NEW ORLEANS PUBLIC SERVICE INC.
FLXIBLE NEW LOOK BUSES 168-195 & 314-409
Page created November 8, 2008. Last updated November 9, 2016.|
©2008-2016 Michael Strauch. All rights reserved.
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FLXIBLE BUS ROSTER:
ABOUT THE FLXIBLE BUSES:The series 168-195 was bought to help convert the Canal streetcar line to buses, including the new Express 80 (Lake Vista) and Express 81 (Lakeshore) routes. They were an attempt by Flxible to offer underfloor air conditioning, with the compressor located in the engine compartment. As delivered, the buses came with standee windows. NOPSI covered some of them with panels and added Busorama ad wings in 1965. All were out of service by 1979.
Number 314 was a former demonstrator bus delivered to NOPSI in 1965. A picture in the Motor Coach Age issue of Oct.-Dec. 2001 shows a white background Flxible logo. It had the standard roof mounted air conditioning.
The 315-409 series buses with rear roof air conditioning replaced the majority of the GMC old look buses. Some of them lasted into the early RTA era, gone by 1986.
All Flxibles were equipped with express lamps over the front ventilators and featured a buzzer stop request signal. Seating was 51 passengers. Like the GMCs, drivers used a pedal that rang a bell when a passenger gave a transfer.
Flxibles were assigned to Canal Station. Earl Hampton, Jr. told me that Arabella never housed them, nor did Carrollton. Flxibles did appear on uptown routes Palmer Park, Leonidas, and Broad to Lowerline in the 1960s and 1970s, but the routes were stationed at Canal. Generally, the Flxibles appeared on the downtown, Mid City, New Orleans East, and Lakefront routes.
FLXIBLE 168:First of the series Flxible 168 at Canal Station in a slide stamped January 1971. "Bus Garage" was the original designation for coaches going to the stations. In the 1970s this legend was replaced with "To Station." One photo added 07/08/13.
FLXIBLE 170:Flxible 170 on the Canal Cemeteries route at Canal and Carondelet Sts. in a slide stamped March 1968. The headsign is not centered; I presume that the complete sign would say Cemeteries-River or Cemeteries-Wells. The more customary headsign with Canal on top and Cemeteries below, both centered, appeared on most buses. Decorations for New Orleans' 250th anniversary, including "Voodoo Queen" Marie Laveaux at left, appear on the street lamps. One photo added 11/15/14.
FLXIBLE 172:A rear shot of Flxible 172 inbound at Canal and St. Charles on September 1, 1964 in a Roy Gabriel slide. The Canal streetcar line had just been converted to buses on May 31. We have a good view of the rear engine cover with ventilator louvres for the air conditioner as well as the original lime green paint around the windows. At right is St. Charles streetcar 948 about to turn. Two photos added 04/21/12.
FLXIBLE 174:Rear shot of Flxible 174 at Canal Station in a slide stamped January 1971. One photo added 07/08/13.
FLXIBLE 193:Flxible 193 on the Franklin bus line at Bourbon and Conti Sts. circa January 1975 in an Earl Hampton, Jr. photo. The Old Absinthe House, seen at left, moved up a block to Bourbon and Bienville. This site is now occupied by the Royal Sonesta hotel. Busorama ad wings are visible on the coach, which is giving a wide berth to the horse-drawn carriage to its right. One photo added 04/13/11.
FLXIBLE 317:Flxible 317 on the Metairie line outbound at Metairie Rd. and Pontchartrain Blvd. (the I-10 overpass). One photo added 02/15/11.
FLXIBLE 319:Flxible 319 at Canal and Delta Sts in an Earl W. Hampton, Jr. photo. One photo added 04/12/11.
FLXIBLE 339:Flxible 339 is turning from Orleans St. outbound to Dauphine St. upbound about January 1974. Before the Vieux Carré bus line began service, Desire and Franklin buses would detour from Royal during the daytime when barriers were installed to make it and Bourbon pedestrian malls. Buses looped Dauphine, Canal, Burgundy, and Esplanade to return to the regular route. The spire of St. Louis Cathedral is visible in the background. Negotiating the Quarter in a forty foot vehicle could not have been very easy to do. Earl W. Hampton, Jr. photo. One photo added 04/13/11.
FLXIBLE 348:Flxible 348 on the Canal line outbound just past North Claiborne Ave. (I-10 overpass).
FLXIBLE 352:Flxible 352 on Canal Lake Vista is followed by GMC 205 on Express 81 (lights turned on) at Canal and St. Charles in April 1973. Slide from my collection added 11/09/16.
FLXIBLE 353:Flxible 353 on CBD Shuttle Route 1 outbound on Canal Street in the early 1980s. Note at the top of the rear shot the two vertically mounted lamps next to the air conditioner. These lamps were installed on many NOPSI buses during the 1970s and flashed when at bus stops.
FLXIBLE 358:Flxible 358 on St. Claude Refinery at N. Rampart and Canal Sts. in a slide stamped January 1971. "Song of Norway" is playing at the Saenger; this film adaptation of the operetta premiered November 4, 1970. One photo added 07/08/13.
FLXIBLE 379:Flxible 379 on the Desire line at Bourbon and St. Louis Sts. in a slide stamped January 1971. One photo added 07/08/13.
FLXIBLE 383:Flxible 383 on the Leonidas line at Willow St. and S. Carrollton Ave. in a slide stamped January 1971. The streetcar track turnouts from Carrollton Station are visible. One photo added 07/08/13.
FLXIBLE 393:Flxible 393 on the Canal Lakeshore line outbound at Canal St. and Royal St./St. Charles Ave. in April 1973. The neon signs of Royal Castle hamburgers stand out. (That's a one time chain of restaurants that sold White Castle type burgers.) One photo added 07/27/16.
FLXIBLE 401:Flxible 401 on the Canal Lakeshore line outbound at Canal St. and Bourbon St./Carondelet St. in April 1973. One photo added 07/27/16.
Flxible 401 on Express 93 Morrison on Basin at Canal Sts. in the early 1980s. The express lamps flanking the headsign are turned on. This was a novel feature unique to a small number of cities including Houston and Memphis.
FLXIBLE 402:Flxible 402 on Canal Lakeshore outbound at Canal and Burgundy Sts. in a slide stamped January 1971. This is a Christmas season, as decorative red and green holiday signage is visible on Maison Blanche. Kress and K&B Drugs are also seen. Two photos added 07/08/13.
ASSORTED FLXIBLES:A 300 series Flxible (Canal Lake Vista) in the neutral ground busway is part of this Kodachrome slide of riverbound traffic at Canal St. and University Place. The mount is stamped with processing date March 1968. W.T. Grant and F.W. Woolworth are visible on the right, while Dailey's Credit Dept. Store is seen on the left. Two photos scanned from a slide in my collection added 03/17/13.
Flxibles 187 and 388 at the Canal Station in the late 1970s.
A 315-409 series Flxible on layover on Canal Blvd. at the Cemeteries in 1978.
A couple of Flxibles from the 168-195 series at Canal Station. They appear to be out of service for good. One photo added 03/16/11.
A Flxible of the 315-409 series on West End Blvd. at Veterans Blvd./Polk Dr. in 1978. One photo added 03/16/11.
This postcard offers two 1960s views of Canal Street. Flxible 169 is outbound on the Canal Lakeshore bus line near South Peters. Construction on the Rivergate was under way, and the International Trade Mart (now World Trade Center) building is in the background. Flxible 184 is seen in a nighttime view at Canal and Carondelet/Bourbon Streets. Neither vehicle has received Busorama ad wings. I believe both views date from 1965. One photo added 03/16/11.