History of the Neoplan 40 foot bus (An440) thoughout the Streets of Philadelphia

–> To History of the 1980 Neoplans Page II

The Neoplan order was the largest order in history of SEPTA before the New Flyers.  One-thousand-ninety-two (1092) units were purchased by SEPTA between 1982-1989. Therefore making SEPTA, Neoplan’s largest customer worldwide. While many buses throughout the orders changed, much has remained the same.

SEPTA changed their specifications on their new bus order each year. The Neoplan AK’s (8285-8410) which was SEPTA’s first order of Neoplans had longitudinal seating meaning all there seats face towards the aisle. However, there suburban counterparts (8411-8434) had only longitudinal seating in the rear of the bus. The back door features a wheelchair lift, which was also problematic forcing SEPTA to deactivate them.  Also, this is which caused SEPTA not to spec wheelchair lifts on their next few orders of Neoplans built between the years of 1983-1987. These buses also sported a nine liter Detroit Diesel 6v-92TA engine with a Allison HT-747 transmission.


#8433 – collection of Doug Diehl
The earlier Neoplans were delivered with bulk headed painted white. Several years later, given to issues with sun glare, these bulkheads were repainted to an darker color.


The 1983-1985 delivery of Neoplans were part of Penn Dot’s 1000 bus order for the entire state of Pennsylvania.  SEPTA received about 600 buses from this order, Pittsburgh received around 300. The remaining were split up among the smaller transportation authorities across the state. 

The seating arrangements on the 1983 (BD) order were single seating on the curb side of the bus with red and blue hard American Standard plastic seats on the city transit units. Unlike the previous (AK) order, the seats were transverse with forward facing seating.

As for the BM/CD 1984-1985 changes were the transmission which was the Allison HTB 748 and a few other modifications as well. A total of 275 of these coaches were built from both of these orders. There fleet numbers were “8601-8875”, most of these units throughout the years made there way around the systems.


Photos are a collection of Doug Diehl