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5 hours ago, Benjamin said:

I wonder if that would also mean that any Flxible Metros, Neoplans, New Flyers and TMC/Nova RTS IIs that were built with ZF and/or Voith transmissions were all just T-drive setups but offset?

~Ben

I don't know of any buses built by Flxible or New Flyer that were built as offset T-drive. It seems that they were only V-drive or T-drive. And while I'm not quite as well versed in Neoplan's offerings, I'd certainly haven't seen anything built by them with an offset T-drive, either.

 

With the exception of the few prototypes built by TMC and Nova (05 series, 07 series and the low-floor ones built by Nova), no RTS was built as a T-drive.

 

Dan

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On 10/3/2016 at 1:05 AM, Benjamin said:

I wonder if that would also mean that any Flxible Metros, Neoplans, New Flyers and TMC/Nova RTS IIs that were built with ZF and/or Voith transmissions were all just T-drive setups but offset?

~Ben

Neoplan and New Flyer high floors could be ordered with transverse or longitudinal engines.  The Flx Metros were all transverse, and nearly all RTSes were transverse.  None were anything like the LFS.  I saw an angle drive converter on a tour of CTA shops back in 2000.  It attached to the end of the ZF transmission, reversed power 180 degrees and then made a right turn towards the differential.  This was for one of their Series 50 Metros.

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Buried in the Kitsap Sun article about Kitsap Transit buying a Proterra electric bus was this little gem:

http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/local/kitsap-transit-purchasing-first-electric-bus-3e0f248a-4a3f-5cab-e053-0100007f177f-395911021.html

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Kitsap Transit isn't committed to Proterra for future purchases. The technology is changing so quickly that it's hard to know what will be available. Gillig, which built the agency's diesel fleet, also is getting into the electric bus market.

 

 

 

Edited by wskrayen
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On 10/9/2016 at 8:02 PM, RailBus63 said:

Not surprising at all.  If CCW is able to sell old Gillig LF's rebuilt with all-electric drives, why wouldn't Gillig themselves build all-new electric buses?

A lot of times companies don't adapt and so go the way of the dinosaur. Gillig is late to the party on this one.

Nice find wskrayen!

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1 hour ago, RailBus63 said:

Late to the party?  The electric bus era is just starting.

Exactly, geez just look at how little NFI has progressed with XE40 orders, and they just started hyping/testing those back in 2013 IIRC. Yes Proterra has an impressive customer list, but honestly looking back some of the pilot model orders seemed more for show and tell than for true everyday transit route function. And they still have yet to get their true cold weather tough operating environment test underway in Duluth. Granted this is largely due to DTA delaying their order until next year in favor of opting for the extended range package. Gillig is very wise to be cautious on this IMO. Let's not forget some longtime transit fleet managers in the Midwest especially may still remember the fantastic flop those hybrid and electric battery drive Bluebirds were in Cedar Rapids, IA...

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I appreciate you guys and your experience and opinions big time. But it is fair to say that Gillig is late to the electric bus party. Proterra buses have been on the street for more than 5 years. BYD and NFI were not far behind. Nova has now been testing for years and said they will have electric buses on the streets in Montreal in 2016.

There is still no telling when an all battery bus Gillig will be in the hands of a customer. Would you agree that Gillig is behind?

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The technology has a long way to go. That doesn't seem like Gillig's MO to jump in and be an experimenter. They seem to wait until the technology is proven. I'm mainly thinking about CNG's here mind you. And look at the Dayton vehicles- all they did was provide bodies. They didn't integrate anything I gather... that was all CCW and Vossloh Kiepe's handiwork. 

I could see Gillig waiting until a vendor is able to supply a drop in propulsion package. The R&D on an electric bus cannot be cheap, and I'm sure it's a gamble to an extent if you end up betting on the wrong technology/ vendor etc.

Who knows what Proterra's (and BYD's) future will be like. Sure, they're doing great right now and seem to have a lot on the horizon, but If the big three can build electric buses that equal or better Proterra, they could find themselves squeezed out of the market in the long run. Once we start seeing Proterra and BYD winning large tenders from some of the larger transit agencies then I think their place might be a little bit more solid.

And frankly, before we go much further with electric buses there need to be some standards within the industry. There's no point in an agency starting off with one vendor using 1 charging system purchased via 1 tender, then going back with another tender a few years later and ending up with something else that isn't compatible with the existing charging infrastructure. And that's regardless of on street recharging vs. garage recharging.

I feel Gillig will be behind if we see multiple transit agencies starting to tender for larger orders of 20-50 electric buses that are not intended for niche services, and they do not have an electric bus to offer.

In the meantime, Gillig is doing what Gillig does best and that's cranking buses for every corner of the USA.

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I think Gillig is smart for not jumping into the electric bus game. I'd say if one of these buses could last 12 years or 500,000 miles, then it would be great if they joined. For instance, Norfolk Southern was one of the last Class I railroads to order the Tier IV GE locomotives. They would rather see other railroads test it out and see how well it would work out than getting a batch of "lemons". Same for Gillig, until someone can prove that these buses can last through the FTA's requirements, then I'm pretty sure Gillig will throw their hat into the race.

