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By 1950 just 1,519 miles remained and the number dropped to 209 miles by 1959.
As William Middleton notes in his book, " The interurban was conceived as a transit system, developed from the basic streetcars of the era.
Most were out of the business by World War II and only one still operates today, the Iowa Traction Railway (others have shed their "interurban" status and now operate as short line freight carriers).
In 1889 there were just 7 miles of interurbans in service, a number which jumped to 3,122 by 1901, and finally peaked at 15,580 in 1916.
These numbers slowly receded into the 1920's as abandonment hastened through the 1930's.
There was also the added perk of providing some freight business.
As interubans expanded they did indeed initially prove popular offering quick service, multiple schedules daily (the large Illinois Traction system, for instance, was dispatching 106 trains out of Springfield, Illinois everyday by 1906), and with fares only a few cents each way.