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Quebec Tripper 2009

Text and Photos By Shanake Mario Seneviratne

Based on the idea of CIT Trippers and Ontario Trippers, YUL Bus Charters wanted to host a significant fan charter outside of Montreal. The original objective of Quebec Tripper 2009 was to charter a very special bus in Quebec City: the last remaining 1992 articulated MCI Classic before its retirement. Only two of these buses (A9225 and A9226) were operated by the R�seau de transport de la Capitale, the successor of the Soci�t� de transport de la Communaut� urbaine de Qu�bec. Much to our disappointment, the last remaining articulated bus (A9225) was deemed no longer roadworthy and was unfortunately retired on the day before our charter, 6 June. Nevertheless, under both clear and rainy skies, we undertook our charter with 1991 MCI Classic L9124 in the current RTC livery instead of the much desired STCUQ livery. The prefix L in the fleet number is a designation used by the RTC to denote that the bus is to be used on a limited basis. Typically, buses with these prefix are used only at peak hours.

Essentially, the unique concept of the charter was mostly rendered redundant by the fact that the articulated Classic was planned to be signed up on routes that have never seen service with a 60-foot bus. Photographing a regular bus on regular routes was hardly uncommon. However, we managed to still offer acceptable photo opportunities at Terminus du Zoo, Terminus Beauport, in front of the National Assembly, within the fortifications of beautiful and historic Old Quebec, at Belvedere Metrobus Station, Universit� Laval, and finally Terminus des Saules. We offered photo opportunities that most of our participants never took advantage of before.

The mood of all participants considerably improved when two of the participants, Martin Caron and F�lix Parent-Rocheleau invited us to Trois-Rivi�res immediately after the Quebec Tripper to visit their newly acquired 1982 GM New Look, 8202, formerly of the Soci�t� de transport de l?Outaouais in Gatineau. All of the participants happily made their way to Trois-Rivi�res for a nice improvised sunset charter. The kindness of Martin and F�lix was greatly welcomed by everybody, and we wish them the best of luck in their endeavour to restore and enjoy this vehicle for years to come.

Although YUL Bus Charters sincerely regretted that we could not offer our participants the bus that was originally requested, we still managed to make the best out of the situation that we faced. Indeed, we still were able to take pictures of both articulated buses at the garage, even though we knew that they would never see service again. A few months later, the first articulated buses of Quebec City were taken to Capital Bus Parts across the St. Lawrence River in nearby Saint-Romuald, and were subsequently scrapped. In Fall 2009, deliveries of the new Nova LFS Artics were seen in the Quebec City area. It is unfortunate that 9225 and 9226 were retired before the arrival of the new low-floor artics and therefore were not available to ?pass the torch? to the next generation of Quebec City articulated buses.

We thank the efforts of the local transit expert and self-proclaimed busfan Jacques Matte for the planning of this charter. We also would like to express our appreciation to our driver Jacynthe and to Marie-Claude Huot for helping us plan the charter on the administrative side of things. Claude D�ziel was kind enough to offer high quality photographs from his personal collection up for one of our traditional raffles. The generosity of Martin Caron and F�lix Parent-Rocheleau will not be forgotten. Finally, we are grateful for those that traveled several hundred kilometres to join us on our activity. Should there be another Quebec Tripper, we will certainly learn from the lessons of this day.

Pour nos héros

© 2007 Réseaux Hay-Net Networks