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Thread: The Trolley Bus Thread

  1. #1

    Default The Trolley Bus Thread

    (Note-this thread is not intended to rehash any other thread, this is to discuss a specific, unique, proposal.)

    Preamble
    Edmonton's trolley fleet is obsolete. Edmonton's trolley lines are underutilised. Edmonton's trolley system isn't well enough integrated into the grander ETS scheme.

    All true.

    Trolley technology is better for the city's health than any other bus technology except solar provided hydrogen fuel cells. Trolley technology can serve high density routes more cheaply than any other bus technology. Trolley fuel can be (and is) provided by a wider range of primary inputs than any other bus technology. Trolley technology is at worst second quietest among bus technologies. (second to pure battery/capacitor power only.)

    Also true.

    (I am obligated to add, if you wish to dispute any of the above, please consider reading a previous thread on the topic. The intention of this thread is to discuss the specific proposal outlined here.)

    In response to this situation, other C2E members have advocated simply scrapping the system. Here, I will outline another approach we may consider. I won't go into much depth with this post though.

    -----------
    The basic plan: first upgrade the fleet to the highest existing standards as soon as possible, and second, rationalise the trolley network.


    -----------
    The new fleet:
    - 50 or so single articulateds, with battery and diesel backup systems, as well as GPS for realtime scheduling and traffic priority signaling.
    Maybe something like this:


    - 10 or so double articulateds with the same features, plus a second powered axel for greater traction control in difficult road conditions.


    Justification: unlike the current fleet, these busses come off the power lines less often, don't need to stop in traffic if they do come off the lines, can make virtually any neccessary detour with very little problem, are more fuel efficient as they can do regenerative braking, would be far more comfortable (especially psychologically, as they aren't only not embarassing, but maybe even exciting), and are big enough to make a good dent in traffic. For comparison: The double articulateds can carry about as many people as a single LRT car, (around 200 maximum, including standees).

    -----------
    The new system:


    Legend:
    Heavy lines: LRT lines
    - Pink: existing or under construction surface track.
    - Yellow: existing underground track.
    - Red: future LRT possibilities.

    Thinner lines: Trolley lines
    - Blue: existing lines to keep.
    - Orange: existing lines to remove and reconstruct elsewhere.
    - Cyan: proposed new lines.

    Dots: Traffic sources or destinations
    - Dark green: existing.
    - Light green: potential (in most cases TODs, except the U of A South Campus and the YXD land.)

    Justification: Trolleys become more and more economical when they are used a lot, basically because most of the cost is one-time up-front. Putting them on routes to Northgate (via NAIT, Kingsway, Victoria School for the arts, and the Royal Alec hospital), WEM, and Millwoods would let them get a lot of usage. Also having them on a loop connecting Jasper and Whyte keeps them around the areas with the highest population densities in the city, and the most attractions, thus with a high potential for ridership, plus the greatest possible health benefit would be found here as well.

    Trolley lines can be built much more quickly and cheaply than rail systems, and thus they could make a quicker impact not only on traffic but city development (opening more potential TOD sites, bringing more people downtown).

    For the line I suggest could be dismantled: as LRT will soon hit Southgate, it may make the trolleys going there redundant. LRT have basically the same good points, but to higher degrees. We could then do likewise with the Millwoods trolley line, WEM trolley line, and Northgate trolley line, and then redeploy the infrastructure on new developing traffic sources and destinations around the existing city area.

    -----
    That's the basic idea. Thoughts?

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    The trolley infrastructure must be dealt with as soon as the decision on the trolley renewal is made. One major extension that has to be built as soon as possible is to Northgate. Three existing routes can be converted to trolley routes: 9, 134 and 140. Route 134 can be renumbered as 9B to simplify the system. A loop overhead can be made on 102 Ave to accommodate 134 and 140. The stretch of 97 St from 111 to 118 has the potential to cause minimal visual impact, due to the tall trees.

    Thoughts?

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    I definitly support the continued use of the trolley system. I think its worth the investment to get proper equipment to make the system as reliable as diesel buses.
    With back up engines, be they diesel, battery banks, hydrogen. You essentially take away the problem of stalls/downtime with disconnection from the overhead catenary system.
    The infrastructure is in place already and the system spans a large area of the City and I believe that this could be a first step to bringing back an actual trolley loop in the Downtown.

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    Also, I kinda disagree on the removal of the trolley overhead along 109 St south of Whyte Avenue. There's too much potential to have it dismantled. Here's my take on what to do along that stretch:

    Route 9A and 9B will dominate the area.

    Eliminate the southern portion of Route 133, then have Route 9A extended to serve the Parkallen neighbourhood as well, which means special work on the intersection of 65Ave and 109 will need to be upgraded.

    Eliminate the southern portion of Route 7, then have Route 9B to serve the Belgravia neighbourhood. Note that 9B also replaces Route 134 to serve the Spruce Avenue neighbourhood.

    Route 7 and 133 can merge and become route 7, increasing the frequency to 15 minutes during peak hours from the current 30 for each route. Route 7 can once again terminate at Telus Field.

    Diesel Routes 50 and 51 can act as collector routes for the LRT and will only serve the neighbourhoods between Southgate and South Campus (No more trips to University Main Campus). Both routes can mesh together and will instead terminate at the South Campus Station. 50 can become 50A as a clockwise route while 51 can become 50B and as a counter-clockwise route.

    Routes 17, 40, 41 and 42 can no longer serve 109 St once the Southgate LRT station is in service. Route 6, 9A and 9B can be the primary routes that can serve the neighbourhoods of McKernan, Belgravia, as well as parts of Allendale and Queen Alexandra.

    Route 9A and 9B can have a frequency of 10-15 minutes each during peak hours and 15-30 minutes each for non-peak hours.

    Route 50A and 50B frequency can each have 15 minutes during peak hours.

    Please tell me what any of you think.

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    JayBee... I like your map
    One thing it's missing is a trolley route to Abbottsfield Mall...
    and I like the ideas of a trolley to Mill Woods, and what you
    did with the #5, extending it beyond Westmount to WEM.
    I don't like the idea of a trolley on 99 St on the south side,
    not with the amount of truck traffic on that road.

  6. #6

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    Microbus:
    I didn't show the line out to Abbotsfield because of a catastrophic hard disk failure in which I lost the base document entirely. It was a work in progress, and I simply hadn't gotten the Abbotsfield line sketched in at that point. I wasn't trying to suggest either that we remove it or that it isn't important. I wouldn't mind at all if you (or anyone else) resketched it, or just modify the originally posted diagram to include Abbotsfield. (In fact it won't be until perhaps August that I have time to get everything up and running again, I'm hitting busy season just now.)

    And which road into Millwoods would you support over 99th? I wouldn't mind whichever myself, the concept was to replace route 8 with something that can handle the existing transit demand quickly because it will seem like eons before we can get LRT there. In fact I'd guess that's where we would end up employing most of the double articulateds.

    DanC:
    A downtown trolley loop would be fantastic. Especially for street life. The tremendous frequency of diesel roar the downtown currently hears is numbing, and really puts a damper on street life. If we could get a significant amount of that traffic transfered onto trolleys it would be a heavy compliment to downtown high density residency, patios and rooftops, streetlife generally, and could be a key to taking our festival atmosphere up a few rungs to compete with Edinburgh and Rio and the real heavy hitters.

    Quote Originally Posted by RicoLance21
    The trolley infrastructure must be dealt with as soon as the decision on the trolley renewal is made. One major extension that has to be built as soon as possible is to Northgate. Three existing routes can be converted to trolley routes: 9, 134 and 140. Route 134 can be renumbered as 9B to simplify the system. A loop overhead can be made on 102 Ave to accommodate 134 and 140. The stretch of 97 St from 111 to 118 has the potential to cause minimal visual impact, due to the tall trees.

    Thoughts?
    I would agree that ideally we would replace the fleet and extend the trunk lines simutaneously. When I said "First... Second..." I meant those are the two things that need doing, not neccessarily that they should be done in that chronological order. However I'll add, gauging from people's discontent with the current situation on C2E, it does seem that the vehicles themselves are causing more frustration than the overall strategic position of trolleys within ETS. (Although both are definitely on the radar.) But I reiterate, I do agree that ideally we should have the improvements coincide with each other.

    I agree with the 102 street loop as well, that would make for one perfect, self-sustaining line (The Northgate line.) I can't portray that on the map though, for the same reason I just mentioned to Microbus, plus that the fact that the line width I chose for routes obliterates entire blocks at that resolution. I was just trying to represent traffic flows more than exact routings.


    In regards to your second post:
    With this plan I'm kindof advocating that we employ trolleys strategically as a distinct level of service between regular busses and LRT, thus I toy with the removal of that line. It will soon have LRT there, running practically parallel to the trolley line. Wouldn't reusing the wires and transformers and whatnot cut the cost of extending to Northgate or WEM, or down Whyte ave (where street life is already so important)?

    As for the Southern leg of Route 9, I think it too will become largely redundant, and be relegated to milk run status by the LRT. If we use trolleys on it, of course it will be better than diesel for the area residents, but it's a different niche than the two I've specifically chosen to champion (trunks and streetlife). I just don't think it would constitute prime usage of valuable infrastructure. (Presuming of course that it could be meaningfully re-employed elsewhere.)

    I want to make it clear that I am not in any way open to shrinking the system, only reshaping it. I will not support any line reduction that doesn't coincide with line expansion elsewhere, and I think for every metre removed, there should be a policy of 2 metres added until we reach a rational system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee
    Microbus:

    In regards to your second post:
    With this plan I'm kindof advocating that we employ trolleys strategically as a distinct level of service between regular busses and LRT, thus I toy with the removal of that line. It will soon have LRT there, running practically parallel to the trolley line. Wouldn't reusing the wires and transformers and whatnot cut the cost of extending to Northgate or WEM, or down Whyte ave (where street life is already so important)?

    As for the Southern leg of Route 9, I think it too will become largely redundant, and be relegated to milk run status by the LRT. If we use trolleys on it, of course it will be better than diesel for the area residents, but it's a different niche than the two I've specifically chosen to champion (trunks and streetlife). I just don't think it would constitute prime usage of valuable infrastructure. (Presuming of course that it could be meaningfully re-employed elsewhere.)

    I want to make it clear that I am not in any way open to shrinking the system, only reshaping it. I will not support any line reduction that doesn't coincide with line expansion elsewhere, and I think for every metre removed, there should be a policy of 2 metres added until we reach a rational system.
    The southern portion of Route 9A and 9B can be both an LRT feeder route or serve aforementioned neighbourhoods easy access to Whyte Avenue and any commercial services along 109 St. 109 and 82 is like a virtual transit hub for many citizens. Of course, articulated trolleys will not be needed for these routes. Also, some parts of infrastructure for the trolleys aren't worth moving (ie: concrete piles to strengthen the poles).

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    The best route for a trolley to Mill Woods? Realizing that crossing
    the river could be a challenge, and thinking about where the prospective passengers would be.. you ready for this? lol
    Follow the current #9 routing out of downtown, across the High Level Bridge, south on 109 St, then east 82 Ave, south 83 St, west Argyll Rd, south 86 St, Millgate, south 76 St, west 38 Ave,
    south Mill Woods Rd to 23 Ave, then east 23 Ave to Mill Woods Town Centre ( missing Lakewood in the process, but only by 1/3 of a block ).
    Hundreds of passengers a day transfer at 83 St/Whyte Ave to and from the #4 and #8, which this route would cover.
    This solution also prevents any new trolley wires having to be strung up on a bridge, or on some obscene hill

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    Should ETS re-invest in trolleys instead NLRT or WLRT?

