April 27-28, 2002

The Spring 2002 Convention of the Motor Bus Society took place over the weekend of April 27 and 28 and was attended by nearly 60 members and friends. The headquarters hotel was the AmeriSuites Downtown Dallas. The hotel is located in downtown's West End, adjacent to a great number of restaurants and three blocks from the West Transfer Center of DART (served by many bus lines, including Route 202 to the DFW airport) and a station on the DART light rail system. Co-chairmen for the occasion were Dallas area MBS members Tim Logan and Bill Wheeler, with assistance by Director of Conventions Dino Mandros. Buses for both days were supplied by ABC Bus Inc. who supplied one of their 45-foot Van Hool demonstration coaches, and Cowtown Charter, Inc. of Fort Worth, who provided two different ex-Fort Worth Transit 40-foot new look Flxible transit buses (PIP 2 on Saturday and PIP 3 on Sunday).

Saturday: The original and published schedule was modified to accommodate a ride on a new section of the DART light rail system later in the day. The first stop was at the DART S&I (Service and Inspection) light rail facility, which is the headquarters for maintenance and operation of the LRT system. Rail and bus dispatching are also done at this location. Of interest were two ex-Toronto PCC cars that belong to the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority. The cars are at the DART facility pending regauging of the trucks (from 4'10" to 4'8") and restoration. In the maintenance shops, LRT unit 170 was being fitted with an experimental low-floor mid-section, making the car a three-section articulated unit. The mid-section was supplied by Kinki-Sharyo, who manufactured the cars. The second stop was at the DART Oak Cliff garage. This location is now occupied by First Transit, and is used entirely for contract operations. Stored at this location are most of the MCI commuter coaches, the Chance trolley replicas, Champion minibuses and cutaway vans. But also assigned are a number of Nova RTS buses. 

The next stop was at the East Dallas DART facility. This is the site of the main overhaul shops, and was the location of the former city operated Dallas Transit System; it also houses a bus operations facility. Buses assigned are mostly new Nova RTS', but also seen were several Flxible Metro/870's and Tim Logan's restored Duke Power Co. TGH-3102 No. 971 and ex Richland County (Mansfield, OH) Transit New Look 30-foot Flxible transit No. 5, on which short rides were given. Also seen was DART's ex-Dallas Transit System GMC TDH 5303, No. 494. The tour then moved on to the South Oak Cliff facility, the newest of DART's bus garages.  Transit operations at this location are done entirely with RTS buses of varying vintages. This is also the site for surplus buses awaiting disposition, which included at least one Neoplan articulated. Also on site were a group of former Sioux Falls, South Dakota TGH-3102's that belong to the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority. These buses are ear-marked for restoration and operation on a downtown hotel shuttle connecting with MATA's streetcar operation. 

After lunch in north Dallas, the group went to the DART Mockingbird LRT Station for a ride on the Blue Line's White Rock to LBJ/Skillman station extension, which was scheduled to open on May 6th. Test trains had been running on the one station extension, although normally no passengers were carried. After the ride, which featured high-speed private right of way operation, the group rode a southbound Blue Line train to Cityplace Station, the lone station on the three mile LRT subway. Topside is a multi-storied office building with shopping mall. Across the Central Expressway from the building is the terminal of a new branch of the McKinley Avenue Transit Authority's (MATA) streetcar line. Effective April 29th, through an arrangement with DART, MATA will provide circulation service between the Cityplace Station and office buildings and businesses along McKinley Avenue. The extension includes lengthening the turnaround loop four blocks further north of its original location. Streetcars will run every 15 minutes from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, seven days a week. MATA's fleet of four restored vintage Dallas streetcars are used on the service, on which no fare is charged, but donations are accepted. The group then rode on two of the cars to the car barn, where Operations Manager John Landrum spoke about the organization's history, functions and plans. The afternoon's activities were concluded after a ride on the regular service car and a walk back to the hotel. 

Business Meeting: After an informal flea market items sale, the business meeting was convened at 8:00 PM. Convention Co-chair Bill Wheeler had made arrangements for Mr. Joseph Gibson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of the Nova Bus Corp. to give a presentation on the history of Nova, and the bus manufacturing industry in recent years. Also on hand was Mr. Bill Kapeinst of Detroit Diesel, who fielded questions from the audience. During the business session, it was announced that the Fall 2002 Convention would take place in Chicago during the Columbus Day weekend. It is planned to make the occasion a three day affair, with an optional trip to Milwaukee on Friday. It was also announced that the last issue of Motor Coach Today under the editorship of Charlie Sullivan had been published and mailed, and that a new version of MCT under the helm of former MCA editor Al Meier, will appear shortly. The meeting was concluded after a presentation of slides of the Dallas-Fort Worth and northern Texas area by member John Pappas.

