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artthouwill

My First Bus Ride - Pace (RTA)

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These are my first rides and routes on RTA/Pace equipment:

700 series - South Suburban Safeway: This route eventually became the 353, but I rode to/from Altgeld Gardens to/from 63rd/King Drive. The night terminal was just south of the Walgreens that was at the SE corner of 63rd /King Dr.

146 - 165: Suburban Transit Systems: This route eventually became what is now Pace 381. I rode to 95th/Kean Ave, which was the west terminal at that time. The east terminal was at 63rd/ Emerald at that time. The route traveled via 63rd, Morgan, 87th ,Vincennes, and 95th. Though Nortran had similar buses, I never rode a 400 series Nortran.

8000 series: Suburban Transit Systems: This route became Pace 383. I rode from Ford City to 63rd St. WE were waiting for a 54B when this bus came along, so we rode. I had mixed emotions about it. It was like a 9600 CTA bus (come to find out it was ordered when CTA ordered the 9600s or should I say RTA ordered these along with the 9600s for CTA). It had the colored seats of the past series buses, but it was 35ft long instead of 40ft, and the engine was a T series and not the 8v 71s that I had become accustomed to on the other models.

8200 series: Suburban Transit Systems: I rode this on what became 381. I actually detoured my route just to ride these buses. .

8700 series Orion I: Pace 381. Again I slightly detoured my route to ride this bus from the 95th/Dan Ryan terminal. One of the coldest A/C buses I have ever been on.

6000 series Orion: Pace 223:

2200 Series: Ikarus: 309 Lake St

2400 series NABI: 350 Sibley:

2600 series Eldorado EZ rider: 802

6162 NABI: 307 Harlem

6600 NABI 307 Harlem

2300 Nova Classic: 626

6323 Eldorado Axxess: 305 Cicero/River Forest

6900 Series MCI 102D3: 877 :

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401-474 NORTRAN ROUTE 220 GOLF MILL TO DES PLAINES EARLY 80'S

761-766 FLX: HIGHLAND PARK ROUTE 471 DEERFIELD TO HP 1986

8000 series: WEST TOWNS ROUTE 331 TO BRKFLD ZOO 1979

8200 series: NORTRAN ROUTE 240 TO GOLF MILL 1980

8600 SERIES: PACE NORTH ROUTE 572 WAUKEGAN TO HAWTHORN MALL 1987

8700 series Orion I: NORTRAN ROUTE 212 NORTHBROOK TO GLENVIEW 1988

2200 Series: Ikarus: PACE WEST 318 ELMWOOD PARK TO MELROSE PARK 1992

2400 series NABI: PACE NORTH ROUTE 572 LIBERTYVILLE TO WAUKEGAN 1993

2600 series HIGHLAND PARK 471 DEERFIELD TO HP 2007

6600 NABI ACADEMY 606 WOODFIELD TO RIVER RD 2010

2300 Nova Classic: PACE NORTHWEST ROUTE 636 RIVER ROAD TO DEERFIELD 2006

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Ikarus 416: 349 South Western on 2242 in 1997

Orion I: 386 South Harlem on 2325 and 383 South Cicero on 8831 both in 1997

Orion VI: 310 Madison-Hillside on 6064 in 2004 (First day of high school)

Nova Classic: 747 DuPage Connection on 2398 in 2007

NABI LFW-40: 2409 on 352 South Halsted in 2006, 6244 (white) on 310 in 2005, and 6289 (blue) on 330 Mannhiem/LaGrange Roads in 2007

NABI LFW-35: 2451 on 359 Robbins/South Kedzie in 2007 and 6659 on 358 Torrence in 2006

Eldorado EZ Rider: 2781 on 230 South Des Planes in 2010

Eldorado Axess: 6341 on 317 Westchester last year

MCI: 6907 on 877 South Suburban Oak Brook Limited in 2007

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I can't recall which bus number, but my first Pace ride was on a 6200 NABI from the Forest Park L station to Elmwood Park (that was after I rode on a 2200-series L car on the Blue Line from downtown Chicago). I think the first Orion which I rode was on the 307 between Harlem/Cermak in Berwyn and North/Cermak. I also recall riding a couple of 6600s on the 331 while I was out there. That leaves the Eldorados and MCIs on my "PACE Bucket List" next time I hit Chicago.

