Municipal Street Railway System Employee Special Investigation Committee Records, 1919-1933

Overview of the Collection

Seattle Municipal Street Railway
Municipal Street Railway System Employee Special Investigation Committee Records
1919-1933 (inclusive)
0.2 cubic feet
Collection Number
Records from a committee reviewing the municipal street railway system as it faced a large monetary shortfall.
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2062337807
Fax: 2063869025
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Municipal Street Railway System was formed in 1919 when the City purchased the rail lines of the Puget Sound Traction, Light and Power Company. The System was administered by the Department of Public Utilities until 1932 when the Department was abolished. The System was then under the authority of the Board of Public Works. By 1938, the System was archaic and bankrupt. It received a loan from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation in 1939 and began a modernization program. The System was reorganized in 1939, changed its name to the Seattle Transit System, and came under the policy direction of the Seattle Transportation Commission from 1939-1951 and then the Seattle Transit Commission until 1971. The newly formed Department of Transportation operated the System until 1973 when it became part of Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle (Metro). These records are part of the Metro records located at the Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Branch. Annual reports (1919-1936) of the Municipal Street Railway System are located at the Seattle Municipal Archives (see Record Series 1802-H4).

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The City Council created the Special Investigation Committee to review department operations and finances and to recommend policies and practices to improve conditions within the agency. The Railway Department was facing a projected loss of nearly one million dollars for 1933 and had a seen a 40 percent decrease in revenues between 1926 and 1933. Records include employee petitions against any change in management, a minority report issued by three of the nine committee members, the Superintendent's response to the majority report, and a handful for background material. The majority report is not included with the records.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], Employee Special Investigation Committee Records, Record Series 5700-04 Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Street-railroads--Washington (State)--Seattle

Corporate Names

  • Seattle Municipal Street Railway

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)