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Today's Transit Buses, As I see it, Mostly Junk Plying Sts.

 
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Dieseljim
Deceased



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Perry, NY

PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:49 am    Post subject: Today's Transit Buses, As I see it, Mostly Junk Plying Sts. Reply with quote

Ever since the Federal Government began sticking its snotty nose into bus design, an area where it clearly does NOT belong, the overall quality of transit buses plying our city streets has declined markedly since the last of the "new look" buses was pulled from service in the 1990s nationwide and replaced with the overweight RTSII and much of the mostly junk that has followed it, buses could last 20 years or more in revenue service in such areas as Los Angeles, Buffalo, New York City and others and now with today's offerings, you're damn lucky to get 12 years service out of them. Early Model Orions, such as the O1.501 are not too bad, but much of the offerings that followed are nothing but pieces of junk that an operator will be lucky if he holds them together for even 5 years, let alone 12. This is especially true of the low floor models. Like many of you, I DO have to ride on some of this junk from time to time and prefer many of the older models, the RTS included. With some of the current designs, I would have to say someone did a lot of coke to come up with some of these pathetic excuses of a transit bus in various models as well as makes, some of which were not even around in the good old days. GM's worst decisions were to let the quality go down hill and get out of transit and highway buses altogether or they would not be flirting with bankruptcy as they are now. Ditto for MCI with their so called Renaissance class of buses, which to me, is more like the maiden cruise of the Titanic and we all know what happened to that ship.
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Mr. Linsky
BusTalk's Offical Welcoming Committee



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

PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D. J.,

I have to agree with much of what you say!

Unfortunately, we live in a very different world today in which the keynote at least in bus building is both 'planned obsolescence' and 'as cheaply as possible'.

Actually, you couldn't manufacture anything today like what we used to know for less then a couple of million a copy what with just the price of steel alone!

Then, there's the other side of the coin that you may not be taking into consideration; today's equipment is far safer, much more economical to operate and certainly more comfortable for both passengers and drivers - and that accounts for something!

Now, when you mention General Motors that's another whole story! Yes, I believe that had they continued to make buses they would still reign supreme in the U.S. market but I don't know that it would have supported all their other mistakes!

I was a devout Cadillac customer just as my father and grandfather were (it was like a tradition in our family) until they brought out a 'downsized' front wheel drive piece of rubbish in 1985.

That's when I and lots of my friends marched right into the local Lincoln store and bought ourselves 'rock solid' Town Cars - and we've never gone back to Cadillac since!

Of course, that mistake was only the beginning of years of mis-management and lack of imagination that has now brought GM to the brink of bankruptcy - and merging with Chrysler (another basket case) isn't going to do much for them either!

And, that's the way it is!

Mr. Linsky - Green Bus Lines, Inc., Jamaica, NY
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Dieseljim
Deceased



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Perry, NY

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:36 am    Post subject: GM Management Should Have Worked for Penn Central Reply with quote

Those morons at General Motors could have done just as well as help the Penn Central Railroad screw its way into bankruptcy, but do it much sooner than they did. What better complement to that shyster Stuart Saunders than James Roche (the cockroach himself), and a few of his bunch. They would have gone together with Saunders and Dave Bevan perfectly in the screwup department. Believe it or not, the book WRECK OF THE PENN CENTRAL still contains lessons that are just as relavant today as when Peter Binzen and Joe Daughen first wrote it in 1971. Corporate America still is as much a stinky cesspool as it was then.
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TheDriver




Joined: 18 Dec 2015
Posts: 223
Location: America

PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the Cadillac issue and all was a symptom of what GM was going through and as it was said, "we are living in different times".
If logic had prevailed Cadillac would not have gone rogue and GM would still be building great buses yet GM is trying now to clean up it's image form decades of building junk, by our old standards. I am hoping to see a resurgence of GM quality and ingenuity soon.
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Bus & Car




Joined: 22 Dec 2016
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Mr. Linsky, above...

"Now, when you mention General Motors that's another whole story! Yes, I believe that had they continued to make buses they would still reign supreme in the U.S. market but I don't know that it would have supported all their other mistakes!"

GM sealed it's own fate with the Scenicruiser and the RTS.

