Girls in a Fishbowl

Take one abandoned ex-BFT GM “Fishbowl” and add one local girl who’s into fashion and photography, and what do you get?

A photo shoot!

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times before, BFT operated with GM Fishbowls in the early days when they were first starting operations. As they grew older and bigger, they eventually started getting rid of the Fishbowls and moved on to bigger and better things (the Gillig Phantoms purchased in 1988, which were the first brand new buses they’d owned). I don’t know what happened to all of the old BFT Fishbowls. Presumably, some ended up as scrap metal. However, at least one still survives to this date.

Ben Franklin Transit #121 – 1961 GM TDH-4517
Photo Credit: Zachary Ziegler

This bus, which may or may not be the only ex-BFT Fishbowl left surviving, sits abandoned near the Richland Airport. (I won’t say exactly where it is, but it doesn’t take much effort to find it.) I first found this bus several years ago when I randomly came across it during an aimless drive in Richland. I didn’t think much of it then, but as I grew more and more interested in transit I remembered finding this bus and decided to revisit it again. I ended up visiting this bus several times over the summer, taking plenty of pictures of it, some of which you can see by clicking the picture above or here. (You may have also noticed that this is the bus that appears on my header at the top of the page.)

As it turns out though, I’m not the only one who has found this bus. Several months ago, Elsie Puig (who goes by @lcps on Twitter) took this picture of it and was then retweeted by the BFT Twitter. Even more interesting however are the pictures that Bess Byers (who goes by @bessbyers on Twitter) took. Bess also discovered this bus on a whim, as she explains in this post on her website. Deciding that this was a great location for a photo shoot, she did whatever it is she does (the world of fashion and photography is not my expertise…) and got some great photos. Personally, I thought this picture below was the best, but only because I think the windshield on a Fishbowl is awesome.

“Through The Windshield”
Photo Credit: Bess Byers

If you click the photo or click here, you can see the rest of the photos.

Though I can’t imagine many photographers/fashion nuts would be interested in transit-related photo shoots, it’s a cool niche to explore (in my humblest opinion) and certainly hope to see more of it. Anything to garner interest in public transportation, right?

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3 Comments on “Girls in a Fishbowl”

  1. […] over the years, as the old vehicles are great for that playful and coy look of a tom boy. So give Zac’s post a read, and be sure to check out the other shots on Bess’s Blog too as I’m sure you will. Zee […]

  2. J. Moore says:

    Hopefully someone at Ben Franklin will reclaim it and make the start of a historic fleet.

    • Zac says:

      I agree, but I don’t know how willing BFT would be to spend any money on it. Another possibility might be getting the CREHST musuem in Richland (http://www.crehst.org/) involved. They already own two GM “Old Look” coaches from the early days of Hanford, so of course this would be a great addition for the museum.


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