Scrapping trolley buses in 2017 is “big step in a stupid direction”

Press Release – Oil Free Wellington
The Regional Council’s vote to scrap Wellington’s trolley buses in 2017 is a big step in a stupid direction. It will maintain Wellington’s reliance on fossil fuels, continue our contribution to climate change, and is also a threat to workers’ rights. In addition, the decision seems to be ignoring overwhelming opposition during public consultation.

Oil Free Wellington spokesperson James Barber says “The Regional Council’s decision to scrap our current electric buses is just plain stupid. At a time when the extraction of oil is threatening our oceans, and climate change is threatening our planet, we should be reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, not increasing it.”

“Despite the Council saying they want to bring in new electric buses they have no plan to replace the diesel buses with anything other than more diesel buses. Our diesel buses should be replaced with electric buses as soon as possible and the current trolley buses should be maintained since they still have at-least ten years of use left in them.”

This decision is also contrary to the opinions expressed during public consultation. Mr Barber says, “I attended the public consultation hearings and did not hear a single person speak in favour of scrapping the trolley buses.”

This decision also poses a threat to workers’ rights. Replacing the trolley buses will open the contract up to new businesses. And workers at a stop work meeting on Wednesday the 25th decided to oppose the change expressing their concern that competition from this will lead to lower wages and poorer working conditions.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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4 comments:

  1. Mark W, 27. June 2014, 21:05

    The problem is is that Fran Wilde and her co-horts dont care about public opinion and nor does she care about the rights of workers or their conditions. Hybrid diesels still emit diesel fumes and it’s yet to be known if they can handle the hills of Wellington. No testing has been carried out and with the price of oil sky rocketing it begs belief we are still reliant on fossil fuels when there are plenty of other cities around the world with trolleybus networks and many more starting to re-introduce them.

     
  2. Jacob T, 30. June 2014, 12:04

    The bigger threat to reducing fossil fuel usage is falling patronage on public transport, and part of that is from longer journeys and interrupted journeys. I take the bus to and from work every day but I know many who don’t because of its unreliability and delays. Trolley buses take a lot longer to do the same journey than other forms of buses. It doesn’t reduce fossil fuel at all if someone abandons a trolley bus for their car.

     
  3. traveller, 30. June 2014, 12:24

    I don’t agree that trolley buses take longer than diesels for the same journey. I frequently ride the number 7 bus to Brooklyn – and there’s no difference. But the trolleys are quieter and they run more smoothly.

     
  4. Tony Randle, 30. June 2014, 17:46

    Also, the much higher cost of the trolley buses has been driving bus fares up across the Wellington Region and so also putting people off shifting to PT. This is because the Regional Council treats the capital cost of fixing the overhead wires as bus operating costs and so fares must be increased to cover 55% of these costs.

    This is in marked contrast to the Regional Council’s approach to rail investment. The millions being poured into new trains, expanded car parks at rail stations and planned double track between Lower and Upper Hutt is 100% funded by ratepayers and taxpayers.

    It is simply unfair that rail users get 100% subsidies for investment while bus users only get 45%.

     

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