Remember all of this was three years ago which is why I can't recall numbers offhand...

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First rides for me on these Pace models:

Orion 1 8700 Series - 322 22nd/Cermak

Ikarus 416 - 311 Oak Park

Orion VI - 322 Cermak

NABI 35LFW and 40LFW - 349 S Western

Orion 1 2300 Series - 223

Orion 1 2000 Series - 834

Always wanted to ride a Flxible/Grumman through Pace but never got the chance. Got a second chance of sorts when I got to ride those of the Champaign-Urbana MTD in the early 1990s after Pace retired the last of theirs at West Division. Out of Pace's current buses though still looking to ride the El Dorado models both the 2600s and the new Axxess models.

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146 - 165: Suburban Transit Systems: This route eventually became what is now Pace 381. I rode to 95th/Kean Ave, which was the west terminal at that time. The east terminal was at 63rd/ Emerald at that time. The route traveled via 63rd, Morgan, 87th ,Vincennes, and 95th. Though Nortran had similar buses, I never rode a 400 series Nortran.

These buses were pristine. Far and away the coolest suburbsn fleet of GM New Looks. Then came the rehabbed 700s out of South Suburban Safeway/Pace South.

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These buses were pristine. Far and away the coolest suburbsn fleet of GM New Looks. Then came the rehabbed 700s out of South Suburban Safeway/Pace South.

The New Looks for Oak Lawn (Suburban). South Suburban Safeway, and Nortran were basically add ons to various CTA orders. 700s (South Suburban) were essentially 1000s, 400s (Nortran) essentially 9000s. From the date on Chicago Transit and Railfan, the Suburban ones were of the same order as the Nortrans, but I had not ridden those. The Nortrans had blue upholstered seats, while the South Suburbans had the usual beige shell ones. As I noted above, it did not appear that South Suburban Safeway took good care of the buses, but maybe the rehab remedied that.

The Suburban ones stood out because of the coral and turquoise paint schemes (seemed more Florida to me).

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The New Looks for Oak Lawn (Suburban). South Suburban Safeway, and Nortran were basically add ons to various CTA orders. 700s (South Suburban) were essentially 1000s, 400s (Nortran) essentially 9000s. From the date on Chicago Transit and Railfan, the Suburban ones were of the same order as the Nortrans, but I had not ridden those. The Nortrans had blue upholstered seats, while the South Suburbans had the usual beige shell ones. As I noted above, it did not appear that South Suburban Safeway took good care of the buses, but maybe the rehab remedied that.

The Suburban ones stood out because of the coral and turquoise paint schemes (seemed more Florida to me).

The Safeway 700's were actually contemporaries of CTA 7400's. They were owned by Chicago South Suburban Mass Transit District, who took over ownership of 594-611 (TDH5303's) also. they also took ownership of IC Hi-liners 1501-1666. When CSSMTD was dissolved (apparently) PACE got 39 remaining 700's and Metra got the 165 Hiliners.

Suburban Transit's 146-165 were originally owned by the Village of Oak Lawn, later given to PACE.

Nortran owned 401-474 and Wilmette's 761-765. 761-765 were eventually given/sold to PACE, but 400's stayed with Nortran to the end even though some were repainted yellow/white.

4523's 8000-8008 were ordered by Greater Lake County Mass Transit District, which was a stillborn effort at improving Waukegan service that never got off the ground. RTA ended up assuming the order, but this is why these nine were delivered last.

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These buses were pristine. Far and away the coolest suburbsn fleet of GM New Looks. Then came the rehabbed 700s out of South Suburban Safeway/Pace South.

Before the 700's were rebuilt, they were DREADFULLY neglected. Suspensions banging, inner walls separating from outer walls, fareboxes missing cannisters and being held shut by hasps and padlocks with inspection plate plastic replaced by chicken wire. Apparently CSSMTD had no money for maintenance and Safeway refused to spend a cent of their money on what they did not own. It appears that when the 40 were rebuilt, RTA took over responsibility for paying for maintenance, as they were not allowed to deteriorate.

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...It appears that when the 40 were rebuilt, RTA took over responsibility for paying for maintenance, as they were not allowed to deteriorate.

Also, by that time South Suburban Safeway had sold out to the RTA.

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Here is what I remember for my first bus rides from PACE. All buses are from the West Division.

