In May of 1921, The Key System began to operate motor coach service. The first line opened up on May 16, 1921, to Mills College and a week later on May 21st, service to Montclair began.¹
The Realty Syndicate purchased and paid the bills for the motor coaches, to provide transportation for potential customers to Montclair. The coaches were painted to match the street cars.
There is a little dispute as to which line was first, the Montclair or the Mills College lines My feeling is a tie that both started in May 1921.
The first tract office was a tent and later it was a small building. The tract office was later moved the triangle piece of land at Mountain Blvd, Antioch St, and Antioch Ct. Antioch Ct. The building later became the offices of Winder Gahan, real estate agents in dealing with Montclair. The original site as seen in photo was located on the opposite side of Moraga Rd (at LaSalle) which is now in the middle of the Warren Freeway (Hwy 13).¹
Offices of Winder Gahan at Antioch St and Antioch Ct. circa 1942
During the commuting hours 6am-9am and 5 to 7pm every 20 minutes. During the remainder of the day a 40-minute service. The fare was 6¢ with transfer privileges to street cars. In 1924 they offered service to run until midnight. Before this bus transportation had been confined to out-of-town service along the highway.
New Terminal – October 1928
In 1928 a new $18,000 Terminal was built in Montclair. It was located at the corner of Mountain Blvd and La Salle, a short walk to the Sacramento Northern station. The Spanish Style building was designed by local architect Hamilton Murdock and was the first building structure in Montclair. An Architectural Guide – Pg. 276
The building is still standing and is located at 6206 LaSalle Ave. 6206 La Salle
In September of 1961, a forty-year-old photo led a reunion between to former drivers who pioneered local motor coach service in the East Bay.
J.L. “Marty” Martin started working in May 1921 and C.E. Pehrson started in September of that same year. The met in Montclair at the approximate site of the first terminal and discuss new verses or coaches and how much things had changed.