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6 minutes ago, Gillig1109 said:

Norfolk Southern was one of the last Class I railroads to order the Tier IV GE locomotives. They would rather see other railroads test it out and see how well it would work out than getting a batch of "lemons".

I think you're off base on that.

There's a number of roads that don't have ET44AC's yet (KCS, CP come to mind) and I would be willing to bet NS had their order was on the books back in 2015 or earlier even, just as the first production locomotives were coming out.

No, that doesn't compare at all to Gillig not producing electric buses yet.

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Considering the large scale orders that Gillig has won in recent years (such as Valley Metro/Phoenix and MARTA), I wonder which major TA could they have their eyes on next.

If I would guess, I would think CTA is their next target.  CTA has nearly exhausted all of its options with Nova and will have to put out a new RFP soon. They could also potentially try to win back KCM as a customer, although I think it is more likely that KCM will exercise its options with Proterra.

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MTA :P

But seriously though, I could see them at least putting their hat in the ring for a CTA order if the volume bid would fit with their production. Now whether they would actually win...

I'm guessing they will also want to pay attention to their current customers. Metro Transit/MTS will be up for another 40' contract eventually, and they pretty much have to go with the low price as long as the proposal specs are good. So if NFI/Nova could match or beat Gillig that would probably be an NFI/Nova order. (I wouldn't bet on Nova winning though) It's the same for other cash strapped agencies as well, Missouri consortium, Madison Metro, MATA, etc. could all switch to NFI or Nova if the price were right.

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I doubt they will try to recapture DDOT in future orders within at least the foreseeable future, seeing as how the 2012 order was so unpopular among drivers and the sort. In fact, depending on the price, any future SMART 40' orders after 2017 (which at this point would probably be for service expansion) could ultimately be awarded instead to New Flyer or Nova.

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Just now, OR Transit Fan said:

Which is surprising because a Gilligs would last for MTA

It doesn't matter if it would theoretically last; if it fails the shaker test then the MTA won't buy them.  Gillig does not want to take this chance.  This is why the MTA wouldn't buy the New Flyer LFR, since the LFR failed the shaker test despite the 12-year Altoona certification.  The shaker test is not part of the standard Altoona test; it is an additional test that the MTA requires in order qualify for a contract with them.

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On 10/24/2016 at 6:44 PM, ABQ RIDE said:

Considering the large scale orders that Gillig has won in recent years (such as Valley Metro/Phoenix and MARTA), I wonder which major TA could they have their eyes on next.

If I would guess, I would think CTA is their next target.  CTA has nearly exhausted all of its options with Nova and will have to put out a new RFP soon. They could also potentially try to win back KCM as a customer, although I think it is more likely that KCM will exercise its options with Proterra.

I could possibly see Gillig recapturing King County since thier neighbors Sound Transit & Community Transit has fairly new Gillig. The question is, however, are they enjoying their new toys? 

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51 minutes ago, Gillig1109 said:

I could possibly see Gillig recapturing King County since thier neighbors Sound Transit & Community Transit has fairly new Gillig. The question is, however, are they enjoying their new toys? 

Pierce Transit's drivers and mechanics are loving their Gillig LF's they have. I think CT drivers love the 30' models they have also. So I would not be surprised if Metro got them since they are everywhere in the area

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1 hour ago, OR Transit Fan said:

Pierce Transit's drivers and mechanics are loving their Gillig LF's they have. I think CT drivers love the 30' models they have also. So I would not be surprised if Metro got them since they are everywhere in the area

Now if KCM exercises its options with Proterra then they won't need new 40-foot buses in a while, since there are enough options to cover the replacement of the remaining Gilligs as well as the 2003 New Flyer D40LFs.

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1 hour ago, ABQ RIDE said:

Now if KCM exercises its options with Proterra then they won't need new 40-foot buses in a while, since there are enough options to cover the replacement of the remaining Gilligs as well as the 2003 New Flyer D40LFs.

I Honestly don't see Metro getting more of the proterras. They have had issues with the current ones..

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2 hours ago, M. Parsons said:

What sort of issues?

I haven't heard of any such issues; KCM approved a purchase of 8 more Proterras as of last April.  The initial Proterras went through an evaluation period, and I would think that the issues would have popped up then.

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  • 1 month later...
On 26/10/2016 at 11:39 AM, OR Transit Fan said:

I Honestly don't see Metro getting more of the proterras. They have had issues with the current ones..

Just found this in a report on electric buses:

 

King County Metro in Seattle evaluated the Proterra Catalyst 40’ electric bus from 17 October 2015 to 31 January 2016. The bus was operated 24/7 over a period of 106 days to simulate a full year's worth of operating time. The bus accumulated over 52,000 km in controlled testing with a full-simulated passenger load, and underwent over 1,750 charging cycles. It experienced no unforeseen maintenance issues and was available for 98% of the 106 days. The 2% unavailability was due to regular routine maintenance inspections.

 

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