[Bus Pic] Some of my favorite busses!

Maybe I wouldn't exactly call these my "favorite" busses, but they're the ones I get to interact with on a regular basis... and eventually, simply come to love.

It is hard to imagine how "Oscar," as we all lovingly call bus 959, is not everybody's favorite bus. Sure, there's the super-powerful fans that come on in the engine at your feet that make you think the bus is going to blow up. And the whole frame shudders violently when it shifts into second gear. Not to mention the eleven-foot wheel base which sets the bus rocking back and forth at every bump! But no bus has as great a personality. Measuring in at a mere 28 feet long, Oscar wishes he were one of our larger powerhouses. (Sing along to the hot-dog theme song) "Oh I wish I were a really, really big bus; that is what I truly want to be." I usually get to drive him every other Sunday on green route. He may give everyone else headaches, but for me, he's the ride of my life!

Update: (11/04) Sigh... one of my old roommates finally killed this one for the last time. It's gone to a better (or worse) place somewhere in eastern Iowa.

904 may not pull with too much power (it only takes about 30 seconds to drive it fully loaded out of the Iowa State Center parking lot driveway), but that doesn't keep me from loving it. Well, that and the fact that I have driven it on almost every one of my Orange S.16th Extension runs. 904 is one of our oldest busses still in the fleet, manufactured in the great year of 1964. CyRide bought it used for just over 6 grand, but they're thinking about getting rid of it this spring when we receive 8 brand-spankin' new busses. I know I, for one, will be very sad to see it go, though they do auction them off, and I've heard these guys can go for only $500. Hmm, anybody have a garage I can borrow? Speaking of garages, one of the great benefits of driving this beast regularly is that it's so old, it is guaranteed to spend its nights in the garage (as opposed to outside on the curb) because it would take too long and be too hard on it to warm up outside.

Update:Too bad... this bus is going into storage this year. According to Bob, our supervisor, "their spirits are willing, but their bodies are tired." This one will still come out if we ever run low on busses (if people keep breaking them, 'ya know).

Udate2: (11/04) Sold this one too. But it's even more my favorite because it ended up in a rap video. Not because I like rap at all, but it was cool to see one of our CyRide buses more or less featured in a music video.

It's hard to say I actually have a favorite Orion V bus, as all six of ours are mostly the same. But I think it's pretty cool that, even being a new driver, I get to drive one of our newest busses every Monday and Wednesday evening. Built just for CyRide we got these boys for a mere quarter million dollars...each. Some of their features (as advertised right alongside local ads) include a double-wide aisle and two rear-doors to get passengers out quickly. These bad boys are people-movers. One of my favorite selling points, however is the inclusion of the "dummy-light" stop sign. When somebody pulls the cord for a stop, the "Stop Requested" light stays on until you open the doors. When the average bus drivers hears over a thousand dings a day, it becomes very easy to forget if somebody really wanted off at that stop back there until they start pulling it five times in a row letting you know you've missed their stop. Unfortunately this feature is not going to be included in the 8 brand new Orion V's we're getting this spring because [controversial statement removed to make the site more happy]. Still these busses are pretty, powerful, and fast! Plus it's fun to know I'm driving $255,706 of equipment around town!

Update: Hey! We got the new busses and they DO have the lights that stay on. Horay!

I need to get a picture here soon!The only reason this bus is in here is because I have always been a die-hard Trekkie. Yes I like Star Wars too, but my first loyalty is to Gene Rodenberry. And like every good trekkie or Star Wars fan, I will get very annoyed if you confuse the two. But back to the bus. Every used bus we get is different, and 951 is currently the only bus in our fleet with a single front door. In one swift motion, the door rotates and slides to the right to allow entry. This streamlined motion has prompted it to be dubbed "Space Bus," and the title has stuck. In one of our considered campaigns (putting "A Smile Brightens Every Day" in different languages on different busses) someone suggested putting it in Klingon on 951. Us "Trekkies" informed them that there probably wasn't a word in Klingon for "smile." Is there?

Update: Awwww, the space bus is going into storage too. I'll miss this bus.

Update 2: (11/04) Man, we sold this one too! It was in the shop just last week getting its identifying marks stripped off.

Another "bus," as we must call it, that is on everybody's favorite list is our new minivan, number 968. I guess there's nothing super-cool about it except that now relief drivers don't always have to cruise around in the clunky mini-busses to their destination. We purchased this beauty brand-new, and it comes complete with an AM/FM radio, so drivers don't have to be bored on their 2 minute drive from Kildee hall to base. The wheelchair lift is completely up to ADA specs (we had to get rid of the last van over a matter of a couple inches) and there are even adjustable climate controls for the riders in the back. We still have to stop for railroad tracks because it is a "bus," but the ride is very smooth and the engine is very quiet. Pretty bus.

Update: Well, hey. With the removal of our dial-a-ride service, we took the wheel-chair lift out of this bus... so technically it is an "administrative vehicle." Which basically means we can't carry passengers in it and we don't have to stop at rail-road crossings.

Update 2: (11/04) We have a 2nd minivan, 969... far from my favorite due to an uncomfortably inclined seat. For now, it DOES have the wheel-chair ramp in it.

Finally, there's 859. While I've never actually gotten to drive it myself, it's pretty impressive that one of the first busses CyRide ever owned is still around. It used to be red, yellow, and white like all the rest, but when the decision was made to keep it instead of junk it with the rest of the old busses, they painted it up with the original colors of CyRide busses. Personally, I'm thankful for the new color scheme. The gold looks too much like...well...I don't really know, but not as pretty as our current busses. Another reason I added this to my favorites was that I saw it out once (yes they use it for some maintenance and once in awhile it does carry passengers) and on the back, it has roving lights just like Kitt from Knight Rider. I guess other busses around the country have similar lights, but I was pretty impressed when I saw this one at night. Maybe it's because Knight Rider was my favorite show and I always wanted a car like Kitt. Then again doesn't every toy-loving engineer?

Okay, I'm getting scrambled again, you could head back to the Frying Pan, or check out some more Bus Stuff!

I updated my favorites info on 11/02/2004.