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  1. Stop Trexit, 18. September 2017, 11:24

    Good article Glen. For much less than the price of one new road junction proposed for SH2 at Melling ($72 million), Wellington’s trolley overhead wiring and electrical supply could be modernised and the fleet rejuvenated. The political parties talk about the possibility of Light Rail sometime in the future, on one route, possibly to the airport at a cost of $700 million to $1.2 billion but we have heard this all before. What is different this election is that GWRC will start to pull down Wellington’s unique 100% electric trolley bus network from November in a wanton act of environmental vandalism.

    What is needed is commitment from central government to fund or invest in the trolley network,electrical supply and trolley buses. NZ First and the Greens have said they will do this.

    GWRC must be aware of the potential for central government funding of the trolley buses and must be instructed to seek financial assistance rather than continuing with such wanton vandalism of a Wellington’s environmental taonga.

  2. Susan Says, 18. September 2017, 17:10

    More transparency is required and we’re not getting it.
    Apparently the GWRC decided to get rid of the trolley buses rather than repair the network.
    Let’s see some actual numbers so we can evaluate the GWRC’s decision which right now looks like environmental vandalism for the sake of the bottom line.

  3. Conn Sheehan, 18. September 2017, 20:37

    Thank you Glen for approaching the GWRC to supply you with all relevant information regarding their decision to scrap the Wellington trolleybus fleet. In the Wellington public’s interest, all known Health and Safety aspects have to be presented to the public. The destruction of the trolleybus fleet for Wellington does not only have long term environmental issues, but also health effects.

  4. Stop Trexit, 19. September 2017, 11:35

    The research skills of Brent Efford have found this recent letter by John Haley, Director of San Francisco’s Transit Operations, commenting on the city’s trolley bus fleet and the inability of current battery buses to fulfill the city’s needs. Pity we don’t have someone similar to John Haley in charge at GWRC.

    “We are excited about the possibility that one day we will be able to provide an all-electric fleet that won’t require overhead wires. This is why we have been and will continue to take steps to test these vehicles on some of our smaller community routes through potential grant funds. However, it is factually incorrect and irresponsible to suggest that anyone knows that off-wire electric buses are ready to operate in San Francisco.

    Despite what marketing departments at some of the electric bus manufacturers claim, there isn’t a bus manufacturer that can produce the number of electric buses San Francisco would need, nor would they be able to guarantee that the vehicles would work for the required 15 years with our heavy ridership and steep hills. The technology is just getting started. In fact, there are less than 200 electric buses operating in the United States.

    Some cities might just now be purchasing off-wire electric vehicles, but anyone familiar with San Francisco and Muni service can tell you that we have the largest electric bus fleet in the United States (more than 250). Electric trolley buses carry our heaviest loads on some of our most demanding routes. We’ve been a pioneer in the electric vehicle industry for years and we are going to continue that trend of providing a fleet that is meant to provide safe and clean service for everyone”.

  5. George, 19. September 2017, 23:22

    It is important to move promptly in filing for judicial review of this decision. I think there are a few very clear grounds.

  6. Adam, 20. September 2017, 20:34

    Move on with the times and invest in fully electric, battery powered buses.

  7. Keith Flinders, 21. September 2017, 10:19

    Battery buses will be the future. At present, the cost and service life of the batteries are the barriers to seeing them adopted in huge numbers. Batteries used have a finite number of times they can be recharged, but the technology is evolving. The bus in the item you linked to had/has a cost of $1.2 million, so about three times that of a trolley bus.

    In China where most battery buses are built some cities have gone back to trolley buses and are extending trolley bus infrastructure because it’s more cost effective at present. Most of the battery buses put in place for the Bejing Olympic games have been withdrawn due to battery issues.

    I find it strange that the GWRC alludes to a battery bus fleet in Wellington yet hasn’t taken the step to trial any here. Instead we expect to see ten untried double decker buses running the new north to south routes some time in the next 24 months.

  8. Conn G, 21. September 2017, 14:35

    People are being duped by the GWRC that by scrapping the trolleybuses and replacing them with poor track proven battery buses, Wellington is in a win win situation. Well it’s not! I’ve seen the battery buses used in Shanghai, but the wise authorities over there retained the trolleybus wires and reverted back to them when the battery buses failed. Like Keith Flinders is saying, the GWRC is using this excuse to scrap the trolleys, but haven’t been using any battery bus test versions for their appraisal. This is just a pretext to scrap the trolleys and have simplified tendering processes without complicated routes.

  9. Morris Oxford, 21. September 2017, 16:02

    Think “Island Bay Cycleway” and “trolleybus wires” and begin shuddering.