King County Metro here in Seattle has released its initial findings into the Electric Trolley Bus system, and the direction its headed. The conclusion of this report is positive for supporters. KC Exec Constantine said "the trolley buses are clean, quiet and modern trolleys can be very cost effective to operate over their lifetime".
Right now Metro runs 159 ETBs, 100 40' Gilligs and 59 refurbished Bredas. Those need to be replaced soon, and KCM was toying with ETBs, or Hybrids as their replacement. We have nearly 70 miles of wire around the city which carries 1/5 of the total ridership. ETBs traverse the steep hills better, and provide the city with a quieter transit system running by their homes.
I personally am happy to see this. Now Metro will look at new low floor equipment, which will help loading times with easier boardings. Also helping the decision seemed to be the fact that the new equipment will be able to run off wire for a couple of blocks if a blockage occurs (something no streetcar can do) with back up battery power.
There is a public hearing on April 27, which I hope will be positive. This will keep our ETB system, and upgrade the equipment for better mobility, and reliability. If you can, head to the meeting and show your support, and keep Electric Trolley Buses in this great city!
I have also created a poll in the right side bar, cast your vote!