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    Quote Originally Posted by microbus
    The best route for a trolley to Mill Woods? Realizing that crossing
    the river could be a challenge, and thinking about where the prospective passengers would be.. you ready for this? lol
    Follow the current #9 routing out of downtown, across the High Level Bridge, south on 109 St, then east 82 Ave, south 83 St, west Argyll Rd, south 86 St, Millgate, south 76 St, west 38 Ave,
    south Mill Woods Rd to 23 Ave, then east 23 Ave to Mill Woods Town Centre ( missing Lakewood in the process, but only by 1/3 of a block ).
    Hundreds of passengers a day transfer at 83 St/Whyte Ave to and from the #4 and #8, which this route would cover.
    This solution also prevents any new trolley wires having to be strung up on a bridge, or on some obscene hill
    Why would it be a challenge? Hills are the very areas where trolleybuses can show off its advantage over diesel buses. Route 8 alone would fully utilize the overhead in a big way. This should be third in the expansion list (Northgate first, West Edmonton Mall second, Abbotsfield-Millwoods third). Besides, it's the Low Level Bridge, which means less visual impact.

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    Yeah, trolleys ran over the Low Level many years ago too...
    but I think there'd be better service given if it went down Whyte Ave too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by microbus
    Yeah, trolleys ran over the Low Level many years ago too...
    but I think there'd be better service given if it went down Whyte Ave too.
    I think Route 4 can take fourth on the expansion list to take advantage of the U-Pass. However, I think by then, the LRT may already have the WLRT line in service. Therefore, Route 4 can only terminate at the UofA. With the U-Pass in place, peak hour frequency of Route 4 may be 10 minutes, since the it's been already overcrowded in the last few Fall/Winter semesters, and that's without the U-Pass in place.

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    FYI, perhaps people have seen this:

    http://www.edmonton.ca/portal/server...n+Edmonton.htm

    (bit of an old link, old info)

    I'd like to know about the low floor trolley they're trying out. (from Vancouver I believe)

    Here in Saskatoon they're testing a Biodiesel / electric hybrid - not sure what the diff between diesel and biodiesel is though...

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    Chump:
    Yeah, I saw that and everytime I look at it I feel glum. As was stated in another thread, it looked like ETS made up its mind to phase out the system in 1997 as that's when system decline turned more into system drop.

    The current sad state of the trolleys are only building voter discontent with the system, and if the low-floor trolley test happens at all (I believe it is made out to be with a borrowed Vancouver trolley), I note ETS has already gone ahead and outright bought a diesel-electric mini-fleet for that part of the "test". I'm concerned that minds are already made up at ETS, without them having told anyone.

    Council itself even seems to have limited power to control ETS. Some years ago they mandated to maximise trolley usage, but not only did the trend not reverse, it seemed to accelerate. But the reason for that is pretty clear: The current fleet and wire system are both seriously impaired in their ability to help the city day to day. The system now, while it has useful components, is simply not able to succeed as a whole, despite all that the basic technology has to offer in theory (and indeed in other cities.) We've let it go for far too long, and it is going to take a serious political commitment to intervene in fate now.

    I urge those within the city administration (including transportation) to consider the hypocrisy of being a leader in banning smoking, ostensibly in the name of health, and yet on the other hand giving up on an already half built system that is the only economically competitive alternative to diesel exhaust, which is even worse for health than second hand smoke, ppm to ppm.

    I urge the administration that has won kudos almost universally for trying an end to "crap" architecture, to turn the sights of reason to the transit system and try to reduce "crap" diesels. Is the health of the citizenry not important? Is the prospect of lower noise not akin to the prospect of less ugly buildings?

    I urge the administration currently responsible for the largest greenspace and some of the most exciting festivals in urban North America to consider the entirely opposite message it is sending with roaring diesels literally encircling our festivals and pluming their way past the Muttart Conservatory.

    Quote Originally Posted by edmowl
    Should ETS re-invest in trolleys instead NLRT or WLRT?
    Personally I would hope it's not an either/or thing, and ultimately I think we'll all be better off with LRT on those routes (and Millwoods) in the long run. But if used strategically, we should be able to design a trolley route with future LRT conversion in mind. We could design the electrical system to accomodate LRT upgrading. We could widen right of ways, and build grade separations that would benefit express trolleys every bit as much as they would LRT. But we could build the lines in smaller steps, without all the capital needed at once, and we could defer large amounts of expenditure until after the boom prices ease somewhat.

    A trolley line could maybe get up and running in 6 months, not including the lead time we'd need for the vehicle purchase, but the transportation department has said it would consider WLRT in 40 years. Yet you can easily see from the size of the double articulated trolley that it is serious transit hardware, and not in any way a mere stop-gap measure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RicoLance21
    Quote Originally Posted by microbus
    Yeah, trolleys ran over the Low Level many years ago too...
    but I think there'd be better service given if it went down Whyte Ave too.
    I think Route 4 can take fourth on the expansion list to take advantage of the U-Pass. However, I think by then, the LRT may already have the WLRT line in service. Therefore, Route 4 can only terminate at the UofA. With the U-Pass in place, peak hour frequency of Route 4 may be 10 minutes, since the it's been already overcrowded in the last few Fall/Winter semesters, and that's without the U-Pass in place.
    Microbus:
    On the diagram I originally posted, I have a line up from Millwoods that branches at 82nd to serve both the U of A and Downtown. Isn't that close to the routing you mentioned? (Plus quick service to downtown, perhaps on alternating frequencies.)

    RicoLance21:
    Part of the reason I don't advocate trolley use on low density routes is because there is valid concern from a lot of people about "visual pollution" from overhead wires. I think it is a reasonable compromise to minimise the overhead wire network, if we can maximise the usage of the OH we do employ for the most obvious benefit to the city (to quieten important street life corridors, and serve the highest density routes as efficiently as possible.)

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    Yeah JayBee, we were close on the Whyte Ave proposal...
    you went from the east, I went from the west

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    I am with JayBee with no trolley's on low density routes. Not just because of the visual pollution (something I am learning to hate again as I drive 107 ave), but low denisty routes need flexibility of equipment and route changes with minimal cost.

    This is an interesting thread. I would support trolley routes on high density lines, but only if they can figure out the switching better. I am tired of either being on the dead trolley, or behind the dead one.
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS
    I am with JayBee with no trolley's on low density routes. Not just because of the visual pollution (something I am learning to hate again as I drive 107 ave), but low denisty routes need flexibility of equipment and route changes with minimal cost.

    This is an interesting thread. I would support trolley routes on high density lines, but only if they can figure out the switching better. I am tired of either being on the dead trolley, or behind the dead one.
    Its easily addressed with back up engines/battery banks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS
    I am with JayBee with no trolley's on low density routes. Not just because of the visual pollution (something I am learning to hate again as I drive 107 ave), but low denisty routes need flexibility of equipment and route changes with minimal cost.

    This is an interesting thread. I would support trolley routes on high density lines, but only if they can figure out the switching better. I am tired of either being on the dead trolley, or behind the dead one.
    When ETS lowered the service levels on the route #7 on 107 ave, less people started catching that route. So now the #7 only rates half hour service, which I don't think is enough to warrant a trolley bus. Trolleys seem to be meant for higher passenger loads, which I think is why JayBee, and myself, included Whyte Ave
    As for dead trolleys, and better switching, most of that can be attributed to transit planning trying to get rid of the trolleys by neglecting the trolley buses and the infrastructure for them. Suddenly, after 10 years of neglect, it would cost way too much to upgrade the system, so trolleys end up going away \

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee
    RicoLance21:
    Part of the reason I don't advocate trolley use on low density routes is because there is valid concern from a lot of people about "visual pollution" from overhead wires. I think it is a reasonable compromise to minimise the overhead wire network, if we can maximise the usage of the OH we do employ for the most obvious benefit to the city (to quieten important street life corridors, and serve the highest density routes as efficiently as possible.)
    Visual pollution can be minimized by lining the streets with trees. When trees are tall enough, the overhead can be camouflaged by the leaves and branches. This is already done in Stony Plain Road, 76 Avenue and 65 Avenue. 118 Avenue is poised for revitalization, and it includes lining the stretch with more trees. Part of that reason is to obscure the trolley overhead. 97 Street from 111 to 118 is also a perfect stretch to install overhead, just because it causes minimal visual pollution. I think 109 Street have plans to undergo a makeover, and I am pretty sure part of it is to plant more trees along the streets.

    Then again, why take it down when it's already in place? The neighbourhoods are already mature enough to not require much (if any) routing adjustments.

    Quote Originally Posted by microbus
    When ETS lowered the service levels on the route #7 on 107 ave, less people started catching that route. So now the #7 only rates half hour service, which I don't think is enough to warrant a trolley bus. Trolleys seem to be meant for higher passenger loads, which I think is why JayBee, and myself, included Whyte Ave
    As for dead trolleys, and better switching, most of that can be attributed to transit planning trying to get rid of the trolleys by neglecting the trolley buses and the infrastructure for them. Suddenly, after 10 years of neglect, it would cost way too much to upgrade the system, so trolleys end up going away \
    That is why I think 133 and 7 should be merged into one route with a 15-minute peak hour frequency.

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    No more trolley investments please. Spend the money on LRT and BRT instead.

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    why cant the busses used in bus rapid transit be trolleys?

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    They could, but that would mean more ugly wires. Wires bad.

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    a tangled mess of wires is bad. a couple of clean lines of wires is not that bad. after all, we are in the city.

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    IKAN104:
    We can build towards LRT by having trolleys blaze the trails. In the mean time we can get much better transit service than diesel, much more quickly than with LRT construction. And there will always be secondary trunks that will suffer with just diesel busses but don't quite justify LRT.

    I also note that you support the LRT but don't support wires. Ummm.


    Quote Originally Posted by RicoLance21
    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee
    RicoLance21:
    Part of the reason I don't advocate trolley use on low density routes is because there is valid concern from a lot of people about "visual pollution" from overhead wires. I think it is a reasonable compromise to minimise the overhead wire network, if we can maximise the usage of the OH we do employ for the most obvious benefit to the city (to quieten important street life corridors, and serve the highest density routes as efficiently as possible.)
    Visual pollution can be minimized by lining the streets with trees. When trees are tall enough, the overhead can be camouflaged by the leaves and branches. This is already done in Stony Plain Road, 76 Avenue and 65 Avenue. 118 Avenue is poised for revitalization, and it includes lining the stretch with more trees. Part of that reason is to obscure the trolley overhead. 97 Street from 111 to 118 is also a perfect stretch to install overhead, just because it causes minimal visual pollution. I think 109 Street have plans to undergo a makeover, and I am pretty sure part of it is to plant more trees along the streets.

    Then again, why take it down when it's already in place? The neighbourhoods are already mature enough to not require much (if any) routing adjustments.
    My overall logic is something like this: If a diesel bus comes by once an hour, the impression it gives people is 1/60th of noise and cancerous stench, yet while the trolley vehicle itself is a vast improvement (well, not neccessarily the current vehicles), it also gives the impression of being present for 60 out of 60 minutes, because the wires never leave. On low density routes, trolleys only have at best a minor image advantage, but for other people an image disadvantage.

    But then on high density routes and routes where there are lots of people out on the streets, trolleys will naturally win more friends because that's where people really start to notice how irritating diesels are.

    Thus I say we play purely by the trolley's maximum benefits. Just put the trolleys on the routes where very few people can dispute their advantages, under conditions where the transportation department can't stop using them because they are so much better economically and so on. The technology could easily defend itself, if only the system hadn't been allowed to become so half baked and clumsy.

    Thus we can win trolley P.R. and save money at the same time by re-deploying the infrastructure from the low density routes to the high. Just glancing at the diagram I posted, it looks like the distance from 118th ave and 97th street to Northgate could already be covered by the underused 107th street infrastructure. The Whyte ave, 99th street closing of the "streetscape circuit" could maybe be completed with the soon-to-be-redundant 82 ave to Southgate section. And there might be enough low density line coverage around Jasper East to get halfway from J.P. to WEM. That would just leave the route 8 and a corner of route 100 to require fresh electrical.

    Personally I do actually feel that trolleys present an advantage on all the routes they currently have wires on, but we're at a point where we have to optimise the system to even have a chance at having the system survive.

