BingoI 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.)
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?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.
If you can do it with 1/3rd as many drivers and grow revenue due to increased capacity? Who knows.^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?
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.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