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TTC: Electric and alternative fuel buses

nfitz

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I didn't see this as dead when reading it. Where's the deadness? TTC Staff doesn't seem to be about to proceed, but that doesn't stop others pushing the issue (Commissioners, Toronto, Metrolinx, etc.)
 

RedRocket191

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I didn't see this as dead when reading it. Where's the deadness? TTC Staff doesn't seem to be about to proceed, but that doesn't stop others pushing the issue (Commissioners, Toronto, Metrolinx, etc.)
Bingo

As I recall, staff recommended against expanding the bike rack program... and that didn't stop the TTC from voting to expand it and Metrolinx doing the same for the rest of the GTA.
 

ShonTron

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The 29 Dufferin stands out as the prime example of how trolley buses could be useful on such a high demand, stop-and-go kind of route without multiple branches or winding suburban stretches. 7 Bathurst would have been another one worth studying as well.

The fact that the TTC has gone head first into promoting, in whole, a not-well studied light rail/streetcar system means that we will have substations all over the place that can easily double to feeding an electric bus system. I could easily come up with a report as well saying that Transit City has no demonstrated need. Also, the TTC staffers tried to say a DRL was not needed with all these crazy ideas for increasing capacity on Yonge, including an expensive, multi-year, migrane-inducing re-renovation of Bloor-Yonge.

Basically, I am saying TTC staffers can write a report saying what ever they want to and be able to justify it.
 

W. K. Lis

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W. K. Lis

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From the PDF report on Trolley Bus Service in Toronto (at this link) there is this little paragraph:

Even if diesel fuel costs, ridership, and frequency of service were all to double, the incremental cost estimates of converting the sample network to trolley bus operation still would be very high. The main cost disadvantages of trolley buses derive from the need for investment in electrification infrastructure (sub-stations and overhead power systems) which accounts for more than two-thirds of the total cost differential when compared to diesel bus operation. In addition, trolley buses offer less flexibility to both alter and extend routes to serve entirely new areas.
The report came out around February 18, 2009. In February of 2009, crude oil prices was under $47 a barrel. Today, crude oil prices are going over $100 a barrel. That sounds like a doubling of prices. We have now crossed the first line of the TTC's "requirement" to get trolley buses back in Toronto. Would a tripling of oil prices bring back trolley buses? Do I hear $141 a barrel?
 

Hipster Duck

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^Oil prices would have to be obscene to justify bringing back trolley buses which, as the report indicates, cost more than 3X as much to operate as an equivalent diesel bus. That's also assuming that a major spike in crude oil prices won't somehow translate to higher electricity prices, which is, of course, false.
 

sixrings

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Just make the 29 DUFFERIN and the 7 BATHURST a STREETCAR!

We dont need a city with busses, trolly busses, street cars, lrt, icis and HRT...
 

Hipster Duck

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^If a trolley bus costs 3X as much money just from stringing up two wires, how much do you think it will cost to do that, plus rip up the road, lay a concrete base 2 feet thick and then install welded track all the way to Steeles avenue? And for what: marginally more riders traveling in the same mixed traffic?
 

jmacmillan

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I'd love to see trolley buses make a comeback. A friend and I once whispered across to another on a trolley bus, stopped at an intersection in Dayton Ohio. Now try THAT on a diesel bus!

Howard Moscoe, former city councillor and TTC Commissioner, said that the province hoodwinked Council into introducing CNG buses as an alternative. Given the ensuing problems, he regrets not lobbying to keep the trolley buses, a proven and popular technology.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/the-economists/the-pros-and-cons-of-transportation-on-the-grid/article1898508/
 
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rbt

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^If a trolley bus costs 3X as much money just from stringing up two wires, how much do you think it will cost to do that, plus rip up the road, lay a concrete base 2 feet thick and then install welded track all the way to Steeles avenue? And for what: marginally more riders traveling in the same mixed traffic?
If you can do it with 1/3rd as many drivers and grow revenue due to increased capacity? Who knows.

Trolly bus has the disadvantage of higher capital cost with similar capacity and manpower requirements.
 

W. K. Lis

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The TTC at the recent commission meeting looked at a PROCUREMENT AUTHORIZATION – SUPPLY OF DIESEL FUEL (download the PDF from this link). In the report, it includes this statement:

Issuance of a purchase order to Suncor Energy Products Partnership (Suncor) for the physical supply and delivery of diesel fuel to various TTC locations for the period commencing April 1, 2011 to December 31, 2015 in the total upset limit of $513,000,000
Remember that the price of fuel the TTC pays is not the retail price, but a delivery price from the refinery because of the volume. Wonder what the price of the fuel will be by 2015? Will the current rise continue over the coming years? Should the TTC start to look again at the return of trolley buses because of the economic forces on petroleum? The supplier does not want to lock in the prices, but the TTC wants to lock it in. If the suppliers do not lock in, then the TTC should reexamine trolley buses as an alternative. At least, look again.
 

Chuck

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I just can't see trolley buses being a smart investment. They don't have the 'cool' factor that streetcars have which helps to attract extra choice riders, they are heavily restricted as to where they can drive, the cost of electricity seems to be rising even faster than the price of gasoline, and they definitely don't offer increased capacity over regular buses. There would be no savings in terms of drivers, a need for massive investment in new infrastructure and garage retrofits, and there would be yet another different type of vehicle for the TTC to maintain. Bad, bad investment.
 

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