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Favorite Buses of the Past and Present

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What is everyone's favorite Bus from the past and present? From the Past mine are the MAN Americana's, MAN Artics, TMC RTS, and Flexible metro. From the present it would be the NOVA's.

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Past:

New Flyer DE40LF (900s)

Optima Opus

NABI 45C-LFW

NABI 60-LFW (Even though these were a driving death trap...)

MAN Articulated

New Flyer D40LF

MAN Americana

Present:

New Flyer DE40LF (800s)

New Flyer DE60LF (Those seats, not so much)

New Flyer DE60LFR

New Flyer D60LFR

New Flyer XE40

Never ever been a fan of Novas

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My favorite buses of the past were the MAN Americanas, TMC, both of the Fixible Metro series, and the New Flyer D40LF (5800 Series) My favorites buses of the present are the Novas (6400 Series) New Flyer D40LF (1000 Series) New Flyer DE60LFR & D60LFR (4300-4399)

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My absolute favorite old buses were the Flxible 37-3800s. I'm sure I'm showing my age here. B) I started going to school downtown in 1970. I rode these on the 151 Sheridan and the Outer Drive Express, they were pretty new then. What I liked about these compared to the other 3000 series buses was the transmission. The 37-3800s would hold low gear till almost 30 mph, when they shifted they'd fly on the Outer Drive. Some of the later 3800s had the fiberglass seats, I wasn't a fan of those.

As for new buses, I rarely ride anymore as I work nights in the 'burbs. The only ones I remember riding are the Novas on 77 Belmont.

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What is everyone's favorite Bus from the past and present? From the Past mine are the MAN Americana's, MAN Artics, TMC RTS, and Flexible metro. From the present it would be the NOVA's.

I got three categories for this topic....

Favorites of the past:

  • Flyer D901A: Rode of lot of them out of Forest Glen on #77 in the '80's. I remember the light and dark green.
  • M.A.N Americana: I rode a few of these, though I don't know what routes. Did they also work on #77 out of FG in the '80's?)
  • GM Fishbowls: I did ride a handful of them, I remember the distinctive motor sounds of their Detroit Diesel engines compared to the Detroit Diesel engines the Flyers had. Again, not sure of the routes I rode these on in the '80's. I remember riding #77, but don't know if any of these buses were assigned to FG at the time.)
  • TMC RTS: Lots of memories of these buses.... #11, #22, #80, #49. I remember these buses as being a big staple of the CTA in the '90's and '00's leading up to their 2008 retirement. Workhorse of the CTA for many years.
  • Flxible(5300's): I rode these buses out of FG on #80 and other assorted FG routes back in the '90's, early '00 until their transfer and rode them occasionally on #49 and later #50 until their retirement in 2009. Their engine whines reminded me of the Flyer D901A quite a bit. Another workhorse in the CTA's fleet for many years also.
  • Flxible(6000's): I was introduced to these buses shortly after the preheater transfer to FG occurred. The 6000's were similar in appearance, though very different in engine drive and idle, due in large part that most had a Detroit Series-50 engine. These became a staple at FG and became a reliable group of workhorses until their possible early retirement in 2010(service cuts ultimately did them in.... we'll never know if 2010 was their time or not).
  • New Flyer(5800's): The 1st gen D40LF's were pretty good all-in-all. The Detroit Series-50 was a poorly designed engine IMO, as a few engines started to squeal when gears were being shifted or the bus is being accelerated. This series went a bit early IMO at 2009. Even though there was only 65(minus one or two for early retirement), they were pretty much done with them.

Favorites of today:

  • Nova LFS(6400's): I actually like this fleet a lot. The buses had a lot of giddyup and I enjoy the diesel idle the Cummins ISC engine gives. It makes the Nova sound like a tough little bus ready to run straight down the road when the light turns green.
  • New Flyer(1000's): In a nutshell, the 4000's, 4300's and 4333's fall under this category. These buses are pretty amazing, and I like the fact that they once had special meaning before rehab. 1630-2029 had blue LED instead of the florescent lighting there. The engine has a bit of the diesel idle the Novas had. Great bus series all in all.

