Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Future of NYC Buses?

It seems that the NYC MTA is looking for some new buses. Yesterday I saw a Mercedes-Benz Citaro G bus undergoing a dangerous "Engineering Test":

I guess the test wasn't so dangerous, because I was allowed on:
If this bus is adopted by the MTA, I imagine it will get a different paint job (do you really think New Yorkers would let those nice painted orange poles go unmolested?), and those nice cloth seats will likely be replaced with something hard and plasticy.

Additionally, it seems that the current influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants, and the discussion surrounding dual-language signage, etc. has been resolved; in a few short years everyone will be speaking German:
In case you can't read it:
Im notfall:
1. Griff in Pfeilrichtung drehen
2. Tür öffnen
Google translate suggests it means:
In case of emergency:
1. Handle in the direction of the arrow turn
2. Door open
But what does Nothahn mean? Any German speakers care to enlighten us?


  1. Dear bus tester,
    the function of a "Nothahn" would be to shut off the door mechanics in order to allow to open it manually. So it probably means something like "emergency shut-off".
    All the best for any future testing of German products,

    (Vienna, Austria - not Germany, German spoken, though...)

  2. nod means emergency, and from my german dictionary skills, I can propose that ahn means anticipation. So, this is a note anticipating an emergency, which seems right.

  3. Cool! Thanks for clearing that up.

  4. Wow, not one but two German speakers responded almost immediately after posting. You have quite the readership.

  5. Nothahn...

    "Notfall" means "case of emergency".
    "Not" means emergency, a "hahn" has different meanings... First it means a cock (the animal), second a valve. For example the valve for hot and cold water at your sink.
    "Nothahn" is an emergency-valve.

    In German busses the doors have to be locked when the bus drives. Without locked doors the brakes will be blocked.
    In case of emergency, you can switch the emergency-valve. Because of the doors are blocked by pressured air it would be impossible to open them. If you switch the emergency-valve the air will be released and it´s possible to open the door.

    1. Wow thanks for the awesome explanation!