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Trolleys, diesels or hybrids?

A city committee will hear recommendations about how to replace Edmonton’s aging bus fleet today at City Hall.

A city committee will hear recommendations about how to replace Edmonton’s aging bus fleet today at City Hall.


Last Thursday the Transportation and Public Works Committee released a report suggesting the city could save nearly $100 million by replacing its trolley buses with hybrids.


However, a separate group, Citizens for Better Transit, disputes the findings and has released its own counter report that suggests replacing diesels with hybrids instead.


The public works report suggests that while trolley buses themselves are nearly twice as energy efficient as diesel buses, maintenance of power lines and stations for the trolley systems cancels that advantage out.


The report also points out that while trolley buses themselves are emission free, the electricity used to run them is generated by burning coal.


The CFBT report points out that “trolleys represented 0.006 per cent of total electricity demand in Alberta in 2006; annual growth in electricity demand is about five per cent.”

 
 
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