Skip directly to: Main page content

UC Davis Magazine

Volume 29 · Number 3 · Spring 2012

End Notes


Courtesy of Unitrans

A lift back home

Cheerio, old RTL 1014. After more than four decades of shuttling UC Davis students and other riders around campus and town, the 1950 red double-decker bus returned home to London in January. The diesel-engine bus — in limited service since 2007 because of air pollution regulations — retired to the Ensignbus Transport Museum there.

Photo: Brewer filling glass stein Geoff Straw '88

(Courtesy of Unitrans)

In 1968, the Associated Students of UC Davis launched the University Transit System (now called Unitrans) with RTL 1014 and another bus from the London Transport Board.

The student-run bus service still operates three vintage double-deckers from London — each of them running on updated, clean-burning engines — and two modern double-deckers.

RTL was taken by truck to Long Beach, then by ship to England.

A sendoff for RTL 1014 was a double farewell party. Geoff Straw '88, general manager of Unitrans since July 2004, also was leaving campus — to become executive director of the San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority Board. RTL 1014 was the first bus he drove when he became a Unitrans driver as a freshman in 1985. One of his last accomplishments at Unitrans was finding the bus its museum retirement home.

A capital idea

If you happen to be in Washington, D.C., this summer, make sure to drop by the National Mall, where you'll see a number of UC Davis faculty members participating in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

UC Davis will play an active role in the festival, which this year commemorates the founding of the nation's land-grant universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The festival will be held from June 27 to July 1 and July 4–8.

"Public, land-grant universities like UC Davis have profoundly impacted American life by making higher education available to many who would otherwise have limited or no access to college," said Patricia Turner, vice provost for undergraduate education, who is coordinating UC Davis' participation in the festival.

"Our commitment to solving problems in areas such as agriculture, health care and sustainable living benefits people worldwide," Turner said. "We're delighted that UC Davis will have the opportunity to showcase our contributions at our Sustainable Solutions tent."

On June 26, Turner will kick off a yearlong series of UC Davis events in Washington, D.C., as she delivers the Botkin Lecture at the Library of Congress, discussing African American folk artists and the Civil Rights movement.

Other UC Davis participants will include:

  • Charles Bamforth, the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences, delivering a mini-lecture on the science of beer making;
  • Dan Flynn, executive director of the UC Davis Olive Center, presenting an exhibit on olives and olive oil; and
  • Ann Savageau, associate professor of design, creating a sculpture made out of plastic shopping bags and discussing her "Bags Across the Globe" project, which aims to reduce waste by promoting the use of reusable bags made from textile waste.

UC Davis alumni gatherings are being planned for the festival, including a Fourth of July celebration, and bulletin boards will be available so that alumni can post messages for each other and arrange to meet at the festival.

For more information, visit the festival website. To connect with UC Davis at the Festival, see the Facebook page for "UC Davis at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival," or contact the office of Undergraduate Education.