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Had double deckers never left 5th Avenue

 
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
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Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 12:45 am    Post subject: Had double deckers never left 5th Avenue Reply with quote

All:

It is (at least, IMHO) to imagine what ex-FACCo routes would be like today had double deckers not been abolished in the early 1950's.

YELLOW COACH, of course, was long gone by the time the last of the old double deckers lumbered up and down 5th Avenue for the last time.

Could you imagine GMC being called upon to build a new generation of double deckers for FACCo?

These buses indeed would have been interesting to see, that's for certain!

Would, perhaps, FLXIBLE, have gotten into the game?

Think of bus transit along 5th Avenue today, if double deckers were still in operation (along with single deckers)

Realistically speaking, though, by the 70's, the financial crunch, rising crime, vandalism, etc., it is quite reasonable to assume that double deckers would have been phased out eventually.

And yet, look at how many double decker tour buses now criss-cross the City! (of course, this is an ENTIRELY different ball game!)

So many issues, so many factors....but, still, quite interesting to think about........ Wink

"NYO"[/b]
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GojiMet86



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The MTA tested the Enviro500 SuperLo, so we might see a return. If they are bought, they might run on Staten Island express lines that run via NJ; Eastchester and Yonkers could be other depots that fit them.

What lead to the bus companies/city phasing out double-deckers?
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 4844
Location: NEW JOISEY

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GojiMet86 wrote:
The MTA tested the Enviro500 SuperLo, so we might see a return. If they are bought, they might run on Staten Island express lines that run via NJ; Eastchester and Yonkers could be other depots that fit them.

What lead to the bus companies/city phasing out double-deckers?


GojiMet86:

I have heard of the testing, and have also seen some photos; I have found this to be quite interesting.

Double-deckers only ran in several US cities besides New York; Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Atlanta were cities that, at one time or another, operated double-deckers.

Cleveland also operated them; I think Detroit did also, but am not at all sure.

I would imagine that, perhaps, one reason that led to the downfall of the American double-decker was the increased dwell time at stops, especially when unloading.

I would not have been surprised at all had FACCo phased out double-deckers during the 40's, had the War not intervened.

Recall, also, that FACCO was already operating single-deck buses by the later 1930's; these were YELLOW COACH Models 720 and 740........

"NYO"
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traildriver




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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I vaguely remember seeing them when I was a child, but never rode the old Fifth Avenue DD's. I have been in the Van Hool, Neoplan, and Alexander Dennis DD's, and have to say I don't like them. I am not that tall (71"), but in the Van Hools that Megabus operate, I have to duck my head on both levels. I think all of them give a hard ride, probably because they need a stiff suspension to control swaying. In high winds, they would be a 'handful' to handle. Climbing up and down those steps, would be impractical on local routes, not to mention be a liability for falls.

As for GMC getting back into the bus building business...I would say a close to zero chance. They seem to be divesting almost all non-automotive subsidiaries, not getting into more, for the past thirty years or so.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver wrote:
I vaguely remember seeing them when I was a child, but never rode the old Fifth Avenue DD's. I have been in the Van Hool, Neoplan, and Alexander Dennis DD's, and have to say I don't like them. I am not that tall (71"), but in the Van Hools that Megabus operate, I have to duck my head on both levels. I think all of them give a hard ride, probably because they need a stiff suspension to control swaying. In high winds, they would be a 'handful' to handle. Climbing up and down those steps, would be impractical on local routes, not to mention be a liability for falls.

As for GMC getting back into the bus building business...I would say a close to zero chance. They seem to be divesting almost all non-automotive subsidiaries, not getting into more, for the past thirty years or so.


traildriver:

I totally agree about GM not getting back into the bus business (strange, though, considering they once dominated the bus building industry for decades!)

