The GMC T6H-4523A a.k.a. New Looks or Fishbowls aren’t a common sight anymore. Most remaining Fishbowls are now part of historical fleets or part of museum pieces. There is still one place in the America where Fishbowls are still seen running on fixed routes and school trippers – Altoona, Pennsylvania. Amtran still has six GMC T6H-4523A left. However, these Detroit Diesel 6V71N powered beasts have their days numbered.
Currently, Amtran’s fleet of 26 buses is powered by diesel fuel. Amtran is building a compressed natural gas fueling station at their bus garage and will make a gradual shift towards CNG for much of its fleet. Through subsides from PennDOT and the FTA Amtran will be taking delivery of its first six CNG Gillig buses during the middle half of 2018. PennDOT has committed another $5.3 million to allow Amtran to buy another 10 more CNG Gilligs for delivery in late 2019. Amtran also applied for another $1.6 million grant for another three more CNG buses, but if PennDOT agrees to cover half the costs, then it could leverage another six more CNG buses by early next decade.
It will be sad day when the final Fishbowl running for a transit system is retired.
Here are some pictures of Amtran’s fleet:
Old school charm
2005 Gillig Phantoms
2012 Gillig hybrids