    I do agree, by the way, with using trees to beautify the lines. People only really notice them when they are contrasted against the sky. Thus buildings that line streetsides also help. I note that both techniques seem present in nearly every picture I see of trolleys in Switzerland. I also think we could paint the poles better than the discount grey we always get for everything. Why not black like the streetpoles down Whyte? Why not green, like they do in Vancouver?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee
    I do agree, by the way, with using trees to beautify the lines. People only really notice them when they are contrasted against a blue sky. Thus buildings that line streetsides also help. I note that both techniques seem present in nearly every picture I see of trolleys in Switzerland. I also think we could paint the poles better than the discount grey we always get for everything. Why not black like the streetpoles down Whyte? Why not green, like they do in Vancouver?
    JayBee,

    You might see both "techniques" prevalent in the pictures you see partly because of why they were taken in the first place...

    With a bit of "attention to detail", I could probably take some Edmonton pictures that would show the same principles at work - they just wouldn't be completely representative.

    The worst part, particularly in our "blue sky" climate, is that our trees take forever to get any kind of height or substance and when they do we are quite fastiduous about trimming them back from any overhead lines (a reflection of our weather perhaps?).

    While I agree with you on the "industrial discount grey" we use too much of that does nothing well (except show rust and corrosion) we do use a dark green downtown as well as black on Whyte Avenue...

    Ken

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    kcantor:
    Good points as usual. I forgot about the green paint downtown.

    About the picture presentation, I think we can agree that on the ugliest corners with trolleys, the trolley lines aren't the biggest problems. And if I tried, I'm sure I could take a rotten picture of the Eifle tower.

    (Actually in my case I wouldn't need to try too hard... )

    I think we should use sound principles in streetscaping both without and with trolleys.


    Ike9126:
    I like your logic. Electrified BRT is a lot like what I'm proposing here, but I don't know about the WEM - South Campus route. I think there are still places where diesels have certain advantages (just never health or noise level.)

    Quote Originally Posted by microbus
    Yeah JayBee, we were close on the Whyte Ave proposal...
    you went from the east, I went from the west



    RichardS:
    Agreed. Battery packs and/or diesel generators must be employed to avoid "dead" trolleys. The traffic disruption and rider inconvenience such events cause are intolerable. We need a system that works.

    Luckily, I believe every trolley vehicle now produced for industrialised countries comes with such equipment as standard. Apparently nobody else likes "dead" trolleys either.

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    I think Route 1 can be the last trolley extension. However, it must also follow the shortest route towards downtown instead of snaking through various neighbourhoods. Route 106 would have to eliminate the trip to University while providing better coverage of neighbourhoods around Capilano in order to transfer passengers onto either Route 4 or Route 1.

    Here's a summary of my take on the future trolley extensions:
    1. Northgate - 9A, 9B, 134, 140
    after extending LRT to NAIT: 9A, 9B, (express trolley route), 140
    2. West Edmonton Mall - 3, 100 (super express)
    after extending LRT to WEM: 3, 100 (express)
    3. Millwoods-Abbotsfield - 8, Millwoods BRT
    4. University-Whyte Avenue-Capilano - 4
    5. 104 Avenue - 2
    6. Forrest Heights - 1

    One more opinion: Route 135 should be part of Route 5 to lessen the confusion!

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by RicoLance21
    I think Route 1 can be the last trolley extension. However, it must also follow the shortest route towards downtown instead of snaking through various neighbourhoods. Route 106 would have to eliminate the trip to University while providing better coverage of neighbourhoods around Capilano in order to transfer passengers onto either Route 4 or Route 1.

    Here's a summary of my take on the future trolley extensions:
    1. Northgate - 9A, 9B, 134, 140
    after extending LRT to NAIT: 9A, 9B, (express trolley route), 140
    2. West Edmonton Mall - 3, 100 (super express)
    after extending LRT to WEM: 3, 100 (express)
    3. Millwoods-Abbotsfield - 8, Millwoods BRT
    4. University-Whyte Avenue-Capilano - 4
    5. 104 Avenue - 2
    6. Forrest Heights - 1

    One more opinion: Route 135 should be part of Route 5 to lessen the confusion!
    All good ideas. Can I ask if you've listed those routes in order of priority? I certainly agree up to number 4, but I'll have to get back to you about 5 and 6.

    And specifically, I want to ask to everyone reading what they think about having a counter-circuitous loop that links Jasper and Whyte Avenues, 99th street on the west and either the dawson bridge clockwise or the High Level counter-clockwise. The thought is to provide most of the major attractions on one loop (The Arts district, Old Strathcona, Kinsmen Sports Centre, Telus field, downtown shopping, the Legislature etc.)

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    Why has no one mentioned yet that the major reason given for eliminating trolleys was that ETS is required to have an EPCOR crew standing by whenever trolleys are in operation?

    Would more and longer lines reduce the cost per passenger mile or would it require more EPCOR crews to be hired?

    Is there a third option that combines the diesel electric with the trolley into a true hybrid that can run on either electricity from trolleys or electricity generated on-board?

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee
    IKAN104:
    ...

    I also note that you support the LRT but don't support wires. Ummm.

    I was wondering if somebody would call me on that.

    Yes, it's true LRT needs overhead wires too. But what I really don't like about the wires is the intersections where many wires criss cross along with all the wires required to suspend these power lines from the poles on all corners. For example 156 Street and 107th Ave. That is a nightmare.

    A single line is not so bad but the more trolley lines we have running through the city, the more of these intersections we're going to create.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IKAN104
    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee
    IKAN104:
    ...

    I also note that you support the LRT but don't support wires. Ummm.

    I was wondering if somebody would call me on that.

    Yes, it's true LRT needs overhead wires too. But what I really don't like about the wires is the intersections where many wires criss cross along with all the wires required to suspend these power lines from the poles on all corners. For example 156 Street and 107th Ave. That is a nightmare.

    A single line is not so bad but the more trolley lines we have running through the city, the more of these intersections we're going to create.
    JayBee,

    The overhead wires for trolleys and the overhead wires for LRT are "apples and oranges". The overhead wires for LRT - except for where they cross a street - are restricted to being in the LRT right of ways. These are not "ative" public spaces in quite the same sense as our streets and sidewalks are active public spaces.

    It is the continuous length running along the streets and the myriad lines and supporting cables at intersections (particularly, as IKAN104 noted, those where the trolley routes are left and/or right turning as well as through) that has been rightfully called visual pollution (along with all of our "temporary" mobile signs but that is a different thread ).

    Over the past several decades, we have gone to great length to bury telephone and power and cable lines etc. in recognition of this (and to minimize the real or perceived risk of exposure to them and to eliminate their being "downed" as a result of severe weather).

    I also don't believe that trying to reconnect a trolley to a trolley line in -30 weather in the middle of one of those intersections is the safest task we could ask the operators to undertake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwells
    Why has no one mentioned yet that the major reason given for eliminating trolleys was that ETS is required to have an EPCOR crew standing by whenever trolleys are in operation?

    Would more and longer lines reduce the cost per passenger mile or would it require more EPCOR crews to be hired?

    Is there a third option that combines the diesel electric with the trolley into a true hybrid that can run on either electricity from trolleys or electricity generated on-board?
    You're right about EPCOR's standby crew, but new trolleys have a battery pack on board, which means standby crew can take more time to get to the trouble spot without interfering the trolley system. In fact, it may not even cause any inconvenience. With today's trolleys, it can still discourage riders no matter how much standby crews are on the road. I bet that even the network is expanded, we would still see less standby crew on the road. Drivers can rewire at a bus stop after a section breaker is reached.

    There's no arguing that the new trolleys are hands-down more convenient than what we have today: power steering, wheelchair accessible, on-dashboard rewiring, on-board backup battery, regenerative braking and perhaps less chance of dewiring. Nothing I've mentioned is present in today's trolleys.

    As for the hybrid you've mentioned. I think it's another good idea. Rely on overhead for clean and quiet operation where there's opportunity and on diesel where no overhead is present. However, that should be used in routes where half of it runs under the overhead and it could also mean more complex special work in some intersections. Nonetheless, that would be useful for all routes that runs through downtown. I think this should be considered after all the extensions are in place. We can have an overhead system with utilization on overdrive

    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee
    All good ideas. Can I ask if you've listed those routes in order of priority? I certainly agree up to number 4, but I'll have to get back to you about 5 and 6.
    Yes, they are in order of priority.

    I am still trying to figure out regarding your loop idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IKAN104
    Yes, it's true LRT needs overhead wires too. But what I really don't like about the wires is the intersections where many wires criss cross along with all the wires required to suspend these power lines from the poles on all corners. For example 156 Street and 107th Ave. That is a nightmare.
    I find I seldom notice the overhead wires at all. They're simply part of the urban landscape and I feel that if I spent my time glaring at the trolley lines I would be neglecting my driving.

    I wonder if you could be right though. Maybe if these wire assemblies really are distracting drivers, it would account for the number of collisions at these locations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwells
    Quote Originally Posted by IKAN104
    Yes, it's true LRT needs overhead wires too. But what I really don't like about the wires is the intersections where many wires criss cross along with all the wires required to suspend these power lines from the poles on all corners. For example 156 Street and 107th Ave. That is a nightmare.
    I find I seldom notice the overhead wires at all. They're simply part of the urban landscape and I feel that if I spent my time glaring at the trolley lines I would be neglecting my driving.

    I wonder if you could be right though. Maybe if these wire assemblies really are distracting drivers, it would account for the number of collisions at these locations.
    I thought 124 Street and 107 Avenue is the most complex trolley intersection.

    The one on 107 and 156 is unique. It's designed to dewire less frequently. Trolleybuses can run though that work at higher speeds.

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwells
    I find I seldom notice the overhead wires at all. They're simply part of the urban landscape and I feel that if I spent my time glaring at the trolley lines I would be neglecting my driving.
    You may not notice them much because you're used to them but I bet you'd notice a huge difference if I could show you before and after pictures of an intersection where trolley lines have just been removed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IKAN104
    Quote Originally Posted by dwells
    I find I seldom notice the overhead wires at all. They're simply part of the urban landscape and I feel that if I spent my time glaring at the trolley lines I would be neglecting my driving.
    You may not notice them much because you're used to them but I bet you'd notice a huge difference if I could show you before and after pictures of an intersection where trolley lines have just been removed.
    My favorite example would be 102ave by the RAM from 124th to 142nd. It's a nice street, but it has a canopy of trolley lines. I wish that ETS would get rid of them so the only canopy it would have would be from the trees.

    Trolley-lines can blend in to the urban landscape in areas that are actually urban, but they shouldn't be running through Glenora (even if 102 is a major thoroughfare).

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    I'd be all for some new trolleys if they are shown to be cost-effective, simple as that.

    The current ones we have are a joke and should be retired. I've spent far too much time on them during derailments (4 times in 30minutes once) or behind them in a car during winter having a hail of sparks fall down.

    I also don't really like the trolley lines. I remember some streets around here that used to seem like there was a cage over your head. It was really nice when the clutter got removed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IKAN104
    You may not notice them much because you're used to them but I bet you'd notice a huge difference if I could show you before and after pictures of an intersection where trolley lines have just been removed.
    That really isn't necessary, there are enough roads that don't have overhead wires to use as comparison. EG Compare driving on 104 Ave with driving on Jasper.

    My point was more basic. You are offended by the overhead lines because you have convinced yourself that they are unsightly and unnecessary; and I fail to notice them because their presence is necessary for the transit system and otherwise unimportant to me. Likewise, if they were removed overnight, I would probably fail to immediately notice their absence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC
    I'd be all for some new trolleys if they are shown to be cost-effective, simple as that.
    I don't know the latest price of new trolleys, the last price I believe I remember was about $700,000. I doubt if we could justify throwing away our present stock just to replace them with newer models that perform exactly the same job with no/few improvements.

    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC
    I've spent far too much time on them during derailments (4 times in 30minutes once) .
    If you want to trade anecdotes, I was on a trolley that derailed 4 times in crossing a single intersection. But you have to admit that we always remember exceptional cases and tend to forget the many uneventful trips we take for granted.

    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC
    I also don't really like the trolley lines. I remember some streets around here that used to seem like there was a cage over your head. It was really nice when the clutter got removed.
    Yes, the "new" support arms are much nicer than the old web of cables that supported the trolley wires. It's only at corners where the weight of switches and rails still need the extra cable support that we get the impression of a spider's web.

