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The RTS Era (1980-1997)

Last edited by van2006ko on Friday, October 24th, 2014

During the spring of 1980, SEPTA received 297 RTS-II buses from the General Motors Company (GMC).  This Order consisted of three batches. The first batch consisted of 268 buses (8000-8264) and delivered to the City Transit Division. The second batch consisted of 20 buses (#8265-8284) and delivered to the Victory. Lastly, the remaining batch (4458-4470) were 35 foot versions of these buses delivered to Frontier. These buses are unique throughout the transit world with there famous earlier stages of the RTS model featuring the slope back. See below for a more detail assignment.




8277 on the 108 to the Airport. GMC RTS II

In 1987, these aforementioned units were retrofitted with the 6v92TA engine and Luminator Electronic signs.


When Phlash first started in 1994, A few of the RTS' were assigned to this route up until the city-owned Orion IIs (Phlash Phires) were purchased in 1995.

Photo collection of Doug Diehl

The 44xx series eventually were reassigned City Transit Division (CTD) depots before their retirement.  As shown in the photo below, 4458 operated on the old  route 25. The Route 25 was assigned to Luzerne in the early 1990s.

Photo collection of Doug Diehl


By Mid-1997, all of these buses were replaced by America Ikurus (NABIs) buses. After retirement, #4459 for a brief period of time was used as a maintenance bus operating out of Woodland Depot. This bus was used to transport crews to perform work on the light-rail infrastructure.

Photo collection of Doug Diehl

Also, #4462 was kept as an Museum bus and has been on display at bus roadeos ever since.

4462 Brandon S

Photographer: Brandon S.



Original Depot Assignments:

Depot Fleet Numbers
Allegheny 8117-8204
Callowhill 8000-8106
Frontier 4458-4470
Germantown 8107-8116
Victory 8265-8284


Entire RTS Roster









Serial Number


1980 GMC T8W603 40 96 American Seating 6V71 (R) Allison V730 A135-A399 8000-8264
1980 GMC T8J603 40 96 American Seating 6V71 (R) Allison V730 A400-A419 8265-8284
1980 GMC T7W603 35 96 American Seating 6V92TA Allison V730 A533-A545 4458-4470

R:  Was retrofitted with the 6V92TA DDEC engine in 1987


Fleet 8000-8264 8265-8284 4458-4470
Model T8W603 T8W603 T7W603
Quantity 265 20 13
Purchased 1980 1980 1980
Width 96"(2.44m) 96"(2.44m) 96"(2.44m)
Engine V6 Cylinder (6v-71) V6 Cylinder (6v-92) V6 Cylinder (6V-71)
Brakes Air Air Air
Seated Capacity 39 39 34
Wheelchair Positions 2 2 2
Manufacturer GMC GMC GMC
Height 9'9¼" 9'9¼" 9'9¼"
Length 40' (12.19m) 40' (12.19m) 35' (12.19m)
Governed Speed 2,150 rpm 2,150 rpm 2,150 rpm
Special Equipment Wheelchair & Kneeler device Wheelchair & Kneeler device Wheelchair & Kneeler device


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