About 15 buses that date from the 50’s are seeking a new home, as they are currently and temporarily, according to all the signs, hosted at the OSY’s depot (depot of road transport) in the area of Gkazi, Greece. The place where the buses are now gathered has an additional historic symbolic meaning, as they used to be the parking space of Athens’ old tram.
“Our team has gathered 15 buses, including some that are now in pieces and could be reconstructed,” Mr. Andreas Chronis explains. Mr. Chronis is in charge of the team that searches and studies the history of transports in Greece, called “The Friends of the Bus.” This team consists of people who explore their personal interest and experience in urban and intercity transports as a hobby, in order to keep the country’s history of transportation alive. “We decided over the years to document all of our experiences and observations regarding our generation’s urban transports, which were mainly buses and trains,” Mr. Chronis explains and adds “car drivers used to be something like heroes during our childhood, as there were only a few of them and they seemed to be something really exotic.”
Trains, unlike buses, have already found a shelter in the Museums OSE. The team “The Friends of the Bus” includes many professionals from a variety of fields, such as doctors, lawyers and self-employed people. The team aims to document the history of the country’s transport and create a related museum, like almost every advanced country of the world has.
The team has laboriously gathered plenty of photographs. These photographs belonged to old wheelers, bus owners and people that were related to the country’s transport field. Many of the vehicles that the team succeeded in gathering were saved at the last moment before having them cut into pieces, while others were donated, and others were bought, but all of them have played a great role in the history of our country’s transports. “Our goal is to demonstrate the contribution of the province’s motorists that used to drive to and from many little arid villages and kept those places alive,” Mr. Chronis explains, “in many counties, even during the 60’s and 70’s, the bus was the only transport that connected the villages to the rest of the world and was the only way to get food and medicine to the people who lived there. It is exactly like the lifeline ferry services provide today.” At the same time, the team wants to create this new museum as a way to honor the wheelers, who developed the field of transport with ingenuity and served the country’s needs the best they could.
The team also stocks several vehicles in another depot situated in the area Thriasio Pedio, Greece, but as Mr. Chronis explains, their transport to Gkazi is impossible because of the high cost and also nobody knows for sure whether the rest of the vehicles will remain in Gkazi. There is a project taking place in Athens that will link together the main archaeological sites of the city and because of that, the depot in Gkazi will probably be deconstructed.
Twice, or three times a year, one of these vehicles is taken on a tour of the streets by members of the team. The most recent “historical” route was organized a month ago in the area Ilioupoli and followed the route of the bus 152 that started from its base line on Akadimias Street.
Is there a museum in your country where people can discover the history of transportation?
The original article, published in Greek, can be found here.
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.