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Random trivia facts about buses

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This is a thread to post any random trivia facts that you know about OC Transpo's high floor vehicles. May not be completely historical but best place to put it.

I have a lot. Let's get started!:

9133 was the first Orion V and first bus repainted back in April 2000.

9011 was used as the prototype D40 for the maple leaf livery and got repainted in August 2000. This bus was the only one repainted in 2000 and 2001.

9011 was the only D40 to keep the black rubber lining on the side of the bus that all the other 1990 D40s lost when repainted.

4001 originally had the same red seats as the LFS and Orion V but were quickly switched out with the same seats as the other VIs.

9111 was the prototype Classic for the repaint and was completed in March 2001.

9208, 9210, 9215 were the last three remaining 1992 D40s in the stripe livery as of October 2003 and got repainted soon after. Funnily enough, these buses also were part of the final six 1992 D40s to last into 2010.

As of September 2000, we had 9129, 9131, 9132, 9133, 9135, 9136, 9138, 9139, 9140, 9141, 9146, 9148, 9149, 9150, 9231, 9232, 9233, 9239, 9244, 9247, 9253, 9257 repainted. Most of these buses were Orion Vs except for 9011.

9137, 9142, 9144, 9145, 9147 were all rebuilt sometime in 1998 and did not get the new livery because they were too expensive to repaint.

The only Classics that got the new livery were rebuilt. For example, two 85s, four 1987s, 26 1989s, 12 1991s, and five 1993s were all rebuilt and repainted. The rest that stayed in the old livery simply got light body jobs.

9237 had the City of Ottawa logo on the front, the only 1991-1992 Orion V to have had it. This gives us a clue that the bus may have been repainted in 2001 or 2002 at the most.

Same goes for 8104. It had the Ottawa logo on the front.

9701-9720 had the Detroit Diesel S50 engine but it was an older DDEC III version. The 98xx Orion Vs started using the newer DDEC IV version of the S50 that carried onto the VIs and D60LFs.


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More facts: 

9849 and 9850 only got the Maple Leaf livery in 2003 because they had previously been ad wrapped and got the paint damaged when removing them. As a result, they needed a complete repaint.

The 81xx series fishbowls are actually 1982s according to their VIN and the 80xx series are the actual 1981s. 

9701-9720 were actually 1998 Orion Vs just like the later 98xx series Orion Vs although were not completely identical.

7905 was the first Fishbowl repainted in May 2002.

7801 was the last remaining fishbowl as of 2005 that had NEVER gotten any type of refurbishment since it started service in 1978 due to not needing it. Also the last bus in service to keep the original silverside stripe scheme.

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Time for more facts!

Not a lot of people know this, but all the 81xx-82xx fishbowls managed to stay intact into March 2006 and it was then when they started being pulled from service until the final one retired in April 2007.

9312 had an 1989 MCI Classic rear end (presumably did not come like that). If you looked closely, you could see five lights at the rear instead of the usual three lights typical of Nova Classics at OC Transpo.

9322 may have been retrofitted with Sutrak A/C as a test (was reported in a CPTDB post in 2003) after having it removed in 1996. 

The 1984 Classics were unreliable (especially the rear doors not functioning) and were retired in 2004-2005 even before any of the later 1981-1982 fishbowls got touched. The 1985s also had the same issue and were pulled from 2005-2007 as a result of the same issue. The 1987s were improved and they stayed around until 2008 as a result.

It was originally planned that the 1987s were to be retired by the end of 2007 but they got an extra year (permanently out of service except for 8792 by Novemer 2008 and having retirement work done in January 2009). In 8792's case, it was an extra two years, being taekn out of regular service and relegated to garage bus shuttle duty in late October 2009 and actually retired in December.

9201 was originally a Luminator test bus before getting retrofitted with Balios signs as another test (and later keeping them).

It was reported that OC Transpo was looking into retrofitting all the 1989-1991 Classics with Luminator signs (info comes from 2003 CPTDB post) but decided not to for some reason.

Edited by OC Transpo/STO Fan

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Seems like the Fishbowls were very reliable throughout their lifetimes. Were they not replaced only in an effort to move to a fully accessible bus service?

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6 hours ago, J.OT13 said:

Seems like the Fishbowls were very reliable throughout their lifetimes. Were they not replaced only in an effort to move to a fully accessible bus service?

The fishbowls were getting outdated and it was harder to keep parts going to fix them so they were retired.

They would have gotten retired sometime in the late 1990s-early 2000s but they were kept for longer due to budget cuts during the 1993-1998 period.

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More facts:

The Fishbowls got a final refurbishment between 2001-2003 to keep them going for a few years before retiring a few years later.

The D40s were repainted in between 2002-2003 with the exception of 9011 which was repainted way back in August 2000.

The 90xx D40s started being equipped with Luminator signs sometime in November 2000 and the first bus was 9007, followed by 9004 and 9011.

