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Author Topic: transit or tour bus  (Read 1416 times)
ttomas
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« on: July 05, 2007, 09:43:23 PM »

The 1983 mci9, 6v92ta 4 speed auto bus I am converting was owned by NJ transit and operated by Decamp.  Is it a transit or a tour bus? How do I tell the diference? I am primarily concerned about having the correct tires. Are there other issues I am unaware of? The tires are firestone 12R 22.5R 16pr. It tops out at 75 or 76mph. Thanks
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RJ
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2007, 09:54:10 PM »

TTomas -

The easiest way to tell a common transit bus from a common highway/tour coach is the baggage bays.

Most city transit buses that drive a block and stop don't have baggage bins below the floor.

An MC-9 is a highway coach.  They were used for the following types of revenue service: line-haul work (Greyhound), charters, tours, and suburban express transit operations (think hauling the "suits" into Wall Street).  Most were NOT used in block-to-block revenue service.

Most NJT MC-9s have the split front entry doors, as opposed to Greyhound and others with the single (and preferred for RV use) sedan door. 

Do a search here and on BNO for info on tires, a common thread recently.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
tekebird
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2007, 05:42:30 AM »

the bus in question is by use a transit commuter bus.  these units were owned by NJT and opperated by a number of NYC area operators.

but for generallity sake, it is a highway coach.

this bus would not have been used on charters however, only for line run commuter service from NJ into NYC
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H3Jim
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2007, 04:16:50 PM »

and I think all the NJT's were ordered with heavier duty brakes than the normal highway buses, due to the type of service they endured.
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Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep  and permanent, in the ideas of living.
Songman
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2007, 12:22:55 AM »

My RTS had the same use as your MCI. It was called an intercity bus instead of an intracity bus. In my case, the bus was used to haul people from San Jose into San Francisco. This type of RTS had quite a few differences from the in-town models - highback reclining buckets was one (instead of hard blue plastic), and a righthand rotation 6V92 with 5-speed auto trans was another (vs lefthand rotation and a 3-speed). It also came with highway gears instead of city gears.

My bus has the same Firestone tires as yours. They are made for long hauls so you shouldn't have any problems.

Buses like mine and yours confuse the whole transit/tour thing. People hear RTS and they think transit, even though buses like mine were not the conventional transit use and is actually a highway bus. And for MCI, people always thing cross-country tour bus, when in reality yours was used for shorter runs.

And just for the record, RTS buses do have bays beneath them... They just don't have floors in them. A very easy condition to fix.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2007, 06:56:54 AM by Songman » Logged
RJ
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2007, 08:21:27 AM »


And just for the record, RTS buses do have bays beneath them... They just don't have floors in them. A very easy condition to fix.


So do Gillig Phantoms, New Flyers, and Orions.  You just have to fabricate the flooring and access doors.  Which, of course, is not the same as a highway coach that was built with the enclosed baggage bays from the get-go.

Not knocking the RTS at all here - I think they're a great coach.  Certainly the "second generation" Sports Car of Buses, the 4106 being the first.  (Think of a 1961 Corvette vs a 1978 model.)  Just pointing out the main major difference between a coach initially designed for transit use vs a model originally designed for highway operations, that's all.

Songman -

Is your coach from VTA?  Didn't know they ran "suits" into the City like Golden Gate does from Marin.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
Charles Seaton
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2007, 10:30:29 AM »

The use of over-the-road coaches in commuter operations dates back to the late 1970s when GM ceased production of suburbans.  Express firms in the NY area began using GM PD4905s to treplace the suburbans (though NYC Transit continued to use transits with deluxe seating until using 45' MCIs).  It was 1982, when GM of Canda began offering 5308's ( like buddydawg's) which were one-door transits with suburban interiors. In 1984, the 5308s morphed into the Classics which offered the same suburban interior in a transit shell.
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DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2007, 10:37:52 AM »

My RTS had the same use as your MCI. It was called an intercity bus instead of an intracity bus. In my case, the bus was used to haul people from San Jose into San Francisco. This type of RTS had quite a few differences from the in-town models - highback reclining buckets was one (instead of hard blue plastic), and a righthand rotation 6V92 with 5-speed auto trans was another (vs lefthand rotation and a 3-speed). It also came with highway gears instead of city gears.

If I could have found an RTS like this, I would have bought it.  The main reason I didn't was the fact that by the time I switched to highway gears, I'd have spent more dollars and time than for a bus that already had them along with bigger bays (complete with floors and doors).  I've always like RTS's.  In fact, RTS's are what got me interested in a conversion in the first place.  I don't regret buying my MC-8, and it's definitely a bit easier to convert IMHO.

David
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Songman
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2007, 12:43:23 PM »

Russ,

I'm not really up on transit buses. I'm originally from a small town in GA and we don't have public transportation there. I had never seen an RTS other than on TV until I bought mine! haha.. I say this to say that I didn't know that other transits had the space beneath them for bays. The GET buses in Bakersfield have low floors and do not have space beneath them.

My bus is ex-GGT #1123. I was told that its route was San Jose to downtown SF. I don't really know their routes so it may have been different but it is one of those type of buses.

My main experience with buses is from being in the music business. Of course, I never had to work on them. I just rode them. We always used custom built MCIs. I still think the MC9 is one of the best buses ever built. The smaller bays is a reason I wanted to go with the RTS. The lower center of gravity makes the RTS drive like a dream, and since I have never driven one before this is important to me. I also think the curved lines are beautiful, although they do make designing the interior a pain in the butt.

David, I agree with you. I was thrilled when I found my particular bus. Having the gears already installed was a major plus, as was having a RH rotation engine... just in case I ever need to replace it. Of course, GGT has a great record for maintenance too and that helped. I have 112k on a new engine and tranny and I think it will last longer than I ever need it to.

Sorry to take the thread a little off course since it was about how to tell a transit from a tour bus and not a specific bus conversation.
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RJ
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2007, 04:57:14 PM »


My bus is ex-GGT #1123. I was told that its route was San Jose to downtown SF. I don't really know their routes so it may have been different but it is one of those type of buses.


GGT is Golden Gate Transit, which operates north out of San Francisco into Marin County.  More than likely, your coach ran express commuter service hauling the "suits" from the Santa Rosa area into SF, not from San Jose.  San Jose is served by VTA, which is Valley Transit Authority, operating within Santa Clara County, and interlining with SamTrans on the Peninsula and A/C Transit on the east side of the bay.

GGT is a great outfit, with a superb preventative maintenance program.  Sounds like you got yourself a good deal with your coach.

All the new, low-floor transit buses have virtually no room underneath them for fabricated luggage bins, as you've noticed on the GET buses.  Their interiors are actually a lot smaller overall than a regular floor model, too, which reduces the number of passengers they can carry per coach.  This is what they call progress, btw.  (Actually, it keeps the ADA folk happy, which is a big percentage of ridership in many systems.)

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
Fresno CA
TomC
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« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2007, 09:34:24 PM »

I remember in the 60's taking a GM fishbowl to Disneyland.  It also had high back recliners, raised floors, even under floor storage-though limited.  It had a 6V-71 and a four speed manual that surprisingly got up and got it done.  Oh-by the way-this is a memory from when I was 8 years old-even then was a bus nut!  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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