The Motor Bus Society celebrated its 50th anniversary convention the weekend of April 17-19, 1998, in New York City based at the Carlton Hotel. With 106 people in attendance it proved to be one of the best conventions.
It began with an unusual Friday night meeting at New York City's Port Authority, which had graciously donated the rooms for our use. The usual marketplace began around 7 P.M., at which people registered for trips. Tokens supplied by Eli Bail were given to each participant.
After a short business meeting, President Charlie Sullivan spoke of the 50 years of dedication by members in the past and present. Steve Goldmann and Bill Vallow spoke also on the subject, while Eli Bail presented special silver tokens to present and past leaders. A fine slide presentation by Alan Bromberger followed.
On Saturday, April 18, we boarded three buses. One each donated by Trans Hudson Bus (Coach USA), Academy Express and Lakeland Lines. We left the host hotel located at 29th Street and Madison Avenue, in Manhattan, at 8 AM, arriving at 8:45 A.M. at the New Jersey Transit - Newark Bus Complex. After a tour, which included a room with real fronts of buses mounted on the wall, we went outside to take photos. Several buses were moved for us.
We went a short distance to the Tonnelle Avenue garage and parking lots of Trans Hudson Bus/Red & Tan Tours/Coach USA. There were Perhaps 50+ buses there of all varieties. Some Rutgers University (operated by Red & Tan) new Orion V's, some Red & Tan transits and MCI charter buses, plus a large group of Flxible transits operated by Trans Hudson. White Bus (Coachco) also parks buses on the property.
A short drive took us to Hoboken, where we wandered between Academy Bus Lines three lots, the Gray Line two lots and the Red Apple/Hoboken Bus lot. Every manner of bus was to be seen. MCI's and RTS buses at Academy, MCI's and double deckers and trolleys were at the Gray Line, and Flxibles and an old cab at Red Apple/Hoboken Bus Co.
At noon we departed for the NYCTA's Transit Museum in Brooklyn. The museum was kept busy as members bought all manner of books, video, hat badges, etc. Others journeyed to Fulton Street to shoot photos or eat. Several went shopping in the various shops.
After lunch we went to the Liberty Lines garage in Yonkers, where we toured facilities. The operators graciously brought out a TDH 5105 for photos. We departed back to the city, arriving about 5 PM at the Greyhound lot on 30th Street.
Many buses were photographed, including a new 102DL3 of Greyhound and a new 102DL3 of Carolina Coach. The Carolina Coach bus sported the Greyhound dog in red on the front.
Leaving Greyhound we arrived back at the hotel. However, this wasn't the end of the trip. Steve Goldmann of Gray Line provided us with a Saturday night city tour, using two open-top double-deckers and an excellent guide. It was a fitting way to end the first day.
On Sunday, April 19 we departed our hotel for our tour. To our wonderment, we saw three GMC New Look fishbowls, ready to whisk us away. It is rare to see any fishbowls still in service, never mind three. Two were Triboro Coach buses, while the third was from Varsity Transit. We arrived at NYCTA's East New York Shops about 9:00 AM. We were taken on a tour of the Conunand Center and the shops. Several members had wandered outside to photograph buses, probably not the wisest move, because of the location of the shops and pouring rain.
Next we went to Command Bus Company where we saw 100 plus buses. Alan Bromberger helped to move several wrapped buses out for photos. A note was made of the large number of CNG buses on the property.
Then to Green Bus, where again numerous buses were pulled out so that members could take photos. The lunch stop was in Flushing (part of Queens) where buses just kept coming, and the city streets are crowded with people.
Most of the photo nuts were in heaven, with the NYCTA Orions and Queens Transit RTS buses running on a short headways. Bill Vallow was pleased to see Vallow Bus Lines running a route with school buses and took several shots. Stores were visited, and food was to be found everywhere, as was any form of entertainment.
Arriving back at the buses, we found a fourth bus had been added to our tour, a Queens Transit Orion. Queens Transit was testing new CNG tanks at their garage, and wouldn't allow us to visit for safety reasons.
A few sighs were heard, but all agreed to go to the La Guadia Marine Air Terminal. This was a strange stop as not many buses were there, but we survived.
Then we went to the garage of Triboro Coach, in Jackson Heights, where all ran around crazy taking photos. After that we returned to the hotel.
Many people need to be thanked, especially our members Mike Gliken and Alan Bromberger for coordinating the trip and making up rosters, Steve Goldmann for his efforts in obtaining the hotel. Mac Sebree, Ell Bail and Charlie Sullivan put out a Motor Coach Today in record time in order to have it ready at the convention. The advertisers in the issue are to be thanked.
Freddie McGullam, Paul Semendinger, and Eli Bail are also to be congratulated for working behind the scenes to make it work.
Special thanks go out to Academy Express, Gray Line, Lakeland Bus, Trans Hudson/Coach USA, Triboro Coach and Varsity Transit for donating buses for our use. Thanks also to all of our membership who attended the trip help to make it a huge success.