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Orion / Gillig articulated buses

 
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DE60LF




Joined: 03 Oct 2007
Posts: 142
Location: Albuquerque, NM

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:32 am    Post subject: Orion / Gillig articulated buses Reply with quote

It has been rumored that Orion was interested in producing an articulated Orion VII. Does anyone have any updates on this? Orion could potentially win some orders from their major customers such as the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). NYCT could also place an order, however, it seems they want a high floor articulated bus. NABI offers the 436, but the market for an Orion V artic would be very small.

Also, what about an articulated Gillig Advantage/BRT? While Gillig is traditionally a company who serves smaller TAs, they have grown and have won a few orders from some larger TAs. Some potential customers might include some large Gillig operators such as LYNX (Orlando, FL) and Denver RTD. King County Metro Transit of Seattle might have also been a potential customer, however, their massive order of New Flyer DE60LFs seem to suggest otherwise.

So, does anyone have thoughts on whether Orion or Gillig should produce an articulated bus?
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RTS_04




Joined: 26 Apr 2007
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd see Orion entering the artic market before Gillig ever would. Still, like you said, the market for artics is limited, and competing against the D/E/60 series or even NABI's 60-footers may be difficult.

I know some properties have solicited bids that require companies to provide both artics and normal buses (Millennium was shut-out of one city's process for this reason); being able to provide both may offer an advantage.
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DE60LF




Joined: 03 Oct 2007
Posts: 142
Location: Albuquerque, NM

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RTS_04 wrote:

I know some properties have solicited bids that require companies to provide both artics and normal buses (Millennium was shut-out of one city's process for this reason); being able to provide both may offer an advantage.


I have heard this is one of the reasons why Gillig did not provide bids for an ABQ RIDE contract. ABQ RIDE was actually supposed to do a piggyback order for Gillig Advantage Hybrid buses through a consortium led by San Joaquin RTD, however, ABQ RIDE director Greg Payne opposed the idea and preferred to order buses the old-fashioned way.

Because the ABQ RIDE bid specifications required that the manufacturer must be able to provide both 40-foot and 60-foot hybrid buses, only New Flyer qualified for an ABQ RIDE contract. Orion and Gillg don't produce articulated buses at all, and NABI doesn't produce 40-foot hybrid buses. If Orion or Gillig started to produce articulated buses (preferrably hybrids), they may win an ABQ RIDE order in the future, perhaps for expansion for Rapid Ride and/or for a replacement for either the Neoplans (made in 1996) or the Thomas/Dennis SLFs (made in 2001). BTW the 58 New Flyer DE40LFRs currently in delivery are supposed to replace the old 1989 TMC RTS buses without wheelchair lifts.
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RailBus63
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 1063

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I had to guess, I think we'll see an Orion articulated bus announced in the next year or two. I think they wanted to successfully introduce the Orion VII and work the bugs out (especially the version with the hybrid drive) before tackling an artic. It only makes even more sense when you consider the fact that Orion's sister company is a major builder of articulated buses in Europe and can help provide expertise. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Q65A



Age: 62
Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 1693
Location: Central NJ

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RailBus63 wrote:
If I had to guess, I think we'll see an Orion articulated bus announced in the next year or two. I think they wanted to successfully introduce the Orion VII and work the bugs out (especially the version with the hybrid drive) before tackling an artic. It only makes even more sense when you consider the fact that Orion's sister company is a major builder of articulated buses in Europe and can help provide expertise. Just my 2 cents worth.
Makes sense to me, too. I'd like to add that artics seem to be operated primarily by large transit operators in big cities. Given Orion's historical success with some large, demanding customers (e.g. NYC, DC, SF, Toronto) I'll bet that they will have good success if they were to launch an artic version of the Orion V or Orion VII. NYCT probably would love a hybrid artic version of the Orion V, since NF does not want to build more D60HF's.
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RailBus63
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MTA was 'sold' on the 40-foot version of the Orion VII because it supposedly offers more capacity than earlier low-floor models, so I would think that a 60-foot version of the O7 would also be attractive to them.
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Q65A



Age: 62
Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 1693
Location: Central NJ

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting info, Jim.
If I were working in Orion's marketing or engineering staff, I think I'd been working pretty feverishly on this project; could be another handsome payback.
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