Fall 1997 MBS Convention

The 1997 Fall Convention of the Motor Bus Society was held in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. Our Headquarters was the Holiday Inn, Riverview, located just across the Ohio River, in Covington, Ky.

On Saturday, October 18th, we began with our trip to Dayton. It was a beautiful fall weekend, and with a large turnout, we used two busses; a 1985 TMC 102A3-3FROO5357 ex GLI 1460, now Alpha Bus Tours (OH) 95, and a 1994 MCI 102DL3-ORP046328, #99 of Croswell Bus Lines.

After a nice tour of Miami Valley Regional Transit Authority's Longworth garage, we boarded one of their new Skoda trackless trolleys for a tour of Dayton. The Skoda 9602, was built by Electric Transit Inc., in 1/96, Vin-IT1190002. It ran well, even with the standing load on it. Then we boarded #110, built 5/82 by GM-Boveri, HR1506-Oll, formerly Edmonton,(AB), Transit System 110. It performed as well as the Skoda. We enjoyed our ride on the two coaches. Several stops provided photo opportunities.

We headed back down south on I-75 where we had our lunch and viewed the pulse point of the Bi-Centennial Transit system in Middletown, Oh. They have 1991 Gilligs, 3096TB MlO83996-999 #140-143.

We only saw 140-141. The buses are owned by Ohio DOT. The system was formerly known as the Middletown Transit System. We next stopped at the Lake Front Lines Inc, Cincinnati area garage, in Fairfield. Parked there were 9555-145 a 1995 MCI 102DL3-SP047148 and 9655-152, 1996 102DL3-2TP047882. Surprisingly also there was a RTS2 parked there, 755, GMC 1980 T70604 -810516, ex Chapel Hill Community Transit 755.

Lake Front Lines had inherited the Amarco Steel shuttle contract when it purchased American Travelines. Fifteen used RTS were purchased from Chapel Hill. Other RTS's from other sources, were bought for parts. Twelve buses operate the shuttle. Our next stop was back in Cincinnati, at Charter Bus Service on Ebenezer Rd. Their charter fleet consists of used MCI 8's, MC 9's and 987, 1985 TMC 102A3-9FROO5394 ex GLI (TX) 1488. The newer buses were out on the road.

#9602 is one of the experimental trolley coaches built by Skoda for the Dayton system. A total of 60 will be produced, replacing all older vehicles. One wonders about the viability of the trolley network in Dayton, as only 6 vehicles operate on Saturdays, and none on Sundays.

We wound up our Saturday tour at Greyhound's Cincinnati bus station, where we saw many MC-12's, MC-9s' and 102A3's. Many Greyhound buses were parked, awaiting assignment.

A pleasant surprise there was Greyhound MC12 2769, 2/96-8TP048203 which was wrapped with "Leave The Driving To Us" logo, and Southeastern Trailways, of Indianapolis, #73291, 11/96 MCI 102D3-6VPO48949.

Returning to the hotel, the usual flea market was followed by a film and slide show after our break for dinner.

On Sunday we boarded Cincinnati Metro Gillig, #804, 7/97, C2lDlO2N4- 3VIO87732 and TANK #1977, 1981 GMC T8H 5307A-2B3500579, for a short ride to Executive Charter Inc., in nearby Newport, KY. Three TMC 102A3,s, #101, 1985-9FROO5301, ex GLI-(TX) 1406 and # 8829-8830, 1987-XHROO6277, IHR OO6278, ex A Yankee Line (MA) 8829-8830 were there in the yard.

We then headed north to Williamsburg, Ohio where we were welcomed to Croswell Bus Line's new facility by John Croswell, the head of this family business. His mother, in her seventies, works in the office.

Their charter fleet consists of late model MCI 102 coaches. In the yard were #72, 1988 C3-(5JPO42313), #84 and #85 DL3-lRP045950 and 7RP045953 and #91 1995 DL3-OTP047910. To our surprise there was customized MCI MC-9, 3BPO36344, a private coach of YASKAWAII. Croswell services it; it had just come in from a three month trip. It was in splendid condition and was well photographed.

Returning to Cincinnati we visited Metro's Bond Hill garage. Four 1980 "wrapped" Flxibles and several other buses for us to photograph were posed for us.

Next was Alpha Bus Co., a small Ohio charter company. The fleet consists of used MCI 102 coaches as follows, #94, 1985 6FPO40556 ex Garfield Heights Coach Lines (OH) 4705-II, #95 1985 TMC-3FROO5357 ex GLI 1460, #97-98 1989 C3,s-XKPO42712 and lKPO42713 ex Keeshin Charter Svc. 947-948.

They also had several MCI 8's at the garage, #399 of Mary's Charter Svc., ex-ex GLE 3270, ex NYCTA 5892, 1973 MCI-8-(30139/SlO240).

Cincinnati Transit Historical Society's fleet was our next stop. There was a GMC 1960 SDH 4501-012 ex The Ohio Bus Line Co. #211 and 1975 GMC T6H 5307A-203 ex COTA #557, both of which they have restored and now display.

After the photo opportunity, we had a short ride around their property aboard the "fishbowls". After a lunch break we were off to METRO's Queensgate garage, the main garage.

The present fleet is mainly Neoplans, Gilligs and the re-manufactured Grumman Flxible 870's (ex NYCTA). The Neoplans are 1989-90, Gilligs 1995-1997 and the GFC 870's 1987, all 102" wide busses. Many of the ex NYCTA buses have been retired and stored in the yard, awaiting sale. A few serials were:

#420 1989 Neoplan AN44OA-4KLO13021
#701 1995 Gillig S40102-5SIO86772

Our last stop was the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky's garage in Fort Wright. There we saw a restored A M General, #1901, built in 1975 and #1990, 1983 Gillig 35/96TA-4DlO8O458, which has been converted into the Northern Kentucky Emergency Command Center. After an extended stay, with many freebies given out, we departed in one bus to the airport, the other to the hotel.

A great time was had by all. Our next convention will be in New York City on April 18, 1998. Plan to attend our 50th Anniversary celebration. --Charlie Bailey