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Everything posted by martin607

  1. When Burnaby transit centre was built, it was future proofed to be able to accommodate trolleybuses. There was talk in the 80s of extending the 9 to Brentwood Mall and IIRC the 14 off Hastings. There could be an economic case for housing some of the trolley fleet there to enable half the buses on the 9 and 14 (maybe also 16s?) to take a short deadhead to BTC rather than the long haul back to VTC. Battery buses will be a major part of the future (assuming that they prove themselves in service) but there will also be a role for battery-trolleybus hybrids on the heaviest duty routes and that may be some increase in the numbers though the bulk of the electric fleet is likely to be battery. Maybe some fuel cell buses for longer distance routes? Or could they run trolleys as the RapidBus service and use battery buses on the all-stops service? That would give an all-electric service on Commercial and Victoria without the need for express wires.
  2. Two points. First of all, there is one kind of electric bus whose range isn't restricted in very cold weather: the trolleybus. As for fuel cell vehicles, I wouldn't dismiss them just yet. There's a bit of a revival of interest, certainly in Europe. For example Köln (Cologne) in Germany has had problems with battery buses running a trial on its route 133 - traffic delays causing charging backlogs and frequent need to feed in diesel bus support. So its view is more favourable to fuel cell electric buses. They have ordered 30 Van Hool fuel cell buses and nearby Wuppertal are taking a further ten. Here's a quote from the transit agency's management: "Battery buses with depot charging still do not offer enough range, and we try to avoid building up opportunity charging infrastructure along the route because of the immense costs that would have to incur if we wanted to connect a lot of these intermediate charging stations to the general powergrid.” Full article here: https://www.urban-transport-magazine.com/en/rvk-cologne-first-new-hydrogen-buses-in-service/ Maybe people should just accept the idea that different types are suitable for different applications.
  3. One interesting possibility mentioned by somebody else is the idea that trolleybuses could be run at the weekends when there are ample spare 40 ft trolleys. It could be a good way of easing the service in before full service later this year.
  4. It was just a suggestion. It would probably be fairly easy to add one at Marpole loop. What level of disruption at 22nd St? If I recall correctly the existing charging station is back from the actual route 100 departure bay. Perhaps just install another of the posts with the inverted pantograph at the route 100 departure bay. Disruption would just be to dig a trench for a cable from the substation.
  5. If the fleet does rise to 19, I suspect they will need to increase the number of charging posts, maybe having at least two in each terminal loop. Other cities have much higher ratios of chargers to buses than 1:10. The risk is, for example, traffic delays cause two buses to arrive in quick succession at Marpole loop. Operationally you would want both buses to get a charge at the same time. Not sure that the strike would have had that much to do with low turnout, with only 19303 performing regularly. IIRC there were only one or two buses out on any one day even before the strike. Wouldn't the sort of items that have caused problems be specialised items handled by a separate technical team? I'm thinking power control units or specialised software for example. Backlogs of routine items wouldn't have caused the other 3 to be off the road for weeks, would they? This is a star project and I can't imagine that board members would be happy for these buses to be left in a backlog maintenance line.
  6. I appreciate that 18 hours isn't unusual but nevertheless I was interested to see how long the first block of the day is, given that the 14 now starts service much earlier than before. I wonder what the longest block on the whole system is.
  7. The first 14 on the new sheet was 2197. Departed UBC for Downtown at 03.00. Last trip was again from UBC at 18.33 to due to arrive at Kootenay Loop at 19.45. This is one of the trolleys that returns to VTC running NIS along the Express wires and then makes a left turn on to Nanaimo. The bus is probably out in service about 18 hours from ~02.30 to say 20.30.
  8. I wonder whether they could put trolleys on the 41 from as early as the April sheet? It's only a 15 minute frequency and I doubt they need more than 10 buses for the service. The 9's trolley allocation is reduced when the extended runs to UBC are withdrawn after UBC's winter session ends. That and other minor changes might free up 10 trolleys. Anyone know?
  9. Beautiful photo of the last production XT40, taken in snowy Minnesota. https://twitter.com/sfmta_muni/status/1207006850568224768
  10. i wonder if anybody can help with a technical question please. I seem to recollect that in addition to the fast chargers at Marpole Loop and 22nd Street Station, there are also some depot chargers installed at HTC itself. I've just reviewed this thread but can't find a reference, so I'm not sure whether this a fact or my imagination. If there are depot chargers at HTC, how many are there and will the number increase to meet the increase in the size of the fleet to ten?
