Photos: Tour a "Greenliner" Bus
At Covington's RoeblingFest on Saturday, visitors were given the opportunity to climb aboard a piece of the Greenline fleet, the bus system that served Northern Kentucky in the middle of the twentieth century. Greenliner #703 was on display and open to spectators offering a one-way trip to the region's transit past.
A description posted inside the bus read as follows:
PRESENTING GREENLINER BUS #703
The 1960 GMC TDH 4517-583 was a mong a fleet of five of the first New-Look buses received in May of 1960 by the Cincinnati, Newport, and Cincinnati Transportation Company - the Greenline. They were also called "fishbowl" buses due to the distinctively different windshield style allowing for much greater visibility over the prior GMC models. They were quickly joined by seven larger TDH 5301s in August of 1960 for service on the heavily used #1 Ft. Mitchell route.
Numbered 701 through 705, these buses were scheduled largely on the 11 Ft. Thomas and 12 Dayton routes. They sported larger green coordinated passenger windows, fluorescent lighting, advanced central heating systems and the new V-6 Detroit Diesel engines.
Painted in a simple, rather non-descript design when compared to the buses of just a few years prior, #703 reflected the downturn of the transit industry in the late fifties and early sixties. The inexpensive paint job (all panels below the windows were left bare aluminum) was an attempt to save money and to allow the Greenline to trade buses among its many properties without repainting. Indeed, in 1961 five more 4517s were transferred from the Greenline property in Harrisburg and after being renumbered 706 to 710, were placed into service in Northern Ky. no painting needed.
After serving well for twelve years with the Greenline, Bus 703 was transferred to TANK to continue service for another three years. When the AM Generals arrived in December 1975, the writing was on the wall for this bus and nearly all her sisters. (Bus 708 from Harrisburg stayed in the active fleet until 1982 and was the only 4517 to be painted in TANK's new tri-color design.) Retired life for #703 was in shuttle service for some years at Wright State University until it was sent to a salvage yard near Hamilton, Ohio.
Alerted to its availability in rather poor condition, the TANK maintenance department re-acquired the old bus in 2002 and with donations from some of TANK's vendors and the extraordinary skills of TANK's mechanics, Bus 703 makes an encore forty-seven years after its debut in Northern Kentucky.
Photos from aboard Bus 703 are below: