At the time of Independence, Himachal was formed as a "C" class State by merger of 33 hilly States of North-Western Himalayas on 15th April, 1948. Passenger and goods services were nationalized in the Pradesh in July, 1949. During the year 1958, a Corporation, "Mandi-Kullu Road Transport Corporation" was floated jointly by the Govt. of Punjab, Himachal and Railways under the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950 basically to operate on the joint routes in the States of Punjab and Himachal. With the re-organization of Punjab State in 1966, few hilly areas of Punjab were merged in Himachal and operational areas of Mandi-Kullu Road Transport Corporation came entirely in the expanded State of Himachal. On 02.10.1974, Himachal Govt. Transport was merged with Mandi-Kullu Road Transport Corporation and was renamed what even today is known as Himachal Road Transport Corporation.
After the formation of Himachal on 15th July, 1948 the network of roads had received top-most priority of the Government. At present the road network is widely spread in Himachal. In 1974 total routes operated by HRTC were 379 which have grown to 2325 in March 2016 and the fleet strength has grown from 733 to 2645 in March 2016.
Bus remains the sole mode of passenger transportation in the state as railways have a negligible presence in the State. The narrow gauge lines connecting Pathankot with Jogindernagar and Kalka with Shimla are so slow moving that a very small percentage of traffic is carried by them at present; thereby leaving the onus of carrying the passenger traffic on to bus transport.