The NovaBus Classics and 1997-1998 Orion Vs were the only high floor buses to come equipped with yellow poles inside the bus to help with accessibility. 9256-9258 were the three oddball 1992 Orion Vs because they also came with yellow poles, presumably as a test.

The Fishbowls originally did not kneel to the ground, along with everything from the 1984 Classics up to the 6V92TA/HTB-748 Orion Vs and 1992 D40s until they got retrofitted sometime in the mid 1990s. The NovaBus Classics were the first to be equipped with this feature from day one.

The 76xx-82xx Fishbowls got retrofitted with power steering sometime in the 1990s which brought them in line with the newest buses such as the Orion Vs, Classics, and D40s at the time.

4001 was the only 1998 Orion VI in the 4001-4140 order.

4001 was also originally numbered 9901 on delivery but quickly renumbered to 4001 because the computer would not accept the number "0" as a valid first digit. 4100-4140 would have been 0000-0040.

The numbering system prior to 1998 was not really a good way to identify model years of buses because they were so full of exceptions. Here's a list of all exceptions to the fleet number system:

For example, the 90xx D40s were 1989s.

 The first 11 89xx Classics were actually 1988s.

The majority of the 9101-9125 Classics were actually 1990s except for 9123-9125.

9126 was the only 1990 Orion V in the 9126-9150 batch.

8101-8122 were actually 1982 Fishbowls and were delivered in tandem with 8231-8240.

9701-9720 were actually 1998 Orion Vs.

8001-8012 were actually 1981 Fishbowls.

The 57xx Fishbowls were just 1975s with the first two fleet numbers reversed due to being over 100 buses in one order.

6001-6037 were actually 2000 D60LFs and not 2001s.

And as mentioned above, 4001 was a 1998 and not a 1999 Orion VI. Specced exactly the same as the other VIs.



Edited by OC Transpo/STO Fan

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7923-7930 at one point were equipped with propane engines in 1984 as a test until they were retrofitted with the regular 6V71N engines a few years later after the test was completed.

When new, 7801 came with a flipdot digital destination sign but was later taken off in the 1980s. There was also one particular incident where the driver accidentally clicked the "call police" button. As a result, the bus was displaying "EMERGENCY-CALL POLICE" on the destination sign and police had to chase the bus.

7926 was the only single stream rear door fishbowl to make it into 2007. It later retired in March, just a month before the last of the 80-82xx fishbowls were retired.

9301-9330 had some differences from the MCI Classics such as Sutrak A/C, a few extra poles at the rear of the bus for people to hold on to, turning signals above the headlights, yellow hand railings, extra rear exit sign at the rear, black driver side mirrors, and rear doors that were slightly extended (not enough to immediately notice).

9201 was the only D40 to keep its advertisement wrap presumably until it got repainted in 2002-2003. A few other D40s had custom paint jobs for advertisements such as Chez 106 but they were no longer on the buses as of 1995-1997.

The 1998 Orion Vs used to get entire advertisement wraps from 1998-2004. Starting in 2004, they were switched to complete rear wraps for Chez 106 and the full wraps were being phased out. These were also the only high floor buses to get wraps at all from 2006-2010.

The 1998 Orion Vs, 90xx D40s, Ikaruses, and 1991 MCI Classics were the only buses (that I know of) to be equipped with bike racks at some point in the early 2000s. The Orion Vs stopped getting bike racks as of 2006, while the D40s stopped in 2004.

8401-8416 had tilt windows, while 8417-8425 had sliding windows along with 8951-8960.


Edited by OC Transpo/STO Fan

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This post will contain some interesting facts that are not related to buses, but more about routes.

Route 117 was the only regular route to never have been deemed accessible due to only running from Monday-Friday and being meant for Carleton students.

Route 123 was also not accessible for obvious reasons. It was a route that had very low ridership and it just did not make sense to convert it into an accessible route.

D40 9201 was sent out to Kitchener Transit back in 1995 in exchange for one of their low floor D40LFs, also numbered 9201 (renumbered 92011 while at OC). It was used as a demo and later sent back to Kitchener Transit along with 9201 (the regular high floor D40) being sent back to OC Transpo.

9054 was involved in a collision at Lees station in July 2003 when the bus suddenly lost control due to an engine issue. As a result, spare TTC D40 parts had to be used which included the entire front end as well as window sashes. After the bus was rebuilt, all the window sashes were black instead of silver as originally delivered.

4140 was equipped with an Luminator Horizon sign on the front as a test (sometime in the very early 2000s) instead of the Luminator MegaMax 3000 signs that were delivered. The original signs were eventually put back in later.

The 90xx D40s actually had a shorter wheelbase at 6665 mm than the later 92xx D40s at 7061 mm. 

The 92xx D40s were also painted slightly differently from the 90xx when they were in the original red stripe scheme. Take a look at these photos below to compare. Hint: Look at how the paint scheme goes up right before the front wheel.






