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Re: [DSR-2-DOT] PHOTOS: The First Detroit RTS Coaches

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  • Kenneth Bowman 1
    H.B thanks again for this history. Is there any information on SEMTA s 2 door RTS coaches? Am I correct, that SEMTA actually took several 2 door coaches and
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 2, 2009
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      H.B thanks again for this history. Is there any information on SEMTA's
      2 door RTS coaches? Am I correct, that SEMTA actually took several 2
      door coaches and removed the exit door, at one point? I am anxious to
      get information on the Articulated coaches DDOT ran for what seems to
      be just a very short time.



      Quoting "H.B.Craig-II" <hbcraig2@...>:

      > Remembering the first RTS coaches....
      > DDOT RTS-II coach #1401 (courtesy of the Melvin Bernero photo collection)
      >  
      > Although the RTS model coach has been operating along the streets of
      > Detroit for over 30 years, its prominence here has been dwindling in
      > recent years. Upon the expected arrival of more fleets of New Flyer
      > coaches beginning in early 2010, more of the DDOT RTSs will become a
      > memory.
      >  
      > The current Detroit fleet of RTS coaches were all manufactured by
      > NovaBUS, but the original RTSs to arrive here were built by General
      > Motors during the late 1970's. It's that original GMC built RTS
      > fleet that is the focus of the most recent 1970's photo gallery page
      > added to the Detroit Transit History website.
      >  
      > To view this photo journey down memory lane, just visit the
      > following web-page:
      > http://www.detroittransithistory.info/PhotoGalley/Photos1970sC.html
      >  
      >  
      > To also view the first two pages in the 3-page 1970's Photo Gallery
      > section see:
      > http://www.detroittransithistory.info/PhotoGalley/Photos1970sA.html
      > http://www.detroittransithistory.info/PhotoGalley/Photos1970sB.html
    • H.B.Craig-II
      In regards to the former DDOT articulated buses, there will be a few photos of them posted on the 1980 s gallery section, which I m in the early stages of
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 3, 2009
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      In regards to the former DDOT articulated buses, there will be a few photos of them posted on the 1980's gallery section, which I'm in the early stages of working on. It might seem that they were only around for "a very short time," but the last few remaining "artics" did hang around for about ten years. Stay tuned!

       
      Regarding the SEMTA 2-door RTS buses, it appears that of the eleven fleets of RTS coaches purchased by SEMTA/SMART between 1978 and 1995, only three fleets arrived without rear exit doors. As featured in my web-site's 1970's photo gallery section, the very first fleet of 62 RTS-IIs delivered to SEMTA in 1978 (#1801-1862) were all delivered without center (rear) exit doors.
       
      This can be somewhat confirmed by a quote from the Wednesday, May 3, 1978 edition of The Detroit News, in an article titled "Suburban riders going first class." After stating that city (DDOT) buses cost $91,000 each, and the suburban ones were slightly higher at $96,000 apiece, an unnamed SEMTA executive is reported as saying.....
       
      "....the "wider, bigger cushion seats" on suburban buses are not the only factor in the cost difference. The suburban vehicles have additional paneling and seats in an area where the city buses have a less-expensive rear exit."
       
      That statement was made regarding the first RTS buses SEMTA was planning to place into service that coming summer.
       
      All subsequent fleets of RTSs purchased by SEMTA were equipped with hydraulic rear-door wheel-chair lifts, requiring two sets of doors. These 2-door fleets were.....
      #1863L-1878L (1978)
      #7901L-7936L (1979)
      #7951L-7959L (1979) (35-footer)
      #8001L-8050L (1980)
      #8201-8215 (1982 - "series 04")
       
      Of the remaining five fleets of RTSs purchased under SMART, all but two arrived without rear doors. In 1990, thirty-three "series 08" RTS buses built by TMC (#9001-9033) were purchased by SMART, and in 1993, two "series 07" TMC experimental prototypes #9368 and 9369 were bought. These fleets arrived with front-door installed lifts, and hence, no rear exit doors.
       
      If any of the SEMTA RTSs had their rear doors removed it would be interesting to know from which fleet. The original 62 never had rear doors, and the ones that did had the lift equipment incorporated into them.    
       
      Photo attachment, from the Jim Husing collection, shows coach #1818, from the first SEMTA fleet of RTS coaches, none of which had rear doors or lifts.


      From: Kenneth Bowman 1 <kramden@...>
      To: DSR-2-DOT@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sunday, August 2, 2009 12:12:17 PM
      Subject: Re: [DSR-2-DOT] PHOTOS: The First Detroit RTS Coaches

       


      H.B thanks again for this history. Is there any information on SEMTA's
      2 door RTS coaches? Am I correct, that SEMTA actually took several 2
      door coaches and removed the exit door, at one point? I am anxious to
      get information on the Articulated coaches DDOT ran for what seems to
      be just a very short time.

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    • rts_04
      H.B, In regards to the Series 07s, those *did* have rear doors. Although they were built with the second-generation Series 08 front modules with wide front
      Message 3 of 5 , Aug 4, 2009
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        H.B,

        In regards to the Series 07s, those *did* have rear doors. Although they were built with the second-generation Series 08 front modules with wide front doors, I'm told they actually had lifts in the rear doors, but seeing as I never witnessed the buses in service, I suppose that's an area for debate.

