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National City Lines, Inc. (NCL), was a front company[1] — organized by GM's Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. in 1922[2], reorganized in 1936 into a holding company — for the express purpose of acquiring local transit systems throughout the United States.[3] "Once [NCL] purchased a transit company, electric trolley service was immediately discontinued, the tracks quickly pulled up, the wires dismantled ...", and GM buses replaced the trolleys. [1]

In 1938, NCL entered into exclusive dealing arrangements and obtained equity funding from companies seeking to increase sales of commercial buses and supplies, including General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California and Phillips Petroleum, which enabled NCL to buy out more than 100 electric streetcar systems in 45 cities including, but not limited to, Cleveland, Detroit, the Pacific Electric Railway in the Los Angeles area ,[4] New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, and Tulsa. Those systems were ultimately dismantled and replaced with bus systems in what became known as the Great American streetcar scandal.

In 1949, General Motors, Standard Oil of California, Firestone Tire and others were convicted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois of conspiring to monopolize the sale of buses and related products to local transit companies controlled by NCL and other companies; they were acquitted of conspiring to monopolize the ownership of these companies. The verdicts were upheld on appeal. The corporations involved were fined $5000, their executives $1 apiece.[3][2]

National City Lines and the Montgomery Bus Boycott

National City Lines owned the Montgomery Bus Line at the time of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.[5]

References

  1. ^ a b Edwin Black,Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives. Macmillan, 2007, p.200ff.
  2. ^ a b Terry Tamminen, Lives per gallon: the true cost of our oil addiction. Island Press, 2006, p. 110-112.
  3. ^ a b Walter C. Lindley (January 31, 1951). "UNITED STATES v. NATIONAL CITY LINES, Inc., et al.". United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. http://www.altlaw.org/v1/cases/770576. Retrieved 2009-04-05.  
  4. ^ Dennis McDougal, Privileged son: Otis Chandler and the rise and fall of the L.A. Times dynasty. Da Capo Press, 2002, pp.162-5.
  5. ^ http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/kingpapers/article/montgomery_bus_boycott_1955_1956/
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