PSTA’s Gillig Low Floor Buses

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Page Updated on 3/11/17
Uploaded 14 new photos – galleries are updated to 3/12/16.

Further updates to the gallery are in progress.

Welcome to the PSTA Gillig Low Floor page! PSTA has had low floor buses since the late 1990s and currently only posses these types of buses for its local, circulator, and trolley routes. In fact, since 2010, the agency has gone to an almost all-Gillig Low Floor fleet, retiring its New Flyer Low Floor buses from 1996, 1997, and 1998. The only exception, is the fleet of 10 2003-series Motor Coach Industries (MCI) 40-foot coaches that are used for Routes 100X and 300X.

Currently, the oldest fleet of buses that PSTA has in revenue service is from 2001. While most of the 2001 and 2002 series buses are painted in the current blue and white livery, some buses still don the old white livery with gray and orange stripes. I have a feeling that some of these buses will be retired in the coming years as they reach the ends of their working lives.

To note; all of PSTA’s diesel Gillig buses are powered with either Cummins ISL or ISM engines, and Voith transmissions (which are most recognizable by the “whistling” noise they make as the bus slows down). As you’ll see throughout the photo galleries, each model bus has different options, such as seating arrangement, different style of wheelchair lifts, etc. None of the buses have opening side windows, a characteristic that some agencies possess.

Please scroll to the last section of this page to view the Express MCI Coaches. While this is primarily a Gillig bus page, the MCI coaches reaching the ends of their lives soon. So therefore, it is not proper to place these buses into their own page at this time. When the time comes for the retirement of #’s 2306, 2308, & 2309, I will place them into a future Retired Fleet page.


Contributor Photos

Some photos on this page were contributed by Carlos A. (THE South Florida Transitfan). Contributor photos will be noted accordingly.


2001-series 40-foot Gillig Low Floor (Unit #s 2101 through 2116)

The sixteen 2001-series Gillig Low Floor buses are virtually identical to the 2001-series Gilligs that HART possesses. The only real difference are agency liveries (of course) and interior layout. All active buses were repainted during the course of 2013 through 2015.

As of September, 2015; #’s 2102 through 2104, 2110, and 2111 are no longer in active service.

#2110 on Route 4 at the Goodwill facility on Gandy Blvd N. This was one of a handful of buses that still possessed the old PSTA livery. Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.
#2110 on Route 4 at the Goodwill facility on Gandy Blvd N. This was one of a handful of buses that still possessed the old PSTA livery. Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.

 2002-series 30/40-foot Gillig Low Floor (Unit #s 2201 through 2210 & 2230 through 2233)

Virtually every Gillig transit bus order from 2002 going forward was a split order, meaning that each order comprised of either a batch of 40-foot buses and 35-foot buses, a batch of 40-foot and 30-foot buses, or in one case, all three lengths. In the 2002 order, the buses are split between 30-foot and 40-foot variants. The 30-foot buses tend to run on routes that have lower capacity. All active buses were repainted during the course of 2013 through 2015.

As of September, 2015; #’s 2210 and 2231 are no longer in active service. #2230 was also pulled from active service and was later used in a road crash simulation test.

#2203 on US 19, Route 74.
#2203 on US 19, Route 74. Old livery.

 2005-series 30/35/40-foot Gillig Low Floor (Unit #s 2501 through 2508, 2510 through 2517, & 2530 through 2534)

This split order of Gilligs comprises of all three lengths. The 30-footers are currently subbing in for the 2012 North County Connector cutaway vans due to manufacturer problems. Please do not ask me what these problems are – as I only know limited information.

As of September, 2015; #2512 is no longer in active service.


 2006-series 35/40-foot Gillig Low Floor (Unit #s 2601 through 2636 & 2650 through 2661)

The 2006 Gillig batch is the first for PSTA to have “framless” windows, meaning that the exterior window frames are squared instead of curved. Many transit agencies go with this window style to add a sleek, modern look to their transit fleets.

As of September, 2015; #’s 2622 & 2626 are no longer in active service.


 2007-series 35/40-foot Gillig Low Floor (Unit #s 2701 through 2718)

The 2007 Gilligs are similar to their 2006 counterparts with only interior seating varying.


 2008-series 35/40-foot Gillig Low Floor (Unit #s 2801 through 2815 & 2830 through 2835)

The 2008-series Gilligs are powered by Clean Diesel, which is what many transit bus manufacturers have been moving towards when it comes to diesel fueled transit vehicles. The main difference with these newer buses is the particulate tailpipe. Otherwise, these buses look nearly identical to their 2006 and 2007 counterparts.

Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.
#2834 on the Pinellas Park Shuttle (Route 444). Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.
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The rear of #2834. Notice the tailpipe. Photo Credit: HARTride 2012.

 Replica Trolleys – 35-foot Gillig Low Floor [Unit #s (2)720 through (2)722, (2)820 through (2)825, & (2)920 through (2)926]

The Suncoast Beach Trolley and the earlier variant of the Central Ave Trolley both used to run replica trolleybuses that were manufactured by either Optima/Chance, Cable Car Concepts, Trolley Enterprises, or Supreme Corp. The latter two are still used on city-owned services such as the St. Pete Downtown Looper. Today, PSTA utilizes an all-Gillig replica trolley fleet.

The Gillig Low Floor Replica Trolley is offered through a collaboration between Gillig Corporation and Cable Car Classics. It effectively blends in the standard Gillig Low Floor bus with add-on features to create the appearance of an old-fashioned trolley. Additionally, these trolleys are also manufactured with the hybrid drive option.

The exterior incorporates weatherproof, wood-looking trim and decals, along with a cosmetic cupola and a brass bell to convey the traditional trolley appearance. The interior includes solid oak seating, similar to a traditional streetcar. Yes, the bell even works!

The 2007 (with fleet numbers 7XX) and the 2008 fleets (with fleet numbers 8XX) are diesel powered, whereas the 2009 fleet (with fleet numbers 9XX) are diesel-electric hybrids (the hybrid components are stored within the decorative rooftop elements). To note, PSTA uses 3-digit fleet numbers to distinguish the trolleybuses from the rest of the bus fleet.

Buses that have blue liveries are typically assigned to the Suncoast Beach Trolley, while yellow buses are typically assigned to the Central Ave Trolley. However, depending on how the buses are handed out each day, either model bus can run interchangeably on each other’s routes. In fact, as of mid 2016, each trolley route operates at least one hybrid bus.

Apparently, some of the fleet was originally adorned with the replica bench seating but later replaced by standard transit bus seats. Why PSTA did this, I do not know, but I do respect their decision.


 The “Smartbuses”

Unit #’s include:

#2901 through 2903 – 2009 35-foot Gillig Low Floor BRT Hybrid Drive

#2910 & 2911 – 2009 35-foot Gillig Low Floor BRT Clean Diesel

#10101 through 10114 – 2010 35-foot Gillig Low Floor BRT Hybrid Drive

#12101 through 12108 – 2012 40-foot Gillig Low Floor BRT Hybrid Drive

#13101 through 13108 – 2013 40-foot Gillig Low Floor BRT Hybrid Drive

#14101 through 14108 – 2014 40-foot Gillig Low Floor BRT Hybrid Drive

#15101 through 15113 – 2015 40-foot Gillig Low Floor BRT Hybrid Drive

#16101 through 16107 – 2016 40-foot Gillig Low Floor BRT Hybrid Drive

In 2009, PSTA began purchasing 35 and 40-foot Gillig Low Floor BRT style Hybrid-Drive buses, which are painted in a gray livery with a blue and green “swoosh” rather than the blue livery with a teal and white “swoosh”. These buses, known as the “Smartbus”, accounts for about 30% of the agency’s transit bus fleet.

All of the hybrid buses are equipped with Cummins ISB engines and either the Allison H 40 EP or the BAE HybriDrive Series E transmission. #’s 2910 and 2911 utilize Cummins ISL engines and Voith transmissions.

While each of the buses look nearly identical on the outside, the inside seating layout varies by model year. The 2015 and 2016 buses also have LED signs that differ from their older counterparts.


Picture659

In 2003, PSTA purchased ten 40-foot Motor Coach Industries (MCI) coaches for use on the 100X and 300X. These coaches are mostly white with side wraps depicting an artistic view of downtown St. Pete and downtown Tampa connected by a bridge, highlighting the cross-bay connection between Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties.

As of March, 2017, the following buses are no longer in service: 2301, 2302, 2303, 2304, 2305, 2307, 2310. I strongly suspect that once PSTA has the funds in place for their planned Clearwater/Tampa express route, the MCIs will be entirely replaced by suburban style Gilligs.

#2308 leaving Britton Plaza. Photo Taken by HARTride 2012, but released into the Public Domain (used on Wikipedia).
#2308 leaving Britton Plaza. Photo Taken by HARTride 2012, but released into the Public Domain (used on Wikipedia).

More to come soon!

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