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I wonder, which TAs have the mid-width slide-glide rear doors on their Gillig Low Floors or BRTs?  It seems to be a rarely ordered option except if the TA is very picky about its bid specs.  Even for Valley Metro Gillig specified the wide plug rear doors to accommodate the rear wheelchair ramps although I am pretty sure it would have fit just fine with the mid-width since it is similar in width to New Flyer's standard size rear doors.

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13 minutes ago, Chinese Daniel said:

Why gillig don't make any articulated bus?

For a couple of factors:

1. Artics are way more complex buses to build, and I don't believe Gillig has such expertise.

2. The market for artics among Gillig's core customer base of small to medium transit agencies are not really there.  Those medium-large agencies buying Gillig for 40ft. buses tend to get New Flyers for artics (Like LYNX of Centrl Florida, Denver RTD, San Diego MTS and Port Authority Transit in Pittsburgh to name a few).

 

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7 hours ago, Buzz2kb said:

2. The market for artics among Gillig's core customer base of small to medium transit agencies are not really there.  Those medium-large agencies buying Gillig for 40ft. buses tend to get New Flyers for artics (Like LYNX of Centrl Florida, Denver RTD, San Diego MTS and Port Authority Transit in Pittsburgh to name a few).

 

Yes those agencies tend to get NFI artics, but is that because those are the only realistic option? Kind of hard to buy a Gillig artic (or heck, an ElDorado artic) when they don't make one. But otherwise, yes, Gillig's overall market of smaller agencies happy with the 30'-40' models probably hasn't made the investment in R&D for an artic model something they see as a worthwhile pursuit. (so far, we'll see what the future holds)

 

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31 minutes ago, roamer said:

So what IS the latest on the rumor that Gillig is considering making artics at its new expanded Livermore plant?  Quashed?

They are clearing the backlog in orders they have. Also you can see they are bidding on larger orders then they did in the past.

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It's not just the matter of designing an articulated bus - these days, you have to offer it in CNG and hybrid configurations as well as clean-diesel.  That is a lot of development money to sink in to a market that is already filled by NovaBus and New Flyer.

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48 minutes ago, RailBus63 said:

It's not just the matter of designing an articulated bus - these days, you have to offer it in CNG and hybrid configurations as well as clean-diesel.  That is a lot of development money to sink in to a market that is already filled by NovaBus and New Flyer.

As far as I know Nova doesn't even offer the LFS artic in CNG.  Remember that the challenge of designing a CNG artic is that they require running a flexible fuel line through the accordion, since the CNG tanks won't fit entirely on the rear section of the roof.  This was why New Flyer was initially reluctant to produce a CNG artic, which left the entire market to NABI (and prior to that, Neoplan).

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As the New Flyer CEO and others have said, the future is in electric buses. I think diesel is on its way out--too polluting and the filter systems are expensive. CNG probably also has a nice future--especially gas made from waste, called RNG.

According to the following FTA link: "Gainesville RTS will receive funding to purchase Gillig 40' battery electric buses and depot chargers to replace diesel buses. These buses will be Gainesville RTS's first zero emission buses, and one of the first deployments of the Gillig battery electric bus."

Jacksonville is also getting Gillig 40 foot battery electric buses, and so is Honolulu.

https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/fiscal-year-2017-low-or-no-emission-low-no-bus-program-projects

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Full adoption of electric buses is a long way off.  I think we will need to see batteries and garage-based charging capabilities reach the point where they are demonstrably cheaper than diesel or CNG.  I'm skeptical because hybrid buses have been in use for almost 20 years and we haven't seen the purchase cost come down, and various reports have shown that the supposed benefits of hybrids being cheaper to operate than diesel over the 12 to 15-year lifespan of a bus have not been proven.

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2 hours ago, MAX BRT said:

As the New Flyer CEO and others have said, the future is in electric buses. I think diesel is on its way out--too polluting and the filter systems are expensive. CNG probably also has a nice future--especially gas made from waste, called RNG.

According to the following FTA link: "Gainesville RTS will receive funding to purchase Gillig 40' battery electric buses and depot chargers to replace diesel buses. These buses will be Gainesville RTS's first zero emission buses, and one of the first deployments of the Gillig battery electric bus."

Jacksonville is also getting Gillig 40 foot battery electric buses, and so is Honolulu.

https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/fiscal-year-2017-low-or-no-emission-low-no-bus-program-projects

Gillig already is testing full electric buses with 30 foot trolley Advantage running.