    But since you mentioned cost-effectiveness, what is the cost of running a trolley for 1,000 kilometres and running a diesel 1,000 kilometres - including all maintenance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwells
    If you want to trade anecdotes, I was on a trolley that derailed 4 times in crossing a single intersection. But you have to admit that we always remember exceptional cases and tend to forget the many uneventful trips we take for granted.
    I took a trolley route to and from work for a summer once. The rate of faliure, why not always 4 time in a route, was rather high for something that should be passed off to the public as reliable public transit

  42. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwells
    But since you mentioned cost-effectiveness, what is the cost of running a trolley for 1,000 kilometres and running a diesel 1,000 kilometres - including all maintenance.
    It's hard to do a simple comparison, since the costs don't accumulate the same way. Running one trolley is going to be a lot more expensive than running one diesel, but running a hundred trolleys is going to be cheaper than running a hundred diesels. The basic costs are:

    For fuel/power, power for a trolley costs less than fuel for a diesel bus.

    Vehicle maintenance costs are about even--but that's a misleading figure since all of the trolleys in the city are old while most of the diesels are newer. Trolleys have usually cost less to maintain than diesel buses of the same age.

    But paying for the overhead wires depends on the number of buses using them. Since the city contracts out maintenance to Epcor, the cost is the same whether we run ten or twenty or fifty trolleys. Therefore by running fewer and fewer trolleys over the years the city has inflated this cost considerably.

    So there comes a point when trolleys become cheaper to operate, and it's related to how many trolleys you operate over a given network. This is why City Council has repeatedly directed ETS to make maximum use of the trolleys. The problem is that ETS has instead cut back service.

    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC
    I've spent far too much time on them during derailments (4 times in 30minutes once)
    4 times in 30 minutes means there was a problem with the bus (maintenance) or driver (training), or both. I ride trolleys just about daily, and I can't actually remember the last time I was on a bus that dewired.

    That said, new trolleys have more flexible poles that are supposed to jump off the lines less easily. And, from talking to bus drivers, there are a few problem spots on the wires that need to be repaired but aren't--meaning the city needs to do a better job of holding Epcor to account.

  43. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcantor
    The overhead wires for trolleys and the overhead wires for LRT are "apples and oranges". The overhead wires for LRT - except for where they cross a street - are restricted to being in the LRT right of ways. These are not "ative" public spaces in quite the same sense as our streets and sidewalks are active public spaces.

    It is the continuous length running along the streets and the myriad lines and supporting cables at intersections (particularly, as IKAN104 noted, those where the trolley routes are left and/or right turning as well as through) that has been rightfully called visual pollution (along with all of our "temporary" mobile signs but that is a different thread ).
    There's some truth to this now, but the SLRT extension is going to mean poles and wires all the way down 114 & 111 Streets. There are going to be crossovers and guy wires and other stuff that will look just as bad as many trolley intersections.

    Not to mention all the calls for a streetcar system...

    The point is that overhead wires aren't going to disappear from Edmonton streets. So instead of tearing down the trolley lines, we should work at making them a part of the streetscape. Paint the poles, simplify the supports, install the power lines with some sensitivity to the street. Jaybee mentioned 'discount grey' poles--in fact support poles (along with regular streetlights and traffic light structures) aren't even painted anymore--just galvanised steel, stuck in the ground like some 2001-esque monolith.

    P.S. Agree 100% on the mobile signs

  44. #44

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    Wow, leave things alone for a couple days...

    Modulator42:
    Thanks for your posts. We obviously agree on a lot here.

    kcantor, IKAN104:
    Regarding the differences between LRT and trolley cable: So far we've been spoiled by our LRT infrastructure. Having it underground and on the historical CN right of way has almost given the impression that we don't have wires. Starting right now however, that's changing. It will for the first time be almost mixed with regular street traffic right down to Century Park, and then right up to NAIT, and then most of the distance to WEM (hopefully.) And anything we could do to minimise it's impact we could also theoretically do with the trolley system too.

    Trolley systems' abilities to mix better with traffic (right down to using the same roads) should be seen as an advantage, not a disadvantage. I do advocate simplifying the route network though, precisely for concerns like yours.


    newfangled:
    You mentioned that you don't want trolley wires on 102 ave. I understand and I honestly agree, until I'm faced with the alternatives. I haven't talked much about cancer in this thread (yet) but that, along with diesel engine noise, I consider much worse personally. Furthermore if we limit busses of all varieties, that could lead to an increase in automobile traffic on that road.

    I for one can't wait to relax on the museum grounds in or near the Gangwon Jang pavillion in the summer, and look at future "Big Things" exhibits, and I know that hearing a diesel bus roar past is going to make me wince. That setting should be as close to idyllic as possible. I don't want big trucks going down that route either. Do you?

    Perhaps we should consider closing the road entirely, and diverting everything to 104 st and Stony Plain Road.

    Or divert just the trolleys to 104 St. and S.P.R. Except then riders would be inconvenienced going to the RAM.

    Honestly though, I think if we invest in wire beautification and get a really useful and nice looking fleet, a lot of the resentment would die down and more people would begin to actually appreciate the system for the beauty of its logic. It can reduce traffic itself as well as noise and air pollution. It has a lot of positive potential.


    MylesC, dwells:
    I think the best way to look at costs is over a 30 year period on a route by route basis. Over that much time, on a high density route, diesel fuel and maintenance overwhelms the additional costs of trolley vehicles and wires both (including EPCOR crews.) It's the same logic that so many environmentalists press for battery electric cars. The much lower fuel and maintenance costs more than make up for the initial purchase cost difference. The same cost pattern even extends to trolleys versus hybrids. More upfront (when you include wires), less in the long run.

    Additionally, trolleys (as well as diesel electric, presumably) can get bigger than diesels without so much concern over traction because making a 4 wheel drive system basically just involves putting a wire through the articulated joint and putting another electric motor on another axel somewhere. Doing that with diesel power either involves a highly complex (and heavy) transmission or indeed two seperate engines and transmissions which would be both heavier and highly inefficient.

    Being bigger without worry on icy roads or climbing out of the river valley means it's able to achieve higher economies of scale. You think our beater trolleys irritate when they dewire? I imagine people would be much more concerned with a double articulated diesel spinning its tires in front of them on Bellamy hill. Modern trolleys would have distinctly less trouble.

    Next, take a look at where petroleum prices are going versus coal, over the next 30 years.

    Finally, remember that cancer treatment isn't cheap either.


    Lots of people:
    In regards to trolley dewirement, yeah, it happens too much with the current beaters. 4 times in one intersection? Sounds ridiculous. I too have been both in and behind ETS trolleys that went off the wires, and I didn't like it either. It's a problem, no arguement there.

    But how do we fix it? That's where there is an arguement. Do we get rid of the system entirely? Or do we get busses that a) dewire less often and b) can easily continue with traffic even if dewired? Just look at the Swiss cities: they have very similar weather conditions, they're even richer than Edmonton, they're known for nothing if not precision time keeping, and they love their trolley systems. The difference? Their trolleys have battery backups. Our trolley vehicles are due (or overdue) for renewal anyway. We just have to get some good ones. (And rationalise the network.)


    dwells:
    About diesel-electrics that can use trolley lines: yeah, I'd be all for them, by all means. They could serve areas that don't justify wires, and then take full advantage of wires where available. That would even allow us to employ a grid system of busses, yet keep the core completely free of diesel bus exhaust and noise. Of course they'd have a higher up-front cost than either straight trolley vehicles or straight diesel vehicles, but the arguement is basically the same as for trolleys: do we seriously want a better city? Are we willing to wait for our returns? I'm completely with you, but first we have to have wires for both.


    RicoLance21
    The idea is to have a high frequency loop that goes down Whyte Ave, up 99th street, across Jasper Avenue, down 109th street and back across Whyte Ave. I think it could somehow unify the downtown area and the Old Strathcona area (along with certain river valley attractions and gateways) so that it all becomes one destination for tourists and residents.

  45. #45

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    I'm thinking about updating the concept, and I'd just like to call for any other input. (Positive and negative both.)

    So far the changes would include:
    - Include the line to Abbotsfield
    - Consider extensions to Forrest Heights and Lessard
    - Put a vastly heavier emphasis on beautification (maybe even hold an industrial design competition for the wire support infrastructure.)
    - Put a heavier emphasis on the effect of battery packs (i.e., there is no need to rewire in the middle of an intersection.)
    - Consider the potential addition of "tribrids" (diesel electric with pantographs or trolleys that can go wayyyyy off the wires, depending how one looks at it).
    - Consider the potential lure of a diesel bus free core (the above vehicles would make it possible.)
    - Educate more about the dangers of diesel (It simply isn't the same as gasoline.)
    - Put a higher emphasis on the fact that we already have enough wire and power converters etc. to complete the routes to Northgate and WEM, and maybe the Whyte-Jasper loop as well. All we need to do is move it around.
    - Also emphasise that it's a practical transit solution in the face of boom prices, which can still lead to LRT.

    Deletions? Additions? General opinions?

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    Trolleybus network extensions in greater detail:


    Affected/new trolley routes:
    <Route Origin to Destination - AM-PM peak - Midday - Early Eve.>

    First Extension: Northgate, 102 St (one way from MacDonald Dr. to 102 Ave)

    9A
    South Campus to Northgate - 30 - 30 - 30
    (via Parkallen)
    South Campus to 109 St/83 Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    (via Parkallen)
    Rossdale to NAIT - 7/8 - 30 - 30
    9B
    Belgravia to Northgate - 30 - 30 - 30
    Belgravia to 109St/83Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    7
    Jasper Place to Rossdale - 15 - 30 - 30
    133
    discontinue.
    134
    Northgate to Downtown - 15 - 30 - N/A
    140
    Northgate to Downtown (via Chinatown) - 30 - 15 - N/A

    After LRT extension to NAIT:

    9A
    South Campus to Northgate - 30 - 30 - 30
    (via Parkallen)
    South Campus to 109 St/83 Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    (via Parkallen)
    Rossdale to NAIT - discontinue
    9B
    Belgravia to Northgate - 30 - 30 - 30
    (via Spruce Avenue)
    Belgravia to 109St/83Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    134 (express)
    Northgate to NAIT - 10 - 15 - 30
    140
    Northgate to Downtown (via Chinatown) - 15 - 15 - N/A

    After LRT extension to Northgate:

    9A
    South Campus to Northgate - 30 - 30 - 30
    (via Parkallen)
    South Campus to 109St/83Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    (via Parkallen)
    Rossdale to NAIT - discontinue
    9B
    Belgravia to Northgate - 30 - 30 - 30
    (via Spruce Avenue)
    Belgravia to 109 St/83 Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    134 (express)
    discontinue
    140
    Downtown to NAIT - 15 - 15 - N/A

    Second Extension: West Edmonton Mall (via 156 St, Meadowlark and 87 Ave) (Two sets of lines), 80 St, 102 Ave (from 111 St to 121 St with bus-priority signals)

    1 (West portion)
    West Edmonton Mall to Downtown - 15 - 15 - 15
    3
    West Edmonton Mall to Coliseum - 15 - 30 - 30
    100 (non-stop super express) - (articulated trolleys)
    (via 102 Ave from 111 St to 121 St)
    West Edmonton Mall to Downtown - 8/15 - 30 - 30

    After LRT extension to WEM:
    dismantle 'express' overhead from Meadowlark to WEM

    1 (West portion)
    Meadowlark to Downtown - 15 - 15 - 15
    3
    West Edmonton Mall to Coliseum - 15 - 30 - 30
    100 (express with stops at 116 St, 124 St, RAM, 142 St, Jasper Place and Meadowlark)
    Meadowlark to Downtown - 15 - 30 - 30


    Third Extension: Millwoods TC (Two sets of lines), MacEwan CCC, Abbotsfield

    8
    Millwoods TC to Abbotsfield - 15 - 15 - 15
    Millgate to Abbotsfield - 8/15 - 15 - 15
    Millwoods BRT - (articulated trolleys)
    Millwoods TC to MacEwan CCC - 7/8 - 10 - 15

    After LRT extension to NAIT:

    8
    Millwoods TC to Abbotsfield - 15 - 15 - 30
    Millgate to Downtown - 8/15 - 15 - 15
    Abbotsfield to NAIT - 8/15 - 15 - 15
    Millwoods BRT - (articulated trolleys)
    Millwoods TC to Downtown - 5 - 10 - 15


    Fourth Extension (Downtown/Strathcona hybrid DE41LF loop already in service due to densification): University, Whyte Avenue, Capilano

    4 (East Portion)
    Capilano to University - 15 - 15 - 15
    Bonnie Doon to University - 7/8 - 15 - 15


    Fifth Extension (after LRT extension to WEM): Stony Plain Rd-104 Avenue, 107 St (Jasper Ave to 104 Ave), 149 Street, Lessard

    2
    Highlands - West Edmonton Mall - 15 - 30 - 30
    3
    Meadowlark to Coliseum - 15 - 30 - 30
    100
    (non-express from Meadowlark to West Edmonton Mall)
    Marketplace at Callingwood to Downtown - 15 - 30 - 30
    116
    (West portion of diesel Route 4 can provide coverage of Rio Terrace)
    Meadowlark to Downtown - 30 - N/A - N/A


    Sixth Extension: 99 St (from Whyte Ave to Low Level Bridge), 107 St (from 99 Ave to Jasper Ave, incl. Govt Centre), one way overhead (from 105 St/River Valley Road - 96 Ave - 107 St), one way overhead (from 96 Ave/107 St - 106 St - 97 Ave.)

