Austin, Texas streetcar system map, 1925
Austin's streetcar system was never particularly successful. Like many of its contemporaries, the Austin Transit Co. got its start as a speculative real estate venture. M. M. Shipe, its original owner, was a real estate developer who wanted to build houses in far-away Hyde Park. So, to do that, he built an electric streetcar line in the 1890s connecting his new subdivision to central Austin.
None of Shipe's successors could figure out a way to make money from transit, and the system went into a long, slow decline which ultimately led to the system's total shutdown in 1940. This map depicts the streetcar system near its ridership peak in 1925.
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