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School Buses

For the 1988 model year, Blue Bird supplemented the All American school bus line with the TC/2000 transit-style school bus. Unlike the premium All American, the TC/2000 was priced lower (nearly in line with the Conventional) in an effort to secure bids from larger fleet operators. Coinciding with the introduction of the TC/2000 was most extensive redesign of the All American for the first time since the late 1950s; it was introduced for 1989. In 1999, the All American was given a further redesign.

In 2003, the company introduced an all-new conventional-style bus. In a major break from precedent, Blue Bird did not use a truck manufacturer for the chassis, instead developing its own from the ground up. While using the same bus body as the preceding model, engineering changes were made to optimize forward visibility.


In 1992, in an effort to supplement its product line, Blue Bird entered into a supply agreement with its Canadian distributor and bus manufacturer Girardin Minibus to supply dealers in the United States with the newly designed MB-II/MB-IV cutaway van (branded as Blue Birds). While similar to the Micro Bird, the Blue Bird MB-II/IV by Girardin allowed Blue Bird to offer an updated body design along with a configuration based on a single rear-wheel van chassis; at the time, Girardin was the only school bus manufacturer that built a full cutaway body for a single rear-wheel chassis.

In 1997, Blue Bird introduced an all-new configuration of small school bus with the introduction of the TC/1000. While a front-engine Type D bus like the TC/2000 and All American, a number of design changes were made; smaller wheels gave the TC/1000 a flat floor. After 1999, the MB-II/IV buses were again sold under the Girardin name. Due to slow sales, the TC/1000 was discontinued in 2001. For 2002, Blue Bird introduced its own single-rear-wheel version of the Micro Bird. In 2005, the Mini Bird was discontinued; aside from the switch from round headlights to square headlights in the mid-1990s, it saw virtually no changes over its 28-year production run.






                     

A school bus (also called schoolbus) in North America is a type of bus specifically designed and manufactured for student transport: carrying students to and from school and school events. School buses provide an estimated 10 billion student trips every year; over half of the USA's student population is transported by school bus. Each school day in 2013, nearly 468,000 school buses transported 28.8 million children to and from school and school-related activities; over half of the United States K-12 student population is transported by school bus.

School buses in North America are distinguished from other bus types by design characteristics mandated by federal and state regulations. Federal safety standards in the United States and Canada require school buses to be painted school bus yellow and to be equipped with specific warning and safety devices.

Outside North America, the term is applied to any bus used for a dedicated school student transport service; it may be a bus used for this purpose typically at the start and end of the school day, or an older bus or coach retrofitted as a dedicated school bus.


Malta's bus system is impressing. The transport network covers the whole island with Valletta being the main connection station. Some direct connection for example from Bugibba to Cirkewwa or to the 3 Cities have recently been established, but the vast majority of routes still start at Valletta. The main transport provider ATP publishes a timetable for all routes, but exact times are only stated for the starting point of the route. For later stops, passengers have to calculate and guess. However this is no problem on the main routes where busses are operated frequently (every 5 to 10 minutes).

The bus ride itself is kind of an adventure. The ancient busses do not have a door, the modern ones don't close it during the drive. This may seam to be odd, but you will learn to appreciate it since the busses don't have an air-conditioning... Another weird thing is the notification bell to get off the bus. In the ancient busses you will have to pull one of the strings that are spanned under the ceiling. Simple, but effective!

One of the most important things for you to remember is to have sufficient change (coins) for the fare. No matter how much you plead, how much you threaten the bus driver, he will not allow you to pay with a banknote (or ride for free). This is probably because he would soon run out of change because most fares range between 15 and 20 cents and the smallest banknote is 2 Lira.

As the times and bus numbers are said to change from season to season, you may want to get a current bus timetable at the tourist office in the airport (in the arrival terminal behind the Bank of Valletta).

                     

How did the Scenicruiser become such an icon, undoubtedly the most-recognized bus ever built in the US? It’s safe to say that after the Scenicruiser made such an indelible impression on Americans in the fifties and sixties, every other bus was just…a bus. After a protracted wait to see what the industry would come up with as the definitive new bus of the post-war era, the Scenicruiser arrived in 1954 as the herald of a new era, one that would redefine the genre and make riding the bus exciting again. Yes, the bar was set  high, but the Scenicruiser failed to clear it, despite the legacy of its instantly recognizable shape.

