Service cars operated in the same manner as buses and streetcars as they had regular routes with regular stops. Cab drivers and bus companies loathed these cars as they were cheaper to ride and stole potential customers.
By the 1960s, most service car companies had shut and survivors operated limited routes in north St. Louis. The Consolidated Service Car Co. was the last to offer rides and was eventually bought by Bi-State in 1962. However, most drivers owned their cars and continued their service. With the support of the Committee of Racial Equality (CORE), they charged no fare but accepted ‘donations’ as ‘freedom riders.’ Bi-State added more routes to compete with the unlicensed service cars but the African American residents boycotted the buses in these areas. The dispute was settled in 1966.
This 1950 Dodge Coronet is the last running and remaining service car. Engine type: 6-cyl. L-Head; displacement: 230 cubic inches; horsepower: 103; built in: San Leandro CA; donors: Herman Perkins, Anthony Sansone, Consolidated Service Car Co.; acquired by Museum in 1967.