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YUL Bus Charters Presents CIT Tripper 2008

Text and photos by Shanake Mario Seneviratne

Given the demand to host charters from companies other than the big three in Montreal, YUL Bus Charters is pleased to present a new Fall activity for our friends. Entitled CIT Trippers, this event is the first of a series of charters that aims to explore the older buses from the smaller transit authorities surrounding the island of Montreal. We determined that our first edition, CIT Tripper 2008, should feature a Classic from CIT du Sud-Ouest (CITSO) which primarily serves the suburb of Ch�teauguay. The choice of the term Tripper is a play on words and something of a pun: a tripper is defined as a run that starts and finishes at the garage during rush hours comprising of (but not limited to) express, peak, and school routes.

On an overcast and at times rainy 14 September, our group agreed to meet at Angrignon Metro Station and anticipated #847, a 1991 MCI Suburban Classic. To our surprise and chagrin, #858, a 2003 Transcar Suburban Classic, was dispatched to us because #847 was unavailable for mechanical reasons. Upon my request based on the advice of some of my friends, we deadheaded to the garage to change our vehicle off in favour of #851, a 1994 Novabus Suburban Classic (ex-CIT des Moulins #5025 with original rollsign still installed). Everyone was pleased with our choice of vehicle and we then proceeded on our tour of Ch�teauguay. The objective of our charter was to photograph our chartered bus on roads with unique route mileage and we photographed most of the routes that CITSO offers. Following our lunch stop, we were able to photograph two CITSO vehicles in revenue service at the transfer point at Boulevards Saint-Joseph and d'Anjou. Our last photo stop was at the CITSO/Auger M�tropolitain yard and garage, where we were granted exclusive permission to photograph the buses on property. We returned back to Angrignon Metro Station with #853, a 2002 Orion Suburban V because our operator claimed that #851 would be best left at the garage for mechanical reasons. In the end, we all enjoyed three buses for the price of one.

We are indebted to M�lanie Morse, the charter contact, and our operator Claude Lavall�e for their exceptional cooperation and it is thanks to them for according us the VIP garage visit. We are also grateful for Maxime Boulianne's offer of meeting us with his 1983 GMC T6H-5307N ex-STCUM 33-003 which was planned as a surprise for our charter's participants. YUL Bus Charters vice-president Dave Demers was also a contributor to the charter's success. Given the results of our first CIT Tripper, you can expect there to be several more adventures within CIT territory, and we hope to also return to CITSO in the future.

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