Welcome to the PSTA Active Vehicles page. Here, I will showcase photos of the various vehicles that PSTA currently operates in its fleet. Because of recent changes to the fleet, I’ve moved the 2001 & 2002-series buses, as well as #’s 2530 through 2534, to a new Retired Vehicles page. The 2300-series MCI coaches have also moved to this new page. If you’d like to make a contribution, please feel free to contact me.
The vehicles featured in this section include the following:
2005 40-foot Gillig Low Floors
2005 35-foot Gillig Low Floors
2006 40-foot Gillig Low Floors
2006 35-foot Gillig Low Floors
2007 40-foot Gillig Low Floors
2007 35-foot Gillig Low Floors
Includes Replica Trolleys
2008 40-foot Gillig Low Floors
2008 35-foot Gillig Low Floors
Includes Replica Trolleys
2009 35-foot Gillig Low Floor BRTs
Includes Hybrid & Diesel-Powered BRTs
Also Includes Hybrid Replica Trolleys
2010 35-foot Gillig Low Floor BRTs^
2012 40-foot Gillig Low Floor BRTs^
2013 40-foot Gillig Low Floor BRTs^
2014 40-foot Gillig Low Floor BRTs^
2015 40-foot Gillig Low Floor BRTs^
2016 40-foot Gillig Low Floors^+
2017 35-foot Gillig Low Floors^+
2018 35-foot Gillig Low Floors^+
2018 35-foot BYD K9#
2019 35-foot Gillig Low Floors^+
^ All Gillig buses from 2010 & onward are hybrids. + All Gillig buses from 2016 & onward only have the BRT style front option. # All BYD buses are battery electric.
Page was last updated on 07/07/2019. Added over 100 new photos & rearranged the gallery layouts to reflect the new WordPress styling.
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). Hybrids from 2009 through 2015 use Cummins ISB engines & Allison H 40 EP transmissions. Hybrids from 2016 onward use Cummins ISB engines & BAE Systems HybriDrive Series E transmissions. 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 (except the operator’s window), a characteristic that some agencies possess.
This split order of Gilligs originally comprised of all three lengths. The 29-footers (2530 through 2534) were originally used on lower ridership routes such as the 58 & 68, but were later shifted to the North County Connector after the 2012-series cutaway vans were retired early due to manufacturer defects. Since the 2018-series cutaways went into service, the 29-footers now go out very rarely & may be retired at the end of the year. Thus, I’ve moved the photos of those buses over to Retired Transit Vehicles page.
As of September, 2015; #2512 is no longer in active service.
2006 35′ & 40′ Gillig Low Floor
#’s 2601 – 2636 (40′) & 2650 – 2661 (35′)
The 2006 Gillig batch is the first for PSTA to have “frameless” 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 35′ & 40′ Gillig Low Floor
#’s 2701 – 2711 (40′) & 2712 – 2718 (35′)
The 2007 Gilligs are similar to their 2006 counterparts with only interior seating varying.
2008 35′ & 40′ Gillig Low Floor
#’s 2801 – 2815 (40′) & 2830 – 2835 (35′)
The 2008-series Gilligs are nearly identical to their older siblings with one key difference – the exhaust system. These buses were the first of the clean diesels with a newer EPA approved exhaust system that features a particulate tailpipe. All Gillig buses from 2008 & onwards posses this type of tailpipe and related components – regardless of the fuel type.
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, and as of 2019 – Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
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.
Plans are currently materializing for replacement trolley replicas, as all of the current buses are becoming worn out from continual service to and from the beaches. Construction in Clearwater & Pass-A-Grille have also taken their toll on the buses. If all goes to plan, the replacements will begin hitting the road sometime in late 2020.
The Gillig BRT-Style Buses
2009 through 2019
In 2009, PSTA began purchasing 35′ and 40′ 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 roughly 40% of the agency’s transit bus fleet – with that number growing with each new bus order.
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 (the 2016s & onward use the BAE system). #’s 2910 and 2911 are diesel buses that 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 & onward buses use the Twin Vision Smart Series LED signs with larger sized font. #’s 15101, along with the 18100s & 19100s all have white text instead of amber.
In the following combined gallery, you will see the following buses displayed.