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  1. The City is Ours, 21. March 2016, 11:04

    I believe the Regional Council’s misguided decision will take away our choice to support emission-free rides, and scores no points on the radar of any schemes locally or internationally.

  2. Curtis Nixon, 21. March 2016, 11:25

    Right on Paul. Trolley buses rule and GWRC should be dis-banded on the basis of the disastrous decision to trash the trolleys. This decision shows that they are totally in the pocket of NZTA-National Government who only cares about more roads and cars and to hell with rail, trolley buses or any other transport mode.

  3. Ralph McCorkindale, 22. March 2016, 11:41

    I agree that it is a retrograde step to do away with the trolley bus network in Wellington. The emission comparison speaks for itself. There are GWRC councillors who have very informed backgrounds, but their decision to endorse the purchase of diesel buses makes me question their wisdom.

  4. luke, 22. March 2016, 17:46

    the only reason they are doing this is so they can route island bay buses to johnsonville and award the run to newlands coachlines from what I can tell.

  5. Wellington Commuter, 22. March 2016, 20:02

    It’s true that the inability of the trolleys to service suburbs north of the Wellington CBD (not only one Wellington’s largest population areas but also the place plans to have maybe half of the citiy’s population growth) both limits their use and causes bus congestion along the Golden Mile at peak.
    But to be fair to the GWRC, not having to find the $50 million required to upgrade the DC power stations to keep just 61 trolley buses going for another 10 years must count as another important reason to drop them.

  6. IanS, 23. March 2016, 21:12

    There is continued political manipulation and scare tactics involved in the repetition of the stupid statement from Wellington Electricity about the cost of upgrading all of the DC substation equipment. Wellington Electricity was responding to a direct question “what would it cost to upgrade all of the substations?” BUT there is no engineering suggestion that they all need upgrading!

    The report from traction engineer Allan Neilson stated that they have been operating satisfactorily for many years like old tractions systems everywhere, (e.g. Melbourne trams) and most of them will continue to operate for many more years. He suggested that sensible maintenance routines could see some of them upgraded every year – via a small addition to the annual $5m maintenance budget.

    Moving from an electric trolley bus system to diesel buses is a bad strategic decision and will be the huge waste of money. The political scare tactics worked the first time – but it is time for councillors to admit it was a mistake and revisit the issue using credible technical and cost information. The failure to include all-electric options in the tender documents to be approved by GWRC on the 6th April supports the contention of bias against electric buses. We will be stuck for another 25 years of dirty diesels polluting our city.

  7. Councillor Helen Ritchie, 24. March 2016, 10:40

    Hi Paul: thanks for your excellent and ongoing effort on this issue(s).
    We at the Wellington City Council have been informed by your Chair Paul Swain that the decision regarding trolley bus retention cannot be reversed or stopped now. Is that correct? Or not correct? Is the date of April 6 the final date for approval of tender documents for purchase of diesel/electric buses?

    Keep up the good and persistent work

  8. Cr Paul Bruce, 28. March 2016, 21:09

    Hi Helen: Final tender documents will be approved on April 6th for release, and we understand that “quality” points will not include consideration of greenhouse emissions or offers of electric vehicles. However, it should be noted that incumbents will be awarded some routes without having to make a tender, and these contracts won’t be finalised until after the tender process has been completed, which will in any case, be after the local body election in October. In my eyes, this means that we could reverse the decision to remove the trolleys on the east/west route which will not be offered up for tender. The number of trolleys available matches quite closely that required for the east/west route!

  9. The City is Ours, 29. March 2016, 12:03

    We are still waiting for the Golden Mile Safety Audit ordered after an inquest on 3rd March 2015. It seems the road controlling authorities are oblivious to this.

  10. Rob, 6. April 2016, 14:04

    Despite the comments of Swain and Laidlaw, it seems to me that a replacement light rail system from the railway station to the airport could be installed quite quickly in two $100million stages:
    (1. Railway station to the site of the current Kilbirnie trolley depot where a new tram maintenance centre would be built and
    (2. Kilbirnie to the Airport by one route or another- Nth or Sth Coast or under the runway by expanding the Coutts St pedestrian subway.
    Cost would be minimised by closing the golden mile to cars and buses during construction and using the trolley tunnel and moxham ave as the route to Kilbirnie. Std 4.8 tram gauge would be used to minimise cost of new or second hand construction and because dual running on heavy rail is impractical given extra cost of crush avoidance strength.
    Some sort of credible replacement is required for the iconic trolley buses and there is too much doubt that the supposed hybrid double deckers are simply a stalking horse for largely single decker diesel replacement after a decent interval.

  11. Chris Watson, Architect, 17. April 2016, 19:07

    Trolley bus rescue is the only way that Wellington streets can become clean and green in the medium term. Trolley buses are every Wellingtonian’s electric vehicle – propelling us to lead New Zealand city’s drive to sustainable transport.

    Council mismanagement of Wellington transport is a fiasco, which would barely be credible as a plot in the “Yes Minister” comedy about a bumbling public service. Regional and city councilors’ statements about becoming “green” are shown to be disingenuous in the extreme when their ambitions to burn even more cancerous diesel in the heart of our prime business, retail and cultural area are exposed.

    Citizens of large and small cities enjoy first world public transport services and Wellingtonians deserve the same. Sydney city council is right now cleaning up the once congested and polluted George Street with fast, frequent electric public transport.

    Over 300 cities around the world are capable of managing their trolley bus fleets. If Wellington city and region needs help managing the trolley bus network, they can hire a transport professional from Germany to advise on operation and protection of this valuable strategic asset.