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geneking7320

Does Anyone Have Photos of Transbus?

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Hi Folks;

The favorite bus question made me think about Transbus.

If you recall the Advanced Design Bus (ie, GMC/TMC RTS, Flxible 870/Metro) got its start as an outgrowth of a US government design competion. I believe that three companies competed , GM, Flxible and possibly AM General. IIRC the prototypes had low floors and would likely be considered ADA compliant. My question is:

Does anyone have pictures of the prototypes or can anyone point me to a site that does?

I have tried searching on "transbus" to no avail.

Thanks much.

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I assume you already did the relevant Google search, http://www.google.com/search?q=transbus+%2B+UMTA and didn't come up with much more than I did, which was that there were a couple of models and prototypes, but the technical specifications were too rigid for any bus maker to proceed beyond that. If I remember correctly (and it would have been almost 30 years ago), the appearance, based on some drawings, was similar to an RTSII-01 (slant back) and the reason AM General went out of the bus business is that it was relying on government aid for the Transbus, and didn't have a backup plan. GM and Flxible had the RTS and 870. The current low floors didn't appear until the 1990s, and are based on European designs. While the ADA mandates clearly didn't appear until 1990, the Carter administration was trying to push handicap accessibility, and, at one time, even tried conditioning the rehab of 1960s New Looks on their being made accessible. Some cities, such a Detroit and New York, put lifts at the large rear doors of the original RTSs, but, as Chicago demonstrates, lifts didn't become mandatory until 1990.

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Busjack...if you recall, there was a delay in the TMC RTS delivery to CTA because their intial design had the lifts at the rear of the bus as you stated. CTA demanded they be put at the front door. As I remember, this caused quite a delay in the delivery of those buses and they wound up coming in about the same time as the Flxible 5300's. This is one of the reasons the front doors on the TMC's are so flimsy. The way they got around the narrow front door entry was to have the pivoting fare box.

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In the late 80s, CTA didn't want RTSs at all, but more MANs. The other bus builders protested to the FTA because the CTA had issued specs that seemed to favor MAN as a sole source, in that CTA wanted a back window, heated floors, etc. Also, CTA at the time didn't specify accessible buses, and the disabled community protested the procurement. During the delay, the value of the mark vs. the dollar changed and MAN left the U.S. market. The ADA made the issue of accessibility moot, and the feds ruled that the CTA's only legitimate requirement was that the lift had to be at the front door, so the RTS08 was developed, which did meet the CTA's specifications.

See also the Yahoo Group message from Andre and the subsequent threads.

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Hi All;

Thanks for the info.BTW, I used to wonder why GM did not design the front door of the RTS to anticipate a lift initially. I subsequently read that since GM felt most collisions involved the front of the bus it would be better to place the lift at the rear door.

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Thanks for providing these.

If these are correctly labelled, the side view of the AM General looks like a Flxible Metro, even though Rohr then owned Flixble (maybe it is the square back). Clicking on them to see the expanded views, it looks as though the side views are properly labelled, but the front view isn't in that the right bus clearly has an AM General trademark under the windshield. In any event, they don't look so futuristic anymore.

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I don't know how to post links, so this is the site to check out. bustalk.net. get on the forum. Just search around and you should find a topic about the transbus, plus much more about other protype buses. Also, is it me, or does the pic ripta posted with the three buses, the second one has two front axels?

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Also, is it me, or does the pic ripta posted with the three buses, the second one has two front axels?

I don't think it's you - it looks like two axles to me. It was likely done to support the load at that end. If you think back a few years in Formula One auto racing, there was a car which had two axles in the front also.

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I don't know how to post links, so this is the site to check out. bustalk.net.

To post the link, be sure you are replying using the New Reply button instead of the Quick Reply, and then you will see a toolbar on top. Click on the button that has a globe and a chain link. There will be a pop up where you can paste in the url (copy it from the address bar at the top of your browser), click OK, and then you can type a description for the link in the next popup, and click OK. Click Preview Post and verify that everything looks o.k. before clicking Post Reply.

I went to bustalk.net and put Transbus in the search and didn't get anything. I used Google site:bustalk.net + transbus and got 3 relevant responses, but the only one with pictures http://bustalk.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6...571fa1f23c2a30a was RIPTA42's post, which we already have here. If you have a more definite page, please post the url using the instructions above.

Also, is it me, or does the pic ripta posted with the three buses, the second one has two front axels?
I don't know. It may be a weird looking hub. Then, again, the arch at the top of the wheel well looks like the one in the back, indicating that there are two tires. The door hides part of the wheel well on the side view, but it sort of looks like there is a tire under the door.

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His picture of the AM General looks like it has an Ikarus windshield and front sign, and, as previously noted, it has the frameless windows.

Unfortunately, most of the demonstrators in the New York Gallery are the Hino. I lived in Rochester when that made the rounds of the state, but there it had numerous placards that it didn't meet U.S. standards.

Interestingly, at http://www.bustalk.net/gallery/displayimag...lbum=161&pos=43, he has pictures of the MAN demonstrator at CTA, and clicking the next button has it both in Chicago and New York. The Krambles book has it a little more greenish. I was around when it was demonstrated, but didn't see it.

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I remember the MAN test buses running around the city on the 40 and 151 routes and rode the bus on the Route 40. Looking at the pics now, I don't remember the extra rear exit door on the prototypes. I rode on the bus that was in the Krambles book with the spirit of 76 paint job. Those pics bring back memories of good destination signs as these show the old curtain with the route number, name and where it was going to :)

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Also, is it me, or does the pic ripta posted with the three buses, the second one has two front axels?

The BusTalk Gallery, to which RIPTA has pointed us, has several pictures of the Rohr Transbus, one of which definitely shows double axles in front. (Note: the offsets of some of these links move as new pictures are added to the gallery. Also, the Rohr Transbus pictures were posted after the preceding messages in this thread.)

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On 7/1/2005 at 9:22 PM, geneking7320 said:

 

 

Thanks again!

I wonder what happened to those prototypes...

Many years ago found one of the GM's - there were three - in a junk yard near Buƒfalo NY. It had been wrecked probably in a crash test. Had a plate that had an "EXP" number and "RTX" model designation.

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On 8/25/2005 at 4:20 AM, trainman8119 said:

I remember the MAN test buses running around the city on the 40 and 151 routes and rode the bus on the Route 40. Looking at the pics now, I don't remember the extra rear exit door on the prototypes. I rode on the bus that was in the Krambles book with the spirit of 76 paint job. Those pics bring back memories of good destination signs as these show the old curtain with the route number, name and where it was going to :)

There was a single MAN artic demo that was actually built for a German city (Koln maybe?) and was in that city's colors originally. After its tour, CTA leased it for something like six months, painted it silver and numbered it 1776. Ran on at least 40 and 151 in yellow, possibly also 4, but in silver only on 40.

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On 8/18/2005 at 12:07 AM, Busjack said:

With regard to posts #3 and #4, Andre's M.A.N. USA page lists MAN model 892s, which were supposed to be the 4400s (but weren't).

There were at least three 892's built as pilots, but most likely never finished and definitely never left the plant.

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