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20 hours ago, TheAverageJoe said:

They are clearing the backlog in orders they have. Also you can see they are bidding on larger orders then they did in the past.

Ah, okay.  Thanks.  I read somewhere that the increased space at their new production facility was to someday accommodate producing artics.  Not in the near future then?  

 

Yes, electric is definitely the future.  As was being discussed over at the King County Metro thread, KCM is shooting for transitioning to a zero-emission fleet by 2034 in Seattle.  The step is to have an all diesel-hybrid and electric (battery and trolley) by the end of 2018 and ordering only battery-electric buses by 2020 (including artics) so that once the diesel hybrids are all retired, the fleet will be 100% zero-emission hopefully no later than 2034.

Post on the KCM thread showing video from KCM

Seattle Times article published on Monday

I guess it's the trend across North America:  "Working with other transit agencies, manufacturers and utilities, we are accelerating the transition to a clean-energy future, not only in King County, but across North America.

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4 hours ago, RailBus63 said:

Full adoption of electric buses is a long way off.  I think we will need to see batteries and garage-based charging capabilities reach the point where they are demonstrably cheaper than diesel or CNG.  I'm skeptical because hybrid buses have been in use for almost 20 years and we haven't seen the purchase cost come down, and various reports have shown that the supposed benefits of hybrids being cheaper to operate than diesel over the 12 to 15-year lifespan of a bus have not been proven.

I don't blame you for being skeptical. You make good points, especially since diesel has been relatively cheap since 2014.

But consider that all battery buses have none of the maintenance headaches associated with diesel whatsoever. No filters, no exhaust, no fuel lines. And overall I believe the price of electricity for fuel is less than 1/4th that of Diesel right now, even at a time when petroleum products are cheap.

Here is one study that concludes the following: "From a financial perspective, the savings associated with fuel (cost of diesel vs. cost of electricity) and with bus maintenance more than offsets the higher cost of electric buses including the cost of the recharging infrastructure over the lifetime of a bus. Typically, electric buses cost about $300k more than diesel buses, and annual savings are estimated at $39k per year over the 12-year lifetime of the bus, excluding health care cost benefits."

Source: http://www.columbia.edu/~ja3041/Electric Bus Analysis for NYC Transit by J Aber Columbia University - May 2016.pdf

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The problem is the capital cost, both for the buses and the charging infrastructure.  A few progressive cities like Seattle are willing to spend the money up-front for zero emissions fleets, but many medium and smaller-sized transit agencies are barely scraping together the money now just to buy diesel and CNG buses.  Where is the money coming from when buses are 60 to 75 percent more expensive and you need charging equipment for every one?  Until the federal government and/or state governments pony up some big bucks, zero-emission bus fleets are going to be just a dream for many cities.

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Thankfully, there is some state and federal funding going for zero emission buses. But I'm sure you are saying its nowhere near enough right now for all of the diesel buses that will need replacing. I know you are right.

One thing is that since there is large operating savings to be had, financing is likely to be available for the up front capital cost.

Proterra's leasing program (I believe BYD offers the same) is one creative way to help TA's get into the ongoing savings that electric buses provide. https://www.proterra.com/financing/

As more and more fleets turn to diesel, prices are expected to continue to fall rapidly, as they have been doing. It helps that Gillig and others are also getting into battery buses.

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9 hours ago, RailBus63 said:

The problem is the capital cost, both for the buses and the charging infrastructure.  A few progressive cities like Seattle are willing to spend the money up-front for zero emissions fleets, but many medium and smaller-sized transit agencies are barely scraping together the money now just to buy diesel and CNG buses.  Where is the money coming from when buses are 60 to 75 percent more expensive and you need charging equipment for every one?  Until the federal government and/or state governments pony up some big bucks, zero-emission bus fleets are going to be just a dream for many cities.

Yeah, I agree.  When I made my initial comments, I was only thinking about the very large agencies in both the U.S. and Canada as they are under pressure to convert to zero-emission fleets.  You'd have to think that the smaller agencies will continue to buy diesel buses or possibly diesel-hybrids for decades.

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19 hours ago, MAX BRT said:

But consider that all battery buses have none of the maintenance headaches associated with diesel whatsoever. No filters, no exhaust, no fuel lines. And overall I believe the price of electricity for fuel is less than 1/4th that of Diesel right now, even at a time when petroleum products are cheap.

