Visit us the 1st & 3rd Saturday of every month 10am-2pm
37974 Shinn St, Fremont, CA 94536

Mailing Address P.O. Box 601105 Sacramento, CA 95860-1105

#2103 – Key System Transit Lines

Initial Service

Of the 547 “Old Look” TDH-4801s built by GM, #2103 was in the last order with 21 buses for Key System Transit  Lines (#2100-2120) that were delivered, new, in 1958.

These were replacements for Key System San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Railway “Bridge Unit” trains.

Service History

The wife of AC Transit board president, Robert K. Barber strikes a bottle of champagne on the bumper of 2103 launching the first revenue service for AC Transit as driver Guy Foster looks on. (Transit Times photo)

The 547 model TDH-4801 buses that GM built from 1953 to 1958 were unique to California. The bus was designed in response to the California PUC complaint that the TDH 5105, as specified, would exceed the California axle load limit. Compliance was accomplished by shortening the wheelbase and cutting the rear overhang of the 5105.  

2116 in AC Transit service

KSTL was sold to the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) which started operation shortly after midnight on Saturday, October 1, 1960. #2103 was the first coach to go into service for AC Transit (owl service on the I route, driven by Guy R. Foster). AC Transit continued using the 2100’s on the bridge routes, but as the coaches became older they also saw service on local routes, including BART bus service routes and service in Fremont.

#2103 Restored in “Fruit Salad” livery – Jim Husing photo

#2103 last saw service from July 1979 to February 1980 along with 2111 and 2115 as a training coach on loan to Santa Clara County Transit. She was retired upon her return to AC Transit in early 1980. She was restored in order to help celebrate AC Transit’s 20th anniversary in October 1990.

Pathway to PBM

On a long-term loan to AC Transit by the Western Railway Museum, #2103 was donated to the PBM in April 2013.

The PBM is pleased to add this restored and operable GM “Old Look” to the museum’s bus collection.

What People Love

Alameda for Rosa Parks exhibit

This bus is popular at local events as a reminder of the beloved Key System and its San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge “bridge unit” trains and their bus replacements. 

Plan Your Visit

How You Can Help

As a volunteer orginization, we are always looking for as much help as we can get. If you've got skills and time, and want to get your hands dirty, consider becoming a member.

If you don't want to contribute "hands-on", financial donations for the restoration of bus #2103 are also needed at this time to complete this remaining work. All donations for bus #2103 will be placed in a Special Fund account exclusively for the restoration and maintenance of bus #2103. Please make a donation today to continue the restoration of bus #2103!

Make a "Pacific Bus Museum" donation to the Special Funds account for for bus #2103.

Support Bus #2103

The Pacific Bus Museum is a non-profit, tax-exempt, volunteer organization registered in the state of California. We were granted tax-exempt status as a non-profit corporation by the IRS under 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code Tax ID # 1683391. Donations to the Pacific Bus Museum are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.


Restoration Status

#2103 is restored and operable. Replacement of two cracked windows and installation of side window rubber seals remain.

Ownership Snapshot

Original Owner: Key System Transit Lines

Acquired From: Western Railway Museum

Current Livery: Key System Transit Lines #2103

Technical Specs

Year Built: 1958

Manufacturer: General Motors Truck & Coach Division, Pontiac, MI

Model: TDH-4801

Serial#: 530

Powertrain: GM 6-71 Diesel engine with a 2-speed Hydromatic transmission

Body: Aluminum monocoque body construction

Length: 37.9 ft

Width: 102 in (wide format)

Seating: 48 passengers – Transit seating

See Also


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