1980-89 EQUIPMENT PHOTOS (Page 3)
© 2013 (PAGE LAST MODIFIED ON 05-28-13 (addition 04-06-14))
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By 1987, federal monies were once again available to fund SEMTA transit projects in southeastern
Michigan, after having been diverted for two years to cover cost overruns on the People Mover.  As
a result, DDOT was now able to acquire UMTA
(Urban Mass Transportation Administration) funds
for 99 new coaches and other miscellaneous projects.  One project included the transforming of the
former Shoemaker Terminal Gas House building into the new DDOT Coach Rehabilitation Center,
which officially opened on May 17, 1988.  The new Rehab Facility would become quite useful when
DDOT launched its revised paint scheme in 1989 and the entire fleet had to be repainted.
D-DOT (Detroit Department Of Transportation)
THE 1920's
1  2  3  4
THE 1930's
1  2  3
THE 1940's
1  2  3  4  5
THE 1950's
1  2  3
THE 1960's
1  2  3
THE 1970's
1  2  3
THE 1980's
1  2  3
THE 1990's
1  2  3
THE 2010's
1   2
THE 2000's
1   2
For the third time in the decade (and the forth time in eleven years), DDOT management decided to
once again revise the paint scheme on its coach fleet with the launching of the redesigned
yellow and green cross-over striping—replacing the horizontal yellow and green stripe design
first launched in 1978 on its RTS fleet.  With the new DDOT Coach Rehabilitation Center now
open at the Shoemaker Terminal, the repainting of the fleet would begin by the fall of 1989.
In January 1987, the General Motors Corp. sold its transit bus division to Motor Coach Industries (MCI)
of Canada—a subsidiary of
Greyhound Corp.  Consequently, the GMC "Classic" bus design that had been
built by
GMDD of Canada would now be built by MCI, while the U.S. built GMC "RTS-II" coach would now
be built under the brand name
TMC (Transportation Manufacturing Corporation), also owned by MCI.  
As a result, the next Detroit-bound fleet of
"Classic" coaches would be built by Motor Coach Industries.
All Jim Husing Collection photos are posted with the permission of Mr. James Husing. Any distribution of photos for sale purposes is prohibited.
Still on an anti-RTS campaign, and with federal funds now available again to buy new buses,
DDOT would purchase 85 more "Classic" coaches (#2000-2084), this time from Motor Coach
Industries (MCI), which purchased the Classic transit bus design from General Motors in 1987.  
Although the MCI "Classic" bus design was basically identical to the GMDD design, the DDOT
#2000-series fleet would come equipped with many more additional features than the previous
#1900-series GM coaches.  In this June 27, 1990 photo, DDOT coach #2009 can be seen laying-
over at the Fairlane Mall Shopping Center in Dearborn while working the #22 Greenfield line.
[Bernard Drouillard photo, courtesy of the James Husing Collection — see disclaimer below]
The #2000-series DDOT Classic fleet came equipped with "front-door" wheelchair lifts—with
on-board space for two wheelchairs.  While the black and charcoal-gray colored passenger seats
in the rear were the tough, sturdy, fiberglass style seats first used on the GMC RTS fleet, similar
style seats ahead of the rear doors came with "padded" inserts.   This was also the first DDOT
fleet to come equipped with split-view
(flat/convex) outside mirrors.  In this 2001 photo, coach
#2025 is pictured at the Fairlane Mall Shopping Center while working the #22 Greenfield line.
[Nathan Nietering photo, courtesy of the Michael Koprowicz Photo Collection]
Delivery of the 47-passenger MCI Classic fleet (Model TC40-102A) began on August 29, 1989.