Sure, you don't have any of those maintenance headaches to deal with. But there are all sorts of other ones that are specific to batteries. Bad cells/banks of cells that need to be changed out, high voltage lines that need constant monitoring, control circuitry and equipment that may fail and need to be replaced....to name just a couple that come up off of the top of my head. Oh, and don't forget that servicing these kinds of problems require all-new training for the maintenance staff as well as all-new equipment, which isn't exactly a inconsequential cost, either.

 

Dan

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11 hours ago, MAX BRT said:

Thankfully, there is some state and federal funding going for zero emission buses. But I'm sure you are saying its nowhere near enough right now for all of the diesel buses that will need replacing. I know you are right.

One thing is that since there is large operating savings to be had, financing is likely to be available for the up front capital cost.

Proterra's leasing program (I believe BYD offers the same) is one creative way to help TA's get into the ongoing savings that electric buses provide. https://www.proterra.com/financing/

As more and more fleets turn to diesel, prices are expected to continue to fall rapidly, as they have been doing. It helps that Gillig and others are also getting into battery buses.

BYD does offer leasing as a few USA systems have used it that only have 1-3 BYD's in their fleets.

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On 10/5/2017 at 11:32 AM, roamer said:

Ah, okay.  Thanks.  I read somewhere that the increased space at their new production facility was to someday accommodate producing artics.  Not in the near future then? 

Since I was at the APTA Expo I asked someone with Gillig about this. An artic model is being planned but it will be a while. I'm guessing there'll be one actually produced and displayed for APTA Expo 2020. Was told the battery electric design was more important to develop first so they did.

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I was just browsing Gillig’s site today and came upon the battery electric page for the first time today:

https://www.gillig.com/beze

The attached photo is cropped from the main pic on that page. Did I miss something? When did they introduce this front cap that looks like a combination of the standard and BRT styling options? Is this on any production buses anywhere?

C67A4081-E069-4335-B422-6BCD3B08A97B.jpeg

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3 hours ago, gilligfanboi said:

I was just browsing Gillig’s site today and came upon the battery electric page for the first time today:

https://www.gillig.com/beze

The attached photo is cropped from the main pic on that page. Did I miss something? When did they introduce this front cap that looks like a combination of the standard and BRT styling options? Is this on any production buses anywhere?

C67A4081-E069-4335-B422-6BCD3B08A97B.jpeg

I wonder who approved that design for the headlights... It looks really bad in my opinion.

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12 hours ago, gilligfanboi said:

I was just browsing Gillig’s site today and came upon the battery electric page for the first time today:

https://www.gillig.com/beze

The attached photo is cropped from the main pic on that page. Did I miss something? When did they introduce this front cap that looks like a combination of the standard and BRT styling options? Is this on any production buses anywhere?

C67A4081-E069-4335-B422-6BCD3B08A97B.jpeg

Interesting that they are going with Cummins for the electric powertrain--the first Gillig battery buses had the BAE traction motor (building on BAE's work with series hybrid powertrains).

Cummins is a big name in buses, and has the service centers in place, but obviously they are brand new to plug-in electric powertrains.

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12 hours ago, gilligfanboi said:

I was just browsing Gillig’s site today and came upon the battery electric page for the first time today:

https://www.gillig.com/beze

The attached photo is cropped from the main pic on that page. Did I miss something? When did they introduce this front cap that looks like a combination of the standard and BRT styling options? Is this on any production buses anywhere?

C67A4081-E069-4335-B422-6BCD3B08A97B.jpeg

Yes VTA in California has it on their hybrid buses it’s weird in my opinion 

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1 hour ago, Transit man2015 said:

Yes VTA in California has it on their hybrid buses it’s weird in my opinion 

 

Yes, second that. VTA... is the only place that I've seen it so far.

But with Gillig's total, hegemonic dominance of fleets from coast to coast to coast to coast, it's likely to show up elsewhere.

I agree, it looks odd.

The Gillig "BRT" package was a so-so attempt. I do -not- like Gilligs (looooong list of reasons...), but I will confess that the front end -- from the outside -- looks halfway decent with the BRT-style cap.

If the "BRT" styling is perfume on the pig... this mash-up is more like cheap, off-brand salad dressing on the pig.

 

 

 

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