Yet-to-be ridden:

  • New Flyer DE40LF(800's): I can't really and fairly give input on a bus I haven't rode yet. Hopefully someday soon, I will ride one....
  • Nova LFS(7900's): I can't really & fairly give input on a bus I haven't rode yet. Hopefully someday soon, I will ride one....
  • New Flyer XE40(700's): I can't really & fairly give input on a bus I haven't rode yet. Hopefully someday soon, I will ride one....

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I don't live in Chicago anymore, so I will refrain from naming a favorite bus of the present, but my favorite buses of the past are:

  • New Looks: Flxible New Look. I liked the sounds these buses made as well as the interior. The textured metal panels and the ceilings with the little specks of color just scream "1960s." As an aside, San Diego's New Flyers have textured metal panels on the insides and when I ride one I think about those old Flxible New Looks
  • 1970's: MAN Articulated. I remember spending many a Sunday riding these buses on the Culture Bus. Roomy, cold in summer and warm in winter, bigger-than-average (for the time) windows. Great buses.
  • 1980's: MAN Americana. These buses have a timeless aesthetic. They could make one in 2014 and it wouldn't look dated at all. Can't say the same for the Flyer D901A. They looked dated the day they were delivered. Can still picture the bus that was wrapped for World Cup soccer when it was in Chicago.
  • 1990's: Flxible Metros. I just liked riding these buses. They were so much nicer than the TMCs.

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My favorite buses I experienced driving and or riding....

#300 series GMCs

#1300/1400 series GMC (Fishies)

#4000 MANs

Flyer D901s

#3700 Flxibles

#4400 TMCs

#6000 Flxibles

#7000 MAN artics

Favorite buses I would have loved to have experienced and driven...

1950s Flxible Propanes namely the #8400s because of the shorter length. They looked pretty cool in the 35ft version!

Wish I could find a pic of CTA Flx propane #8481.

Marmon/Herr. trolley coaches

I admit Ive lost some interest in buses ever since the high floor models have pretty much disappeared not to mention the most of the familiar manufacturers have left the industry or gone out of business, the current builders no longer construct them and with the low floors that have now taken over the industry, it dosent feel as exciting as it used to be. My recent trip to New York City and NJ, I was excited to get to see and ride high floor buses serving with NJ Transit and an RTS with the NYCTA. It felt strange to see high floor buses still serving with a transit agency.

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..My recent trip to New York City and NJ, I was excited to get to see high floor buses serving with NJ Transit. It felt strange to see high floor buses still serving with a transit agency.

That's probably the only major one left, and with NABI no longer being an independent company, the last anyone will probably see. Gillig isn't making the Phantom, which was a fairly crummy bus.

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Right now Id give anything to ride a "crummy" Gillig HF bus right now!!! LOL! :) Although aside from the CTA work buses theyre using, I do feel fortunate to be driving probably the last Flxible Metro in Chicago we have at the fire dept. Chicago Ave Garage still has the CPD 5300 series Flx. It rarely sees daylight! :) Not sure how much longer we will have our bus since there is talk it may be replaced by a 6400 Nova. But Im getting possibly my last "jollys" with the bus before we possibly say "bye bye" to it which may come later this year. I may be able to keep the bus! If I do, I want to donate it possibly to IRM if they have the space. I don't have the funds or the knowledge to maintain it.

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Right now Id give anything to ride a "crummy" Gillig HF bus right now!!! LOL! :) Although aside from the CTA work buses theyre using, I do feel fortunate to be driving probably the last Flxible Metro in Chicago we have at the fire dept.. Not sure how much longer we will have that bus since there is talk it may be replaced by a 6400 Nova. But Im getting my last "jollyes" with it before we possibly say "bye bye" to it which may come later this year.

