Clang, clang, clang

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I usually think Edmonton Journal writer Scott McKeen is a goofy blowhard. He’s like a peacock: all showy and whatnot, but when it comes to actually flying? Foggedabadit!

However, McKeen wrote a great column this morning derided what he anticipates Edmonton City Council will do about ETS trolley buses: keep them. His point is that they should be scrapped. I agree with him. From the article:

Yet when [University of Alberta professor David] Checkel looked at all the data, he concluded the city would be wise to scrap its trolley program and invest in either hybrid or diesel buses.

Checkel’s financial projections are striking. He compared the costs of purchasing and operating the three types of buses on a downtown Edmonton route. While the clean diesel and hybrids were similar in cost, at about $2.50 per kilometre, trolleys were $10.26 per kilometre.

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2 Responses to “Clang, clang, clang”

  1. daveberta
    May 30, 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    I agree. I still don’t understand what drives the militancy of the pro-trolley bus groups.

  2. Adam
    May 31, 2008 at 8:05 am #

    I don’t either, Dave. I suspect it’s the veneer of green cast by an on-the-road, zero-emissions vehicle. Emissions being both carbon and noise. The problem is both are still generated based on on-the-spot demand at power plants.

    I don’t know the difference in magnitude between the pollution caused by a fleet of diesel buses as opposed to a fleet of trolley buses (which draws electricity from coal-fired power plants), but I the differences are either negligible, or favour efficient diesel engines rather than coal-fired generation.