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What the heck is a UTS bus doing in Waynesboro?

February 3, 2007, 11:13 AM

Remember back in February of 2005 when I went over to Charlottesville and did some photographing at the University of Virginia, getting photos of the University Transit Service buses for Transit Center?

Well, I saw one of the buses I photographed at that time in Waynesboro yesterday. It’s an Orion I, bus 8338. That would be this bus:

UTS 8338, front view  UTS 8338, rear view

It’s parked in front of the Aaron’s/Goodwill building, next to where I work. It’s got huge advertising panels on both sides of it, advertising what I believe is a cell phones for soldiers program. I think the idea is that you donate your old cell phones, and then the proceeds from whatever they get from that goes to buy prepaid phone cards for our troops. Seems to be a win-win situation, as the troops get to call their families, and we here in the states can unload our old cell phones that are otherwise collecting dust.

I saw it at like 10:30 in the evening as I was leaving work, and had to do a double take. So I turned around at the credit union, and took another look. Yeah, those are UVA colors, all right, and yeah, that’s an Orion I, all right. Of course, the question then turned to why is it in Waynesboro serving basically as a billboard, and not over in Charlottesville where it belongs schlepping students around. That’s the million-dollar question.

I’m hoping that it’s not the case that these Orion I’s have been retired. Orion I’s are classics. They don’t make them like that anymore. It’s quite possible that they were replaced, likely by Gillig Phantoms, as that seems to have been the direction that UTS had been moving at the time I photographed over there.

Still, it was fun to see a bus (UTS 8338) that I’d visited before and photographed for Transit Center. I’ll see if I can get some photos of it in its present role as a billboard before it leaves.

Web site: The Schumin Web Transit Center: University Transit Service

Song: Theme to Bruce Williams's talk show

Quote: I was just like, wait a second, I know that bus...