Maybe you can buy it from CFD and keep it yourself personally. Only a few issues about that

  • You need a CDL(That's been established that you have one of these. You drive buses/fire trucks for CFD)
  • You need insurance, sticker, plates(probably talking $1,000+ for all three)
  • Maintenance(it's 20 years old now. Probably 500,000-750,000 miles on it). Who knows the state of repair the DD Series-50 is in and what it needs right now and what it'll need soon. I shudder to think what it'll cost to get a ZF push button transmission replaced when it goes on you. Then there's tires(tread might not be very good on the tires now. They might need replacing, and bus tires are pretty expensive due to size of wheels. Air brakes may need to be serviced. You may or may not want to have the wheelchair lift operable, but that'll require maintenance someday if you want to keep that working. Heat is a must.... A/C honestly not so much, especially since you'd have to buy the Freon and get it recharged(and I'm sure that's costly). Engine heater and glow plugs will need to be serviced or else during cold weather, this bus might need to live off of a ether can, which is not good for it.
  • Parking. I don't think Chicago will let you park a 40' Flxible on Jefferson St., or wherever you live. You'll get complaints from neighbors and citations, and I don't think you have a garage for a 40' bus.

It might make a nice RV for travel provided you can afford all of the above, but it would be a budget strain. Maybe the best thing to do is snap a picture and take that with you, or if you know someone in the die-cast industry, take profile shots of the bus and send it to him/her.... maybe we can get a scale model Flxible Metro built, and they can do it in CFD colors and CTA livery.

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...maybe we can get a scale model Flxible Metro built, and they can do it in CFD colors and CTA livery.

That would be awesome. The closest thing to that were those little "Road Champs" Flxible Metro buses. I had one back in the 90s as a kid, but I lost it somewhere in the house. Alternatively you could look at this site for generic NABI CTA and PACE buses, towards the bottom of the page. I'm not sure if the site owners will still make one for you though, and the ordering process looks quite a bit sketchy...

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Maybe you can buy it from CFD and keep it yourself personally. Only a few issues about that

  • You need a CDL(That's been established that you have one of these. You drive buses/fire trucks for CFD)
  • You need insurance, sticker, plates(probably talking $1,000+ for all three)
  • Maintenance(it's 20 years old now. Probably 500,000-750,000 miles on it). Who knows the state of repair the DD Series-50 is in and what it needs right now and what it'll need soon. I shudder to think what it'll cost to get a ZF push button transmission replaced when it goes on you. Then there's tires(tread might not be very good on the tires now. They might need replacing, and bus tires are pretty expensive due to size of wheels. Air brakes may need to be serviced. You may or may not want to have the wheelchair lift operable, but that'll require maintenance someday if you want to keep that working. Heat is a must.... A/C honestly not so much, especially since you'd have to buy the Freon and get it recharged(and I'm sure that's costly). Engine heater and glow plugs will need to be serviced or else during cold weather, this bus might need to live off of a ether can, which is not good for it.
  • Parking. I don't think Chicago will let you park a 40' Flxible on Jefferson St., or wherever you live. You'll get complaints from neighbors and citations, and I don't think you have a garage for a 40' bus.

It might make a nice RV for travel provided you can afford all of the above, but it would be a budget strain. Maybe the best thing to do is snap a picture and take that with you, or if you know someone in the die-cast industry, take profile shots of the bus and send it to him/her.... maybe we can get a scale model Flxible Metro built, and they can do it in CFD colors and CTA livery.

I may have the possibility of keeping the bus providing I have a place to keep it. I would rather donate it to IRM if they have the space.

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I loved those TMC RTS buses for one reason.

The single seats on the right side. You didn't get crushed by someone else & the last single seat just before the Exidor was extended out & you could fit a large grocery bag there.

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I loved those TMC RTS buses for one reason.

The single seats on the right side. You didn't get crushed by someone else & the last single seat just before the Exidor was extended out & you could fit a large grocery bag there.

Oh, I remember those! The only reason I liked those buses (and the 3200's on Orange/Brown lines) was because of the single seats. Although, I did give up the seats when I had to (usual elderly, disabled and pregnant diatribe), i (and others) received a lot of glares in general when people got on the bus and saw that people were sitting in them

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My favorite buses I experienced driving and or riding....