6000-Series Orion VI: 311

6162-Series NABI 40-LFW: 311

6262-Series NABI 40-LFW: 322

6323-Series ElDorado: 309

6600-Series NABI 35-LFW: 307

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My first Pace ride was in 2006 from New Lenox to Joliet Junior College on the 506 and 501 routes. 506 would have had a 6600 on it, but I don't remember whether the bus I rode on 501 was a 35' or 40'. I remember seeing 40' buses in Joliet but I can't recall actually riding one. I also used to ride route 831 (my favorite route, in case you couldn't tell :D).

Other "first trips" include:

2600 El Dorado: 501 Downtown to JJC (2762?)

6000 Orion VI: 379 Orland Square to 135th/LaGrange

6162 NABI: 364 Orland Square to 159th/ Cicero (Unless I had rode one in Joliet, as noted above)

6323 El Dorado: 322 Yorktown to Oakbrook Center

6377 "Express" El Dorado: 877 127th/Western to Oakbrook Center

6900 MCI: 851 Randolph/Michigan to Old Chicago (6903)

6950 MCI: 851 Old Chicago to Jackson/Dearborn

15500 CNG El Dorado: 364 Orland Square to 159th/Cicero (15512)

1951 IC Cutaway: 895 Rosemont to Chicago Ridge

2400 NABI: Ravinia shuttle

Paratransit: 591 Judicial Center to Wheaton Metra

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28 minutes ago, Pace831 said:

506 would have had a 6600 on it, but I don't remember whether the bus I rode on 501 was a 35' or 40'

With the delivery of the NABIs, Heritage got 6249-6261 and 6665 (or 6666) to 6676. That basically corresponded with the number of 35 foot and 40 foot Orion Is it had (the 40 ft. Orion Is were in the middle of the 2085-2119 block shared with NW and 2129, and the 35' ones were in the 2050s and 2060s).

At some point (after NS got some 6600s), there was a swap where some of the 40 ft buses went to NS and elsewhere, and H got more 6600s in return. Of course, that ended when H was converted to the 2742 series.

Only constant was about 25 local buses.

28 minutes ago, Pace831 said:

6162 NABI: 364 Orland Square to 159th/ Cicero (Unless I had rode one in Joliet, as noted above)

That pretty much was always a S bus,and the first time I saw it was at the Hammond end of the route (the same day I saw 6261 in Joliet).

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My first Pace bus ride would have been on a Nortran 400-series New Look. I also rode the Grumman-Flxible 870's on West (they were pretty beaten up by the time I started riding them, despite them being only 6 or 7 years old at the time), the 2200-series Ikarus (H A T E D those buses), the Orions on both West and Northwest (nice buses and very cold in the summer), and the RTA "pumpkin" buses. Before there was an RTA, I rode the West Towns New Looks and Old Looks (was a tiny tot) and the Bluebird Twin Coach (was an even tinier tot - mom told me about it, have no recollection).

This is completely off-topic, but I loved riding the Marmon-Herringtons on the Belmont route and a little kid (think 4 or 5 years old). Not so fond of getting off, though. They must have been higher off the ground than the Flxibles that ran on Addison, as I got off of those just fine.

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9 hours ago, rvwnsd said:

This is completely off-topic, but I loved riding the Marmon-Herringtons on the Belmont route and a little kid (think 4 or 5 years old). Not so fond of getting off, though. They must have been higher off the ground than the Flxibles that ran on Addison, as I got off of those just fine.

Those looked like huge buses (I was more used to 35 foot ones), but since they didn't have fuel tanks of any type, I wonder what was down there.

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My first Pace bus rides, before I moved here permanently in January 1998, were mainly from one Metra Line to another (except the first!):

Flxible 8349 - 307 - Ogden to Blue Line (1984)

Orion I 2007-802 - Geneva to Aurora (1996)

Orion I 8714 - 354 - Midlothian to Harvey (all rest 1997)

Orion I 2378 - 801 - Geneva to Elgin

Gillig 8602 - 572 - Waukegan to Libertyville

Nova Classic 2391 - 960 - Mundelein to Des Planes

Orion I 2101- 834 - Joliet to Downers Grove

 

 

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On 2/5/2018 at 8:57 AM, Busjack said:

Those looked like huge buses (I was more used to 35 foot ones), but since they didn't have fuel tanks of any type, I wonder what was down there.

I know! Think what that was like for a four-year-old!

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