Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California on May 23, 1971 · 97
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Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California · 97

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Oakland, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 23, 1971
Page:
97
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Oakland's Py HAJUIE W. DEMORO Tribune Staff Wrltar ' Fifty years ago, Nicholas P. Alevizos, attired In a dark suit, striped tie and jaunty cap, clipped a money changer to his belt, and climbed behind the wheel of a long- hooded Studebaker touring' car. That was on May 21, 1921. And it marked the beginning of a notable career in public' transportation. Alevlzos became the king of-Oaklands jitney bus system of the 1920s and 1930s, sold out for 85,000, and today, dapper as ever, is superintendent of AC Transits Richmond bus repair center. Born In Tripolis, Greece In 1901, Alevlzos came to the United States in 1916 and drifted to Oakland In 1918, where he had friends. He enrolled at Prescott School in West Oakland, got a job with Southern Pacific washing windows and later as a flagman, filed for U.S. citizenship, and bought an old Maxwell automobile. This was near the peak of the great American jitney craze, which swept large cities at about the time of World War L Many men operated their private automobiles in competition with streetcar lines. Oakland moved quickly' NICHOLAS P. ALEVIZOS 50 years in transit to control jitneys and had laws on the books as early as 1915. In many cities, notably Los Angeles, there was chaos until the jitneys were finally required to operate on regular routes and schedules. The major Oakland jitney route was on Seventh Street from Pine Street to Clay Street, and Alevlzos rode the-line many times; As soon as he learned how to drive the Maxwell and earned some money, he decided to enter the jitney business. ife bought a car, the Studebaker, and the jitney run that came with It, for $2,500, in 192L At the time there were 16 jitneys and 16 drivers on the run, with 15 in use each day, and the 16th taking a day off. The operation was regulated by the city traffic department. The fare was five cents, two cents less than the streetcar . rate charged by San Frands-coOakland Terminal Railways, a. predecessor of the Key System and AC Transit. Jitneys operated on two-minute intervals, Alevlzos recalled, in an interview last week. Each driver-owner kept his earnings, but disputes arose over schedules. Alevlzos organized a jitney association in 1924 and became Its first and only president Then I bought more Jitneys, he said. In 1928 Alevlzos and his associates bought eight Model A Ford buses from Patchetts and Carstensen, a pioneer Ford dealer in Newman in the San Joaquin Valley. At the same time Alevizos put fare-boxes on the buses, and a signed two drivers to each vehicle. Before that we worked 18 hours a day," he said. Now each driver worked one shift Some of us mortgaged our homes to buy the buses," he said. Mii'mey King1 CMUtt 2fcSHbna Sun. May 23, 1971 1 -A ' I The old Jitney association was renamed West Oakland Motor Bus Lines, with a copartnership farmed. Each driver no longer kept the fares he collected. Alevizos expanded the business Into the new Port of Oakland developments near the Oakland Mole at the foot of Seventh Street and added a route on 14th Street By now, his expanding operation threatened the empire of Key 'System and its affiliated companies. Alevizos, who incorporated the operation as Oakland Motor Bus Lines In 1934, wanted permission to operate on Market Street. This enraged Key System officials. Southern Pacific, which operated electric trains on Seventh Street along the same route as the Jitneys, backed Alevizos, and fought Key Sys tem. Alevlzos threatened to run his buses all over the city in competition with the streetcars. Finally, on July t, 1935, A1-; evlzos sold the company to Railway Equipment and Realty Co. Ltd., the Key System holding company. East Bay Street Railways Ltd., which at that time was the name of the Key System streetcar and bus system, officially 'merged the Oakland Motor Bus routes Into East Bay Street Railways on October 20. But that was not the end of' Alevizos' career. Part of the deal made by Alfred J. Lund-berg, Key System president, was for Alevizos to have a lifetime supervisor job with the company. 