#300 series GMCs

#1300/1400 series GMC (Fishies)

#4000 MANs

Flyer D901s

#3700 Flxibles

#4400 TMCs

#6000 Flxibles

#7000 MAN artics

Favorite buses I would have loved to have experienced and driven...

1950s Flxible Propanes namely the #8400s because of the shorter length. They looked pretty cool in the 35ft version!

Wish I could find a pic of CTA Flx propane #8481.

Marmon/Herr. trolley coaches

I think you would have liked driving the Marmons. They had great pickup from a stop, much better than any propane or diesel from that era. I live near Belmont & Cumberland and remember hearing them fly by late at night. The Flxible propanes were decent buses but they were sluggish, the 87-8800 Flxible new looks were too.

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I think you would have liked driving the Marmons. They had great pickup from a stop, much better than any propane or diesel from that era. I live near Belmont & Cumberland and remember hearing them fly by late at night. The Flxible propanes were decent buses but they were sluggish, the 87-8800 Flxible new looks were too.

Oh I could never forget the Marmons!!! Its there! Read further! :) My dad drove those in their last six months of operation at North Ave Garage and Ive had the chance to ride them at IRM.

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What I liked about these compared to the other 3000 series buses was the transmission. The 37-3800s would hold low gear till almost 30 mph, when they shifted they'd fly on the Outer Drive. Some of the later 3800s had the fiberglass seats, I wasn't a fan of those.

....my thoughts exactly.

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Although I was a child when the 6000's and 4400's were around,I fell in love with the 6000's especially. The sound of the engine on take off and transitioning into high-gear was always music to my ears when riding the #9 at night with my mom, I remember when they sounded even better before the rehabs started or at least the ones I rode.I remember watching 6000's travel back and fourth on Ashland until the very last day they were in service .The 6300's I had a hard time getting use to because I always thought they were 5300 series and I hated that series for what ever reason.The 4400's were my 2nd favorite series but I rarely got to ride em during my childhood except when I went downtown on the #29 or #3. From what I can remember, riding them was a blast. The quick gear shift after takeoff would make it sound mean. The last 4400's series I saw was during late 2008 on the 24. Now currently my favorite buses would have to be the lower 1000's series and the 6400's and high 6600's.The lower 1000's series remind me of the 4400's in a strange way because they have a gentle but yet mean sound to them, Also they are the 2nd oldest buses in the fleet so why not love em, Although I do miss that whine they had on take off when they were brand new.Now finally on to the 6400's. They have to be my most favorite bus due the fact i've been on them a lot and they grew on me as I grew up but now that they are currently in the process of being phased out It will be sad to see them go.They remind me so much of the 6300's since they sorta have similar characteristics from an overall sound stand point but driving is a different story. The 6400's may be old but they sure do know how to handle a beating.The 6600's have been my bread and butter ever since 2010 and they are hopefully the last to be retired from 74th if indeed they stay there for the rest of there lives.

Oh yeah CTA5750 I hope you can keep ex-6163 because if we can save a 4400 and hopefully a 5300, we can save a 6000 and I wish you the best if you indeed receive and keep the bus, hopefully the IRM tries to take it in and maintain it. B) B)

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Although I was a child when the 6000's and 4400's were around,I fell in love with the 6000's especially. The sound of the engine on take off and transitioning into high-gear was always music to my ears when riding the #9 at night with my mom, I remember when they sounded even better before the rehabs started or at least the ones I rode.I remember watching 6000's travel back and fourth on Ashland until the very last day they were in service .The 6300's I had a hard time getting use to because I always thought they were 5300 series and I hated that series for what ever reason.The 4400's were my 2nd favorite series but I rarely got to ride em during my childhood except when I went downtown on the #29 or #3. From what I can remember, riding them was a blast. The quick gear shift after takeoff would make it sound mean. The last 4400's series I saw was during late 2008 on the 24. Now currently my favorite buses would have to be the lower 1000's series and the 6400's and high 6600's.The lower 1000's series remind me of the 4400's in a strange way because they have a gentle but yet mean sound to them, Also they are the 2nd oldest buses in the fleet so why not love em, Although I do miss that whine they had on take off when they were brand new.Now finally on to the 6400's. They have to be my most favorite bus due the fact i've been on them a lot and they grew on me as I grew up but now that they are currently in the process of being phased out It will be sad to see them go.They remind me so much of the 6300's since they sorta have similar characteristics from an overall sound stand point but driving is a different story. The 6400's may be old but they sure do know how to handle a beating.The 6600's have been my bread and butter ever since 2010 and they are hopefully the last to be retired from 74th if indeed they stay there for the rest of there lives.

