January 30, 2012

UC Davis returning double-deck bus to UK

UC Davis' double-deck buses, shown from left to right: the RT 3123; RT 742; RTL 1014, and a modern Alexander Dennis.

UC Davis' double-deck buses, shown from left to right: the RT 3123; RT 742; RTL 1014, and a modern Alexander Dennis.

Fans of the historic double-deck Unitrans buses that serve the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and the city of Davis will gather to say "bon voyage" to one of the fleet's original buses.

The bus, designated RTL 1014, is going home — to be shipped out of Long Beach, Calif., next week, bound for London's Ensignbus Transport Museum. The museum bought the 1950 bus through the campus Bargain Barn.

The Associated Students of UC Davis launched the University Transit System (now called Unitrans) with RTL 1014 and another bus from the London Transport Board in 1968. The buses, and other vintage double-decks acquired since then, are UC Davis icons.

While RTL 1014 has been limited to special service since 2007, the student-run bus service still operates three vintage double-decks from London — each of them running on updated, clean-burning engines — and two modern double-decks.

Of the fleet's 49 buses, 44 run on compressed natural gas, and the others use biodiesel. Half of the buses are model year 2009 or later.

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