The Davison Shuttle's first existence as a bus route began on Nov. 17, 1938, after the DSR decided to discontinue its Oakman East streetcar line the east-side extension of the Oakman rail line that ran from the DSR Woodward Carhouse in Highland Park, and operated via Woodward, Victor, Oakland, Davison, Mt. Elliott, and Nevada streets to Van Dyke. The far east-end portion of the Oakman East line would be replaced by extending the Baker streetcar line.eastward along Davison from Jos. Campau to Nevada and Van Dyke. That portion of the Oakman East streetcar line west of Jos. Campau would then be replaced by the new Davidson Shuttle bus line.

The original Davison Shuttle operated from the DSR Highland Park Terminal's Woodward Loop and traveled via Woodward, Victor, Oakland, and Davison to Jos. Campau. However, this shuttle operation was somewhat short-lived after the DSR decided to instead assign the entire service along Davison Street to the Baker route, and the Davison Shuttle was discontinued on July 24, 1939. The service along Davison west of Jos. Campau would now become the "Highland Park Branch" of the Baker streetcar line.

However, the shuttle bus would again be resurrected on March 22, 1942, when the Highland Park Branch of the Baker rail line was discontinued to allow for the construction of the new Davison Expressway in Highland Park. That service would be replaced by the new Davison Shuttle Rail Bus, which operated via Manchester, Oakland and Davison to Jos. Campau.
(NOTE: "Rail Buses" were buses that traveled streetcar routes but charged the 6 rail fare instead of the 10 bus fare. However, all rail buses including the Davison Shuttle became regular bus routes on Jan. 1, 1946, when the rail fare was raised to equal the 10 bus fare).

On Feb. 14, 1949, the Davison Shuttle was extended east of Jos. Campau for the first time, via Davison, Mt. Elliott, and Nevada to Van Dyke, after the remaining Baker streetcar operation along Davison was discontinued. Beginning April 1, 1954, the west-end of the Davison Shuttle was rerouted, and now left the Woodward Loop via Manchester and John R. to Davison (eastbound), but still returned via Oakland and Manchester (westbound).

A September, 1950, DSR route analysis summary shows that the Davison Shuttle operated 24-hour service, with headways averaging 4-6 minutes. Service was assigned out of the Woodward Terminal in Highland Park, with 10-14 small-size buses used during peak-hours, four during the base, and two used for late-night "owl" service. When the Woodward Terminal closed in October 1955, the route was transferred to the Highland Park Terminal next door.

Unfortunately, when the DSR began to cut service during the 1960s, the Davison line became one of the first casualties. Effective July 7, 1966, the Davison Shuttle was discontinued and the Chene bus line was extended east via Davison, Mt. Elliott and Nevada to Van Dyke.

Information for the above article compiled from data information supplied by Jack E. Schramm, courtesy of  "DSR BUS ROUTES,
("Detroit's DSR, Part 1" -- January-February 1991 edition of Motor Coach Age magazine),"DSR BUS ROUTES,
("Detroit's DSR, Part 2" -- March-April 1992 edition of MCA magazine), and "DSR BUS ROUTES, 1945-1974"
("Detroit's DSR, Part 3" -- May-June 1993 edition of MCA magazine). Additional info from  1950 DSR Schedule Analysis and
Headway Reports courtesy of Tom Breeding, and 1957-58 and 1963 DSR Service Maps in the author's possession. The Davison
Shuttle route-map and transfer copy courtesy of the Stan Sycko collection.
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© 2007  (PAGE MODIFIED ON 10-01-07, 10-30-14, 11-08-14)
This 1958 route-map shows the 4.6-mile long route of the DSR's Davison Shuttle bus line. The route remained
unchanged from April 1954 until the service was discontinued in 1966.
The smaller 31-passenger Checker and Transit buses were assigned to the Davison Shuttle line during the 1950s.
Coach #7267
(Model 91, built by Transit Buses, Inc.) is seen in this photo laying-over at the DSR's Highland Park Terminal
Woodward-Manchester Loop while working the Davison Shuttle route.  The smoke-stacks belonging to the former Ford
Motor Company Highland Park auto plant can be seen in the background.  
(photo courtesy of the Stan Sycko collection)
Route operated under DSR
(Reformatted 01-05-14)
In this February 1963 photo, DSR coach #4826 has just left the Highland Park Terminal Loop and is traveling east along
Manchester as it crosses Woodward Ave while working the Davison Shuttle.  These 35-pass buses
(delivered in 1947) were
built by Twin Coach Co
(Model 41-S) and spent their last years of service on light service lines such as the Davison Shuttle.
(DetroitTransitHistory.info photo courtesy of the James L. Alain Collection)
Davison Avenue — which runs through both Detroit and Highland Park — was named after Jared Davison (1814-1870), an
English immigrant who was one of the early settlers during the 1840s of a small rural farming community located in Hamtramck
Township.  Although the Davison family owned other property in the surrounding area, the Jared Davison farm was located along
what today would be the south side of Davison Ave, between Woodward and Oakland avenues.  This, and the surrounding area,
would later become part of the incorporated village of Highland Park in 1889, which later incorporated as a city in 1918.

As the small 2.9-sq mile enclave known as Highland Park grew and developed, narrow Davison Ave would emerge as the only
available east-west thoroughfare that could carry traffic across the entire city of Highland Park from border to border, and connect
back with Detroit.  Consequently, by 1940, major gridlock had developed along Davison during rush hour traffic.  In March 1941, a
proposal was approved by city officials to widen Davison into a six-lane, limited-access highway that could quickly move a high
volume of motor vehicles across the city.

On Nov. 25, 1942, the 1.3 mile long
Davison Expressway opened as the nation's first urban depressed (below-grade) freeway,
running border-to-border across the city of Highland Park.  The new expressway reduced rush hour travel time through that city
from 15 minutes to three.  The Davison Freeway would be extended one mile east to Conant Street in Detroit in 1968, but plans to
extend it two miles westward along Davison Ave to connect with the Jeffries Freeway being built in Detroit were abandoned.