    Whyte-Downtown loop
    Clockwise and counterclockwise loop service - 7/8 - 10 - 15
    (Diesel Route 6 terminates at 109 St/83 Ave)


    Seventh Extension: Forrest Heights (Rowland Rd - 79 St - 101 Ave - 50 St)

    1
    Capilano to Meadowlark - 15 - 15 - 15


    Eighth Extension: 51 Ave (from Millgate to Southgate), 111 St (from Southgate to 61 Ave), 113/114 St to University (via South Campus station)

    6
    Millwoods to 109 St/83 Ave - 15 - 30 - N/A
    Millgate to 109 St/83 Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    Millwoods to Southgate - 15 - 15 - N/A
    Millgate to Southgate - 7/8 - 15 - 15

    Trolley routes after 8 extensions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9A, 9B, 100, 116, 120, 140, Whyte-Downtown loop and Millwoods BRT
    Future discontinued routes: 133 (to merge with 7), 134, 135 (to merge with 5)
    Conclusion: 15 utilized routes.
    No. of trolleybuses required: At least 150.

    That's a more detailed idea. Thoughts?

  47. #47

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    Wow.

    Say, if we could just estimate the distances on those routes, and then find out the fuel efficiency of a stock diesel bus, we should even be able to roughly estimate how many tons of diesel exhaust could be avoided.

    Does anyone have a good average figure for a city driving diesel, half full of passengers? (Preferably with reference...)

    Any other thoughts for version 2?

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    I just found out that once all the aformentioned extensions are built, much of downtown, Oliver and Old Strathcona are trolleybus routes (except 52 and 86) for late night services.

  49. #49

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    Almost no late night diesel in the core including Old Strathcona? That would be fantastic for night time atmosphere and sleeping both!

    I noticed you added that the number of trolley busses would have to be at least 150. Any thoughts on a fleet breakdown (how many non-artics, single-artics, and double-artics?) My initial post didn't include any non-artics, as I was just focusing on high density, and super long is another key advantage for trolley technology. But for late night services, would it be better to have super-longs, or additional frequency? And how are non-articulateds best used in peak hours?

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    The self proclaimed most beautiful city in Germany, and definatley one of the nicest in the world has very large tram system. I know its not the same as trolleys, but they both use wires. I didnt find it took away from the overall look of the city.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee
    Almost no late night diesel in the core including Old Strathcona? That would be fantastic for night time atmosphere and sleeping both!
    I personally couldn't care less about the noise from diesel's in the core or on Old Strathcona. They are no where near the biggest noise issues.

    The things that wake me up are:

    1) Idiotically loud motorbikes
    2) Idiots who crank their bass as some kind of, uh, compensation
    3) Said idiots who crank their bass in a car that's so crappy it vibrates louder than the base.

  52. #52

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    MylesC,

    I'm with you on all facets of inconsiderate noise production and "compensation" and whatnot .

    I think though that if the city is serious about noise, it has to have a comprehensive plan and at very least has to take a leadership position. Diesel busses, including the new hybrids, make the transportation department look like hypocrites on the noise front. Heavy trolley investment would make them look like they are trying at least.

    Otherwise, I would say the transportation department and by extension the city itself, doesn't really care how much noise citizens and visitors have to put up with.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC
    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee
    Almost no late night diesel in the core including Old Strathcona? That would be fantastic for night time atmosphere and sleeping both!
    I personally couldn't care less about the noise from diesel's in the core or on Old Strathcona. They are no where near the biggest noise issues.

    The things that wake me up are:

    1) Idiotically loud motorbikes
    2) Idiots who crank their bass as some kind of, uh, compensation
    3) Said idiots who crank their bass in a car that's so crappy it vibrates louder than the base.
    You forgot the idiotically loud mufflers on idiotically large trucks.

    It's funny though, because I was going to post about the exact same thing.

    I live on Jasper Ave., which probably has some of the highest transit frequency in the city. And if a bus goes by at 3 in the morning I have no idea whether it's a diesel or a trolley.

    And on my walk to work this morning a diesel and a trolley passed me in quick succession, and from 3ft away there's not a lot of audible difference.

    The sound thing is as ridiculous an argument as are my claims that the wires are tremendously ugly.

  54. #54

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    Newfangled:

    First off, your contention that trolley wires are ugly is anything but ridiculous. Although "ugly" isn't the word I'd choose (I instantly think "zero emission" when I see them, which helps) I do agree that nature, including blue skies, is better looking than nearly any man-made object. That's why I genuinely support making the wires look as good as possible where they would be most justified by high ridership (nice paint, trees, industrial design competitions, etc.) and outright removing them from where they are least justified.

    Secondly, your anecdote was of a diesel bus already at speed. When diesels are coasting and when they are accelerating is night and day. Try standing beside them when a light turns green. You couldn't tell me there's no difference between a trolley and a diesel then.

    My counter-anecdote: The last time I visited Edmonton, I stayed at the wonderful Glenora Bed and Breakfast, just upstairs of the equally wonderful Bernard Callebaut Chocolatier, across the street from the divine Mountain Equipment Co-op, and in walking distance of the in-and-out-of-flux Royal Alberta Museum and the brilliant Roxy Theatre, as well as the stunning assortment of galleries, crafts, antique shops, and upscale retail that makes 124th street perhaps the nicest in Edmonton.

    My room was overlooking the alley, so I wouldn't have been woken up by tanks on the street, but at breakfast in "Nina's", every time a diesel bus accelerated on green or jumped at a chance to turn left, the sound drowned out conversations at every table inside the cafe, and the vibrations caused spoons to rattle in the saucers and visible ripples in the coffee!

    But it was only by having it pointed out to me that I even noticed the trolleys passing. They acceptably whished by at speed, but when accelerating they seemed almost silent. My companion who noticed the contrast, very notably, was not an Edmontonian or a Canadian. It was the same effect when I walked to the Roxy for a show, and MEC to do some shopping, etc. (Except for the lack of spoons and coffee.) This was the day I myself noticed trolleys. Particularly how they weren't ruining 124th Street.

    Then coming back to Japan, where probably 90% of the transit is electric powered (and on rails) it really started to sink in: There are very solid reasons for electric transit. And to top it off, hardly a week after I got back, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced it was phasing out all diesel busses in favour of natural gas, ASAP. I wondered why, and then shortly thereafter found myself fervently arguing against scrapping the trolley system here on C2E.

  55. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled
    I live on Jasper Ave., which probably has some of the highest transit frequency in the city. And if a bus goes by at 3 in the morning I have no idea whether it's a diesel or a trolley.

    And on my walk to work this morning a diesel and a trolley passed me in quick succession, and from 3ft away there's not a lot of audible difference.

    The sound thing is as ridiculous an argument as are my claims that the wires are tremendously ugly.
    Funnny. I live near 107 Ave which, while not quite Jasper, does have a lot of transit service, and I can hear every diesel bus that goes by. By contrast, the most I hear out of a trolley is the blast of air from the doors closing.

    I agree that there are more annoying things than transit buses on the streets, but "the sound thing" is a legitimate argument.

  56. #56
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    Jaybee,

    I was really just saying that in my experience buses are only a tiny, tiny part of the noise pollution in the Edmonton.

    Trolleybuses are more quiet than diesel buses, but buses aren't what I hear. I hear the trucks, the tuned mufflers, the sportbikes, the choppers and all of the other ridiculous obnoxiousness of Alberta roads.

    In Japan and Europe buses may certainly be a large contributor to overall noise pollution. That might have even been the case in Edmonton 20 years ago. But now? It seems that nearly everyone in town has a supersized diesel dually, so what will getting a few diesel busses off of the road do?

    (I'm just extra bitter because the warm weather means that everyone with the aforementioned trucks, tuned mufflers, sportbikes, and choppers have been slingshotting around the corner at Jasper & 124th all week. )

  57. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled
    (I'm just extra bitter because the warm weather means that everyone with the aforementioned trucks, tuned mufflers, sportbikes, and choppers have been slingshotting around the corner at Jasper & 124th all week. )
    Not quite everyone. At least half of them are going down 104th Ave...

  58. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled
    Jaybee,

    I was really just saying that in my experience buses are only a tiny, tiny part of the noise pollution in the Edmonton.

    Trolleybuses are more quiet than diesel buses, but buses aren't what I hear. I hear the trucks, the tuned mufflers, the sportbikes, the choppers and all of the other ridiculous obnoxiousness of Alberta roads.
    I hear you. My condo here in Tokyo is on a major thoroughfare with comparable traffic to Jasper, but at night is more like the Yellowhead for all the trucks it attracts. (At night, truckers use regular arteries instead of paying for the toll roads they have to use in the daytime to get anywhere.) Luckily my bedroom is on the side of the building facing away from it, and not coincidentally at all, the first thing I did when I moved in was install triple glazing on all windows to mitigate the noise. (It also works wonders for heat performance, Tokyo's climate is so mild, I don't need any heating at all in winter, and the temperature almost never gets below 19 degrees in my living room.)

    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled
    In Japan and Europe buses may certainly be a large contributor to overall noise pollution.
    I don't want to give the impression that Tokyo is any kind of peaceful oasis. It is on average worse than Edmonton by far (when you include the empty streets of Millwoods or Castledowns.) The bikers here sometimes make a point of revving their engines at maximum RPMs on residential streets, at any time of day or night, without even moving, just daring anyone including the "police" to take issue with them. Later, the same "graduate" into full-blown gangsters, which ironically are less of a day-to-day nuisance. Then there is the real noise that comes from electioneering politicians with loudspeakers mounted on their roofs...

    The busses here (including the new natural gas ones) are also noisy, but there are relatively few of them because the subways and trains are so well developed. Basically Tokyo proper is about the same size as Edmonton geographically, but it has 13 complete subway lines and probably twice as many heavy rail lines that together cover the entire city and extend into the distant reaches of the endless suburbia. Everybody rides rails daily, but I'd guess a majority of people haven't ridden a bus at all in the last 12 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled
    That might have even been the case in Edmonton 20 years ago. But now?
    My last visit was hardly that long ago! I will admit though, it was in winter when the only bikers one sees are drinking at the Blues on Whyte and taking taxis home. It was also on weekdays, when I suspect all the irresponsible idiots were working or studying dilligently.

    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled
    It seems that nearly everyone in town has a supersized diesel dually, so what will getting a few diesel busses off of the road do?
    Okay, here it is: It will set an example.