1 was made s superintendent but I did not have a bus division," he recalled. So he was assigned to the long- - x J 1 1 1 trv4 v - ' '4 :-i k y&i 1 0-7 ALEVIZOS ABOUT TO CLIMB ABOARD STUDEBAKER JITNEY IN 1 921 Fifty years later he's superintendent of AC Transit Richmond bus center vanished San Pablo and Ash- 1947. has played a similar role for by avenues streetcar-bus ter- For more than 30 years he the Shriners. He also is active minal until the Richmond bus has been the Key System and in the Greek Orthodox Church division was established in. AC Transit Santa Claus, and in Oakland. Paries, Recreational Area Sought for Danville-Alamo DANVILLE A citizens committee is seeking support for the establishment of a county service area In San Ramon Valley to provide a year-round paries and recreational system for all age groups. The committee said general-public petitions for the park and recreation service area will be circulated by volunteers upon acceptance of its report by the San Ramon Valley Service Alliance, the authorizing body. Th4 concept was outlined by spokesmen to San Ramon Valley Unified School District trustees this week, since initially the program seeks utilization of existing school district facilities throughout the year. The second step would call for enlargement and enhancement of these areas for recreational purposes, and the acquisition of land and facilities fora central part The area proposed for inclu sion conforms to the already existing county police service, area (P-2) comprised of Dan- ville and Alamo. A sample survey of 5,000 forms sent out to residents on recreational needs brought a 14 per cent return, or 695. Of these, a heavy majority favored both a central and neighborhood parks . and 71 per cent expressed willingness to have the costs for them added to their tax bill, the committee continued. The initial general tax levy was estimated at 30 cents per $100 valuation. The committee noted available land for parks and recreation is fast diminishing, and that the acquisition of them either by direct purchase or by gift is hampered through the lack of a service area or any similar functional political unit to direct such a program. It said a comprehensive recreational activities program" would supplement, rather than supplant, the pending . opening of a community center at the San Ramon Valley High School Annex. Expert Lists Reasons for Use of Drugs NEW YORK (UPI) - Dr, Dale C. Cameron, chief medical officer of the Drug Dependence Unit of the Work Heath Association (WHO), reports that five important motives probably figure in drug abuse. As he lists than in WHOs journal, World Health, they are: To escape from some-, thing; to have a new, pleasur- able or thrilling experience; to achieve improved understanding or insight; to achieve a sense of belonging; to express independence and sometimes hostility. u Dr. J. C. Campbell Dentist EASY CREDIT TERMS on approved credit for Dental Plates, Partial Plates and Removable Bridges. All credit handled by our office. New Dental Plates In One Day For anyone short of time... in most cases If you arrive before 10 o'clock we can deliver your plates by 6:00 the same day. FAST PLATE REPAIRS: ONE HOUR IN MOSTCASES LET US HELP YOU if you are eligible for dental work under your Dental Insurance Plan Dr. J.C. Campbell L DENTIST Come in now no appointment necessary. Hours: 9:00 to 6:00 Monday through Friday. Closed Saturday. FREE PARKING 2 HOURS 18th Street between Telegraph and San Pablo, also Telegraph and Williams or System Auto Park. I 1800 TELEGRAPH AVE. OAKLAND ; PHONE TE 2-4916 ' ' J636 EAST 14TH ST. SAN LEANDRO PHONE 483-6295 4016 MACDONALD AVE. RICHMOND PHONE BE 4-2844 BOUGHT THE LOCAL DISTRIBUTOR'S ETJTIBE STOCK! ONLY HITE FRONT CATJ0FEEB THESE SAUK! .onlyo, ,tore, lisftS bel'owl MOTOROLA i SAVE 4 Original Dealers A Cost 1150 CHOICE OF PORTABLE or TABLE BADIOS DEUHTHE BADIO ' Sleek, hi-rmpact cabinet fits most anywhere. Solid state circuitry. 4' Golden Voice speaker. Automatic volume control. . AT.1 PORTABLE RADIO Solid state chassis for top reliability,- 3 stage transistorized audio system. Operates on two IV2 volt D batteries, (included) Built-in antenna. 1 1 MOTOROLA riBERTJ SOLID STATE AM-FM CLOCK RADIO MOTOROLA AM-FM TABLE RADIO WITH WOOD CABINET PORTABLE STEREO PliOuO fi 8 TRACK TAPE PLAYER Wake to music or news. Instant-on, switch-able AFC, 4 Golden Voice speaker, Luminous clock hands. Fits smallest nitestand.- Early American" with walnut finish, slim silhouette. Solid state circuitry. Switqhable AFC. FM line cord antenna, built-in AM ferrite antenna. AU PRICES EFFECTIVE THRU MAY 24th 2 in 1 combination; play your 8 track tapes or listen' to your favorite records. 4-speed changer, auto, shut-off. Swing-out detachable speakers. 531 STORE HOURS: Daily Noon-9 PM SaU0am-9pm Son. IOam-7 pm OFFICES IN OTHER CALIFORNIA CITIES V ' ; V . ' 1 . - l '

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