Tag Archives: Omnitrans old blue

Visit Buster and Old Blue at the Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion! Plus, Event Route Detours

Come hang with us this weekend in Downtown Ontario! Team Omnitrans will be back at this year’s Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion Friday-Sunday with Buster the Bus and Old Blue, our 1958 vintage GMC transit coach. Take a selfie with Buster and step inside for a throwback experience in our classic bus!

Omnitrans will be located at Euclid Ave. and B Street. The free, family-friendly event encompasses a large stretch of Downtown Ontario’s historic Euclid Avenue as the center of vintage automobiles and motorcycles, and a wide range of food and entertainment.  See you there!

EVENT DATES AND TIMES
Friday, September 15, 2017 – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, September 16, 2017 – 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, September 17, 2017 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

BUS DETOUR INFORMATION
Detours for Routes 83 and 86 will be in effect during this event, along with several stop closures. See below for details.

Route 83
Northbound from Holt:

  • Left on Campus
  • Left on 4th
  • Right on Euclid, resume regular route

Southbound from 4th/Euclid:

  • Left on 4th
  • Right on Campus
  • Right on Holt
  • Left on Euclid, resume regular route

Route 86
Northbound from Holt/Campus:

  • Continue north on Campus
  • Right on 4th, resume regular route

Southbound from Campus/D Street:

  • Continue south on Campus, resume regular route

Visit Old Blue at Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion

Don’t miss the fun with Buster and Old Blue, our  fully restored 1958 vintage GMC transit coach, at the Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion September 19-21 in Ontario!

The event is free to the public and encompasses approx. 22-blocks with car enthusiasts and hot rodders parking and cruisin’ the 3-days along historic tree-lined Euclid Avenue and the surrounding streets of downtown Ontario, California near City Hall located at 303 East “B” Street, Ontario, CA 91764.

Sharing pictures from the event on social media? Use the  event hashtag #CruisinReunion2014.

OMNITRANS  ROUTE 83 BUS DETOUR

A detour for Route 83 will be in effect during this event along with nine stop closures. See below for details.

Route 83 Northbound
From Euclid at Holt
Right -Holt
Left -Sultana
Left-4th
Right -Euclid
Route 83 Southbound
From Euclid and 4th Street
Left -4th Street
Right -Sultana
Right -Holt
Left -Euclid

Bus Stop Closures
Northbound:  7911,  8123,  7140,  7141
Southbound:  7240,  7141,  7242,  7243,  7779

Andy Novak’s lifelong love of public transit

Transit advocate Andy Novak stands next to Omnitrans vintage bus Old Blue

Transit advocate Andrew Novak stands beside “Old Blue,” a 1958 vintage GMC transit coach restored by Omnitrans

For as far back as he can remember, Andy Novak has always been interested in public transit. As a child, he inherited his dad’s and grandfather’s love of trains which soon expanded to include buses as well.

“When I was a kid I used to love looking at the RTD [Southern California Rapid Transit District] maps and schedules,” chuckles Andy. “I was fascinated by the fact that someone could get on a bus and ride halfway across the city on a route.”

Later, as an adult, he found other people on the Internet who also liked buses.  He became actively involved with groups like Transit Advocates and The Motor Bus Society that would occasionally meet up to ride service or go on trips.

“The groups are pretty diverse, which makes it interesting. Many of the members also work within the transit industry as drivers, planners and mechanics. In addition to planning group trips, we help promote ridership and provide feedback to agencies based on our experience.”

Eventually he started a website called Rapid Transit Press (RTP), which featured his own books and photo galleries dedicated to public transit. In 2007 he published a special issue of his RTP New and Views magazine which covered 30 years of Omnitrans history and featured Old Blue on the cover.

RTP News and Views

Click to view this issue of RTP News and Views

“I had the chance to actually ride Old Blue back in 2006, during a Pacific Bus Museum trip,” Andy reminisced. “It was a great piece of history and the restoration job was nicely done. I think the older buses had a lot more character and style than you see today.”

Today Andy works as a ticketing department manager for Coach USA in Anaheim. The charter bus company offers sightseeing tours, airport shuttles, Megabus service and Amtrak thruway connections.

He is looking forward to the launch of the sbX rapid transit line and to getting a closer look at the new 60-foot articulated coaches.

“Good public transit is not only important, it’s a necessity. Not everyone can afford a car and not everyone can drive. And for others, it’s fun to just get on a bus and not have to worry about driving.”

Andrew Novak and members from the Motor Bus Society pose with Old Blue during a 2012 visit at Omnitrans. Click for larger image.

 

 

 

 

 

Buster and Old Blue a Route 66 hit!

Buster and Old Blue had a great time with friends at this year’s Route 66 Cruisin’ Reunion in Ontario.  Click here for a collection of fun photos from this classic car show event!

Old Blue at the Route 66 Rendezvous

Our beloved Old Blue was shined up and decked out with lights at the Route 66 Rendezvous over the weekend. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to climb aboard and say hello!

The Story of Old Blue

In 1998, Omnitrans began the search for an antique bus to be used for special events. The goal was to purchase and restore the vehicle in time for the agency’s 25th Anniversary in 2001. Omnitrans found Old Blue, a 1958 vintage GMC transit coach, in the care of a bus collector in New Jersey in 1999, and purchased it for $2,500. The agency has since learned that the bus began its life in service for the Los Angeles Regional Transit District, so it was actually brought “back home” to Southern California – via flatbed truck, since Old Blue wasn’t in very good shape when Omnitrans acquired it.

Work on the bus began in 1999, with major restoration efforts really getting underway in 2000. Old Blue needed a lot of TLC, and Omnitrans employees worked both on and off the clock to make necessary mechanical repairs. Once that was complete, the Maintenance Department asked some special vendors to help give the bus a much-needed facelift. McCray’s provided a new paint job, Complete Coach Works renovated Old Blue’s seats, Transit Care provided new window glass, and Firestone donated new tires.

Finally, Omnitrans selected a special coach number for the bus: 5876. The first two numbers represent Old Blue’s model year, and the final two represent the year Omnitrans was born, 1976.

At last, in February 2001, Old Blue debuted as the Omnitrans 25th Anniversary mascot. Old Blue has been the hit of community events both large and small, from local holiday parades to San Bernardino’s Route 66 Rendezvous, an event that draws nearly half a million auto enthusiasts each year.