    I think it is time for the pendullum to swing back the other way on noise. I sense that there are a large and growing number of people who are getting frustrated with this needless peacocking, and it is time that the city took action.

    Phase one: lead by example by minimising city vehicle noise (90% of said coming from diesel busses).

    Phase two: a large scale public education program, which Edmonton is already rightly well regarded for conducting.

    Phase three: crack down on the stalwarts.

    Phase 0.5 however, of course, is collecting public support for phases 1,2, and 3.

    But the City of Edmonton can't jump to phase 2, unless it stops its own offenses. Just like Tokyo also can't move on the issue because the politicians themselves are among the worst offenders.
    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled
    (I'm just extra bitter because the warm weather means that everyone with the aforementioned trucks, tuned mufflers, sportbikes, and choppers have been slingshotting around the corner at Jasper & 124th all week. )
    Hey, I'd write a letter if I were in somebody's ward. Tokyo's long term plan is, believe it or not, to put the major urban freeways underground entirely. Come visit in 3 decades. That's when it's supposed to get underway. (pun not intended.)

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by m0nkyman
    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled
    (I'm just extra bitter because the warm weather means that everyone with the aforementioned trucks, tuned mufflers, sportbikes, and choppers have been slingshotting around the corner at Jasper & 124th all week. )
    Not quite everyone. At least half of them are going down 104th Ave...
    It's probably the same ones. In summer I can usually hear packs of sportbikes doing a circuit. 104th, Jasper, Victoria Park Hill to Groat to 107th, and then back to 104th where they start over again. Buses do circuits too, but at least I don't hear them.

  60. #60
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    I'm all for keeping the trolly system and for instigating a rail tram system. Here in Melbourne, Australia where I'm currently visiting, the rail trams are a huge success, and they're very popular. I've stated in other threads that I'd love to see such a system in Edmonton.

    Melbourne is known as "The City of Trams"

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    A bit of good news for trolleybus supporters:

    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjourna...1-92df637484e0

    On a related note, a New Flyer E40LF trolleybus has arrived in Edmonton as of yesterday for a one-year lease.

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    Yes, trolley bus 2242 from Vancouver is in Edmonton, and
    is currently in Patterson Shops being inspected and
    hopefully will be on the road soon

  63. #63

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    I'm dying to take a ride on it, but that won't happen until this winter. Funny I actually didn't consider myself a trolley supporter. I still think of myself as an Edmonton region supporter...

    I hope someone can post a review of it, and I would welcome unbiased comparisons between it and some of our other realistic options. Someone should put up a vote on rider comfort for people who try different modes.

    I would also like to see where it dewires, if anywhere, as I suspect there may still be wire problems.

    Here's hoping things go noticably well, as testing a single model for a single year seems curious compared with the outright purchase of mini hybrid fleets. It seems to indicate that a decision has already been made...

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    The overhead wiring won't change for the test trolley bus of
    course, so years of neglect will still take its toll on 2242, or
    6000 as ETS has renumbered it to.
    But if there's an accident or wire-break, it can go around it
    under its own power, which should prevent a lot of delays.
    And instead of a retriever that the driver has to pull on with
    more force than it should be, the new trolley has a push-button
    next to the ropes to release the tension.

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    I'll be posting a fully built-out trolleybus overhead map very soon (sometime later this month or early next month). It will be created by myself of course. I know some will be very much looking forward to this.

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    I know I am. Let's see it!


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    Sounds good
    Are you going to do one for the LRT too?

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    I'm also very interested in seeing this map.

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    Quote Originally Posted by microbus
    Sounds good
    Are you going to do one for the LRT too?
    The LRT will be part of the map I am creating and will include both NLRT and WLRT legs. However, only the outline of it will be made. The main focus here is not the LRT.

    I may modify whenever it's absolutely necessary.

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    Trolleybus network extensions in greater detail (revision 1):


    Affected/new trolley routes:
    <Route Origin to Destination - AM-PM peak - Midday - Early Eve.>

    First Extension: Northgate, 102 St (one way from MacDonald Dr. to 102 Ave)

    9A
    South Campus to Northgate - 30 - 30 - 30
    (via Parkallen)
    South Campus to 109 St/83 Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    (via Parkallen)
    Rossdale to NAIT - 7/8 - 30 - 30
    9B
    Belgravia to Northgate - 30 - 30 - 30
    Belgravia to 109St/83Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    7
    Jasper Place to Rossdale - 15 - 30 - 30
    133
    discontinue.
    134
    Northgate to Downtown - 15 - 30 - N/A
    140
    Northgate to Downtown (via Chinatown) - 30 - 15 - N/A

    After LRT extension to NAIT:

    9A
    South Campus to Northgate - 30 - 30 - 30
    (via Parkallen)
    South Campus to 109 St/83 Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    (via Parkallen)
    Rossdale to NAIT - discontinue
    9B
    Belgravia to Northgate - 30 - 30 - 30
    (via Spruce Avenue)
    Belgravia to 109St/83Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    134 (express)
    Northgate to NAIT - 10 - 15 - 30
    140
    Northgate to Downtown (via Chinatown) - 15 - 15 - N/A

    After LRT extension to Northgate:

    9A
    South Campus to Northgate - 30 - 30 - 30
    (via Parkallen)
    South Campus to 109St/83Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    (via Parkallen)
    Rossdale to NAIT - discontinue
    9B
    Belgravia to Northgate - 30 - 30 - 30
    (via Spruce Avenue)
    Belgravia to 109 St/83 Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    134 (express)
    discontinue
    140
    Downtown to NAIT - 15 - 15 - N/A

    Second Extension: West Edmonton Mall (via 156 St, Meadowlark and 87 Ave) (Two sets of lines), 80 St, 102 Ave (from 111 St to 121 St with bus-priority signals)

    1 (West portion)
    West Edmonton Mall to Downtown - 15 - 15 - 15
    3
    West Edmonton Mall to Coliseum - 15 - 30 - 30
    100 (non-stop super express) - (articulated trolleys)
    (via 102 Ave from 111 St to 121 St)
    West Edmonton Mall to Downtown - 8/15 - 30 - 30

    After LRT extension to WEM:
    dismantle 'express' overhead from Meadowlark to WEM

    1 (West portion)
    Meadowlark to Downtown - 15 - 15 - 15
    3
    West Edmonton Mall to Coliseum - 15 - 30 - 30
    100 (express with stops at 116 St, 124 St, RAM, 142 St, Jasper Place and Meadowlark)
    Meadowlark to Downtown - 15 - 30 - 30

    After BRT to Lewis Estates opens for service:
    dismantle 'express' overhead along 102 Ave

    100 (non-stop super express) - (articulated trolleys)
    discontinue


    Third Extension: Millwoods TC (Two sets of lines), MacEwan CCC, Abbotsfield

    8
    Millwoods TC to Abbotsfield - 15 - 15 - 15
    Millgate to Abbotsfield - 8/15 - 15 - 15
    Millwoods BRT - (articulated trolleys)
    Millwoods TC to MacEwan CCC - 7/8 - 10 - 15

    After LRT extension to NAIT:

    8
    Millwoods TC to Abbotsfield - 15 - 15 - 30
    Millgate to Downtown - 8/15 - 15 - 15
    Abbotsfield to NAIT - 8/15 - 15 - 15
    Millwoods BRT - (articulated trolleys)
    Millwoods TC to Downtown - 5 - 10 - 15


    Fourth Extension (Downtown/Strathcona hybrid DE41LF loop already in service due to densification): University, Whyte Avenue, Capilano, Forrest Heights (Rowland Rd - 79 St - 101 Ave - 50 St)

    1
    Capilano to Meadowlark (interlink with 4) - 15 - 15 - 15
    4 (East Portion)
    Capilano to University (interlink with 1) - 15 - 15 - 15
    Bonnie Doon to University - 5 - 15 - 15


    Fifth Extension (after LRT extension to WEM): Stony Plain Rd-104 Avenue (Two sets of lines), 107 St (Jasper Ave to 104 Ave), 149 Street, Lessard

    2
    Highlands - West Edmonton Mall - 15 - 30 - 30
    3
    Meadowlark to Coliseum - 15 - 30 - 30
    100 - West BRT (via 104 Avenue/Stony Plain Road, express with stops at 116 St, 124 St, 142 St, Jasper Place and Meadowlark)
    (non-express from Meadowlark to West Edmonton Mall)
    Marketplace at Callingwood to Downtown - 15 - 30 - 30
    116
    (West portion of diesel Route 4 can provide coverage of Rio Terrace)
    Meadowlark to Downtown - 30 - N/A - N/A


    Sixth Extension: 99 St (from Whyte Ave to Low Level Bridge), 107 St (from 99 Ave to Jasper Ave, incl. Govt Centre), one way overhead (from 105 St/River Valley Road - 96 Ave - 107 St), one way overhead (from 96 Ave/107 St - 106 St - 97 Ave.)

    Whyte-Downtown loop
    Clockwise and counterclockwise loop service - 7/8 - 10 - 15
    (Diesel Route 6 terminates at 109 St/83 Ave)


    Seventh Extension: 51 Ave (from Millgate to Southgate) (Two sets of lines), 111 St (from Southgate to 61 Ave), 113/114 St to University (via South Campus station)

    6
    Millwoods to 109 St/83 Ave - 15 - 30 - N/A
    Millgate to 109 St/83 Ave - 15 - 30 - 30
    Millwoods to Southgate - 15 - 15 - N/A
    Millgate to Southgate - 15 - 15 - 15
    96 (express with stops at Lakewood and Millgate) - (articulated trolleys)
    Millwoods to Southgate - 30 - 30 - N/A


    Eighth Extension: 50 St (from Highlands to Clareview),

    2
    Clareview - West Edmonton Mall - 15 - 15 - 30


    Trolley routes after 8 extensions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9A, 9B, 96, 100 (West BRT route), 116, 120, 140, Whyte-Downtown loop and Millwoods BRT
    Future discontinued routes: 133 (to merge with 7), 134, 135 (to merge with 5)
    Conclusion: 16 utilized routes.
    No. of trolleybuses required: At least 150.

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    Special announcement coming on August 1, 5:30pm MST! See all of you in C2E forum soon.

  72. #72

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    Very much looking forward to this. I kinda need a graphical grounder...

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    It took me a while but I've done it.

    Warning: Large file



    Feel free to comment on anything from any non-service routes I missed to trolleybus extensions to consider.

  74. #74

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    Above all, I have to say this is a spectacular effort that gives an easily envisaged and detailed concept for Edmonton to consider. Very professional and credible.

    Although it's different from my own proposal in some ways, I would definitely support this as well. It clearly puts emphasis on the greatest health of the largest number of people for the least expenditure. In addition, it firmly places the trolley system as an intermediary between the LRT and the fuel carrying fleet, thus giving it both a distinct purpose and a distinct meaning.

    Also, while it would have an obviously huge positive impact on transit, health, and noise, it would not really have such a huge price tag. Fleet renewal aside, especially in this era of boom time construction costs, this would be a relatively minor construction commitment.

    Finally, once given a sleek modern fleet, this would be the backbone of a system that the city could really love.

    Bravo.

  75. #75

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    By the way, if anyone else is having difficulty viewing the diagram here is RicoLance21's fantastic effort:


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    An update to my overhead map:

    Revision 1


    Millgate Transit Station location is corrected.

    Note: Re-routing of 2 and 116 is intended to connect with Buena Vista LRT Station.

    I've also estimated the number of trolleybuses required for each route:

    Route- #of ETB's
    1- 10
    2- 12
    3- 10
    4- 16
    5- 13
    6- 10
    7- 8
    8- 20
    9A,9B- 13
    96- 3
    100- 14
    116- 3
    120- 6
    140- 6
    200A/B-26 (Downtown-Whyte Loop)
    SEBRT- 12
    _________
    Total 182

    Also, please feel free to suggest any route(s) that you may think is/are feasible enough to electrify.

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    With the south LRT there will be no need for high volume busses on 113/114 St. The Southgate to U of A route will be a feeder/collector bus only and a 15 minute peak / 30 minute off peak schedule will suffice, so I don't think adding wires here would be worth it. With the completion of the nLRT the same could be said about route 9, but considering that most of the trolley infrastructure is already in place along this route we might as well use it.

