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Hoodlebug was a nickname used for small rail motor cars that provided commuter in parts of the United States. The name usually applies to such service in rural areas between towns or from towns to factories or mines before the advent of bus service. Hoodlebugs were also used for school students before the widespread use of school buses.
It appears this is a local vernacular term limited to mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states. Its etymology is uncertain, but it may be a variation of doodlebug, a railroad term for certain types of small, self-propelled cars.
A group of vehicles that provided similar service on the Rio Grande Southern were called Galloping Geese. Most of these were converted street vehicles while most hoodlebugs were similar in appearance and construction to Interurbans.
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