Montreal dusting off the possibility of Trolley Buses

Greater Vancouver's Trolley Bus Photo By: Steve Morgan

The Gazette reported this weekend that the city is looking into a trolley bus network.

It’s a system that hasn’t been seen in this city since the sixties. And now, it’s back on the table.

When most people of my generation think of a trolley, they think of: the trolley from Mr. Rogers; or the street car system in Toronto.

This system is different however, it wouldn’t include tracks trenched into the concrete. It would have power lines installed above the streets, but it would feed a regular articulated bus on rubber wheels.

They’re looking into feasibility studies that would see the 105 Sherbrooke West bus line in NDG transition to power, rather than diesel.

Fourteen other lines, that would total 12.5 kilometers, are also being considered. The cost, $750 million.

Expensive, yes. However, the most costly part would be the electrical infrastructure. But in the long run, it would cost less to run than diesel and the buses last longer.

Alternatives include, tossing the electrical wires and using battery powered buses. Similar to the Nissan Leaf, a fully electric car. I test drove it last week and it can go up to 180 kilometers on a single charge. Quite impressive.

The latter option is still very expensive however. A project Mayor Tremblay initially dug up, has been put on the back-burner citing it’s excessive cost.

The study should be completed by December 2012.

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Categories: Traffic

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