                     

In 1936, GM’s Yellow Coach Division set the template for the modern American intercity bus with its Model 719 Super Coach: forward control, high floor with ample luggage space below, semi-monocoque construction including the use of aluminum alloys, air conditioning, and a rear-mounted engine (gasoline, at that stage).  At the time there were many small independent bus manufacturers, and with the Model 719, GM began its climb to dominance in the field.

                     

Over 90% of all Londoners place the iconic image of the classic Routemaster bus as one of the most memorable images of the Capital. The buses are synonymous with history, fun and style. From the moment you enquire, to when you are picked up and dropped off to your final destination you are in a 'safe pair of hands'.

Our fleet of 1960's, 64 and 72 seater double decker Routemasters are in pristine condition, all recently restored and refurbished to their original specification and fit for any occasion.

For Redbuses4u service and delivery are paramount - whether it is for a wedding, guided sight-seeing tour, celebration, day at the races, hen or stag party. Our friendly staff, conductors, guides and drivers will aim to make your experience unforgetable; one that will be etched in your memory forever.



All our prices are bespoke based on your requirements. The buses are available for hire in advance 24/7 every day of the year. Once you are booked up you will receive a 'live' on the day telephone number for any last minute changes or alterations to the proceedings you may have, giving you complete peace of mind.

                     





The Johannesburg Transport Department was known as Johannesburg Municipal Tramways until 1961, when the trams stopped running. The last tram routes were Yeoville and Observatory, which became the Yeoville and Bellevue East trolley bus routes, and Newlands, Bez Valley, Kensington and Malvern, which were converted to diesel bus routes.


The system had electric trams from 1906 to 1961. Trolley buses were introduced in the 1930s, and reached their maximum extent in the 1960s and early 1970s. They were removed from service in the early 1980s after a few experiments with some new types of bus for an urban transport research project.

The experimental buses included the first single-decker trolleybuses to be tried in Johannesburg, but they were only inservice for a short time. There were single-decker oil buses, but at first they were only used for one-man operation in outlying suburbs, while services within the municipal area had two-man operated double deckers.

                     

Johannesburg trolley bus routes

  • 1 Rosebank (Parktown North via Oxford Road)
  • 2 Dunkeld
  • 10 Waverley
  • 13 Highlands North
  • 14 Sydenham
  • 18 Hillbrow (replaced Twist Street tram in 1960)
  • 19 Yeoville
  • 20 Bellevue East (replaced Observatory tram in 1960)
  • 44 South Hills
  • 44A Rewlatch
  • 46 Rosettenville
  • 47 Townsview
  • 49 Forest Hill
  • 60 Homestead Park
  • 60A Mayfair
  • 66 Westdene
  • 67 Melville
  • 77 Greenside
  • 79 Parkhurst
  • 79A Parktown North via Zoo Lake


When the trams stopped, the bus routes were renumbered to the scheme above - starting with North at 12 o'clock, and going clockwise round the map from the centre of town. All routes ran from the centre to the suburbs, there was no through running, which was one of the reasons the bus service lost money then, and still loses it now - the buses don't go where people want to go. Apartheid also made it very expensive, but that's not an excuse any more.


So Routes 1 & 2 were north (and 79 was just west of them, and joined at a circle, which was also the terminus for 79A - Parktown North via Zoo Lake). Several routes had an A at the end - these were for buses that ran mainly in peak periods, and followed the same route, but did not go as far. The Parktown North circle was the bane of learner drivers, who usually spent a couple of days practising on it. Eventually it was replaced by an easier layout, which also had the advantage of getting the buses off the street.

Routes 10-20 were north east. 11 and 12 were diesel feeder buses, which ran from the Highlands North Terminus to Bramley and Lyndhurst respectively - the only buses that had transfer tickets.


Routes 44 to 50 were the southern suburbs, and were converted to trolley bus from diesel. Less frequent routes, like 45 (The Hill) and 48 (Linnmeyer) stayed diesel. The Forest Hill (49) routes had some experimental sections of semi-catenary overhead wires. They were suspended from the insulators by two short wires, about a foot long. I don't know if the experiment proved anything, but they were not extended to other parts of the system.

