Monday, June 9, 2014

Léopoldville 1928 – First Public Transport on the Streets

When I was preparing the post on public transportation in Kinshasa (See. October 24, 2011), I used a 100 Fr. share document to illustrate the Société Industries et Transports Automobiles au Congo (ITAC), which operated the first bus system in the capital in February 1928.  Recently, I came across a photo of the original bus.

The buses offered 22 places, of which 18 were reserved for whites.  Notwithstanding well-connected colonial luminaries on its board, including Colonel Georges Moulaert (who created the first Cité in Kintambo in 1911, See April 30, 2011, and contender for Governor General in 1933), Albert Paulis (who built the Katanga railways), and General Alphonse Cabra (who surveyed the frontier with Angola), the service didn’t catch on.  The company was liquidated in October 1932, a victim of the Depression, apparently because downtown Kinshasa didn’t grow as had been expected.