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    By the looks of things Edmonton Transit has replaced all of it's older buses. The only old busses that are still on the road are the trolleys. If they are going to get brand new trolley busses soon then work on the system and make it work well. If ETS continues with the current trolley fleet and doesn't have a workable plan for the future then unfortunatly they should scrap the lines.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmcowboy11
    By the looks of things Edmonton Transit has replaced all of it's older buses. The only old busses that are still on the road are the trolleys. If they are going to get brand new trolley busses soon then work on the system and make it work well. If ETS continues with the current trolley fleet and doesn't have a workable plan for the future then unfortunatly they should scrap the lines.
    I saw a 1972 GM running yesterday. The old buses are still going, and will be for some time yet. If you're in the west end... Few Mitchell GM's have been seen this summer... We'll see what happens in September.

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    Mostly it looks good, and it doesn't look like there's much opposition for sure. I thought a lot of people would be out swinging against this.

    My 2 cents: why the meandering wander out to Capilano? Why not go the whole hog on the route 9 to Castledowns instead?

    Also, like others have said, I think this all depends on what kind of vehicles they put on it. If they're nice ones, fine, we can keep it, but do something quick, would you?

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    ^^^^ There's likely to be LRT in or near Castledowns well before there's LRT in Capilano, so building trolley infrastructure in Capilano makes more sense to me.

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    Okay, I'm ready to weigh in with my analysis of RIcoLance21's system.

    1. It's clearly better for public health and noise levels than my proposal.

    2. It could come out even on long term NPV with mine, depending on if the extensions attract more ridership (which I believe they would.)

    3. It would really become a significant part of Edmonton's character, and only for the better.

    4. It might be harder to swing politically than my proposal, due to my proposal being a more streamlined (less routes thus lower profile) and efficient (larger average vehicle size and higher density corridors served) system.

    Thus I'm kindof stuck on which I favour. (BTW, consider the Abbottsfield line integral to my system as well, I just forgot to put it in (forgive me, I live in Tokyo...)) I think mine would be a safer bet that would help ensure the system's survival under fire from whomever it's always under fire from, but RicoLance21's is clearly better for the city as a whole. (And much better drawn. )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium48
    With the south LRT there will be no need for high volume busses on 113/114 St. The Southgate to U of A route will be a feeder/collector bus only and a 15 minute peak / 30 minute off peak schedule will suffice, so I don't think adding wires here would be worth it. With the completion of the nLRT the same could be said about route 9, but considering that most of the trolley infrastructure is already in place along this route we might as well use it.
    Route 6 from Southgate to 83 Ave/109 St should be part of the LRT's feeder/collector route with a 15 minute peak / 30 minute off peak schedule. Whyte Avenue to Downtown portion can be eliminated because of the Whyte/Downtown visionary loop. That stretch on 113/114 St can also serve as a shortcut for trolleybus drivers heading to and from the garage, which is especially useful when there's a disruption. Using the express route overhead that passes by the Ferrier Bus Garage, response time will be relatively quick in case of disruption (in fact almost as quick as the diesels).

    The diesel routes 50 and 51 can become loop routes for South Campus and Southgate serving Pleasantview, Lendrum, Malmo Plains, Aspen Gardens, Lansdowne, Grandview Heights and Parkallen (via 72 Ave). With the SLRT in place, both routes terminating at UofA main campus can no longer be needed. Route 6 can cover the rest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrezj
    Mostly it looks good, and it doesn't look like there's much opposition for sure. I thought a lot of people would be out swinging against this.

    My 2 cents: why the meandering wander out to Capilano? Why not go the whole hog on the route 9 to Castledowns instead?

    Also, like others have said, I think this all depends on what kind of vehicles they put on it. If they're nice ones, fine, we can keep it, but do something quick, would you?
    I was thinking about extending Route 9 to Castle Downs via Griesbach Rd where a lot of condos will be built within that area. That would add 2 more trolleybuses into the system. I will probably add that to the map for my next revision.

    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee
    Okay, I'm ready to weigh in with my analysis of RIcoLance21's system.

    1. It's clearly better for public health and noise levels than my proposal.

    2. It could come out even on long term NPV with mine, depending on if the extensions attract more ridership (which I believe they would.)

    3. It would really become a significant part of Edmonton's character, and only for the better.

    4. It might be harder to swing politically than my proposal, due to my proposal being a more streamlined (less routes thus lower profile) and efficient (larger average vehicle size and higher density corridors served) system.

    Thus I'm kindof stuck on which I favour. (BTW, consider the Abbottsfield line integral to my system as well, I just forgot to put it in (forgive me, I live in Tokyo...)) I think mine would be a safer bet that would help ensure the system's survival under fire from whomever it's always under fire from, but RicoLance21's is clearly better for the city as a whole. (And much better drawn. )
    As we may notice, the added trolleybus routes only serve areas where weekday daytime frequencies of existing routes are 15 minutes or shorter. As we all know, this will minimize the cost of maintaining the trolley overhead. When at least half of the route runs under an existing trolley overhead, that is also a good thing. For example, I once considered Route 81 to also electrify, but with the Whyte/Downtown loop in place, it would be better to only terminate at Old Strathcona.

    I intend not to electrify the western portion of Route 4, because much of that stretch is high-speed, which is not appropriate for trolleybuses anyway. That means The Meadows and Leger transit centres will not have any trolleybus infrastructure any time soon. Leger will be better served with a BRT route to South Campus via Terwillegar and Whitemud.

    Some added note: When the Quarters (East Jasper Village) become dense enough, combine with Oliver's ever-increasing population, that stretch of Route 5 can add a few more trolleybuses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RicoLance21
    I intend not to electrify the western portion of Route 4, because much of that stretch is high-speed, which is not appropriate for trolleybuses anyway. That means The Meadows and Leger transit centres will not have any trolleybus infrastructure any time soon. Leger will be better served with a BRT route to South Campus via Terwillegar and Whitemud.
    Re: Trolleybuses not suited for high-speed... don't you have South BRT using trolleybuses? IMO, trolleybuses are fine for high speed. After all, LRT is used for high-speed operation. Diesel buses are fine for high speed. It's just the diesel electric hybrid is not suited for high speed operation.
    What I would do... I don't think the eastern portion of the route 1 even needs to be a main line route... all that looping through residential neighbourhoods. I would try to combine the eastern portion of the route 1 with the western portion of the route 4 and run it as a diesel route. Run the eastern portion of the 4 as trolley (down 82 Ave, maybe a more direct route to Capilano). The other options for the 4 is to use dual mode artics. Like Boston has. The bus is powered by an electric motor that either draws power from the overhead wires, or from a diesel engine like a hybrid. Use that for service on the Whitemud.
    Short term, the thing to do would be to mix up the route 1 and 2. The route 1 could operate WEM to Clareview via SPR, Jasper Ave, 112 Ave. The route 2 would follow it's regular routeing east of Downtown, but then follow the present route 1's routing to Capilano.
    Some added note: When the Quarters (East Jasper Village) become dense enough, combine with Oliver's ever-increasing population, that stretch of Route 5 can add a few more trolleybuses.
    There was a proposed route 20 5-6 years ago that would have operated a midday loop from Downtown to 102 Ave/ 124 St, including running on 102 Ave from 109 St and east. The route 135 would have then started later on in the afternoon. Prior to ETS adding 2 midday 135 runs, the route 135 would be in the garage by about 9:00, but the afternoon runs would be coming out by 11:30 or so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdh5301-001
    Quote Originally Posted by RicoLance21
    I intend not to electrify the western portion of Route 4, because much of that stretch is high-speed, which is not appropriate for trolleybuses anyway. That means The Meadows and Leger transit centres will not have any trolleybus infrastructure any time soon. Leger will be better served with a BRT route to South Campus via Terwillegar and Whitemud.
    Re: Trolleybuses not suited for high-speed... don't you have South BRT using trolleybuses? IMO, trolleybuses are fine for high speed. After all, LRT is used for high-speed operation. Diesel buses are fine for high speed. It's just the diesel electric hybrid is not suited for high speed operation.
    What I would do... I don't think the eastern portion of the route 1 needs to even be a main line route... all that looping through residential neighbourhoods. I would try to combine the eastern portion of the route 1 with the western portion of the route 4 and run it as a diesel route. Run the eastern portion of the 4 as trolley (down 82 Ave, maybe a more direct route to Capilano). I'll update this post in a little bit with a few more suggestions... I've got to go watch garbage being disposed off...

    Some added note: When the Quarters (East Jasper Village) become dense enough, combine with Oliver's ever-increasing population, that stretch of Route 5 can add a few more trolleybuses.
    ...which is why I shortened Route 1 while diesel Route 106 would have to provide greater coverage or even a new route to fill the gap where parts of Route 1 used to be.

    BRT to Millwoods does not require speeds of 70km/h. It's got nothing like Whitemud or even Fox Drive. Just like every other vehicles, BRT buses must comply with the posted speed limit, and I don't think I can recall any portion of Route 8's roads with a posted speed limit greater than 60 km/h. Also, having trolleybus overhead on the freeway can restrict oversized tractor trailer units from using it. Imagine a truck with a wide load. I think it's a waste of money to temporarily move kilometres of overhead aside just for an oversized truck. I just think overhead and freeway should not mix.

    I was also thinking the western portion of Route 4 should only terminate at South Campus bus terminal. There's no point of having to take long idle times through 114 St when there's a SLRT being built right beside it. Again, Route 6 can cover that stretch of road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RicoLance21
    Just like every other vehicles, BRT buses must comply with the posted speed limit
    Ideally they are on seperated roadways and could be allowed higher operating speeds, or even if operating at regular traffic speeds with serpated roadways, would still be able to have be able to have a higher average speed as they should't have as much interference from regular traffic.
    Right now, a BRT route to Mill Woods following the route 8 is pointless. Express buses already cover that nicely. What ETS needs to do is get rid of all of these stupid peak hour express extensions of local routes like the 64, 65, 66 etc.
    Have 1 express route operating from Downtown via 83 St/ 86 St to Millgate. Certain runs (probably every second run, or 2/3 runs) run to the Mill Woods Transit Centre. The benefits? Local routes, especially during winter weather, can stay on time. If 3 route 66's are caught Downtown, this then screws up the local portion of the route, leaving passengers stranded at bus stops with no buses coming. And, OK, so ETS wants to offer a 1 seat ride for commuters. What if BRT ends up in that corridor, or LRT? They'll eliminate the peak hour local route exentions and then passengers will have to transfer anyways between BRT/ LRT and local routes. Anyways... I'm taking this a bit off topic...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdh5301-001
    Quote Originally Posted by RicoLance21
    Just like every other vehicles, BRT buses must comply with the posted speed limit
    Ideally they are on seperated roadways and could be allowed higher operating speeds, or even if operating at regular traffic speeds with serpated roadways, would still be able to have be able to have a higher average speed as they should't have as much interference from regular traffic.
    Right now, a BRT route to Mill Woods following the route 8 is pointless. Express buses already cover that nicely. What ETS needs to do is get rid of all of these stupid peak hour express extensions of local routes like the 64, 65, 66 etc.
    Have 1 express route operating from Downtown via 83 St/ 86 St to Millgate. Certain runs (probably every second run, or 2/3 runs) run to the Mill Woods Transit Centre. The benefits? Local routes, especially during winter weather, can stay on time. If 3 route 66's are caught Downtown, this then screws up the local portion of the route, leaving passengers stranded at bus stops with no buses coming. And, OK, so ETS wants to offer a 1 seat ride for commuters. What if BRT ends up in that corridor, or LRT? They'll eliminate the peak hour local route exentions and then passengers will have to transfer anyways between BRT/ LRT and local routes. Anyways... I'm taking this a bit off topic...
    Sometimes I tend to think a 1 seat ride system is not the most efficient way to utilize the buses. Like the LRT, BRT is designed handle large amount of commuters. Also note that during evenings and weekends, express buses may not even run at all.

