Ever wonder what it's like to drive one of the famous Red Buses in Glacier Park? We had the opportunity to interview Robert Lucke, a 7-year veteran driver for Glacier Park Inc.
In a four-part series we uncover what it's like to be behind the wheel of these iconic automobiles, driving one of the most scenic (and narrow!) roads on the planet.
Take a look under the hood and hear both entertaining and informative insights from an authentic Glacier Jammer. Along with more than three dozen other drivers of these vintage touring coaches, Lucke proudly carries the title that has carried over from the 1930s,. Built by the White Motor Company, the original buses had standard transmissions, and drivers could be heard "jammin" the gears as they drove up and down the rugged mountainous highway.
The historic (1936 -1939) Red Buses are both a symbol of Glacier National Park and a reminder of a time when adventurous travel was done with style and grace. The 25-foot-long touring coaches were originally built of oak and covered with a aluminum and metal skin. Safety inspections in 1999 revealed signs of metal fatigue in some of the buses' frames. This forced the withdrawal from service of the red buses. In 2002, thanks to the Ford Motor Company, the entire fleet of 33, touring coaches was completely renovated at a cost of $250,000 each.
Today, the buses serve as Glacier National Park's transportation and touring system, allowing you to travel from one side of the park to the other along the spectacular Going-to-the-Sun Road and up north to Canada's Waterton Lakes National Park. They also link all of the historic lodges and inns in the park.
Glacier's fleet of touring coaches is thought to be the largest and oldest continually operating fleet of remaining White touring coaches. In the 1930s, the White Company built 500 of these buses for Glacier, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Zion , Bryce, Mt Rainier and Rocky Mountain National Parks. That was a fairly large production run of a unique vehicle and most of the buses in other parks were retired from service in the 1950s.
Click on the video clips to the left and meet Robert Lucke!
In 2013, Glacier National Park Lodges (Xanterra) became Glacier National Park's new concessionaire. Glacier's experienced Jammer Bus Driver staff continue to provide tours on the historic Red Buses.
Name of Company Providing Experience:
Glacier National Park Lodges (Xanterra)
Activity Level to be Expected:
Sizes of Groups:
1 - 17 (17 total passengers maximum per red bus)
Costs to Participate:
Varies by tour selected