Oh yeah CTA5750 I hope you can keep ex-6163 because if we can save a 4400 and hopefully a 5300, we can save a 6000 and I wish you the best if indeed you receive and keep the bus, hopefully the IRM tries to take it in and maintain it. B) B)

That's one of the reasons why I liked the 6000's is because of the engine.

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That's one of the reasons why I liked the 6000's is because of the engine.

I've been addicted to the the sound of a 6000 since I have quite a few sound bites of them from back in the day I can't go a day without replaying it.

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I've been addicted to the the sound of a 6000 since I have quite a few sound bites of them from back in the day I can't go a day without replaying it.

I always got the engines on the 6000's and the 5800's confused because they sounded very similar.

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Oh I could never forget the Marmons!!! Its there! Read further! :) My dad drove those in their last six months of operation at North Ave Garage and Ive had the chance to ride them at IRM.

I can't imagine anyone forgetting the Marmons. If I implied this it was not my intention. That would be like me me forgetting the 2200s! :P

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2200fan, on 04 Jan 2015 - 01:34, said:snapback.png

What
I liked about these compared to the other 3000 series buses was the
transmission. The 37-3800s would hold low gear till almost 30 mph, when
they shifted they'd fly on the Outer Drive. Some of the later 3800s had
the fiberglass seats, I wasn't a fan of those.


.

>> i8itall4u...my thoughts exactly.

The seats or the transmission?

Didn't some of the higher numbered 3600's have these seats too?

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Although I was a child when the 6000's and 4400's were around,I fell in love with the 6000's especially. The sound of the engine on take off and transitioning into high-gear was always music to my ears when riding the #9 at night with my mom, I remember when they sounded even better before the rehabs started or at least the ones I rode.I remember watching 6000's travel back and fourth on Ashland until the very last day they were in service .The 6300's I had a hard time getting use to because I always thought they were 5300 series and I hated that series for what ever reason.The 4400's were my 2nd favorite series but I rarely got to ride em during my childhood except when I went downtown on the #29 or #3. From what I can remember, riding them was a blast. The quick gear shift after takeoff would make it sound mean. The last 4400's series I saw was during late 2008 on the 24. Now currently my favorite buses would have to be the lower 1000's series and the 6400's and high 6600's.The lower 1000's series remind me of the 4400's in a strange way because they have a gentle but yet mean sound to them, Also they are the 2nd oldest buses in the fleet so why not love em, Although I do miss that whine they had on take off when they were brand new.Now finally on to the 6400's. They have to be my most favorite bus due the fact i've been on them a lot and they grew on me as I grew up but now that they are currently in the process of being phased out It will be sad to see them go.They remind me so much of the 6300's since they sorta have similar characteristics from an overall sound stand point but driving is a different story. The 6400's may be old but they sure do know how to handle a beating.The 6600's have been my bread and butter ever since 2010 and they are hopefully the last to be retired from 74th if indeed they stay there for the rest of there lives.

Oh yeah CTA5750 I hope you can keep ex-6163 because if we can save a 4400 and hopefully a 5300, we can save a 6000 and I wish you the best if you indeed receive and keep the bus, hopefully the IRM tries to take it in and maintain it. B) B)

I spent my entire eight years at CTA driving those 6000s. I definitely hope to keep it! :) Hopefully it will still be in driving condition so I can eventually donate it. I dont have the time or the funds to maintain it.

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