Although the vast majority of MCI Classics were manufactured at the MCI Canadian plant near
Montreal, Quebec, the Detroit fleet was assembled in Pembina, North Dakota, two miles south
of the U.S.-Canadian border.   A number of "firsts" were associated with the #2000–series MCI
Classics,  such as the first DDOT coaches equipped with roof-mounted Sütrak air-conditioning
units;  the first to come equipped with
flip-dot display electronic route/destination signs;  and
the first fleet to be delivered sporting the new redesigned DDOT cross-over stripe paint scheme.
[photo courtesy of the Michael Koprowicz Photo Collection]
Unlike DDOT's previous #1900-series GMDD fleet, which used the conventional Detroit Diesel
6V-71 engine, the DDOT MCI Classics were powered by a more powerful turbocharged Detroit
Diesel 6V-92TA engine with an Allison V-731 transmission.  In this photo, coach #2032 can be
seen discharging passengers on Woodward Avenue south of State Street in downtown Detroit.
[Jim Beeler photo, courtesy of Melvin Bernero photobucket.com collection]
This photo shows DDOT MCI "Classic" series coach #2000 parked at the Coolidge Terminal
Yard during its last years.  The last of the MCI built #2000-series Classics were retired in 2003.
[photo courtesy of the Michael Koprowicz Photo Collection]
The DDOT Neoplan coaches (Model AN460EV-60102) were able to seat 65 passengers, with a
maximum carrying load of 125 passengers.   Features included two roof-mounted Sütrak air-
conditioning units; a
flip-dot display electronic destination sign; and a front-door wheel-chair
lift.  The Neoplan artics were powered by a turbocharged Detroit Diesel Series 6V-92TA engine.  
Just like the #2000-series MCI Classics that began arriving a week earlier, the Neoplans also
sported the new redesigned DDOT cross-over stripe paint scheme.   Coach #8906, which would
become one of the last "artics" in service, is pictured in 2001 at DDOT Central Maintenance.
[Nathan Nietering photo, courtesy of the Michael Koprowicz Photo Collection]
Although assigned exclusively to the east-side Shoemaker Terminal their entire service life, the
Neoplan "artics" initially saw service city-wide on special "Artic" runs on the #21 Grand River,
#25 Jefferson, #34 Gratiot, #53 Woodward, and #78 Imperial Express lines.  However, during
their later years the coaches were assigned primarily to various east-side based routes.  
Although most were retired early, the last few artics remained on DDOT's active roster through
2002.  In this 2003 photo, series coach #8900 is parked at the Shoemaker Terminal graveyard.
[photo courtesy of the Stan Sycko photo collection]
During the spring of 1989, DDOT would launch its new redesigned paint scheme.  A yellow and
green cross-over striping now replaced the horizontal split-stripe design first launched on the
#1300-series GMC RTS-IIs delivered in May 1978.  Coach #1582 became the first coach to be
repainted in the new design, and is seen here on display to the public at the Kern Block during
National Transportation Week
(May 15–19, 1989).   The Gratiot Street side of Hudson's Dept.
(which closed in 1983) is visible in background.   New fleets of MCI Classics and Neoplan
"Articulated" coaches would arrive within three months already sporting the new paint design.  
[Lamont Jackson photo courtesy of the L. Jackson D-DOT photo collection]
Not to be excluded from the DDOT repainting campaign was the remaining fleet of rehabbed
GMC "New-Look" model T6H-5307As (#1001-1148), first delivered in 1975.  In this photo,
coach #1112 is pictured sometime after retirement sporting the redesigned stripe design while
abandoned at the Coolidge Terminal graveyard.  Not all of the T6H-5307As were repainted.
[photo courtesy of the Michael Koprowicz Photo Collection]
The repainting of the GMC RTS-II and New Look fleets were handled by the new DDOT Rehab
Center.  Although most of the RTS fleet was repainted, the exception would be the first 70 non-
wheelchair coaches (#1300-1369) — the vast majority of which would see retirement in 1990.  
However, repainting was begun on the wheelchair equipped model TH-8203s (#1370L–1410L).
In this photo, coach #1390 is pictured sporting the redesigned stripe design while east along W.
