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Author Topic: LA's articulated bus fleet  (Read 1429 times)
oltrunt
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« on: October 26, 2017, 08:39:06 PM »

While visiting the Peterson Automotive Museum in downtown  (LA) today I was most struck with the huge number of sixty? ft articulated buses operated there.  Despite many attempts to see a mfg name on the buses and a search of Google,  I still have no idea who built these CNG units.  Anyone know?  I'd love to have one--sort of like having a bus and a granny flat at the same time.  Jack
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 08:57:03 PM »

I dunno who builds them but if you go to Quartzsite you'll see a few of them mid-conversion every year.  I think the big risk with them is that the joint in the middle wears out and is made of unobtanium.
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 10:54:40 PM »

One of those weird rules-if you have a 60ft bendy bus with the engine in the rear, it is over length to drive on the highway. If you have a 60ft bendy bus with the engine in the front (like under the floor), then it is considered a bus pulling a trailer and is legal. Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2017, 11:14:53 AM »

I don't know about in the States but the used-bus market is saturated with unsellable bendy-buses here - their use as a way of increasing passenger capacity on city bus routes is generally acknowledged being as a good idea in principle which turned out to be a terrible idea in practice.

Double-decker articulated highway coaches on the other hand are extremely cool and the world needs many more of them!

Jeremy

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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2017, 03:49:14 PM »

While visiting the Peterson Automotive Museum in downtown  (LA) today I was most struck with the huge number of sixty? ft articulated buses operated there.  Despite many attempts to see a mfg name on the buses and a search of Google,  I still have no idea who built these CNG units.  Anyone know?  I'd love to have one--sort of like having a bus and a granny flat at the same time.  Jack
There is one advertised on rvt.com as we speak .Go to the bus conversion tap and look at buses under 100,000 I believe the brand may be New Flyer.
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2017, 04:09:59 PM »

Las Vegas has a huge amount of double deckers, on the busiest routes, next busiest is articulated, lvmci...
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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2017, 06:16:51 PM »

New Flyer and Nova Bus seem to make most articulated buses in the United States.  Over half of the express bus routes in the Minneapolis area use articulated buses.  Probably another 25% are MCI D series coaches and the remainder of the express routes use standard 40 foot transit buses.  The express route I take to/from work uses 95% articulated buses in the morning and about 2/3 articulated buses in the afternoon with the remainder being 40 foot transit buses.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
oltrunt
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2017, 07:17:05 PM »

Thanks all for the replies.  I sure know more now than I did yesterday.  Jack
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Iceni John
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« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2017, 08:14:06 PM »

Just imagine if LA had the three-part bendy-buses?   https://www.google.com/search?q=Volvo+articulated+bus&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiwyf3sppLXAhXEwiYKHar5C6MQ7AkIMQ&biw=1193&bih=708#imgrc=_&spf=1509158797644

Crown in Los Angeles used to market articulated buses that were made by Ikarus in Hungary, but in order to be eligible for purchase in this country they had to have at least 50% by value American content.   They did this by shipping them to Long Beach with Volkswagen air-cooled engines fitted, just enough to power them from the docks to Crown's factory in LA where they were fitted with big Cummins underfloor engines and Allison transmissions and other US parts.   Due to Ikarus' build quality problems these buses weren't a complete success here, and I don't think any still survive.   There were also a few home-made articulated Crowns built by joining two accident-damaged Crowns together, but they were always a rarity  -  when I bought my bus there was a 1950s deck-and-a half articulated tour Crown in the seller's yard, complete with Hall-Scott gasoline engine, but I think It's been scrapped by now.   As mid-engine bendy buses they were legal here without being considered over-length.

Do you remember Orange County Transit's semi-truck buses?   They had a semi tractor front unit (a White, if my memory is OK?) with a 5th-wheel trailer bus, sort of like the camel buses in Cuba.   They didn't last too long either.

John

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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2017, 07:18:07 AM »

I spent an hour in the pouring rain around midnight one night helping a driver turn an articulated bus around in a dead end motel parking lot.  Took a great deal of back and forthing to get it pointed at a lawn he managed to rip up driving across to get out.  He was taking it from Halifax to somewhere in Ontario, it had been sold.  He reminded me of a very good lesson - never go in somewhere you don't know for certain you can get out of.
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2017, 07:52:32 AM »

If I recall, the Los Angeles MTA Articulateds are NABI's (North America Bus Industries).  NABI came out of Ikarus' attempt to sell buses in the US, with a plant in Anniston AL.  NABI was subsequently absorbed into or purchased by New Flyer. 

I believe the plant is still building buses.  A few weeks ago, I saw some westbound New Flyer BRT buses in Phoenix' paint scheme, obviously destined for Phoenix, somewhere on Interstate 20 in Mississippi, as I was driving to Atlanta.  I'll be back in LA again next week, I'll take a look to see if my memory is correct.

Several manufacturers have built articulateds, even GM had an RTS Articulated Demonstrator (scrapped, if I recall.)  There are even some articulated Van Hools serving a University.  The big issue with all of them appears to be the articulation joint.

The Orange County tractor trailer buses were called "Superbus".  White cabover tractors, I don't remember who built the trailers.  I believe they ran with conductors.  They were a follow-on to World War II tractor/trailer buses.  I suspect I have some of their advertising literature in my collection, when they were trying to build up a market at APTA meetings.
   
Arthur
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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2017, 08:56:58 AM »

New Flyer discontinued NABI buses in 2014 or 2015 and now makes New Flyer Xcelsior buses in the former NABI plant.  New Flyer makes buses at two plants in Minnesota so it is not unusual to see New Flyer buses on the highway being driven to the customer.

The world of transit bus contracts is crazy.  Metro Transit's last big order for 40 foot transit buses got a low bid from New Flyer.  Gillig ended up winning the order with a higher bid because Gillig was able to use a credit from a previous order to reduce the cost of the order.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2017, 10:14:26 AM »

John that is the second time I recall now that they used VW engines in those CROWN IKARUS artics to move them. I thought the first author of where I saw it first was just joking. Now, if they wanted to ship those over here without engines that's fine. Why in the world of all things normal didn't they just tow them to the plant instead of putting small engines in them only to take them out later?
Very time consuming. Then VW engines?Huh Those barley had enough power to make a small car move then put it in a 60 foot monster like that? Not hard to figure out why those buses were crapola with thinking like that.
We had 40 of those artics here in Milwaukee County and they couldn't get rid of those things fast enough when their life cycle was concluded. They were impressive size wise but they had many problems both mechanical and body.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 10:22:48 AM by CrabbyMilton » Logged
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