This is what I now do. I drive buses for the City of Detroit. My current company is Detroit Department of Transportation (D-DOT), and this company has had its ups and downs over the decades, but it’s stock is gradually rising. But of all the coaches that I’ve been driving this past year, the articulated bus AKA “the Artic” remains my top favourite vehicle to drive yet. For those who do not yet know, it’s called that because the “accordion” in the middle serves as a pivot on the inside as the coach makes turns as well as sharp hairpins. My guess is that the accordion protects the gears and functions that make the aticulation possible.
Sixty feet long, ten-foot-six inches tall, eight plus feet wide track width. A New Flyer Excelsior XD60/XDE40 (I forget which one), with a Cummins ISL 8.9 inline six-cylinder diesel engine (they REALLY oughta have a V8, in my opinion), and even with a gradual easing on the gas pedal, this thing flies like the wind, literally!
Some of the most things that I love about driving these vehicles are the smooth ride, the luxury of driving these, the A.D.A (Americans W/ Disabilities Act) section is much easier to function in contrast to the older coaches that I mostly operate, it’s well-illuminated from top to bottom, windows tinted, ten wheels move the coach, the quietness of the diesel engine (some of these artics are hybrid), and depending on the operator’s skills, both halves of the artic can be handled very steadily-esp. on the highway.
Word on the street is that we’ll be receiving more of these artics soon, 30 to be exact. Seeing the resurgence that Detroit has been going through in recent years, I’m looking forward seeing them. I must confess that I was terrified of them things when I was first introduced to them, but I was both encouraged and persuaded to get behind the wheel, and take the reigns, as it were. And also, my first impression was that you needed a Class A CDL to operate one of these, come to find out a Class B CDL w/ a Passenger (P) Endorsement which I currently have, I plan to obtain my Class A one of these days, God willing. I drive these at least one day out of the week. And let me tell ya, between the last period of school and rush hour, these babies are very appropriate for that occasion. Seating well over 100 passengers, between 150 and 160, both seating and standing room simultaneously, these artics can take a major pounding. If there are any artics in your city, I suggest you take a ride in one. It’s been over twenty years since Detroit last had these vehicles, and I am glad that we have them again, and this time, they’re here to stay (hopefully).
More to come on Detroit’s past history with the artics.