GM really lost the intercity bus market when the many problems of the PD 4501 became known and it was rather more than that silly use of two 4-71 engines and the 3 X 2 gearbox. That seriously upset the relationship between GM and Greyhound. Greyhound did buy some 4106's and even a few 4107's to tide them over until the MCI 5-6-7's became plentiful. Things could have gone much better had GMC Truck & Coach been able to convince Detroit Diesel to produce the 8V-71 engine in 1954 and it's not like GM lacked the resources to make this happen

About the same time this was going on, Continental Trailways imported its' first Eagle coach from Germany. By 1961 they were buying all their buses from their own factory in Belgium. By the end of the 60's Greyhound was buying buses from itself as well. Suddenly, there was no real market left for GM. And GM did itself no favors by waiting until 1968 to offer a 40 foot coach to the independents, something Eagle started five years earlier.

The RTS was another GM lemon. True, it had to follow some federal guidelines but none of them directed GM to make the RTS an overweight pig and a pig with a number of other problems as well. Front suspension and air conditioning were the worst of the other problem areas and they took several years to get solved. Needless to say, the entire transit industry soon got the word and many loyal GM transit customers never returned.

Now let's add diesel locomotives to this list. GM also dominated this market from the end of WW2 into the 80's. Now they are a shadow of their former selves and the locomotive and engine business was sold to Caterpillar some years ago but it's a distant number two to General Electric.

Part of GM's problem was arrogance. They thought their way was was the only way and that did work very well for a time. Also, everything was built to a formula The formula involved as much standardization as possible to reduce costs and advertising to con consumers into thinking there really were substantial differences between the various GM car divisions even though most shared many components, chassis and bodyshells. It was like GM decided what it wanted to build and then convinced the public to buy it rather than listening to what the public really wanted and then building it for them.

Now take a look at today's GM. Pontiac, Olds and Saturn are gone. So are Suzuki, Isuzu and Subaru along with a few others, at least as far as GM is concerned. An attempt to buy Fiat failed some years ago. Opel in Germany has been struggling for years. And Daewoo in Korea was a bad joke that cost GM millions to put right.

That Great GM Feeling?

No, thanks.
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Hart Bus



Age: 68
Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 1124

PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless I am mis-reading your post, SUBARU is still going strong. I've leased three Forresters for my wife and I am seeing a lot of them here on Long Island.
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TheDriver




Joined: 18 Dec 2015
Posts: 223
Location: America

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now lets be fair about GM now. GM had it's peccadilloes like making an offer to Trailways and then reneging on the deal, not creating an engine suited to the task and really sticking to their guns about what they offered in terms of amenities but there were things going on behind the scenes. All this took place at about the same time. The Scenicruiser was way too far advanced for the technology of the day. No mechanic could grasp the concept put forth because it was new. GM was pushing to make 40 foot buses legal on the interstates. I do believe they were also doing trial runs for their GMC trucks with Detroit Diesels which collapsed about 42 bridges across the country. Yes they also Improved rail service with their locomotives. They had a very popular automobiles and they did not want to risk the loss of this by the litigation and labor union strikes that seemed to plague GM. The Scenicruisers were being sent to Greyhound unfinished. Greyhound had to check all the nuts and bolts just to make sure the buses were ready to go because workers refused to do the job.
The big one was the suit filed against GM for creating a monopoly by eliminating rail lines and trolley service. There was no real proof of such actions but GM looked guilty. The suit claimed that GM had conspired way back in the 1920's to do this when GM was not even in the business of making buses. The funny part of this was that it was not a crime to do what they were accused of doing. So what the court ended up with was a Consent Decree which is a big slap on the wrist to GM. GM agreed to share the proprietary engine and drive train with it's competition.
That only cause the engineers to create what we now know as the Fishbowl bus and that practically eliminated most of the competition except FLXIBLE. Because of the anti-GM sentiment that lingered for decades GM actually had to stunt any improvement to the Fishbowl bus and help make Flxible a better bus. The drivers will tell you that in the end the flxibles had many good qualities that GM didn't match.
GM was being pummeled by unions and the government and inside forces.
GM could not win. When GM has to pay twice as much for labor as it's foreign competition how could they win? Politics was not on GM's side.
GM quality suffered.
All because of the anti-America hatred that was becoming pervasive across the country.
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TheDriver




Joined: 18 Dec 2015
Posts: 223
Location: America

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and about Opel, Isuzu and the rest. If you know history you would know that GM would buy up about 1/3 of a company if it had potential.
Yellow BUS bought from Yellow CAB became a part of GM Truck and Coach. Winton Engine Company became Detroit Diesel. D.E.L.C.O became Delco.
AC was added because Albert Champion was working for Delco at the time.
Yes, Champion Spark Plugs. GM bought a company that would later be ELECTROMOTIVE. Cadillac was sold to GM by Henry Ford. By the way, Greyhound was also partly owned by GM in the early days. See how conspiracies start?
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