San Francisco's Vintage Buses

No. 5300

Flyer Trolley Coach

Built 1976 • Operational

When Muni converted two dozen streetcar lines to buses at the end of the 1940s, it bought 255 trolley coaches from three manufacturers (Marmon-Herrington, Twin Coach, and St. Louis Car Company). By the mid-1970s, these buses were at the end of their lives. They were all replaced by a new fleet of trolley coaches from Canada’s Flyer Co. The front ends of the Flyers resembled the GM “New Look” diesel coaches Muni was then using, but the sides appeared different, with squared-off windows. They arrived in the iconic livery of “California Poppy Gold,” “Sunset Glow,” and white created for Muni by famed San Francisco industrial designer Walter Landor.

Flyer Trolley Coach
Flyer Trolley Coach 5300 at the 6-Parnassus line terminal, 14th and Quintara Streets in Sunset Heights, 2012.

The Flyer trolley coach fleet totaled 345 coaches (including two rarely operated prototypes). This larger fleet enabled Muni to electrify diesel lines with sharp grades, such as the 24-Divisadero and the 55-Sacramento (which was then combined with the 1-California line.

Coach 5300 was delivered in 1976 and was among the last of the Flyers retired from regular service in 2007. It has been maintained in operating condition and appears at special events. Two other coaches from this group (5148 and 5345) have been retained by Muni in nonoperational condition.

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