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New Flyer estimates that they delivered 35% of new heavy duty transit buses in 2011. They estimate Gillig delivered 30%--very close.

According to New Flyer they sold 1,811 units in 2011. That was down from 2,023 in 2010. Keep in mind that they are counting an artic as more than 1 unit. I believe they count an artic as 2 units.

http://www.newflyer...._q4_results.pdf

New Flyer estimates that Gillig had 30% of the total buses delivered in North America in 2011. So they estimate Gillig delivered 1,546 units (30% of 5154).

http://www.newflyer...._ceo_update.pdf

BTW, that Santa Monica report is a great read, so thanks.

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What I indirectly was trying to show is that a lot of traits that are desirable or undesirable can simply be the result of how an agency specs their buses, and, even indeed how they purchase their bus

My job RideKC got their first electric bus a couple of weeks ago. Still not in service yet. 

Care to explain a bit more? I'm all for people having their own opinions, but, just simply saying that something sucks doesn't cut it. You say the suspension sucks. Why? How does it compare to other b

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Lebanon Transit has put three old buses out to pasture and replaced them with three new, colorful, state-of-the-art hybrid electric-diesel buses.

The 15-year-old Blue Bird buses had logged hundreds of thousands of miles but had become an albatross around the neck of the public transit authority, said LT executive director Teri Giurintano.

http://www.ldnews.com/lebanonnews/ci_20954428/lebanon-transit-rolls-out-new-hybrid-buses

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Why do you think that is a possibility?

Well, it's TriMet's own fault about its financial difficulties.

Anyway, what I was trying to say is that TriMet is currently trying to resolve its contractual problems with its union, ATU 757, which resulted in the ongoing arbitration expected to be decided this July 31. These outcomes may or may not cause the impact of deferring or reducing the overall order.

One of these is currently being tested (ID #3001), and TriMet gave 15 hopeful passengers the chance to ride this in their preview before the fleet's official launch this fall. And if all goes well then the next 54 units will be delivered.

For 2013, per TriMet's website, they were also given a federal grant of $7.5 million towards the purchase of 18 buses (again, 4 of these will be hybrids).

http://media.trimet....ding-4-hybrids/ (dated May 17, 2012)

EDIT: In recent months, TriMet upped the count of the buses for the 2013 delivery from 54 to 68 units.

~Ben

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(video by 1MTSRider)

LADOT 1991 Gillig Phantom #91045 (ex-San Diego Transit/MTS #328)

Original engine: Detroit Diesel 6V92TA

Replacement engine: Detroit Diesel Series 50 or Cummins ISL (could anyone please answer this part of the question?)

Transmission: Allison HTB748

~Ben

Edited by Benjamin
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(video by 1MTSRider)

LADOT 1991 Gillig Phantom #91045 (ex-San Diego Transit/MTS #328)

Original engine: Detroit Diesel 6V92TA

Replacement engine: Detroit Diesel Series 50 or Cummins ISL (could anyone please answer this part of the question?)

Transmission: Allison HTB748

~Ben

You can't really hear the engine well over the A/C and transmission. But it's probably a Cummins, since by the time San Diego retired these, Detroit was either done or nearly done with the Series 50.

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(video by 1MTSRider)

LADOT 1988 Gillig Phantom 4096TBL10 #88012 (ex-OCTA #4143)

Original engine: Cummins L10

Original transmission: Voith D863.2 (T-drive)

The transmission may have been changed since the last time Eddie Anthony rode this bus. When I originally downloaded his audio recording of this bus from his old website in 2005, he listed the engine as being a Cummins ISL and I listened closely to the recording and noticed it was not (this may have been one of the few LADOT buses bought from other TAs not to get a replacement engine).

~Ben

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Just a few random questions on this manufacturer:

1. Why do Gillig and Eldorado National, seemingly alone among the major North American bus manufacturers, not posting any press releases on major bus orders on their websites like New Flyer constantly boasts?

2. How does Gillig sustain its popularity without the round-the-clock publicity like New Flyer, NABI, Novabus and the recently-defunct Orion?

