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Gillig Corporation
Gillig Logo-a.png
Company Type Bus Manufacturer
Foundation 1890
Founder Jacob Gillig
Location Livermore, California, United States
Area Served United States
Industry Manufacturing
Products Transit Buses

Gillig Corporation is an American manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses located in Livermore, California. Prior to 1993, Gillig had also been a manufacturer of school buses. Currently, Gillig produces around 1,200 to 1,300 transit buses a year. The company has been in operation since 1890.


The company was founded by Jacob Gillig in 1890 where he opened a carriage and wagon shop in San Francisco, California. As a result of the great San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, Gillig's business burned down. The factory was soon rebuilt and control of the company passed to Jacob's son Leo. The company commenced production of automobile bodies and early model buses.[1][2]

In 1932 Gillig built their first school bus. A drop in sales for their other products lead them to focus more on producing school buses. In 1937, they purchased Patchett, another bus manufacturer, located in Newman, California. The same year, they built their first integrally-constructed school bus. Their first transit-style school bus with an underfloor Hall-Scott engine debuted in 1940. During the Second World War, Gillig concentrated on producing troop transports. After the war, Gillig once again started building buses and introduced a rear-engined transit-style school bus.[1][2]

In 1976, Gillig entered into an agreement with German manufacturer Neoplan to produce a bus of their design in the United States. Production of the small Gillig-Neoplan transit bus was short-lived as customers found the buses to be problematic. Production ending in 1979. Soon after, Gillig set out to design its own transit bus. The Phantom was introduced in 1980 with the goal to target small private operators and transit agencies.[1][2] It eventually became a popular choice, especially among small and mid-sized transit agencies. Production of the Phantom continued until 2008.

Gillig introduced their first low floor bus 1996. It was developed for the Hertz Corporation as a courtesy shuttle bus dubbed the H2000LF. Hertz wanted to offer their customers, particularly those with luggage and with limited mobility, a bus that was easily accessible. The bus featured one door at the centre, carpeted floor, and waist-high luggage racks along one side of the bus.[3] The low floor bus would later be made available to other companies and adapted for transit use with the first orders placed in 1998.

In exploring cleaner alternative drivetrains, Gillig produced their first diesel-electric hybrid bus in 1996. It used a series hybrid arrangement. Their second hybrid bus, unveiled in 2001, used the newly developed parallel hybrid electric system from Allison. Gillig also investigated integrating series hybrid drivetrains from other suppliers, which included Enova Systems and a Dana/Alstom partnership. At the same time, Gillig was also looking into fuel cell technology.[2]. They would go on to produced three hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority as part of the California Fuel Cell Partnership. In 2009 Gillig produced BRT-styled buses for for LeeTran of Lee County, Florida that used a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain from ISE Corporation.[4]

After over 80 years at their Hayward, California facility, Gillig moved into their new, larger facility in May 2017 at the Oak Business Park in Livermore, California.[5] Construction of a 50,000-square-foot fabrication and assembly building, a 27,000 square-foot delivery preparation building, and a 600,000-square-foot main facility began in 2015.[6]

Model Breakdown


Current Models

All three models offered by Gillig are essentially the same bus with different styling options. The individual styling options (i.e. frameless windows, dual-piece front windshield, roof fairings, and BRT front and rear ends) can be mixed and matched by transit agencies in order to "customize" their buses.

Gillig's products are available in 29, 35, and 40 foot variants, all of which are 102 inches wide. The trolley replica option was not available in the 40 foot model until recently.

Past Models

  • Gillig-Neoplan (1977-1979) - A Rear-engine design transit bus built as a joint venture with Neoplan, that was available in 30 and 35 foot lengths, and diesel or propane engines.
  • Microcoach (1970-1974)
  • Phantom (1980-2008)
  • Spirit (1989-1991)
  • Transit Coach School Bus (1957-1982) - A long-running series of transit-style school buses that Gillig produced prior to the production of the Phantom.

See also


External Links

Transit Buses
Types Articulated Bus · Bus Rapid Transit · Double Decker Bus · Low Floor Bus · Highway Coach · Shuttle Bus · Trolley Bus
Fuel Compressed Natural Gas · Diesel · Diesel-Electric Hybrid · Gasoline · Hydrogen Fuel Cell · Liquified Natural Gas
Manufacturers Alexander Dennis · Blue Bird · BYD Auto · Commercial Truck Equipment Co. · ElDorado National · Environmental Performance Vehicles · Ford · Gillig · IC Bus · Motor Coach Industries · New Flyer Industries · North American Bus Industries · Nova Bus · Optima Bus · Orion International · Prevost Car · Proterra · Scania · Setra · Stewart & Stevenson · Thomas Built Buses · Van Hool · Volvo Buses
VIN Pages Alexander Dennis · American Ikarus · AM General · APS Systems · Blue Bird · BYD Auto · Champion · Crown Coach Corporation · Crown Ikarus · Designline · Eagle · Ebus · ElDorado National · Environmental Performance Vehicles · Flxible · Flyer Industries · Ford · General Motors · Gillig · Graf & Stift · Greenpower Motor Company · IC Bus · Ikarus USA · Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg · Millennium Transit Services · Motor Coach Industries · National Coach Corporation · Neoplan USA · New Flyer Industries · North American Bus Industries · Nova Bus · Optima Bus · Orion Bus Industries · Prevost Car · Proterra · Saab-Scania · Setra · Stewart & Stevenson · TEMSA · Thomas Built Buses · Transportation Manufacturing Corporation · TransBus International · Van Hool · Volvo Buses · Western Flyer Coach
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 United States. Urban Mass Transportation Administration. Office of Bus and Paratransit Systems, United States. Urban Mass Transportation Administration. Office of Technical Assistance, and Transportation Systems Center. Energy and Environment Office. Transit Bus Manufacturer Profiles. , 1982.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The Gillig Story. Gillig Corporation. (archived 2002).
  3. Hertz Introduces the H2000LF -- The Bus of the Future (press release). The Hertz Corporation. 19 May 1997. Retrieved on 02 March 2014.
  4. Florida’s LeeTran Expands Bus Fleet with Ultra Low Emission Gasoline Hybrid Technology from ISE Corp (press release). ISE Corporation. Retrieved on 5 November 2009
  5. [1]
  6. [2]