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The Rose City Transit Company (RCT, or RCTC) was a private company that operated most mass transit service in the city of Portland, Oregon, from 1956 to 1969. It operated only within the city proper. Transit services connecting downtown Portland with suburbs outside the city but within the Portland metropolitan area were run by other private companies, mainly a consortium of four companies known collectively as the "Blue Bus" lines.

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  • The Rose City Transit Company (RCT, or RCTC) was a private company that operated most mass transit service in the city of Portland, Oregon, from 1956 to 1969. It operated only within the city proper. Transit services connecting downtown Portland with suburbs outside the city but within the Portland metropolitan area were run by other private companies, mainly a consortium of four companies known collectively as the "Blue Bus" lines.
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  • Rose City Transit
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  • The Rose City Transit Company (RCT, or RCTC) was a private company that operated most mass transit service in the city of Portland, Oregon, from 1956 to 1969. It operated only within the city proper. Transit services connecting downtown Portland with suburbs outside the city but within the Portland metropolitan area were run by other private companies, mainly a consortium of four companies known collectively as the "Blue Bus" lines. Rose City Transit was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Portland Traction Company (PTC), which was also its predecessor. Prior to the formation of RCT, most transit service in the city had been provided directly by Portland Traction under that name since the 1930s. After PTC's bus routes were transferred to Rose City Transit in 1956, PTC continued to run two interurban trolley lines (to Oregon City and Bellrose) under its own name, but those two lines – the only trolley car lines remaining in operation in Portland after abandonment of the last city streetcar lines in 1950 – were the only transit routes still operated directly by PTC, which otherwise was a freight railroad. Although RCT was a private company, it operated under a franchise agreement with the city of Portland, through which the city had some oversight control. Any fare increases or major service changes had to be approved by the city council. Many transit systems in the United States were changing from private to public control in the 1950s, as growth in private-car ownership and other factors made the provision of mass transit service an increasingly difficult business in which to make a profit. By 1962, all but two major West Coast cities had made the change and begun subsidizing transit, and one of those two exceptions was Portland, served by the Rose City Transit Company (with San Diego being the other). By 1967, RCT was the last remaining privately owned big-city transit system on the West Coast, after San Diego Transit became municipalized. Rose City Transit's annual ridership declined from 32.3 million in 1956 to 15.7 million in 1968. Effective December 1, 1969, a newly formed public authority, Tri-Met, replaced Rose City Transit, taking over all operation and facilities, and using the same personnel, under an agreement reached between RCT, the city council and Tri-Met.
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