Routes 60, 66 and 67 went west, and 66 and 67 were among the last trolleybus routes to operate in the 1980s. .





                     
 




Johannesburg trolley bus fleet

A BUT Series 1 going in to the Fordsburg depot in August 1962. It had snowed overnight, there there was still snow on the roof

When I worked in the Johannesburg Transport Department in the 1960s, the fleet consisted of Sunbeam four wheelers and BUT Series 1 6-wheelers, 1940s vintage. They had classy body work, with fully opening windows (very nice when stuck in a traffic jam in summer).
 
 

Then there were BUT Series II 6-wheelers, added to the fleet in about 1956, along with some AEC Mk V diesels. The bodies were all metal, and were a little wider than the older buses, but the seats were closer together, sith less leg room, so they were not as comfortable for passengers. The bodies were all built by Bus Bodies of Port Elizabeth, with the exception of some of the Series I BUTs, which had rebuilt bodies by a Germiston firm, and were contemptuously called "bokwa" (goat cart) by the running staff. Conductors, especially, didn't like them, because they had to scrabble on the floor upstairs to change the destination blinds. You can find the story of an attempt to preserve a BUT Series I at

In 1959/60 there were some Alfa-Romeo/Ansaldo 6-wheelers, added, which took over 100 passengers, with compressed air power steering.

At the same time there were some Sunbeams, also big. They had hydraulic power steering, and there were some diesel Guys built on the same chassis at the same time. They had a horrible handbrake, which required several pulls of a ratchet, but which would let go everything at the touch of a button.

In the early 1980s there were a few experimental buses, used just before the system closed. They ran on the Hillbrow and Parkhurst routes, and possibly others. I have no more information about them.

I'm not a dedicated bus or train spotter, so I don't have the details about the fleet that such people would like - fleet numbers, technical specifications and the like. But if anyone does have that information, and would like to pass it on to me, I'll be happy to make it available here. Also, if anyone spots any inaccuracies, please let me know, so I can correct them.

The nicest ones to drive were the Sunbeam Series 3 four-wheelers. They ran mainly on the Homestead Park (60) and Mayfair (60A) routes, and also on Greenside (77). They were small, and only held 60 seated passengers. The Mayfair-Homestead Park route was short and very busy, so the conductor would not have time to collect the fares on a bigger bus. Greenside was longer, but a very quiet route, especially at night. They had a long power pedal that was easier to control than most of the others, and it had nine power notches. Late at night, when they did not have a heavy load, they could be quite frisky, and handled almost like a car. 

A BUT Series 1 in the depot, summer 1964/65

The first series BUT was similar to the Sunbeam, but a bit longer and heavier, a six-wheeler. It was also somewhat heavier to handle. The second series BUT was bigger and heavier still, and had an automatic power control. Quite a light touch on the power pedal could make it run up about four notches, and if the bus was heavily loaded it could trip the overload switches, easing off on the power pedal would make it run back two or three notches, so there was always a clatter in the cab. It didn't allow the precise control of the older buses.
 

The Alfa-Romeo-Ansaldo and Sunbeam Series 4 buses were the biggest of the lot. They were introduced in 1959, and could take 110 seated passengers. In spite of having power steering, they were harder to drive. Unlike the older buses, they had the handbrake on the left rather than the right, and the Sunbeams needed 3-4 strokes with the ratchet before the handbrake took. As a result a lot of drivers took power frogs too fast, and the big Sunbeams suffered many dewirements. On the Alfa Romeos the driver was seated much lower, or the sides of the bus were higher, making it more difficult to see the traffic, and one had to be extra careful about cyclists.

                     



 
 

























































































































































 

 

 

 

14 Passenger Small Bus

You have never been so cool in the short bus before! It will hold 14 adults or about 16 kids comfortably. It has an incredible lighting system that is so much fun as the passengers can pick their own colors. The stereo is incredible and both the air conditioners and heaters work great. Here are a few pictures of the bus.Mini Coach - Black This 24 passenger Mini Coach is the most spacious way to travel in a big group. Great for all major corporate events. Touring the city in large groups and transportation to surrounding states. ***Mini Coaches available on a minimum two week notice. Busses also available upon request.