Recall, too, the long-defunct "NEW YORK DOUBLE DECK TOURS"; man, do I remember well those lumbering, noisy old relics rumbling through the Wall Street area, many years ago (I also remember their lot near the PABT)

Never took any photos, though...... Sad Sad

London now operates many single-deck buses; but, even so, the big red lumbering giants, so steeped in history, are still cruising the teeming streets of Jolly Olde London today! Wink

The classic RT and ROUTEMASTER types were always my especial favorites....and always will be...... Smile

"NYO"
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traildriver




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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, nothing wrong with admiring them from a nostalgic viewpoint. I sometimes think they are cool looking too, and they may indeed have some "curb-appeal" to potential rider's, kind of in the manner that the old PD-4501 Scenicruiser's did. But as knowledgeable passenger, and as a driver, I would much prefer the roomier, and better riding (and handling) modern single level buses of today.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver wrote:
Well, nothing wrong with admiring them from a nostalgic viewpoint. I sometimes think they are cool looking too, and they may indeed have some "curb-appeal" to potential rider's, kind of in the manner that the old PD-4501 Scenicruiser's did. But as knowledgeable passenger, and as a driver, I would much prefer the roomier, and better riding (and handling) modern single level buses of today.


traildriver:

Though those lumbering double-deckers did have tremendous capacity, the drawbacks to them, in many instances, outweighed the pros.

The old open-toppers (I love 'em!) were indeed at a distinct advantage in rainy weather, or on snowy winter days, for sure!

Nothing could beat them on bright, sunny days, however!

High winds, of course, brings about yet another factor that was a another disadvantage to the double-decker (this must have been interesting in a certain Midwestern "Windy City"!)

Articulateds, without a doubt, our true crowd-swallowers; though icy, slick roadways are not conducive to the efficient operation of these big buses, in all other respects, they indeed make a great deal of sense when operated on the heaviest routes.......

"NYO"

BTW:

I have also read that double-decker buses also ran in St. Louis as well for a time; 55 YELLOW COACH Model Z-E-203's were delivered to the People's Motor Bus company in 1925.

These buses were quite similar to those operated by FACCo......
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some interesting related trivia:

In 1940, YELLOW built one TD-5501 for testing in New York.

This bus type was seen as the eventual replacement for FACCo's double-decker fleet.

The coach was 42 feet long, and originally seated 55 passengers.

However, seating was reduced by one to 54, due to emergency exit requirements.

After this revision, the bus was re-designated as a TD-5401.............

"NYO"


Last edited by NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629 on Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All:

Earlier, our good friend traildriver mentioned "modern, single-level buses"; the biggest of these, of course, are the articulateds; absolutely NO disputing the fact that these monsters are TRUE crowd-swallowers, in every sense of the word! Shocked

There were some experimental articulated buses built during the 30's; one of which was the "QUEEN MARY", operated by the Baltimore Transit Company.

In 1940, TWIN COACH built four articulateds, one of which was a trolley bus, which was delivered to Cleveland this coach entered service in early 1942)

Interestingly, the articulated section of this "SUPER TWIN" could only move vertically, but the rear axle was steerable.

It remained in service until 1954.

It is interesting to speculate about the FACCo purchasing articulateds to replace the double-deckers, had the articulated technology of the day been more advanced.........

"NYO"
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traildriver




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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Making buses larger and larger, which does have its efficiencies, does have a limit. At least until they make roads larger, as well. And in today's developed cities, that is not going to happen.
Hence, we have to do the best we can, within the limits we operate.
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

traildriver wrote:
Making buses larger and larger, which does have its efficiencies, does have a limit. At least until they make roads larger, as well. And in today's developed cities, that is not going to happen.
Hence, we have to do the best we can, within the limits we operate.


traildriver:

Well said....agreed 100%! Wink

With tight, narrow, ancient streets so commonplace in European countries, it is small wonder that articulated buses (and trams) have been commonplace there for many decades.

It is only since the mid-late 80's/90's that articulated buses have really caught on here at home.

Again, as you so correctly stated, we have to do the best we can, within our limits.

I do not think it is wise to "jump the gun" here, so to speak.........

"NYO"

BTW: getting back to the demise of double deckers on 5th Avenue.......

According to "NEW YORK FIFTH AVENUE COACH COMPANY (Oliver J. Ogden):

"............after WW2, declining ridership and rising labor costs made double-decker operation unprofitable. FACCo began taking delivery of GMC TD-4506's and replaced the last of the open-top buses in 1946......."

"...........the double-decker 735's continued in service until 1953, but, they too, became unpopular due to slow acceleration and loading........."

At the time of their retirement, these last double-deckers were still several years away from their 20th birthdays, still fairly young for a transit bus.......

"NYO"
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NEW YORK OMNIBUS 2629




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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.......sure would be something to see a photoshopped FACCo "Queen Mary", made into an articulated coach.....(!!) Shocked Shocked Shocked

"NYO"
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