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'READING BUS COMPANY'
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JimmiB



Age: 75
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. L, your photo of BARTA #700 is on the bus company lot. The fuel shed would be behind the man in the photo. The building behind the bus is one of the old trolley barns.
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JimmiB,

Sometimes the experts have to go to the experts and since I consider you to be the Reading Bus Company Guru, I've got a question for you;

I found the attached photo on eBay of a GM PD 4104 numbered 5900 and flagged for Reading Bus Company, Inc.

I'm wondering if there might have been a relationship to 'our' Reading.

There is no mention of a charter division or any such bus listed in Reading's roster in the January 1969 issue of Motor Coach Age.

Any clues?

Regards,

Mr. 'L'

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JimmiB



Age: 75
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. L,
Yes, I believe that they bought two 4104's from Capital Trailways. Capital used to lease space to store one bus on Reading's property overnight. This was for a tripper they did out of Reading in the early AM. I believe that Capital talked them into buying two coaches with the understanding that Capital would lease them back during the busy season. This was a short lived venture and I only remember them doing a couple of charter trips to Philly's games. I don't know what years they had them, but they were toward the end of Reading Bus' existance. Note that the lettering is Reading Bus Co.,Inc. The "INC." was only added during the Tom Cahalen ownership. My guess would be about 1968.
It's possible that they were actually just leased from Trailways and wouldn't be listed on the roster.
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JimmiB



Age: 75
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't pay much attention to the 4104s at the time but I remember that at the time I thought this was a pretty beat up coach. Now that I see this photo I realize that it looks in a lot better condition than the first 04 that I drove for Lebanon Bus Co.
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The photo is a bit odd, in that we see no fuel stickers, or plates displayed at the front, or both. So many of these
old photos are perplexing, absent detailed captions and explanations...

........................Vern.............................
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 5071
Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vern,

I noticed that myself but it appears as though the bus may have just been delivered to Reading (probably from Trailways as JimmiB pointed out) because it looks like company officials are inspecting the engine compartment as would be expected with a new arrival.

Anyway, it's a great photo of a great bus!

Regards,

Mr. 'L'
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JimmiB



Age: 75
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably right about it just being delivered. The area seems unfamiliar so I have no idea where this was taken. I also don't know what the school bus is doing in this photo. The guy in the white shirt, I believe is Joe Succa, who was maintenance supervisor. I think that's his car behind the bus.
I also don't think that this bus ever went outside of PA, so no stickers were required.
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JimmiB



Age: 75
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It occurred to me that when I was a kid in the late 40's, I had been on buses on the Kenhorst-Grill line that were not like the rest of the fleet.
Did a little searching of rosters and found them. Can't believe that I remember what they looked like since I was about 5 years old at the time.
They had four Twin Coach model 41-S buses delivered in 1947. These were serial numbers 819-822, fleet numbers 575-578.
These were probably the replacements for the Ken-Grill trolleys. That was the last of Reading's trolley lines and I believe that line ended in 1947.
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Mr. Linsky
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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Location: BRENTWOOD, CA. - WOODMERE, N.Y.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JimmiB,

Now I'm beginning to understand more about the connection between Green Line, Triboro Coach and Reading Bus.

Below is a short story about Joseph Succa and his personal successes in the business in Pennsylvania beginning with his takeover of Valley Transportation in the Harrisburg area.

First though, a quick history on Joe's father John and his early days in New York

John Succa returned to Bridgeport, Connecticut from service in the first world war about 1919 and went to work as a Jitney driver and soon heard of the money that could be made in New York - he promptly spent $7,000 on a new bus and joined an already established lower Manhattan group servicing major cross town routes.

To make a long story a little shorter, Mr. Succa incorporated Green Bus Lines and became its first president in 1925 and, along with William Cooper, ran the company until 1946 when Green Line bought Triboro moving Mr. Succa to the presidency of that company.

As you can see by the history below, Mr. Succa sent his son Joe to Pennsylvania and undoubtedly bought him his first bus company.

Enjoy,

Regards,

Mr. 'L'

From the History of Harrisburg Transit Company;


The “little” bus company on the West Shore – known as Valley Transportation Company was, perhaps, in its heyday in 1951. That period of growth and development occurred after the previous owners sold the company after Valley had lost much of the public’s confidence and patronage.

