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GMC RTS Articulated Bus - Successful or Not?


Benjamin
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Does anyone know whether or not the GMC RTS II Articulated Bus, model T9J204, would have been successful if it were to have materialized beyond the prototype phase?

Specifications did exist: the powertrain was a Detroit Diesel 6V92TA MUI engine producing 315 hp @ 2100 rpm (#2 diesel fuel) and Allison V735 transmission.

In Canada, though, a GM articulated bus did exist, but only for that market (and delivered to just four cities there, all in the province of Ontario: Mississauga; Ottawa; Hamilton and Toronto), only for the 1982 model year and just 53 units made. Essentially it had the GM Classic front end fused to the "New Look" body. The powertrain was a Detroit Diesel 8V71N engine producing 255 hp, mated to the Allison V735 transmission.

10 years later, MCI (which took over bus production from GMC in 1986) dusted off this model as the TC60102N, which now shared its entire body with the Classic and used the Detroit Diesel 6V92TA DDEC engine (making roughly over 300 hp) and Allison VR736 ATEC transmission, but again this wasn't anything to write home about: equally as short-lived, it was (as before) never ordered outside of Canada, and this time only being delivered in Quebec City, QC and Halifax, NS (the latter of which got most of these).

~Ben

Edited by Benjamin
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Does anyone know whether or not the GMC RTS II Articulated Bus, model T9J204, would have been successful if it were to have materialized beyond the prototype phase?

It sounds like there was little demand for it, so in that sense it was not successful. But that doesn't mean it was not a quality bus that would have delivered years of reliable service if given the chance.

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Pure bus geek speculation here, but had the RTS artic made it to production, and the timing was right, I bet the RTS of Rochester, NY might have bought some instead of MAN artics. I'm not sure when they bought their last order of the MANs, (the RTS wiki is still missing major chunks of info.) but the standard RTS was very popular in that fleet during the 80s.

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If this bus did make it to production, I'm not really sure it would be equally as successfully as the RTS was. Remember not everyone bought RTS buses or even the Grummans. The artic fleet would of been different, but I'm pretty sure we still would of seen MAN, Ikarus, Volvo, and Neoplan artics.

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I'm going to guess that the RTS artic would not have been a big success. The articulated bus market in North America was very small for many years, yet there were multiple builders fighting for those orders. GMC and later TMC had difficulty at times winning bids due to the high cost of the RTS - I believe TMC was supposedly ready to shut the production line down at one point until they were bailed out with an order from New York's MTA. There might have been a few orders for the RTS artic but I think it's possible that GMC/TMC might have decided after a while it wasn't worth it.

With how many orders NYC alone had for the RTS, I wouldnt be surprised if they jumped on the RTS artic.

They didn't order articulated buses until the late 1990's, though.

Pure bus geek speculation here, but had the RTS artic made it to production, and the timing was right, I bet the RTS of Rochester, NY might have bought some instead of MAN artics. I'm not sure when they bought their last order of the MANs, (the RTS wiki is still missing major chunks of info.) but the standard RTS was very popular in that fleet during the 80s.

RGRTA seemed to go strictly low-bid when buying buses, though. After buying a few RTS orders, they changed builders every few years - Flxible Metros, Gillig Phantoms, Orion V's, Nova Classics, New Flyer LF's and NABI LF's. They probably would have bought artics from whoever was cheapest, which usually wasn't GM

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