Service provided by the electric street car was most often replaced by buses which were seen as more flexible and requiring less infrastructure than the electric rail counterpart. This shift from electric trolley to bus has led many to believe that a union of automobile, oil, and tire companies was responsible for the dismantling of what otherwise appeared to be a productive public utility.
The possibility of a conspiracy against the electric streetcar is at least likely given the circumstances publicly known. In 1949, General Motors together with Standard Oil (now Cheveron) and Firestone were convicted of conspiring to monopolize the sale of buses and related products to local transit authorities. The goals of this group were to promote the use and sale of buses, tires and gasoline: three things not needed in cites with electric streetcars. Therefore the use of such a transit system often came at the cost of reduced or complete dismantling of electric street car routes.