SporTran traces its history to the 1870's when mule drawn street cars ran from the downtown area to nearby outlying areas.
In 1890, the street cars became electrified. Several different private companies who built rail lines and power lines out into the countryside operated the trolleys and people use them heavily.
In the 1930's, rubber-tired trolley cars that did not depend on street tracks became prevalent and the last street car left service in 1939.
Gasoline powered buses eventually joined the rubber-tired trolleys and in 1961, the last trolley was sold, reportedly to Mexico, where they continued in operation. Diesel buses replaced the gasoline buses in the 1970's. Today's fleet is “clean diesel” with computerized engines to reduce emissions.
Ridership, Routes & Fares
Records show that our service peaked in the late 1940's, with as many as 100 buses and trolleys operating over a much smaller area than we presently cover. After World War II, we carried over 20,000,000 trips per year, and had buses operating every eight minutes during peak periods on the same routes.
In 1950, the fare was 15 cents and the service made a profit for its owners. By 1970, ridership had dropped to the point where it was no longer profitable. In 1972, the City of Shreveport, using a federal grant, purchased the system and contracted with a private management firm to operate the system. Shreveport contracted with Bossier City to operate two routes in Bossier that same year. In 1974, the City adopted the name SporTran for the system.
In 1986, the downtown terminal was built and became the center of service for the system.
In 1998, SporTran used 45 buses and 8 vans to move 3.7 million riders. This was an increase over 1997, and a continuing trend of small but steady increases over the past 9 years. Our 1998 total ridership represented a 27 percent increase over the mark reached in 1989, our lowest year in the past 30 years.
SporTran has a reputation for safe, reliable service. Mass transit service to our area has been in continuous service for 125 years, with work stoppage occurring only once during a two-week strike in 1957.
Today, SporTran sports a fleet of over 95 modern heavy duty and smaller cutaway buses equipped to handle all passengers, including those with disabilities. Our buses are powered by the latest emission reduction systems such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and 100% Battery Electric Technology.