Gillig Phantom

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Gillig Phantom
Sound Transit Gillig Phantom 9105-P.jpg
2008 Phantom operated by Sound Transit; one of the last models to be built.
Overview
Manufacturer Gillig Corporation
Body and chassis
Doors 1 door (school bus)
2 door
Floor type High floor, step entrance
Chassis Gillig
Powertrain
Engine Caterpillar
Cummins
Detroit Diesel
Capacity 78-84 passengers (school bus configuration)
Dimensions
Length 30–40 feet
Width 96–102 inches
Chronology

The Gillig Phantom was a transit bus produced by the Gillig Corporation in Hayward, California. The Phantom was first introduced in late 1980 and, with the exception of a small number of buses built in a three-year-long joint venture with Neoplan from 1977 to 1979, was Gillig's first transit bus. The first Phantoms were 35 feet long and 96 inches wide; however, 30-foot and 40-foot models were offered beginning in 1981, and 102-inch-wide models became available in 1983. A liquefied natural gas fueled version was produced beginning in 1992, and was later discontinued. From 2005 onward, only the 102-inch-wide version was available due to stricter emissions and accessibility requirements.

A diesel-electric hybrid powered version was produced beginning in 1996, but was discontinued in 2006. MTA in New York purchased a Gillig Phantom hybrid demo bus as well as diesels for MTA Long Island bus.

Body specifications[edit]

The Phantom was available with a narrow rear door or a wide rear door. Initially, the wide rear door option consisted of two narrow doors, but this was reduced to one wide door by the 1990s. Most Phantoms transit authorities opted for the narrow rear door. The wide rear door option was mainly ordered by airports and rental car agencies, even though the Utah Transit Authority and Torrance Transit were among the exceptions, with Honolulu's TheBus orders from 1983 and 1984 featuring a different configuration. The Phantom could be ordered with dual headlights or quad headlights, with most transit authorities opting for the latter.

Phantoms could be ordered with the wheelchair lift in either the front door or rear door. Those with the lift in the rear door had a slightly wider rear door to accommodate the lift. Most Phantoms were ordered with the wheelchair lift in the front door.

A rare option for the Phantom was a rear window. Monterey-Salinas Transit and King County Metro are the only two transit authorities known to have ordered Phantoms with a rear window.

Another rare option was windows that did not open. TheBus in Honolulu, Hawaii ordered their 1995-2003 Phantoms that way. Sound Transit's 2008 Phantoms also had windows that didn't open.

Production of the Phantom ended in September 2008, with some of the last buses going to Sound Transit. With the Phantom discontinued, Gillig produces only low-floor buses.

Gillig Phantom School Bus[edit]

Gillig Phantom school bus of Los Angeles Unified School District (California)

The school bus version of the Phantom was introduced in 1986. Much like its predecessor, the Transit Coach, the Phantom School Bus was marketed primarily for West Coast operators. Although initially well-received, sales dropped off and production ceased in 1993 (no Phantom School Buses were sold in 1991 or 1992). Only the 96-inch body width was produced as a school bus, as the 102-inch body specification was not approved for school bus use. Aside from the school bus yellow color scheme and warning lights, the school bus version was distinguished from the standard Phantom by its single curbside door, dual vertical windshields, and standard dual headlights.

Powertrain[edit]

A 1998 Gillig Phantom operated by DASH services King Street – Old Town station in Alexandria, Virginia.
A 1999 Gillig Phantom operated by Mountain Metropolitan Transit in Colorado Springs, CO.

The Phantom was originally equipped with either a Detroit Diesel 6V92TA, 6V71, or Cummins L-10 diesel engine, and was later available with either a Cummins ISB, ISC, ISL, or ISM diesel engine. The Phantom was formerly available with the Detroit Diesel Series 50 engine from 1993 until 2004 when Detroit Diesel cut production of the Series 50 engine. The Detroit Diesel Series 40 engine was available from 1995 to 2003.

Engine Manufacturer Engine Model Years Available Notes
Caterpillar 3208
C9
3208

1986-1990

C9

2003-08

3208 available almost exclusively in Phantom school buses. Only 57 transit buses, 30 feet long, were specified with this engine, all of which went to Ride On in Montgomery County, Maryland, delivered in 1989.
Cummins L-10
ISB
C 8.3
ISC
ISL
ISM
M11
L10

1984-1994

ISB

1997-2008

C8.3

1993-1998

ISC

1998.5-2006

ISL

2001-08

M11

1994-98

ISM

1999-2008

Detroit Diesel 6V71, 6V71TA
6V92TA
Series 40
Series 50
6V71/6V71TA

1980-1988

6V92TA

1980-1994

Series 50

1993-2004

Series 40

1995-2003

The Detroit Diesel 6V71 engine was available only for 30' buses, while the 6V71TA was available for 30' and 35' models.

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]