Originally written in 1998
In 1998, the TTC accepted a number of GM buses from Montreal. After a rebuild to bring the buses up to the TTC’s standards, they were released onto the streets. These buses, numbered in the 2600 series, are different in a number of ways from typical TTC GM buses. We focus on some of their differences here.
The gates at the rear doors on the former Montreal buses are called McKay gates. They serve the same purpose as treadles and push bars on other TTC buses — to open the rear doors once the driver has allowed the rear doors to be opened. There is no mechanical lock to prevent the gate from being moved. McKay gates were used on all Montreal buses until recent years, and were also used on trolley coaches in Vancouver. They have the advantage over treadles of encouraging people to stay off the steps until they wish to exit from the bus, and also are not contaminated with water, salt, and dirt, as treadles can be. They have the disadvantage that when you are boarding the bus through the back doors, you must pull the gate toward you. (In Montreal and Vancouver, it is not usual for customers to board through the rear doors. As on all other TTC buses, the driver can also open the doors without the gates being opened).
There are several TTC routes on which customers do not normally board buses through the rear doors, however. The most prominent of these is 35 JANE — a high volume route without a direct transfer with the subway. For this reason, the Montreal rebuilds have been kept in the Arrow Road garage, which serves the 35 JANE route.
Brown Vinyl Interior
The Montreal rebuilds have a very ugly yet comfortable seating in a dark brown colour. When you board a rebuild with the brown interior at night you notice immediately that it is darker inside. This is exactly the reason why the brown vinyl material was used. As study was conducted last year after receiving numerous complaints from drivers about the reflections on the inside windows of the rebuilt GM’s. It turns out that the rebuilds with the red cloth interiors had very bad reflective problems on the windshield of the vehicle under certain conditions. Trying various materials with observations and light meters it was found that the dark brown material was the least reflective of all and hence will become the colour of choice on all the remaining rebuilds and also the 2600 series.
The TTC rebuilt only a handful of GMs from Montreal, finding the non-standard items as the McKay gates to be nuisances.