave Line, which is the Hollis Line run into Grand Ave., at 22nd and Webster Streets and follows Grand until it comes to Fairview on the Piedmont City limit end at Fairview and Oakland Ave.


Another very short line is the Oakland Ave. Line No. (11) in the Westerly part of City of Piedmont and making connections with the San Francisco "Key" train at fortieth and Piedmont Ave. The Grand Ave Line also meet the "Key" train at Oakland Ave. and Fairview Ave.



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