It was formed in Winston-Salem to serve the black neighborhoods due to segregation and operated till 1972. Thirteen Black men put together their life-savings and purchasing shares of stock for $100,000; forming Safe Bus Co, Inc. on May 26, 1926, Safe Bus Co became the largest African-American owned bus company in the nation. The company grew large and fast and was at one point named the largest black-owned transportation company in the world. In 1955, Safe Bus grossed $825,000. At it’s prime, the company carried 15,000 fares a day, grossed $18,000 a week and had 75 employees. Fares started at five cents in the early operating days and grew as the company expanded.
The number of buses expanded as well, from 35 to 42. Safe Bus operated in 20 percent of the city. Black bus drivers made, around $1.60 to $2.50 an hour. “That was more than school teachers were making then.” By 1968, Safe Bus provided transportation to all city residents. The company took on more routes, but finding drivers proved difficult. Despite more routes, after integration, Safe Bus started to lose money. Old attitudes about segregation made it difficult to make a profit, and the company lost 60 percent of riders, according to the Winston-Salem Transit Authority. “When the whites started riding Safe Bus, they thought they had to go to the back,”. After integration Black people Started riding on white-owned buses so they could sit up front with white people. Stockholders voted to sell the company to the city in 1972. The Winston-Salem Transit Authority became responsible for all public.