Saturday, April 29, 2006

Don't miss the bus


Last Wednesday I was at the Porte de Saint Cloud (16th arrondissement) and I suddenly felt like I had jumped into the past: on line 72 (Porte de Saint Cloud to Hôtel de Ville) people were boarding an old bus from the 30's. After inquiring a little further, I found out that 3 of these buses had been put back into Public Service just for that day. So cool! These buses were built in the 30's and are really unique because they have a back platform were passengers can hop on or off. Click here for more photos or here to learn a thousand things about the Paris public bus history (only in French, sorry).

28 comments:

  1. Really Unique???!!!! The Routemaster has only just been axed in London. Really unique in Paris, maybe.

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  2. je n'ai pus passer ses derniers temps mais me revoilou...
    retrouvait un bus de cette epoque a Pan Am qu'elle découverte pour vous Parigo (héhéhé... un peu comme le salon de l'agriculture,vous découvrer la campagne...)
    a salute

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  3. No way?!!! This thinks looks like a model T!

    How long do you think they were in service? Does anybody remember? I could almost swear having ridden in something VERY SIMILAR in the early 60's, although the buses I remember riding might have had a little bit flatter and rounder "face" in front.

    Guys, do check out the Paris public history link that Eric pointed to, even if you don't read French, because they have very cool black and white pictures of buses in the streets of Paris as they were back then. If you click on these pictures, they enlarge. I even found one of my old neighborhood in the 50's!!!

    Thanks Eric for that piece of Nostalgia! :-D

    And have a very nice WE everybody!

    (Man, am I the only one feeling like a kid in a candy store when I come to this blog?)

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  4. (by the way, buzzgirl, did you get my email?)

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  5. I just love items from the '30s - this is a wonderful shot, as usual. Reminds me of the streetcars in New Orleans.

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  6. Everyone needs to revive some more of the wonderful things of our past more! I just love history so much and adore seeing things like this. Thank you so much for making my night a bit more complete, eric.

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  7. IT was in 60's too. I remember very well.

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  8. Qu'un autobus merveilleux ! I ride the buses here every day and would *love* to see this one coming up the street to my bus stop! I enjoyed the picture of the old gentleman being helped onto the platform at the back of the bus.

    Ujima

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  9. Ujima, I'm with you...the photo of the older gentleman being helped up is charming and reminiscent of the same era as the bus. Today when you get on the bus or the metro it's an "every man for himself" mentality.

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  10. Lorsque je travaillais boulevard des Italiens, près de l'opéra, il m'est arrivé de voir passer ce type d'autobus.

    Sauf erreur de ma part, il me semble bien que c'était à chaque fois vers le mois d'avril et les gens appréciaient de pouvoir monter sur la plateforme arrière le matin pour se rendre au travail, lorsque le temps est doux.

    Il n'y avait pas que des parisiens à bord... les touristes semblaient beaucoup apprécier également!!!

    En ce qui concerne la plateforme arrière, quelques bus plus résents en ont comporté une mais le principe n'a pas été généralisé. Quoi qu'il en soit, c'est une excellente idée, à mon avis, de ne pas laisser ces vieux engins dormir toute l'année au musée et de les sortir de temps en temps pour rappeler un petit bout de notre histoire en matière de transport.

    Amitiés

    Didier

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  11. Today when you get on the bus or the metro it's an "every man for himself" mentality.

    Michael, it's been that way as long as I can remember (and apparently I can remember all the way back to the 60's!) however, once in a while somebody will surprise you and help out another person or give up their seat when you least expect it. Have faith :)

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  12. what a way to add more charm to paris!

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  13. Tomate, yes, I guess you're right. I think what I mean is there was a time (ok, I'm stepping on dangerous ground now) when I didn't mind offering my seat to an older lady or man, but now I feel like I'll offend them. However, most of the time now, they're the ones pushing ME out of the way to get the seat on the Metro (younger people too). You can hardly get out of the car for people eyeing the one vacant seat and pushing everyone (including the older people) out of the way...

    On another note, I agree with you about Eric's link to the Paris Public Bus History...it's really excellent.

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  14. do you think you could fit a cow onto that bus?

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  15. merci pour le lieu de l'histoire de bus. Interesant ! :-)

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  16. really cool and nostalgic look, the back platform is interesting too...

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  17. A back on-off platform demands a conductor, whom RATP would need to pay. So, there went that idea, gradually. I suppose you could have a platform that was strictly an emergency exit. I still remember these buses, though.

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  18. What a wonderful way to pay homage to the past of the Paris public buses and great picture as usual, Eric. I also loved the other pictures on your "Making of" blog. Why were the buses put back in service on Wednesday only?

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  19. Excellent and nostalgic... Remembers me "Exercices de Style" by Raymond Queneau!

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  20. You might be interested by a blog only composed by daily photos taken inside the parisian metro :
    http://zohiloff.typepad.com/grand_magasin

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  21. Thanks, Julien! I checked it out, it's a pretty cool blog!

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  22. Today when you get on the bus or the metro it's an "every man for himself" mentality.

    On our buses, Michael, the signs instruct people to offer seats in the forward section to seniors. Works well.

    Ujima

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  23. I remember those open rear platforms very well. The funniest part was, they had a chain with a wooden handle on the end to signal "demande d'arret" -- exactly like an old-fashioned lavatory chain!!

    I swear I remember them as late as 1970.

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  24. The open deck buses lasted in Paris up until the early 1970s (71-72?). Anyone who has read any of Simenon's Maigret stories will recognise them :)

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