Sunday: The first stop was at the historic Greyhound garage, located just west of downtown Dallas.  Although currently used by the merged Greyhound-Continental operation, Greyhound Lines Inc., this facility had been the home of the Texas based Continental Bus System. The art deco attached office building was built in the late 1940's, and still features a mosaic of the CBS logo on the lobby floor.  Located in a bay of the garage was restored Greyhound Mack bus 1931 which was available for inspection. A large variety of Greyhound MCI equipment was seen in the yard, including MC-12's, "A" and "C" models, and even one of the new "G" coaches. Among the foreign buses in the yard were Jefferson and Amtrak California coaches. 

After an hour's ride to Fort Worth, the group made a stop at the Intermodal Transit Center, northwest of downtown. Here, connections are made with TRE (Trinity Railway Express) trains to Dallas, and intercity and Fort. Worth Transportation Authority (The T) buses. Next up was a stop at the shops of the Tandy Center parking lot shuttle operation. Formerly know as Leonard's M&O Subway, this streetcar operation connects the Tandy Center (formerly Leonard's Department Store) with adjacent parking lots using a fleet of a half dozen rebuilt PCC streetcars. Service does not run on Sunday, but attendees did view various equipment in the yard, including a former CTA 6000-series El car and a former NYCTA RTS bus, which is used whenever the streetcars cannot operate. 

Next stop was at the garage, shops and offices of FWTA. The T operates a diverse fleet of diesel, gasoline and CNG powered buses. The newest addition to the fleet are 31 New Flyer 35 foot low floor CNG buses that supplement a one-time fleet of 129 35- and 40-foot Flxible Metro's. Also in the fleet for shuttle and ADA services are Orion II's, World Tran, Chance trolley replicas and various minibuses, cutaways and vans. Rounding out the fleet are a dozen MCI parlor coaches that are used on the Fort Worth to DFW Airport express. 

After the FWTA visit, the main group headed back toward Dallas, but first made a lunch stop; a smaller group of early departers rode the Cowtown Flxible to the ITC, and a FWTA express to DFW Airport. After lunch, the first group visited the rental car shuttle operation at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. To alleviate the proliferation of rental car shuttle buses that had help to clog airport terminal roadways, DFW developed an off-site location for all rental car agencies, and acquired a fleet of forty 40-foot Gillig low floor transit buses to provide service between the airline terminals and the car rental facility. The operation includes a new shop and operations building and an extensive bus parking area. The current contract operator of this service is Alcoa Parking of Chicago. A side trip was made to the rental car terminal where more early departing attendees could catch shuttles for the airline terminals. The remainder of the group proceeded to the Dallas hotel and the official end of the convention. 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Conventions staff wishes to thank and acknowledge the assistance of the following people for helping to make the Dallas convention so successful: 

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ABC Bus Van Hool 45-foot demonstrator coach at DART South Oak Cliff garage, Dallas TX,4-27-02  

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Cowtown Charter No. PIP 3 at the Tandy Corp. (former Leonard’s M & O Subway) rail operations yard, Fort Worth, TX 4-28-02.

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DART Flxible Metro No. 965 at the East Dallas garage, Dallas, TX 4-27-02.  

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DART GMC RTS T8J-204 No. 1006 at the South Oak Cliff garage, Dallas TX, 4-27-02

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DART Ford cutaway van No. 3048 at the Oak Cliff garage, Dallas TX, 4-27-02.  Van is supplied and owned by contract operator, First Transit.

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DART Neoplan AN-460A articulated bus No. 4007 at South Oak Cliff garage awaiting disposition on 4-27-02.  

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DART Chance trolley replica No. 4106 at the Oak Cliff garage, Dallas TX 4-27-02.This bus is operated by contract operator, First Transit

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  DART Nova RTS RTWFD-82 bus No. 4603 at the South Oak Cliff garage, 4-27-02.  Note differences between standard RTS buses: (1) headsign; (2) windshield, (3) bumper/headlights and (4) curved “slide glide” front door (instead of “plug” or “pantograph” type.