The person solely responsible for breathing new life into Valley was Joseph G. Succa, the son of John G. Succa. John Succa was the General Manager for two large private bus companies on Long Island and saw an opportunity for his son, Joe, to have his own operation – hence the purchase of Valley.

Although World War II had been over for nearly 6 years the Valley fleet was operating a number of vehicles in its 40 plus fleet which had been built in the 1930′s. Average engine life was 40,000 miles and breakdowns were commonplace.

Young Mr. Succa, with his broad “bus family” background quickly took a ”hands on approach” to every aspect for the Company and by the end of his first year at the helm had almost completely turned the firm around to be a real public servant and asset to the growing West Shore communities.

Most of the 1930′s vintage vehicles were retired, sold, or, simply, scrapped – he built a fleet of modern buses (with a few selected pre-World War vehicles used for tripper service) – had them painted and started a “polish and wax” program aimed at doing one bus every two working days….!

The “new” look public minded Valley Transportation became a model suburban system thanks to the Succa influence.

Valley faded into transit history when it became a part of the CAT route network but the basis for many of the West Shore operations can be traced back to the “Succa era.”
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JimmiB wrote:
Probably right about it just being delivered... The guy in the white shirt, I believe is Joe Succa, who was maintenance supervisor.
I think that's his car behind the bus. I also don't think that this bus ever went outside of PA, so no stickers were required.

JimmiB - MR 'L' -

Agree. The photo likely reports some moments in transaction of sale and delivery of the Coach. Note, other ID in a brief line,
smaller font and in red, more toward middle of side, well below the windows. Also, some areas in front, between head lamps,
where earlier operator decals and stickers removed.

In any event, I can't imagine that a PENNA (INTRA) PUC operator would not need to display a current PENNA FUEL or PUC
decal, at minimum. In era, did a BUS need a required front License Plate? In colors shown, it displayed "CAP" TWYS lineage...

....................Vern...................
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JimmiB



Age: 75
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vern, PA didn't require fuel stickers on PA registered coaches until about 20 years ago. Also PA stopped issuing front license plates in the 50's. One thing you do note is the lack of a PUC number which would indicate that the bus was not yet in service.

Mr. L,
I knew there was a connection between Mr. Succa and Green Line. Now I know what it was. I had an interesting conversation with him once when another driver and myself were talking about buying a line run that someone was running with an old school bus. Lots of advice on how to go about buying out another company.
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Rob




Joined: 02 Dec 2010
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like coal slag piles in the background and even a pile of coal in the front. I wonder if they were taking a test run up in the coal regions somewhere? Rosie says the guy in the white shirt looks like it could be her grandfather Robert Rhoads, he worked in the maintenance shop. (Although she said she didn't think he was that chubby) That looks like about a '64 Buick Wildcat

Or maybe it was on a charter and broke down, that could explain the hood up and the experts all peering into it and maybe even a rescue school bus with the "school bus" covered over.


Last edited by Rob on Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rob




Joined: 02 Dec 2010
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, Jimmie - I thought the Shillington-Mohnton trolley line generally gets credited with being the last of the trolley runs out of Reading.

Mr L. Your Uncle Max's home, for whatever reason, I pictured this as being in Reading proper say in the Centre Ave area toward Carpenter Steel. As I think about the story of it's use as a rehab facility for military I wonder if it isn't the mansion out in the Flying Hills area a couple miles south of the city on the Morgantown Road that became "Reading Rehab"
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Rob




Joined: 02 Dec 2010
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://cw42.tripod.com/Jon-5.html

Just found this website which gives a decent narrative and some photos of Capitol Trailways equipment. Probably old stuff for you old hats, but I found it interesting.
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JimmiB



Age: 75
Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Posts: 516
Location: Lebanon, PA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob, thanks for that link. Lots of good information there.
The Buick Wildcat is what makes me think it is Joe Succa in the photo. When Reading Bus became Reading Bus Co. Inc. the only auto they owned was an old Chevy (about a 1950). When Mr. Succa became Maintenance Supervisor, the company bought a brand new Buick. Of course, Mr. Succa used that full time. Rolling Eyes
I stand corrected on the trolley line. You are correct. The Mohnton Line was the last to run. Embarassed I'm embarrassed since I used to ride that line to church with my Mom.
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