    Based on the South BRT I have, I think it's just fine. BRT should replace all peak hour express extension routes.

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    Trolley bus on loan from Translink/Coast Mountain now in operation on Route 5. Apparently it was supposed to be going this morning, but missed its first run for some reason.

    Today I know it made the 12:31 and 14:31 runs from Westmount. If it keeps those runs, I assume it also makes runs two hours before and after, etc.

    Trolley is numbered 6000 and is a newer model New Flyer (the newest series Coast Mountain operates). Looks and feels the same as it does in Vancouver, except for a few tweaks to the outside (still has the blue/yellow/grey CM colours), farebox instead of magnetic ticket reader, and ETS brochures instead of The Buzzer, etc.

    The run was consistently late, driver said she was not sure about the new trolley mainly because she was having a lot of trouble with the back door which she blamed for the late run. Said the door had a mind of its own. For those not familiar, that particular model has bars on the back door that need to be pushed to open the doors. A green light signals that the driver has unlocked the doors. It appears something was preventing the doors from unlocking properly sometimes, and the driver also complained that they were taking too long to close, but only sometimes. She operated them manually a lot.

    On the other hand, every single person who boarded was either smiling or gave an audible "whoa." A couple girls were really excited, giggling the whole time and one said ""this is the nicest bus I've ever been on" and "I feel like a tourist." She then made sure she was the one to open the rear doors at Westmount.

    Everyone was impressed. One unfortunate thing is that although these are wheelchair accessible due to being low floor, the route is not, so disabled people are not really benefitting fully.

    The bus suffers from the same problems it has in Vancouver. Some of the folding seats refuse to stay down, and the bus doesn't have a lot of seats. While this means higher crush load capacity, the hand-holds are completely bulloxed. There are very few vertical handholds, the horizontal ones are placed up high, and the straps are so loose around the bar that they slide around and are more harmful than helpful. The Vancouver Bus Riders Union has been complaining about these unsafe conditions ever since the new shipment arrived, and it doesn't look like ETS is making an effort to rectify this either.

    All in all, certainly an improvement from the old ones, and I think in time with these buses and some tweaks to the wires and driving (lots of random slow spots) it would be a vast improvement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bagould
    Apparently it was supposed to be going this morning, but missed its first run for some reason.
    No ones seems to know why it wasn't booked out this morning. 179 was booked out instead on 5-07. The bus was brought out around 11:00 or so. The bus will be staying on 5-07 for the time being. So the times you listed are right (On the odd hour west bound from 101 St and Jasper Ave, on the even hour east form 101 St and Jasper Ave. :30 min past the odd hours from Coliseum, :30 past the even hour from Westmount).
    The run was consistently late, driver said she was not sure about the new trolley mainly because she was having a lot of trouble with the back door which she blamed for the late run. Said the door had a mind of its own. For those not familiar, that particular model has bars on the back door that need to be pushed to open the doors. A green light signals that the driver has unlocked the doors. It appears something was preventing the doors from unlocking properly sometimes, and the driver also complained that they were taking too long to close, but only sometimes. She operated them manually a lot.
    The evening driver finally figured the doors out. The door controller is set up differently. There is a delay of about 5 seconds before the door will close. Of course, it's just a Translink spec.

    The bus suffers from the same problems it has in Vancouver. Some of the folding seats refuse to stay down, and the bus doesn't have a lot of seats. While this means higher crush load capacity, the hand-holds are completely bulloxed. There are very few vertical handholds, the horizontal ones are placed up high, and the straps are so loose around the bar that they slide around and are more harmful than helpful. The Vancouver Bus Riders Union has been complaining about these unsafe conditions ever since the new shipment arrived, and it doesn't look like ETS is making an effort to rectify this either.
    My understanding is that those seats are supposed to stay up, unless someone sits on them. In theory, that speeds up loading wheelchairs as the wheelchair user doesn't have to lift up the seats. This bus only has 542 odd kilometers on it, and I don't believe ever ran in service in Vancouver. It was delivered there and probably went through a pre service inspection and was then shipped off to Edmonton... so I don't think those seats are defective already. Yeah, I don't like the either stanchions and those straps are crap. The seats look nice, but I don't like sitting in them.

    All in all, certainly an improvement from the old ones, and I think in time with these buses and some tweaks to the wires and driving (lots of random slow spots) it would be a vast improvement.
    I don't know about random slow spots. Trolleybuses need to slow down for special work (crossings, switches, section insulators) and curves so that they don't dewire and rip the overhead down.
    The shoes on 6000 are of a different design than those on the BBC's and should be able to handle higher operating speeds through special work.

    6000 is apparently to be used tomorrow by the CBC for a live radio show, so don't expect to see the bus in service tomorrow am peak hour, but, she should be back out on 5-07 by mid morning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdh5301-001
    Trolleybuses need to slow down for special work (crossings, switches, section insulators) and curves so that they don't dewire and rip the overhead down.
    The shoes on 6000 are of a different design than those on the BBC's and should be able to handle higher operating speeds through special work.
    Whether it was the driver or not, it seemed to be coasting on a lot of straight sections without switches/crossovers.

    Quote Originally Posted by tdh5301-001
    6000 is apparently to be used tomorrow by the CBC for a live radio show, so don't expect to see the bus in service tomorrow am peak hour, but, she should be back out on 5-07 by mid morning.
    Um, am I the only one who thinks it's hilarious that ETS would lend possibly the best bus for a RADIO show? Radio?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bagould
    Whether it was the driver or not, it seemed to be coasting on a lot of straight sections without switches/crossovers.
    Ah! Yes, the midday driver I found wasn't pushing that bus at all. I don't know her, but I do know the morning and evenind drivers of that run. The pm driver was pushing the bus a lot more. In fact, we went from being 15 minutes late at Coliseum to nearly on time once we reached Downtown. The am and pm drivers are 2 of the best trolleybus drivers in the city. Even for them, it will take a bit of time to get used to the bus.

    Um, am I the only one who thinks it's hilarious that ETS would lend possibly the best bus for a RADIO show? Radio?
    Well, they kind of did that in December for Stuff-A-Bus! The two Orion VII hybrids saw their first use before entering service doing a few of the weekday Stuff-A-Bus events, including a radio show from on board the bus. Incidentally, while I never heard anything official, ETS was having issues with having buses avalible and I still can't help but wonder if they sent the hybrids out on the Stuff-A-Bus because they didn't have any regular diesels avaible. At this point, the hybrids had not been given their horrible vinyl wraps.

  92. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by bagould
    Trolley bus on loan from Translink/Coast Mountain now in operation on Route 5. Apparently it was supposed to be going this morning, but missed its first run for some reason.

    Today I know it made the 12:31 and 14:31 runs from Westmount. If it keeps those runs, I assume it also makes runs two hours before and after, etc.

    Trolley is numbered 6000 and is a newer model New Flyer (the newest series Coast Mountain operates). Looks and feels the same as it does in Vancouver, except for a few tweaks to the outside (still has the blue/yellow/grey CM colours), farebox instead of magnetic ticket reader, and ETS brochures instead of The Buzzer, etc.

    The run was consistently late, driver said she was not sure about the new trolley mainly because she was having a lot of trouble with the back door which she blamed for the late run. Said the door had a mind of its own. For those not familiar, that particular model has bars on the back door that need to be pushed to open the doors. A green light signals that the driver has unlocked the doors. It appears something was preventing the doors from unlocking properly sometimes, and the driver also complained that they were taking too long to close, but only sometimes. She operated them manually a lot.

    On the other hand, every single person who boarded was either smiling or gave an audible "whoa." A couple girls were really excited, giggling the whole time and one said ""this is the nicest bus I've ever been on" and "I feel like a tourist." She then made sure she was the one to open the rear doors at Westmount.

    Everyone was impressed. One unfortunate thing is that although these are wheelchair accessible due to being low floor, the route is not, so disabled people are not really benefitting fully.

    The bus suffers from the same problems it has in Vancouver. Some of the folding seats refuse to stay down, and the bus doesn't have a lot of seats. While this means higher crush load capacity, the hand-holds are completely bulloxed. There are very few vertical handholds, the horizontal ones are placed up high, and the straps are so loose around the bar that they slide around and are more harmful than helpful. The Vancouver Bus Riders Union has been complaining about these unsafe conditions ever since the new shipment arrived, and it doesn't look like ETS is making an effort to rectify this either.

    All in all, certainly an improvement from the old ones, and I think in time with these buses and some tweaks to the wires and driving (lots of random slow spots) it would be a vast improvement.
    So far, so good, by the sounds of it. By the way, every intra-city mode of transit in Tokyo is all designed for crush load too. I don't know what I think of it in Edmonton though. How often does the 5 see crush loading?

    Did you get any pictures of it? (of course it would look the same as it does in Vancouver, but I just want to see it in Edmonton.)

    Anyone else ride it and care to share their experience? Naysayers welcome too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee
    So far, so good, by the sounds of it. By the way, every intra-city mode of transit in Tokyo is all designed for crush load too. I don't know what I think of it in Edmonton though. How often does the 5 see crush loading?

    Did you get any pictures of it? (of course it would look the same as it does in Vancouver, but I just want to see it in Edmonton.)
    Thing is, while it has fewer seats and more standing room it's by no means designed for crush loads. Riding a packed trolley in Vancouver (also the number 5 coincidentally) was my worst experience with their system. I'm a pretty tall guy, but even I couldn't find a good grip, and it's a lot worse when other people can't find any grip at all and are falling into you. It's absolutely horrible, and there's no reason for it. We're talking metal bars and straps that are actually attached to something, is that really so hard?

    As for pictures I still haven't gotten my camera back from the shop and wouldn't have had it with me anyway. I had just biked over to High Street (Love the bike lanes Edmonton, now if you could keep the idiots from parking in them, swinging incoming traffic into them during construction so that I had to bail, and actually connect them to something...but I digress...) when I saw the thing roll by; I had actually forgotten that it was running. Turns out it was running so slow that I could have caught up to it by walking if I would have went for it (one of the things that I found silly in Vancouver, I walked beside a 9 for four blocks in a row outside of rush hour). Anyway, this is getting long winded, but I had to jump on a bus going the other way to figure out when it was coming back around. Luckily no one seemed to think that was completely geeky except for me.

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    I saw 6000 yesterday on Jasper, what a nice looking piece of equipment. Does ETS have plans for more?

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    No plans in place right now to purchase more trolleys.
    #6000 has about 8 months left on its lease, then decision-making
    needs to be done by ETS and City Council.
    But this is the time to let city council know that you'd like to
    see more of the new trolleys on the road. They really need
    to hear public feedback on this issue, or by this time next
    year I don't think you'll be able to find a trolley on Edmonton's
    streets.

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    Just saw the new 'test' trolley bus cruising around the city. Looks pretty sleek and seemed much quicker than the old ones. I hope they decide on those, despite the higher price tag...

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    #6000? I followed that Translink loaner along Jasper. Yes, the acceleration was pretty good, but it STILL had that migraine inducing whine.
    Tired of being taken advantage of .

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    New trolly bus?

    what ever happend to the trolly sandwich busses that used to run from southgate to northgate i know they took down the cables during the construction of the rossdale memoral park, but they have gone back up but not the trolly busses

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS
    #6000? I followed that Translink loaner along Jasper. Yes, the acceleration was pretty good, but it STILL had that migraine inducing whine.
    You live up to your 'grumpy' tag line . Our new LRT cars, incidentally, will have a similar whine. I prefer the noise of a trolley--it's quieter than the rumble of a diesel engine--but to each his own, I suppose.
    Quote Originally Posted by danby
    what ever happend to the trolly sandwich busses that used to run from southgate to northgate i know they took down the cables during the construction of the rossdale memoral park, but they have gone back up but not the trolly busses
    Trolleys have never gone to Northgate, nor has Edmonton ever had articulated trolleys. There are still the regular articulated diesel buses on the route 9. Trolleys are only used on a few extra trips on the 9 between NAIT and Downtown--these will be coming back once the construction by Kingsway/NAIT is finished.

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