The Museum of Bus Transportation (MoBT) in Hershey, Pa., opened in 2003 in a new $6 million facility about a mile from local attractions Hershey Chocolate Town and Hersheypark. Built with bus tours in mind, the museum, which also houses the famous Antique Automobile Club of America, has a range of features for curious travelers and transportation buffs alike.
The MoBT is the result of a dream by Charles Wotring, owner of Royal Coach in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and the late Richard Mcguire, former owner of Capitol Bus Co. and Capitol Trailways of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. Mcguire started the museum’s collection with his fleet of antique buses known as the Parade of Progress, which have a permanent home at the MoBT. Overall, the MoBT currently owns nearly 20 restored buses and coaches and has eight more on loan.
Dating from the early 1900s to a 1984, buses on exhibit range from school buses and motorcoaches to transit buses and other intercity vehicles. Models include a 1927 Fageol Safety Coach, a 1954 Chevrolet/Wayne school bus and a 1951 Checker transit bus. All have been restored and are in operating condition.
In addition to vehicles, the MoBT has scores of display shelves and showcases of memorabilia exhibiting bus toys and models, depot and terminal signs, time schedules and brochures, name and builder plates, badges, photographs and pictures.
The MoBT’s staff and board of directors is a diverse group of bus industry veterans and knowledgeable historians. MoBT’s president is Tom Collins, formerly of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Philadelphia, while recognizable names on the 13-member board include Clancy Cornell, chairman of the board of ABC Companies, Jim Lehrer of PBS and Frank Henry of Martz Group.
The MoBT’s display floor is also available for business meetings, catered dinners, wedding receptions and other types of events. In fact, the Trailways Transportation System and Motor Coach Industries are two organizations that recently held important affairs at the MoBT. A complete listing of the museum’s equipment and exhibits, as well as more information on MoBT features, can be found online at www.busmuseum.org.