The GX-1 Highway Traveler was built in 1947 at Greyhound’s own repair and maintenance shops. It seated 37 passengers on the upper level and 13 below. The GX-1 was 35 feet long, then the maximum length allowed by virtually all states. That was the particular appeal of the bi-level arrangement, the only way to increase passenger seats within that limit. The GX-1 also featured a primitive version of air suspension.

The biggest challenge was finding a suitable power plant that would both be able to propel the tall and heavy coach at decent speeds up long grades as well as be economical on the flats. Powerful gasoline engines like the Hall-Scott had the first part of the brief covered, but were exceedingly thirsty. The DD 6-71 just wasn’t powerful enough, and there were no larger versions of the DD family back then. That led Greyhound to an unusual solution: twin air-cooled V6 engines from the Aircooled Motors Co., the successor to Franklin Motors and the source of the Tucker’s aircooled six. The original idea was that both engines would run on the hilly sections, and then one engine could be shut down on the flats.

GM even sent an unfinished 35′ PD-4151 bus shell to Greyhound, a starting point from which they created the 40′ dual rear-axle GX-2 Scenicruiser prototype. The Scenicruiser’s split-level configuration, with ten seats and the lavatory on the lower front compartment, and the additional 33 seats in the higher rear section allowed a very large luggage compartment under the raised section, and was generally a more practical configuration than the bi-level GX-2. But there was one big hurdle; or many actually.

GM took on the task of building the final production-version Scenicruiser prototype in 1953, now officially called the PD-4501, as a model for the 500 more that Greyhound initially contracted for. The PD-5401 was strictly reserved for Greyhound and along with a contract extension for 500 more, a total of 1001 Scenicruisers were built, including the prototype.

The production Scenicruiser shared much of its design and technology with GM’s next generation 35′ intercity coach, the legendary PD-4104. That went into production in 1953, one year ahead of the Scenicruiser, and was the first truly modern coach, with air suspension that dramatically improved passenger comfort. Its story should really come first, since it arrived ahead of the Scenicruiser and pioneered most of its styling and many features, but we’ll come back to it. The two were essentially co-developed, and shared much in common, except for their drive train and size.

Actually, Beck’s DH-1000, which appeared in 1950, was in production several years before the Scenicruiser. But Beck had a tradition of imitating GM coaches, and there’s little doubt that it was “inspired” by the 1949 GX-2 prototype. Beck was very quick about getting new models out the door.

Flxible also joined the party in 1955 with their Vistaliner, powered by a Cummins diesel. Trailways bought some, but eventually found their ultimate Scenicruiser competitor further afield: in Germany.

Trailways went shopping at Kässbohrer, the renowned maker of Setra buses. They specified a similar-sized 40′ luxury bus, the Golden Eagle. One key difference was that it had a continuous high seating area, and as such, the Golden Eagle was the true prototype of all modern tall-boy buses.  It even had a rear lounge and a hostess that served refreshments.

The Scenicruiser fleet went through several livery changes, and in 1970 another refurbishment that also saw a number of them converted to “Combi” configuration. These had a large rear cargo area walled off at the rear of the bus, of varying size, and a large exterior door on the right rear side. Greyhound Package Express was sort of the Fed Ex of its day, especially in more remote areas. I used to see these Combis still roar through downtown Iowa City regularly as late as about 1973 or so. But the rest of the Scenicruiser fleet went into storage and was increasingly sold off to private operators. The last ones operating in the new Greyhound paint scheme were some commuter buses in San Francisco up until 1975. The Scenicruisers were replaced by the MCI-7 and its later iterations

So now that we’ve done the Scenicruiser history, let’s take a closer look at some. We’ll start with Craig Dickson’s finds at Alliant University in San Diego, where he stumbled into three Scenicruisers in various states. Some of his shots are in the article earlier. These two are huddled together for company; what stories they could tell.

If so, they probably won’t end up in quite in the shape of this one, though. It’s an absolutely perfectly restored 1954 Scenicruiser for rent, via this web site greyhoundcoach.com. It’s in the original 1954 livery, and the inside is equally authentic. Let’s go for a ride.

