|One of the very first Chicago city buses, called a “Jitney.” 5¢ per person - 1915.|
Kennelly’s warnings had little effect. The Jitneys kept running. Kennelly alienated the powerful South Side congressman, William L. Dawson. Dawson and most of his constituents were African American. Since many white cab drivers wouldn’t serve black passengers in 1950, the local community relied on the Jitney cabs.
Kennelly was succeeded by a more politically-astute mayor, Richard J. Daley. When a reporter asked him if he was going to do anything about the Jitneys, Daley simply said, “They perform a public service.” And that was that.
- Unlicensed taxi cabs that service high-crime areas where licensed cabs don't want to go.
- A small bus or car following a regular route along which it picks up and discharges passengers, originally charging each passenger 5¢.
- Older Slang: a nickel; five-cent piece.
NOTE: Similar to today's Uber service.