3. How does the prognosis of Gillig's financial and market future compare to New Flyer, NABI and Novabus in light of the recent rumors that NABI is the most endangered of the four?

4. Transit Fans used to say Gillig has the worst-built heavy-duty buses in the country, is this still true?

And a question on its Low Floor design:

According to this discussion thread at Flickr's Gillig buses only group at http://www.flickr.co...57628456992517/, the poster complains that the Gillig Low Floor family is alone among the low floor buses that does not drop the windows down in the low floor section. While the poster says that would improves the view outside for shorter passengers, what is the reason for Gillig not to do so? and what are the operators' and passengers' reaction to this design feature?

Hope that someone can kindly comment on my queries. Thanks!

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For the windows, I believe they were initially carried over from the Phantom. Probably saved them money to keep a common set of parts. Maybe when Gillig comes out with a successor to the Low Floor/BRT they will extend them down, similar to how New Flyer reduced the width of the window pillars on the Xcelsior.

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#1... I could be wrong but I think New Flyer is big on advertising for it's shareholders

#2... They show up to the agency (most manufacturers do this) and show off their product, and score very well on the bid.

#3... I think Gillig's financial statius is good now, not sure for the future. I read somwhere on here about a year ago (can't remember where) that NABI was disqualified from a bid because they couldn't provide enough on something to do with their financial statius. I think that has something to do with warranty.

#4... I thinks so, however Gillig backs up their product with their warranty. Here in Buffalo the Nova's (LFS) we have are in much better shape body wise, and never needed a overhaul, compared to our 01-05 Gillig's which did. But NFTA is happy, just as long as Gillig pays for the repairs. Most things that go bad are the floors and walls. Which does create alot of down time for a bus... about 9 months here.

Low Floor Design... It is the way the bus frame is set up. There is a beam that runs across right below the windows. I see alot of elderly do not like this set up. I don't blame them, as they have a hard time seeing out the windows when sitting in the front.

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2. How does Gillig sustain its popularity without the round-the-clock publicity like New Flyer, NABI, Novabus and the recently-defunct Orion?

Gillig reportedly has excellent customer service follow-up with its customers.

Orion, on the other hand, supposedly had poor product and parts support.

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According to this link:

http://www.santafenm...x.aspx?NID=2770

Santa Fe Trails in Santa Fe, NM will be buying five Gillig 35-foot CNG buses. This is the second order of Gillig buses by Santa Fe Trails, and the first 35-foot buses ever ordered by them.

Nice find! Looks like ElDorado National lost a sale there. Santa Fe bought CNG buses from ElDorado not long ago, judging by their fleet.

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Nice find! Looks like ElDorado National lost a sale there. Santa Fe bought CNG buses from ElDorado not long ago, judging by their fleet.

Actually, Santa Fe Trails already operates two 30-foot Gillig Low Floor CNG buses, delivered 2011-2012. Santa Fe Trails operates an all-CNG fleet, and Gillig wasn't offering CNG at the time they ordered the ElDorado buses.

Now I am pretty sure that Gillig will fight hard to win the next ABQ RIDE contract after losing to New Flyer in 2007. Management has changed since the past two New Flyer orders (2007 and 2009), and perhaps current management isn't as loyal to New Flyer as the previous. However, what may prevent a Gillig order is if the RFP includes provisions for both 40-foot and 60-foot buses under a single contract, as was the case with the 2009 order which only New Flyer submitted a bid.

Speaking of ABQ RIDE, Santa Fe Trails was once interested in buying some of ABQ RIDE's 400-series SLFs to replace the Blue Birds to make the fleet 100% low floor, however, the test bus provided by ABQ RIDE had starting problems up in Santa Fe, and thus Santa Fe Trails backed off on the deal.

