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Centro (Central New York RTA)

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Gillig was low bidder on the five-year bus procurement contract - according to the November board meeting agenda on the Centro website, the CNYRTA board will vote on a contract for up to 92 buses at this Friday's meeting with the initial order being placed for 18 40-foot CNG buses and five 40-foot clean diesel buses.  Gillig's 40-foot price was $430,679 diesel/$478,571 CNG compared to New Flyer at $443,660 diesel/$488,158 CNG and NovaBus at $486,316 diesel/$535,672 CNG.  The total contract will allow for new replacement buses for everything up through the 2012 Orion VII's. 

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On 11/17/2020 at 11:37 AM, RailBus63 said:

Gillig was low bidder on the five-year bus procurement contract

Jesus christ I was hoping the annual parade of gilligs was finally going to end.....

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16 hours ago, Orion6025 said:

Jesus christ I was hoping the annual parade of gilligs was finally going to end.....

Not if New Flyer and NovaBus are going to bid higher than Gillig. 

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4 hours ago, RailBus63 said:

Not if New Flyer and NovaBus are going to bid higher than Gillig. 

Just curious... Centro is basically going by lowest price? Do you recall if the Orion order was picked by price? Did the location of the Orion plant help Orion win in any way? 

I was looking at the Wiki, this order would replace the five 2900 Gillig and maybe most of the 2010 Orion CNG buses? Just looking at how the numbers match up... Both sets of buses looked like they were in great shape when I was in Syracuse about two years ago.

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2 hours ago, edison said:

Just curious... Centro is basically going by lowest price? Do you recall if the Orion order was picked by price? Did the location of the Orion plant help Orion win in any way? 

I was looking at the Wiki, this order would replace the five 2900 Gillig and maybe most of the 2010 Orion CNG buses? Just looking at how the numbers match up... Both sets of buses looked like they were in great shape when I was in Syracuse about two years ago.

Why are they going to replace the Orion VII NG CNGs if those have 15 year tanks atleast. We (MTA/NICE) have the same buses as you guys (#1700-1839 NGs and #1840-1884 3Gs) and our replacement buses won't be here for another year or two.

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4 hours ago, edison said:

Just curious... Centro is basically going by lowest price? Do you recall if the Orion order was picked by price? Did the location of the Orion plant help Orion win in any way? 

I was looking at the Wiki, this order would replace the five 2900 Gillig and maybe most of the 2010 Orion CNG buses? Just looking at how the numbers match up... Both sets of buses looked like they were in great shape when I was in Syracuse about two years ago.

The 2010 Orions were from another agency's option order if I recall correctly.  Not sure about the 2011 and 2012 orders.

The 2800's and 2900's replacements are the three buses just delivered and the upcoming 2021 order from Gillig. The five diesels in this new order may be replacements for the 2009 MCI buses, but I'm not sure.  Those '08 and '09 Gillig suburbans probably have lower mileage because they were largely used for peak hour expresses over the years. The 2010 Orion CNG's are workhorses but they are starting to show their age.

1 hour ago, Chris.A said:

Why are they going to replace the Orion VII NG CNGs if those have 15 year tanks atleast. We (MTA/NICE) have the same buses as you guys (#1700-1839 NGs and #1840-1884 3Gs) and our replacement buses won't be here for another year or two.

Like many transit agencies, Centro ideally tries to replace buses at the 12-year mark, contingent on capital funding being available of course.  The 2012 Orions will be around for at least four more years. 

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16 hours ago, edison said:

Just curious... Centro is basically going by lowest price? Do you recall if the Orion order was picked by price? Did the location of the Orion plant help Orion win in any way? 

Watched the Board presentation and the chairman brought up how Gillig is the furthest away and still has the best price. Gillig serves their market very well. The lower cost appeals to small agencies that have tight budgets. I can understand how smaller systems would be interested in the 'cheap' bus because they don't work their buses nearly as hard the largest agencies that have yet to purchase Gilligs.

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40 minutes ago, orionbuslover said:

Watched the Board presentation and the chairman brought up how Gillig is the furthest away and still has the best price. Gillig serves their market very well. The lower cost appeals to small agencies that have tight budgets. I can understand how smaller systems would be interested in the 'cheap' bus because they don't work their buses nearly as hard the largest agencies that have yet to purchase Gilligs.

The Gillig Low-Floor is a basic heavy-duty bus.  The city of Syracuse has some pretty rough streets in places and Centro's Gillig buses are holding up fine.  I've also ridden on a brand-new New Flyer Xcelsior in Boston that had been in service less than one month and yet rattled like crazy, so I'm not convinced that there is a North American transit bus available right now that is head and shoulders above Gillig's product. 

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I'm not definitively saying Gillig is a lesser product, but the price difference and their inability to crack the largest markets kind of implies that. Cold temp cities all have pretty rough streets. Higher passenger loads and harsher traffic conditions at all times of day also factor into how hard a bus is worked. Some agencies have vehicle blocks that are longer than 24 hours and Centro isn't working any of its buses for 24 hours straight. Overall, Centro has specific needs that Gillig can meet.

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23 hours ago, orionbuslover said:

I'm not definitively saying Gillig is a lesser product, but the price difference and their inability to crack the largest markets kind of implies that. Cold temp cities all have pretty rough streets. Higher passenger loads and harsher traffic conditions at all times of day also factor into how hard a bus is worked. Some agencies have vehicle blocks that are longer than 24 hours and Centro isn't working any of its buses for 24 hours straight. Overall, Centro has specific needs that Gillig can meet.

Gillig has traditionally been very careful about which larger transit agencies they pursue - there was an article in an industry publication back in the 1980's where a company spokesman mentioned that they didn't want to 'bite off more than they could chew'. That said, they have successfully sold the Low Floor in recent years to King County Metro, Denver RTD, TriMet, Miami Dade Transit. Metro Transit in Minneapolis and now MARTA in Atlanta, which are all in the top 20 of U.S. bus transit agencies so they seem to be gradually moving towards doing business with all but the largest transit agencies.  I fully expect that the eventual successor to the Low Floor model will be a heavy-duty bus suited to go toe to toe with NFI and Nova. 

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On 11/21/2020 at 10:56 AM, RailBus63 said:

Gillig has traditionally been very careful about which larger transit agencies they pursue - there was an article in an industry publication back in the 1980's where a company spokesman mentioned that they didn't want to 'bite off more than they could chew'.  

I didn't know this; it fits right into what I meant about them knowing their market. I think the long term durability of the bus is what it comes down to. As you pointed out, many agencies replace their buses right around 12 years. And Gillig has engineered a more affordable product that will last atleast that long. But the largest agencies (MTA, CTA, LA Metro) stretch their buses 15 or even 20 years and have stuck with other manufacturers for a reason. Thinking this through, they don't need to really go toe to toe with the other manufacturers because their is a need for them in the market. 

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