Brave Adventurers Take to the Road in 1951 Vintage Bus Conversion

By Randy Sallis

Traveling from Florida to New Hope, Pennsylvania, in a 1951 General Motors, Greyhound Bus converted to a motorhome/coach sounded like a good idea. Don Fenwick, our captain, pilot, and owner of the bus, asked three of his friends to join him, all fellow members of the Lambda Car Club International (LCCI), an all-makes classic car club. Joining Don was Don Chapman, co-captain and second driver; Bruce Burbage, back-up driver and navigator, who operated the GPS and kept us on track and monitored our speed; and your author Randy Sallis, back-up driver and flight attendant.

Getting into Johannesburg by Bus

Getting into Joburg by bus usually means that you will arrive at Park Station. All of the major bus companies in the city offer a service to and from Johannesburg, including:

  • The Baz Buz. This is a handy hop on hop off service mostly aimed at backpackers. The bus runs from Johannesburg to Durban, passing through the Drakensburg and continuing up along the coast to Cape Town.
  • Greyhound is a well-known bus service in the country. The company offers services to destinations all over South Africa.
  • S.A Roadlink offers coaches that travel to and from the major centers in South Africa.
  • Translux offers a route network that extends to many destinations in the country as well as major cities in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique.
  • Magic Bus is typically used for short distances such as shuttling to and from the airport and bus station.

Gautrain Bus Service

The Gautrain bus service operated between the train stations. You need a valid Gold Card in order to board these buses and you can purchase the card at the stations as well as at selected stores. You will need to ensure that your Gold Card has a minimum balance of R20 in order to board the bus. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to purchase tickets on the bus.When you want to board a bus, flag it, since the drivers don’t always stop at every bus stop if there aren’t any passengers waiting there. Simply raise your arm as the bus approaches to get the driver to stop otherwise the bus will continue along its route.

To tag in on the bus, touch your Gold Card to the ticket reader which you will find on the fare gate. Wait for a green light as well as a beeping sound which indicates validation. You can then pass through the barrier at the train station to get to the bus.

Durban

A Sunbeam belonging to Durban Corporation, about 1960
I was born in Durban, and till the age of 7 lived in a small town nearby, called Westville, which was served by an occasional single-decker diesel bus belonging to Durban Corporation. On the way in to town, from Westville, however, the route went through Mayville, which was the terminus of a trolley bus route, and there would often be a trolley bus waiting there, and others were to be seen running up and down Berea Road. My interest in trolley buses began then, and I hoped that one day the wires would be extended to reach Westville.

That hope was never realised. We moved away when I was nearly 7, and only returned for occasional visits. Apartheid came, and the suburbs around Mayville were ethnically cleansed, and the trolley bus route was shortened to end at Tollgate, at the top of Berea Road, and eventually they were taken off in 1968.

When we lived in Westville, the Durban Corporation fleet was painted grey, but it later became multicoloured. Many buses were painted by the advertisers, as the picture shows. "Non-Europeans only" buses were painted green. During the apartheid years the trolley buses had some seats reserved for "Europeans" and others for "non-Euopeans", and there were coloured lights on the front of the bus to tell you which they were. On the bus in the picture the light can be seen just next to the destrination blind. The Durban trolley buses also had racks on the back to hold fishing rods. Two routes ran down West Street to the beach, where one went along the Marine Parade to the North Beach, while the other went past the South Beach to Addington Hospital, On those routes one usually saw three or four fishing rods in the racks.




 








































 
A caterpillar-type trolley bus in Moscow turning
just below Red Square to go back across the Moscow River
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Moscow in 1995, buses and trams, which is a good and reasonably cheap way to see the city, provided that one travels in off-peak hours. What makes bus and tram hopping fun in Moscow is that the public transport network is pretty good, and one doesn't have to backtrack. The routes criss-cross each other, so that when one bus reaches the end of the line, there is usually another going somewhere else. The trolley buses seem to run mostly in the centre, while the trams run a little further out, and diesel buses serve the outlying suburbs. In quite a number of places the trolley buses run under catenary witring, which probably allows them to run faster with less danger of dewirements. There seemed to be two main types - short four-wheelers, similar to the older ones in Athens, and the long articulared ones. That's about all I know of the composition of the fleet. One thing that interested me was that the trams had pantograph collectors, not trolleys, but they didn't seem to have any problems crossing the trolley bus wires


 



     


 

 
 
 
 
 












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