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Orion ll Ugly Bus

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Ugly is in the eye of the beholder. Actually, I thought that the Orion II was pretty good for when I saw it used as a paratransit vehicle, it having a low floor and two (count them two) ramps. The front was also somewhat streamlined for the time.

Some Canadian sites said that it didn't work so well as a lower capacity regular transit. Is that how it was used in Fond du Lac?

Much uglier was the Orion VI. I have commented before about the open vents. One could also add the top heavy roof because of the large letter board (originally designed to hide CNG tanks in Toronto) and huge headsign.

Based on the internet people in Toronto, their CNG VIs were junk, leading to the TTC to get on the standard procurement guidelines, and the development of the Orion VII.

Of course, Pace is still running their VIs in NW, SW, and W. As they pointed out when they bought them, they were $10,000 each cheaper than the 2400 series NABIs. So, you see what counts

Also, I would add to Ugly the Gillig Phantom transit, which tried to copy an Orion V, but had the riveted box for the headsign, and usually headsigns too small from the box. You could add the Flyer D901 to that.

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Ugly is in the eye of the beholder. Actually, I thought that the Orion II was pretty good for when I saw it used as a paratransit vehicle, it having a low floor and two (count them two) ramps. The front was also somewhat streamlined for the time.

Some Canadian sites said that it didn't work so well as a lower capacity regular transit. Is that how it was used in Fond du Lac?

Much uglier was the Orion VI. I have commented before about the open vents. One could also add the top heavy roof because of the large letter board (originally designed to hide CNG tanks in Toronto) and huge headsign.

Based on the internet people in Toronto, their CNG VIs were junk, leading to the TTC to get on the standard procurement guidelines, and the development of the Orion VII.

Of course, Pace is still running their VIs in NW, SW, and W. As they pointed out when they bought them, they were $10,000 each cheaper than the 2400 series NABIs. So, you see what counts

Also, I would add to Ugly the Gillig Phantom transit, which tried to copy an Orion V, but had the riveted box for the headsign, and usually headsigns too small from the box. You could add the Flyer D901 to that.

I was browsing and thought I'd pitch my two cents in on this old topic:

Agreeing with the above observations, I'd add that any rooftop equipment other than the AC and exhaust ruins the overall look of a bus. Also, how many years will transit buses display the "Clean Air Hybrid", "CNG Powered", etc. in large, see-it-from space type? I think the average rider just wants good service and most motorists who see it aren't impressed.

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Ugly is in the eye of the beholder. Actually, I thought that the Orion II was pretty good for when I saw it used as a paratransit vehicle, it having a low floor and two (count them two) ramps. The front was also somewhat streamlined for the time.

Some Canadian sites said that it didn't work so well as a lower capacity regular transit. Is that how it was used in Fond du Lac?

Much uglier was the Orion VI. I have commented before about the open vents. One could also add the top heavy roof because of the large letter board (originally designed to hide CNG tanks in Toronto) and huge headsign.

Based on the internet people in Toronto, their CNG VIs were junk, leading to the TTC to get on the standard procurement guidelines, and the development of the Orion VII.

Of course, Pace is still running their VIs in NW, SW, and W. As they pointed out when they bought them, they were $10,000 each cheaper than the 2400 series NABIs. So, you see what counts

Also, I would add to Ugly the Gillig Phantom transit, which tried to copy an Orion V, but had the riveted box for the headsign, and usually headsigns too small from the box. You could add the Flyer D901 to that.

NYC's O6's were worse than Toronto's (didn't get past three years, to my knowledge).

I have a soft spot for Gillig Phantoms, especially since they were workhorses out in DeKalb (before the 0500, 0600, and so forth low floors started to replace them) especially with how bad the weather can get out there.

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@MetroShadow: I sort of remember with some fondness the Gillig Phantoms. I lived in Concord, California for a while. Was mostly Gillig Phantoms out there. The CCCTA colors looked pretty good on them, too. Plus they were pretty comfortable to ride in, and getting aboard one on a hot day with the A/C working well, was always welcome. Used to do an eight mile round trip on foot to the hobby shop on Saturdays. Paralleled route 117 for a portion of the trip, so that if I wore out or felt sick, I could sit down and wait for the next one.

The Orion II, to me, is a real ugly ducking. The nose reminds me of the duck-billed Shinkansen trains in Japan, to a degree.

But then, my belief is that most buses from the 1960s on got uglier and uglier. A few exceptions, though; The Flxible Metros look pretty cool, especially with the higher rear end, like the CTA Flxes, which kind of gave them a racer look. The Gillig Phantoms could go either way, depending on the livery: Pace's Gilligs looked awful, but the CCCTA ones mentioned above, looked pretty good.

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NYC's O6's were worse than Toronto's (didn't get past three years, to my knowledge).

The impression given on the web was that they were just prototypes to test out hybrid drive, leading to the big order for Orion VIIs, the VIIs being necessitated by NY and Toronto's insistence that the bus hold up to what is now considered the Standard Bus Spec, which the VI did not.

... Also, how many years will transit buses display the "Clean Air Hybrid", "CNG Powered", etc. in large, see-it-from space type? I think the average rider just wants good service and most motorists who see it aren't impressed.

I assume in both CTA's and Pace's cases, that they wanted to trumpet that they were environmentally aware. However, it doesn't seem to mean much if Pace went back to a diesel spec, and, for that matter, CTA made a U turn and fooled some of us by ordering only 33 more hybrids and going back to the diesels for supposedly another 492.

Maybe more relevant is that LA was under court orders for a long time to get CNG buses, but do they still have the legends (other than someone noting a long time ago that the CNG badges on the back are needed for safety purposes)? The ones that went by when Jimmy Kimmel was interviewing fake Spiderman went by too quickly to notice.

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My memories of the Orion II are not good. I remember them constantly being in the repair shop moreso than on a very easy parking shuttle. The shuttle service didn't require much,.the vehicles never had to go over 10 mph, but they were always in the shop, as new vehicles. There was one shuttle that ran for Northwestern Hospitals that was painted purple and we called it the Barney Bus. Barney didn't last long. I guess the concept was great, but these buses never lived up to expectations.

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I would say the Orion ll is got to be the ugliest bus I have ever seen.

The orion II is one of the most well engineered and stylish busses that have ever been built in the history of busses. It's a stainless steel unibody, with 0 waisted space, and the first dropped floor design ever. I know. I bought three of them. I'm willing to wager, that the one you saw just had an ugly paint job. I'm remodeling mine...

facebook.com/L.E.O.battlevan

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