I am taking a page verbatim from “The Newark City Lines”, a privately published book, about the Public Service Street Railways by John Harrington Riley. Mr. Riley’s summation of the demise of the 21 Trolley is too well written and poignant for me to attempt a clumsy paraphrase.
” On July 17, 1937 the Public Utilities Commission approved the substitution of All Service Vehicles for the Market Street trolleys and in August 1, 1937 these 21 -Orange cars were replaced by the 19-Orange trolley bus line. They operated via the same route as the trolleys from the Roseville Car House to West Market and Warren Streets.
This ended seventy-seven years of street car service on downtown Market Street, as the only other remaining car line on Market Street, the 1-Newark line, was also replaced by All Service Vehicles on the same day.
The 21-Orange cars operated a very efficient service to the Oranges for almost sixteen years with alternate service via West Market Street and Orange Street, both using the City Subway. Short service operated from the Penn RR Station to the Erie Loop at the Orange-West Orange line. A storage yard was maintained at the Erie Loop Yards until 1942.
The passengers who rode the cars were satisfied with the trolleys. This was self evident due to the fact that buses ran on the same streets as the cars but the cars were well patronized.
All the constant agitation by town officials and other non riders for buses, however, at last brought the long strived for regression to the congested downtown Newark city streets. The majority of the public who rode the cars did not want buses. They appreciated the fast City Subway service and the roomy cars but the special interest groups as usual prevailed.
On February 20, 1951 the public utilities Commission approved the motorization of the section of the Orange line that operated through the Oranges and down West Market Street.
At 4:30 a.m. on March 1, 1951 buses replaced the 21-Orange cars that ran via West Market Street to the Penn RR Station from West Orange. The Warren Street section of the line was abandoned with no replacement and buses reverted to West Market and Market Streets to reach the Penn RR Station. The 19-Orange line, which had been converted from trackless trolleys to buses in 1948, was consolidated and made part of the new 21-Orange bus line.
21-Orange cars now only ran from Roseville Car House down Orange Street, Newark and into the City Subway to the Penn RR Station. They returned via the same route to Orange Street, South 14th Street through Roseville Yards and back to Orange Street.
The forces of regression now were in full swing however, and the agitation for buses continued now led by the Roseville Business Men’s Association. Finally they got their wish when the Public Utilities Commission on March 7, 1952 approved the substitution of buses for trolleys on the Orange Street Section of the Orange line.
On March 30, 1952 the last segment of the 21-Orange car line was discontinued on Orange Street to the City Subway leaving the whole length of Orange Street to the 22-Roseville bus line. Free transfers were issued at Orange Street and the City Subway.
The 7-City Subway still ran up Orange Street to the Roseville Barns for shop moves and pull ins until June 5, 1952 when new shops were opened in the City Subway at the Penn RR Station. Now the Roseville Car Barns were no longer used for cars and the tracks on Orange Street were abandoned. This was the end of ninety years of trolleys on Orange Street. The 21-Orange line the first and oldest street car line in Newark was now gone completely.”
The flyer included in this posting documents the end of the 21-Orange line. My thanks to Mr. Riley for his words and research.