  11. Here's the new route 14 timetable from January 6th. Arguably it's a 24 hr service. Looking at Mon to Friday: Last bus from Downtown arrives at UBC at 2.20 a.m. and returns in service at 2.25 arriving Granville & Broadway at 2.43 then back NIS to VTC Meanwhile a new bus will be travelling from VTC (I assume NIS) to reach UBC and departs UBC for Downtown at 3 a.m. There is only a 35 minute gap between the last departure of the DAY 1 service and the first departure of the DAY 2 service. http://infomaps.translink.ca/Public_Timetables/159/tt014.pdf
  12. Wouldn't running extra buses be regarded as strike-breaking? I don't know what the law is, but AFAIK unions wouldn't want to permit activity that undermines strike action by another union. That's apart from the question of where to get the additional buses and drivers that would be needed.
  13. They could and it wouldn't cost very much. It's only two blocks of one way wire and it wouldn't require any expensive substation or electric feeder cable. But is that really necessary? Don't forget decades ago a lot of the night service was run by trolleybuses and the downtown meeting point was slightly different. The current downtown routing was chosen on the basis of diesel operation but it doesn't have to be set in stone.
  14. I assume that the diesel artics on the N17 are ceasing at 3 a.m. because they are required for early runs on Rapid Bus routes. Anyone know if this will be the R5? By that time the passenger loads can be met by a 40ft trolley. I wonder what the initial runs out from VTC will be. 41st, Dunbar & W 10th? Or up Granville to Downtown before running in service to UBC? Not only should the N17 be renumbered N14, but I still don't understand why it cannot be operated by articulated trolleys for example saving a few 3s, 8s and 20s having to dead head from downtown to VTC. Possible objections like the precise turnaround downtown are pretty trivial. And some night work would be shifted back to VTC, but what's so difficult about that?
  15. Depends what you mean by success. There's still a long way to go before battery-electric buses will be able to fully compete in all circumstances with either diesel buses or trolleybuses - think of issues like daily range, weight restrictions on legal passenger loads, charging downtime (means lower productivity). On the other hand there are probably some routes where BEBs will nevertheless already be competitive e.g. lighter loaded routes, those running on flatter terrain, or those with lower daily mileage requirements, say 150 miles or less per day. There are some rather strange ideas infecting politicians and even Muni, that battery buses will somehow be better than trolleybuses on the existing trolleybus routes. This just doesn't make sense for so many reasons: _ charging downtime means that a BEB fleet would need to be ~20% larger just to maintain the same service. - batteries can weigh 2 or more extra tons. Restrictions on overall weight and on axle loads means passenger loads are restricted, meaning more buses are needed to carry the same hourly throughput. - mains electric trolleybuses are somewhat more energy efficient than battery buses. - Does it really make sense to schlepp 2 tons of batteries up and down the California route all day, when trolley wires mean that you don't need to? At a recent conference, a transport expert put it this way: "We need to move people, not batteries".
  16. Yes but have Translink invited BYD to send this model for testing? I haven't heard anything about this trial but maybe you can send us a link. On the other hand, maybe its something to do with this forthcoming EV conference in Whistler. The Regional VP of BYD is speaking there so maybe this bus will be an exhibit at the conference. http://evswhistler.com/
  17. I don't understand what it is doing there. AFAIK BYD battery buses don't form part of Translink's plans at the moment. Transit agencies normally don't welcome manufacturers pushing their equipment unless they are invited to take part in a demonstration etc..
  18. Yep, I rode it on September 24th. Of the four prototypes, is this the one that has accumulated the greatest service mileage so far?
  19. It will be interesting to see how they perform in San Francisco's topography.
  20. Yes. I was touring with an ex-driver and he said the switch had been set up incorrectly with the insulator installed in the wrong direction.
  21. Update on the trolley diversions for the construction period. -The section on 12th Ave between Arbutus and Granville is nearly complete. The running wires have been hung (except one or two hangars) and switches have been installed on the existing wires on both Arbutus and Granville. Feeder wires also seem to up along the alignment. The running wires probably haven't yet been connected to the feeders. -On the section between Oak and Cambie, traction poles have been installed and the outermost part of the span wiring is hanging loose from the poles. Nothing on Cambie yet though there seem to be some very heavy duty poles at the junction, that have to cope with traffic lights, street signs as well as wires and street lights. -The diversion on MacDonald has the least progress presumably because it is being integrated with other work for the City of Vancouver. Again some very heavy duty poles have just been installed near the junction of 4th Ave.
  22. I think they want to avoid to much complication in the overhead junction, when the use of the detour wires is only occasional. That said, there is a turn for buses coming southbound on Commercial to turn on to Hastings going to downtown, so I wonder why they avoided a right turn switch off Hastings to n/b Commercial. IMHO it wouldn't have added too much complication.
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