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Just as a little question, does anyone think Gillig may soon come out with a next generation low floor bus akin to the New Flyer Xcelsior? The Low Floor/BRT as it is now is a heavier bus than the Xcelsior, and perhaps Gillig should give its loyal customers a next generation product. In addition to weight reduction, here are some options Gillig should consider in a next generation product:

  • Increase the window height on the low floor section of the bus, with the bottom of them lower than on the high floor section for shorter riders can see out of them.
  • Except on CNG models, move the HVAC system to the roof and add a rear window option.
  • Offer an articulated variant.
  • Offer skylight rooftop emergency exits.

What does anyone here think?

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Just as a little question, does anyone think Gillig may soon come out with a next generation low floor bus akin to the New Flyer Xcelsior? The Low Floor/BRT as it is now is a heavier bus than the Xcelsior, and perhaps Gillig should give its loyal customers a next generation product. In addition to weight reduction, here are some options Gillig should consider in a next generation product:

Are you sure that the Xcelsior is lighter? IIRC, the Long Beach Gilligs and Culver City Xcelsiors weigh about the same. Both are 2012 CNGs.

In my experience, you have to look at the weight on registration tags, not the round numbers that the manufacturer provides.

Also, buses keep getting heavier as more equipment is added. A 40' fishbowl with a 6V71 and w/o A/C weighed under 21000 pounds. An early 90s Classic with A/C, 6V92, and W/C lift weighed about 26500. But Flxibles and Gilligs from the same era came in at about 30000 pounds, which is where the low floor CNG buses seem to come in at today, +/-. Diesels are a little lighter.

Choice of steel versus aluminum wheels, windows, seats, etc., can also affect this.

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Just as a little question, does anyone think Gillig may soon come out with a next generation low floor bus akin to the New Flyer Xcelsior? The Low Floor/BRT as it is now is a heavier bus than the Xcelsior, and perhaps Gillig should give its loyal customers a next generation product. In addition to weight reduction, here are some options Gillig should consider in a next generation product:

  • Increase the window height on the low floor section of the bus, with the bottom of them lower than on the high floor section for shorter riders can see out of them.

     

  • Except on CNG models, move the HVAC system to the roof and add a rear window option.

     

  • Offer an articulated variant.

     

  • Offer skylight rooftop emergency exits.

     

What does anyone here think?

It will probably come down to what customers want. The introduction of BRT styling and frameless windows have helped refresh the look of the bus and keep it relevant in 2013. Gillig remains competitive as always and its CNG bus is already winning significant orders (the latest is Columbus Ohio's COTA). I suspect that Gillig will eventually reengineer its offerings and will likely try to reduce weight to improve fuel economy but they've been conservative over the years so time will tell.

Any HVAC changes will likely follow recent advancements in the industry which seem to be moving toward rooftop applications, but the need to have a rear-mounted HVAC for natural gas buses may convince some manufacturers to continue to put the A/C unit there on all offerings.

Re: a Gillig articulated bus - I don't see it. As I noted before, Gillig has been a conservative company over the years and engineering an artic is not an inexpensive proposition. There is a lot of competition in that market with Nova, New Flyer and NABI all chasing a much smaller group of orders compared to the number of rigid buses sold. I don't see the payback for Gillig or parent Henry Crown, but who knows.

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Are you sure that the Xcelsior is lighter? IIRC, the Long Beach Gilligs and Culver City Xcelsiors weigh about the same. Both are 2012 CNGs.

In my experience, you have to look at the weight on registration tags, not the round numbers that the manufacturer provides.

. . .

Choice of steel versus aluminum wheels, windows, seats, etc., can also affect this.

I used altoonabustest.com to compare the Xcelsior and the Gillig Low Floor. I used bus 1015 (XDE40 BAE Hybrid) vs. bus 1206-P (Gillig BAE Hybrid, Red Rose Transit 183). Both buses were tested in the last two years. Engines were identical (Cummins ISB 6.7 280 HP). Both had Alcoa wheels. Both had frameless windows. The Xcelsior had seating for 42 including the driver. The Gillig had seating for 40.

If you look at the weight data, the Xcelsior was 700 lbs lighter at the rear axle and 360 pounds lighter at the front axle.

On fuel economy, the Gillig had an overall average of 4.64 mpg vs. the Xcelsior with an overall average of 5.84 mpg.

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