Fall 1998 MBS Convention

San Diego, California - October 9-11, 1998

Convention Report By Charles Bailey

The fall Motor Bus Society convention was held in San Diego, Calif., the weekend of Oct. 9-11. Our headquarters was the Quality Inn, on Hotel Circle South. We had ideal weather all weekend.

We departed from the hotel at 8:00 A.M. on Saturday, aboard San Diego Transit #638. It is a preserved 1967 GMC TDH 4519. Veteran San Diego driver Richard (Dick) Youhill was our driver. MBS member Andy Goddard, who laid the groundwork for the weekend, was our escort.

Our first stop was at the North San Diego County District garage, in Oceanside, The active fleet consists of more than 170 buses. A mix of New Flyer LF, Fixible Metros, GMC RTS, and a few Ford E350's The reserve fleet consists of 1981 Flxible 870's 40102-6.

San Diego Transit's Kearny Mae Garage was the next stop. Gillig 4OTB102, built 1991, and 1989 Ikarus, 416.01's were part of the fleet. San Diego Transit still has at least three "fishbowls" in service also. We saw #902 at Old Town terminal. It is a 1981 T6H5307A.

We had our lunch break close to Old Town Terminal with a 15 minute photo stop after lunch. Old Town is one of the best places for photos in San Diego. It is served by eleven bus lines, the San Diego Blue Line Trolley, Amtrak and the San Diego to Oceanside "Coaster". Load your cameras!

Our next stop was the San Diego Trolley complex. The number of cars has grown from the original 24 Duwag cars to well over one 100 cars. We were given an interesting tour of the property.

We wound up our day at the Metropolitan Metro System ATC Vancom garage in midafternoon. More than 40 1999 New Flyer D40 buses as well about 20 El Dorado National RE29's, and other buses were noted there.

Saturday night saw the obligatory "flea market" followed by our business meeting. Possible 1999 convention sites were selected tentatively, spring in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., area May 1-2, and fall in mid-Oct. in Orlando, Fla.

We boarded #638 once again on Sunday morning. Dick and Andy were ready, wiiling and able to show us properties east and south of San Diego.

Leaving the hotel at 8:00 a.m. we headed southeast and visited National City Transit, Chula Vista Transit and San Diego County Transit Systems property in El Cajon, all before our lunch stop.

National City has 1988-1992 Flxible Metro 35096-6T's and 1983 Gillig 40/96TA. Chula Vista Transit has 33 vehicles, consisting of Chance trolleys, Gilligs, Goshens, and Orions.

El Cajon had 60 buses. The fleet consists of Orion 01.502 and 01.507, Gillig 35/96TB and 35/102 S50, and El Dorado National RE29 models.

Our lunch stop was in Santee, at a buffet restaurant. After lunch we headed to the highlight of the weekend, a visit to Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, and a ride on a vintage PD 3751. Crossing the border at 2 p.m., we boarded Gremio de Chofers de Tijuana Croc's #8, a 1948 PD3751.

Probably an ex Greyhound, the PD3751's builders plate was missing. The ride into downtown Tijuana was short but sweet.

As usual, the downtown area was a madhouse of honking vintage automobiles and buses, with people everywhere. You have to see it to believe it! At 3:45 p.m. we reluctantly boarded #8 for our trip back to the border.

#638 awaiting our return and after a 45 minute ride we were back at the Quality Inn and another MBS convention was history.

In retrospect, San Diego has a marvelous transit system, and there is plenty to see and do there. Quite a few of the 40 plus members enjoyed several days before and after the convention riding the "Red Devils," on the Blue and Orange lines, the Coaster, Amtrak, and many of the bus lines to San Diego suburbs. Our thanks to Andy and Dick for two nice days. Also to Michael Gliken, our Tijuana guide, and to Bill Vallow and past President Jerry Squires, who set up the flea market and our meeting.