In 1955, Muni knew how to roll out its new rides
What isn’t there to love about this photo? A bus raised above stupid street level. An English bulldog, snorting and heh-heh-hehing. A bunch of white men in suits, some holding their top hats, showing off their shiny new public transit vehicle.
Via Muni Diaries Live alum and all around Mr. Awesome, Peter Hartlaub: “Give these 1955 @sfmta_muni execs credit: When they unveiled a new bus, they valued showmanship.”
I don’t see any top hats. Those are just ordinary, everyday Eisenhower-era men’s hats.
The bulldog was the mascot of the Mack Company. The buses were on a long-term lease from Mack. (It was the only way Muni could get new buses without a bond issue which voters usually vote down.) But the buses did last until the GMCs were purchased by the Muni Ry. Improvement Corp. in the late 1960s. (That was another way of getting new buses without a bond issue.)
These days, people are more likely to complain about the cost of each bus (never mind that it lasts 15 years) and on how it is powered (clean diesel fans versus hybrid fans) and whether there were any under the table deals with the bus maker.
Oh, incidentally, Mack is reputed to have built the first motor bus in 1900 by fastening benches to the bed of a Mack flatbed truck.