Edited by OC Transpo/STO Fan

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All Nova LFS buses kept the older transfer printers as well as 9112 and 9312. 4010, 4107, 9018, 8950, and 9033 also had the older transfers. The old printers printed out a random five digit number on the transfer instead of the fleet number of the bus.

9215 was used in a mock trial shortly after retirement and was stored in an OC Transpo garage until June 2011 when it was finally taken away. There was a photo of the bus after the trial but I cannot find it for the life of me right now. From what I remember, the bus was totally crushed (front end of bus facing up).

9301-9330 were equipped with Balios signs in mid-1998 when the buses were still fairly new.

9231-9258 also began getting Luminator signs in 1998. 9248 was retrofitted around then as there is a photo of it taken in August 1998 on Fotki.com.

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There was supposed to be an 8534 (Ikarus), but it fell off a ship when getting delivered and never got replaced. For all we know, it could be in the middle of an ocean intact.

The GM Classics originally had no rear door lights whatsoever, but they later got retrofitted with rear lights identical to those on the Orion Vs. I am not sure of the exact time frame, but I am assuming it happened when OC Transpo implemented the Easier Access initiative in June 1992.

7742 was the only fishbowl to ever have white painted metal around the orange turn signals instead of either silver or dark gray metal. Admittedly, it looked slightly better. Coincidentally, this bus was later sent to STO as well.

The majority of the 79xx fishbowls got sold off or retired in 2004-2005 to make room for the new 42xx Inveros, with a few exceptions such as 7926. 7923, 8408, and 8417 were sold to STO in 2005 as parts buses, with 8413 also being sold to STO for further use.

7846-7858 also got retired in 2004 and replaced by 4201-4211 when they first came in.




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A bit short but I'll post these anyway:

9301 was actually the second NovaBus Classic ever produced (first was STM 12-099, a NovaBus prototype) as evidenced by its VIN number. 9301 was the next bus to be built right after that STM bus was completed.

9301-9330 also happened to be the first production order ever completed by NovaBus as a whole. As for quality, they did have slight issues (namely rusting by 2005!) as they were the first batch produced. AFAIK, five were fully rebuilt in late 2005-early 2006, and even then, 9310 and 9321 started showing signs of rust as soon as two years after rebuild!

4079 was actually the only Orion VI to remain its maple leaf on the front up until retirement in 2013. By 2001-2006, most other Orion VIs got the maple leaf logo exchanged for the Ottawa O logo.

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Ex-OC Transpo Orion V 9126 was most recently used for training purposes in December 2018 at the Ottawa Metro Towing location. The bus was still intact but you could tell how rusty the bus got from sitting around since 2007. Photos are below (not mine).

9885 (last OC Transpo high floor bus) was originally supposed to be preserved when it retired but we hired a new GM of OC Transpo in 2007 who decided to scrap the plan of keeping 9885. It was instead retired in 2010-2011 as normal and then sent to scrap.

Here are some photos from the training (Note: photos come from Facebook group, again not mine):



Edited by OC Transpo/STO Fan
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6112 (one of our original S50 D60LFs) was briefly sent out to the STM for a period of time in April 2005 to test if artics were practical for the city or not. They ended up going with Nova Bus LFS artics a few years later.

This is about 6399-6403 (produced in 2009, but delivered in January 2010), but I'm putting it here anyways. These buses are actually the last D60LFs to ever be built for a transit system before the bus model got discontinued in 2009. Starting in 2010, New Flyer switched to solely making the D60LFR (which had been introduced in 2007).

When the 1997 Orion Vs were delivered, they was originally going to have a strip of white paint at the front (at the bottom) as well as the entire sides of the bus (bottom portion only). This was quickly changed to having the front being all red and the sides of the bus (bottom only) being grey.

Here's a photo of 9701 and 9720 (showing before and after modifications of paint job):


Edited by OC Transpo/STO Fan

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This one will be short but it is interesting.

As a result of an OC Transpo meeting in winter 1998, an A/C trial was conducted due to people complaining that they disabled the A/C on certain buses for no reason. 9111-9116 had their units reconnected and tested. Long story short, the trial was a flop due to all six buses having horrible A/C (except 9113 for some reason) and the cost of re-enabling A/C on these buses cost as much as installing A/C on the newest buses which happened to be the Orion Vs. For all we know, those six (plus possibly 9322) may have been the only Classics to have them re-enabled.

Also as a result of this meeting, OC Transpo promised to retire every high floor bus (even the 1998 Orion Vs) before 2009 came, possibly due to having no A/C. They also said that the VIs would retire in 2011. These buses ended up getting extra time for some reason.

Edited by OC Transpo/STO Fan

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I once rode a Flxible New Look in OC Transpo livery. 
It was in the mid-1980s and I boarded on the Mac bridge and took it to Orleans on what was then the 37. 
I suspect that it was one of the CL-218 produced by Canadair but it might have been a later Grumman model. 
I remember seeing it another time or two. But I only rode it the once. 
I’ve never seen it mentioned in any history of OC Transpo’s fleet. 

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