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Rear end view of Nova RTS RTWFD-82 bus No. 4605 at the South Oak Cliff garage on 4-27-02.Note ventricle tail light cluster (also seen on some earlier RTS 06's) and roof mounted air-conditioning equipment

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  DART Champion CT-300 minibus No. 5258 at the Oak Cliff garage, Dallas TX on  4-27-02.Maintained by contract operator First Transit

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DART MCI 102-A3 No. 8220 at the First Transit operated Oak Cliff garage, Dallas TX on 4-27-02

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Left side view of DART MCI 102-A3 coach No. 8277 at the First Transit/Oak Cliff garage, Dallas TX on 4-27-02.Note reverse colors of DART logo

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MBS members view DART Kinki-Sharyo LRT car No. 170 inside the light rail maintenance shops, Dallas TX on 4-27-02.  Car was being fitted with an experimental low floor mid-section

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Close up of low-floor mid section that was experimentally added to DART Kinki-Sharyo light rail car No. 170 at the LRT maintenance shop, Dallas TX, 4-27-02

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Dallas-Fort Worth Airport low floor Gillig low floor bus No. 54 at the maintenance and operations facility, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, TX on 4-28-02

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Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Gillig low floor bus No. 57 at the maintenance and operations facility, Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, TX on 4-28-02

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Convention Co-chair Tim Logan’s restored Duke Power Co. No. 971, a GMC TGH-3102 bus at the DART East Dallas garage, Dallas TX on

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DART’s restored Dallas Transit System GMC TDH-5303 bus No. 494 at the East Dallas garage on 4-27-02

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FWTA World Tran minibus No. 160 at the M&O facility, Fort Worth TX, 4-28-02

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FWTA Orion II minibus No. 207 at the M&O facility, Fort Worth TX, 4-28-02 4-27-02

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Rear end view of FWTA New Flyer C-35-LF No. 305 at the M&O facility, Fort Worth TX, 4-28-02

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FWTA New Flyer CNG powered 35-foot low floor C35-LF No. 321 at the M&O facility, Fort Worth TX, 4-28-02

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FWTA 35-foot Flxible Metro No.502at the M&O facility, Fort Worth TX, 4-28-02. Note special all-red paint job that appeared only on the first of the 500-series of 35-foot Flxible Metros

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 FWTA GMC RTS T8J-204 No. 698 at the M&O facility, Fort Worth TX, 4-28-02. This former New York City Transit Authority bus was leased for use prior to the arrival of the New Flyers

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FWTA MCI MC-9 coach No.702 at the M&O facility, Fort Worth TX, 4-28-02.  This bus, now surplus, was used on the extra fare express service between downtown Fort Worth and the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport

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FWTA 35-foot Flxible Metro No. 890 at the M&O facility, Fort Worth TX, 4-28-02.This bus was also made surplus with the arrival of the New Flyer buses

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FWTA Ford cutaway van No. 908 at the M&O facility, Fort Worth TX, 4-28-02

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FWTA Chevrolet powered minibus No. 966 at the M&O facility, Fort Worth TX, 4-28-02

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FWTA Chance trolley replica No. 2001 at the M&O facility, Fort Worth TX, 4-28-02.  


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Greyhound MCI coach No. 1024 at the Dallas TX garage on 10-28-02

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Greyhound MCI coach No. 1567 at the Dallas TX garage on 10-28-02

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Greyhound MCI MC-12 coach No. 2138 at the Dallas TX garage on 10-28-02

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Greyhound MCI coach No. 6150 at the Dallas TX garage on 10-28-02

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Greyhound MCI coach No. 6394 at the Dallas TX garage on 10-28-02.  New paint scheme

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Greyhound MCI “G” coach No. 7063 at the Dallas TX garage on 10-28-02

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Interior view of Greyhound Dallas garage administration building lobby on 4-28-02.  This art deco office building was the home of the Dallas-based Transcontinental Bus System, whose logo can still be seen on the lobby floor

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Exterior view of the Greyhound Dallas garage and administration building on 4-28-02.  This was the headquarters of the Dallas-based Transcontinental Bus System.Note art deco lobby entrance

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Convention Co-chair Tim Logan’s former Richland County Transit (Mansfield OH) No. 5, a 30-foot new look Flxible transit bus at the DART East Dallas garage on 4-27-02

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McKinley Avenue Transit Authority restored Dallas single truck Birney car at Cityplace and the Central Expressway in Dallas TX on 4-27-02.  MBS members are seen boarding the car across the street from the Cityplace tower, in the basement of which is located the lone DART subway station

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Former Sioux Falls City Lines GMC TGH-3102 at the DART South Oak Cliff garage, Dallas TX on 4-27-02

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Tandy Corp’s. former New York City Transit Authority GMC RTS T8J-204 bus at the rail maintenance facility for the subway-surface parking operation, taken on 4-28-02.This coach and a conventional bus are used to transport passengers when the remodeled PCC streetcars are not operable