        They were largely experimental in regards to their powertrain configuration--they used a T-drive design that was prototyped by GM with the Series 05.

        Both SMART Series 07s are loooooong gone...

        --- In DSR-2-DOT@yahoogroups.com, "H.B.Craig-II" <hbcraig2@...> wrote:
        >
        > In regards to the former DDOT articulated buses, there will be a few photos of them posted on the 1980's gallery section, which I'm in the early stages of working on. It might seem that they were only around for "a very short time," but the last few remaining "artics" did hang around for about ten years. Stay tuned!
        >  
        > Regarding the SEMTA 2-door RTS buses, it appears that of the eleven fleets of RTS coaches purchased by SEMTA/SMART between 1978 and 1995, only three fleets arrived without rear exit doors. As featured in my web-site's 1970's photo gallery section, the very first fleet of 62 RTS-IIs delivered to SEMTA in 1978 (#1801-1862) were all delivered without center (rear) exit doors.
        >  
        > This can be somewhat confirmed by a quote from the Wednesday, May 3, 1978 edition of The Detroit News, in an article titled "Suburban riders going first class." After stating that city (DDOT) buses cost $91,000 each, and the suburban ones were slightly higher at $96,000 apiece, an unnamed SEMTA executive is reported as saying.....
        >  
        > "....the "wider, bigger cushion seats" on suburban buses are not the only factor in the cost difference. The suburban vehicles have additional paneling and seats in an area where the city buses have a less-expensive rear exit."
        > >>>>>>> 
        > That statement was made regarding the first RTS buses SEMTA was planning to place into service that coming summer.
        >  
        > All subsequent fleets of RTSs purchased by SEMTA were equipped with hydraulic rear-door wheel-chair lifts, requiring two sets of doors. These 2-door fleets were.....
        > #1863L-1878L (1978)
        > #7901L-7936L (1979)
        > #7951L-7959L (1979) (35-footer)
        > #8001L-8050L (1980)
        > #8201-8215 (1982 - "series 04")
        >  
        > Of the remaining five fleets of RTSs purchased under SMART, all but two arrived without rear doors. In 1990, thirty-three "series 08" RTS buses built by TMC (#9001-9033) were purchased by SMART, and in 1993, two "series 07" TMC experimental prototypes #9368 and 9369 were bought. These fleets arrived with front-door installed lifts, and hence, no rear exit doors.
        >  
        > If any of the SEMTA RTSs had their rear doors removed it would be interesting to know from which fleet. The original 62 never had rear doors, and the ones that did had the lift equipment incorporated into them.    
        >  
        > Photo attachment, from the Jim Husing collection, shows coach #1818, from the first SEMTA fleet of RTS coaches, none of which had rear doors or lifts.
        >
        >
        >
        > ________________________________
        > From: Kenneth Bowman 1 <kramden@...>
        > To: DSR-2-DOT@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Sunday, August 2, 2009 12:12:17 PM
        > Subject: Re: [DSR-2-DOT] PHOTOS: The First Detroit RTS Coaches
        >
        >  
        >
        > H.B thanks again for this history. Is there any information on SEMTA's
        > 2 door RTS coaches? Am I correct, that SEMTA actually took several 2
        > door coaches and removed the exit door, at one point? I am anxious to
        > get information on the Articulated coaches DDOT ran for what seems to
        > be just a very short time.
        >
        >
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      • H.B.Craig-II
        You are definitely correct rts_04.  I guess I should have rechecked that photo of coach #9369 I had saved on my PC before I posted that email.   Because I
        Message 4 of 5 , Aug 4, 2009
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        You are definitely correct "rts_04." I guess I should have rechecked that photo of coach #9369 I had saved on my PC before I posted that email.
         
        Because I knew the "series 07" RTS coaches had those extra wide front doors (built wider to house a wheelchair lift) just like the thirty-three SMART "series 08" RTSs (#9001-9033) that preceded them, and because, as was mentioned in your book, the series 07s actually began as series 08s, I just assumed (without rechecking) that the two experimental prototypes (#9368 and 9369) also used the extra wide front-doors to house its wheel-chair lifts. But since the two prototypes weren't initially built for SMART in the first place, the rear doors basically came along with the bus, despite the SEMTA/SMART policy back then of purchasing coaches without rear doors. 
         
        But as evident from the enclosed photo attachment, coach #9369 definitely had rear doors. So I do stand corrected.
         
        BTW, since the blue wheelchair decal is displayed on the rear door of coach #9369 in photo, I'm going to assume (here I go again) that the wheel-chair lift was probably located in the rear doors. 



        From: rts_04 <etmccaus@...>
        To: DSR-2-DOT@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 8:48:48 AM
        Subject: [DSR-2-DOT] Re: PHOTOS: The First Detroit RTS Coaches

         

        H.B,

        In regards to the Series 07s, those *did* have rear doors. Although they were built with the second-generation Series 08 front modules with wide front doors, I'm told they actually had lifts in the rear doors, but seeing as I never witnessed the buses in service, I suppose that's an area for debate.

        They were largely experimental in regards to their powertrain configuration- -they used a T-drive design that was prototyped by GM with the Series 05.

        Both SMART Series 07s are loooooong gone...

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