(All photos by Dave Mackey)
The Spring 1996 MBS Convention was held in the Philadelphia, PA area during the weekend of April 13-14, 1996. Saturday activities included a visit to the NJ Transit Newton Avenue garage in Camden, a trip to Delaware to inspect DART's late-model Gillig Phantom transits, and a ride into Atlantic City to inspect more NJ Transit and luxury touring coaches. (Alas, it would be our final visit ever to NJ Transit's Atlantic City garage: by year's end, area operations had moved to the new Egg Harbor garage and the old AC garage was torn down.) Saturday evening featured our flea market/auction and a chat with Tom Collins of SEPTA, as well as a slide show. Vehicles used by the MBS on Saturday included a brand-new MCI 102DL3 from Colonial Coach (Gray Line Atlantic City) and a Burlington Tours fishbowl.
Sunday was spent primarily in Pennsylvania. In Philadelphia, we rode on SEPTA's only non-articulated Volvo transit bus and photographed SEPTA's Nova Bus low-floor demo. There was also a visit to Allegheny Garage and to Midvale, where a new bus garage is under construction and where some of the old PCC's and fire-gutted buses are junked. Then it was off to West Chester to Krapf's Coaches. In addition to their charter coaches (most of which were on the road at the time of our visit) Krapf's also operates some interesting vehicles: a Neoplan low-floor and a new Blue Bird Workstation Q. The final stop of the day was the yard at Burlington Tours/U.S. Bus Sales in Berlin, NJ where we saw some ex-Public Service buses on the back lot. There was also a NJT MC-8 from the Newton Avenue garage fire of a few years back. In addition to the Burlington Tours fishbowl, International Bus Service (Gray Line New York) furnished another MCI 102DL3 for our use on Sunday.
Our thanks to representatives of the facilities we visited, and the many MBS members whose efforts helped make this convention a smashing success. --Dave Mackey