Larned, between Griswold and Woodward, while working the #18 Fenkell line on June 5, 1991.
[Jim Beeler photo, courtesy of Melvin Bernero photobucket.com collection]
The 74 RTS-II model T8H-203s (#1801L-1874L) were also included in the DDOT fleet
repainting campaign.  In this June 17, 1995 photo, coach #1860 can be seen west along the north
side of Cadillac Square at Bates Street, while nearing the end of the line of route #36 Oakland.
[Jim Beeler photo, courtesy of Melvin Bernero photobucket.com collection]
Also repainted in the DDOT redesigned paint scheme were seventeen RTS-II model T7W-203
35-footers (#1701L-1717L), also delivered in the fall of 1979.  Coach#1707 — the last of the
#1700-series RTSs to remain in service — is pictured here sporting the redesigned stripe design
while parked westbound along Atwater Street just east of St. Antoine in late 1997.
[website owner's collection photo, courtesy of the Schramm photo collection]
Included in the fleet repainting campaign were 105 RTS-II model T8H-203s (#1501L-1605L)
that were delivered during the fall of 1979.  In this photo, coach #1575 can be seen laying-over
at the west-end of the #34 Gratiot line, along Third Street at Abbott, back on Sept. 5, 1996.
[photo courtesy of DDOT coach operator Karl A. Marshall]
In January of 1989, a major event would occur that would change the landscape of public transit in this region—the
dissolving of the
Southeastern Michigan Transportation Authority (SEMTA).  As divisive politics, distrust,
and racism continued to widen the rift between the city and its surrounding suburbs,
SEMTA found itself unable to
pull the region together to move forward with a regional transit plan.  
SEMTA's failure to merge with the Detroit bus
system and its mismanagement of the People Mover Project added fuel to the fire of it being viewed as ineffective.

To make matters worse, the region's outer-counties demonstrated a disinterest in supporting any type of rapid transit
associated with the city of Detroit, with many feeling that
SEMTA services weren't needed within the outlying areas.  
This growing resentment toward
SEMTA from across the region would make it an almost impossible task to convince
voters to tax themselves in order to fund a seven-county transit system.  Therefore, another approach was needed.

On December 7, 1988,
Public Act 204 (which founded SEMTA back in 1967) was amended by the state legislature
and SEMTA was restructured from a seven-county transit authority into a much smaller three-county transit agency
that did not include the City of Detroit.  This new tri-county agency was renamed
SMART (Suburban Mobility
Authority for Regional Transportation)
, and began operations on Tuesday, January 17, 1989.
Although just delivered three years prior, the 100 GM of Canada built Classics (#1900-1999)
also needed to be repainted in the redesigned paint scheme.   In this 2001 photo, coach #1922
can be seen parked at the DDOT Cooloidge Terminal sporting the redesigned stripe design.
[photo courtesy of the Michael Koprowicz Photo Collection]
The two-sectioned articulated bus was held together in the middle by a special Kroll joint — a
924-pound hydraulic turning joint assembly that allowed the separate sections of the coach to
achieve side-to-side angles of up to 52 degrees.  The Kroll joint also allowed the coach to bend
up and down a maximum of 10 degrees.  To maintain stability, a special electronic device helped
to keep the rear-end of the coach straight at speeds over 27 mph.
[photo courtesy of the Michael Koprowicz Photo Collection]
One of the last bus acquisitions of the decade for DDOT included a fleet of 14 "Articulated"
coaches (#8900-8913) assembled by Neoplan USA of Denver, Colorado.  At a cost of $259,000
apiece, these buses were paid for with $3.7 million in federal and state funds.  At 60 feet long
and 102 inches wide, these would be the first articulated buses to be placed into service in metro
Detroit.  Delivery of these Neoplan model AN460 "artics" began on Sept. 6, 1989.
[photo courtesy of former DDOT coach operator D. Edmonds]