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You could say the same thing for the 99B line, why isn't that trolley when it's under wire the whole time?

Just now, Phillip said:

You could say the same thing for the 99B line, why isn't that trolley when it's under wire the whole time?

Excuse me, WAS under wire the whole route, not now with the Broadway construction.

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Two weeks sure went by fast...

Well, transit isn't operated to suit your personal tastes, so how about you stop acting like it is and cease whining and derailing threads every time you have some imagined complaint.  

I think this character trope applies to you: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/KnowNothingKnowItAll

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10 hours ago, 9924 said:

That would require drivers to actually look in their mirrors 🤣

Seriously though, putting the R4 on to a trolley network would require the buses being based out of VTC and the whole issue is that VTC doesn't have the room hence the new depot.  Unless they build up a whole new trolley system into the new depot which would just be cheaper and practical, especially in the long term, to install chargers.

Construction costs for trolley wires may be higher, but I believe that they have lower maintenance and operational costs than battery-electric once they get built. 

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1 hour ago, Zortan said:

Construction costs for trolley wires may be higher, but I believe that they have lower maintenance and operational costs than battery-electric once they get built. 

Not in the long term.

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2 hours ago, Zortan said:

Construction costs for trolley wires may be higher, but I believe that they have lower maintenance and operational costs than battery-electric once they get built. 

There’s also the fact that trolleybuses don’t require the same quantities of heavy metals and rare earths for those massive batteries, and that the lower curb weight reduces wear and tear on the roads, which again reduces resource use.

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8 hours ago, GORDOOM said:

There’s also the fact that trolleybuses don’t require the same quantities of heavy metals and rare earths for those massive batteries, and that the lower curb weight reduces wear and tear on the roads, which again reduces resource use.

....and not to mention that delivering grid power directly to a vehicle while it is underway is far more efficient than storing that power in a battery, losing a percentage of the efficiency through the transfer and storage, then using it in the motors. The larger an energy system is, the less energy is lost through inefficiency and heat. Altogether I'm a bit frustrated by the prevalence of battery buses as the "answer to green transit" instead of revisiting trolleybus technology.

And safety. A lighter vehicle can stop faster. Trolleybuses are far lighter than a battery electric bus. I would much rather fall off the sidewalk in front of a bus that doesn't have a literal ton of batteries slowing its stopping abilities, and I would also rather have my car rear-ended into an intersection in front of a trolleybus rather than a battery-electric with the inertia of a loaded eighteen-wheeler. 

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Battery EVs have evolved immensely over the last 3 decades, especially over the last few years and will continue to evolve, including buses.  Range has increased, charging times have become faster and batteries have become smaller and lighter as they will continue to do so over the future.

Battery buses today are like a Motorola DynaTAC, 20 to 30 years from now, they'll be like an iPhone.

The strategy is to invest into the future, not into the present.

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7 minutes ago, 9924 said:

Battery EVs have evolved immensely over the last 3 decades, especially over the last few years and will continue to evolve, including buses.  Range has increased, charging times have become faster and batteries have become smaller and lighter as they will continue to do so over the future.

Battery buses today are like a Motorola DynaTAC, 20 to 30 years from now, they'll be like an iPhone.

The strategy is to invest into the future, not into the present.

They are better, but there is likely no physical way to make them as efficient and as safe as trolleybuses. Sure, you can get a better battery, but it'll still weigh more than the tiny backups in the trolleys. Sure, you can make the batteries more efficient, but you can't make them as efficient as directly delivering the power from the grid to the bus. Trolleys may not be the newest technology, but remember that the most effective carbon capture technology is a tree. Newer doesn't mean better in every case. 

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2 minutes ago, Zortan said:

They are better, but there is likely no physical way to make them as efficient and as safe as trolleybuses. Sure, you can get a better battery, but it'll still weigh more than the tiny backups in the trolleys. Sure, you can make the batteries more efficient, but you can't make them as efficient as directly delivering the power from the grid to the bus. Trolleys may not be the newest technology, but remember that the most effective carbon capture technology is a tree. Newer doesn't mean better in every case. 

In this case it does.

Back in the 80s, no one ever believed it was physically possible to build a more powerful phone battery a fraction of the size, but here we are.

 I know you guys think trolleys are the best thing in the world, but for a transit system they present a lot of challenges that hinder the efficiency of the system compared to the future of battery powered EVs.

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17 minutes ago, 9924 said:

In this case it does.

Back in the 80s, no one ever believed it was physically possible to build a more powerful phone battery a fraction of the size, but here we are.

 I know you guys think trolleys are the best thing in the world, but for a transit system they present a lot of challenges that hinder the efficiency of the system compared to the future of battery powered EVs.

Not really. Battery buses require more electricity, more weight and a lot more infrastructure. Trolleys don't hinder the efficiency of any system. In fact, they encourage agencies to offer more frequent service along trolley lines as the infrastructure is already there. And, in the long run trolleys are far cheaper to maintain and keep on the road, since the buses themselves need far less work and the overall infrastructure is less maintenance-heavy than a full network of chargers. It also allows us to take advantage of what we have now, which is a fairly large and effective trolley network. 

Additionally, battery buses and chargers are fairly expensive to purchase, compared to the much cheaper trolleybuses, which use infrastructure we already have installed. They're already zero emissions, so it would make far more sense money-wise to put battery buses in places like Surrey, Coquitlam, New Westminster, the North Shore and others that have no trolleys and then find ways to make some of the most popular and frequent routes in the Vancouver area into trolley routes.

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1 hour ago, 9924 said:

In this case it does.

Back in the 80s, no one ever believed it was physically possible to build a more powerful phone battery a fraction of the size, but here we are.

 I know you guys think trolleys are the best thing in the world, but for a transit system they present a lot of challenges that hinder the efficiency of the system compared to the future of battery powered EVs.

I can't seem like to "like" right now, so here's a 🏆

 

The trolley is the only viable green solution nonsense is a CPTDB tradition of sorts. If I had more energy I'd find my similar debate of four years ago when the idea of a battery bus was insane. And while I do think we are jumping on that technology a little quickly, it's coming and broadly showing an ability to work. 

 

Trolley infrastructure is invasive, expensive, and limits development flexibility along the bus routes. Any fixed service asset is also inherently efficient, and in the case of trolleys demand that some backup capacity exist for what are often relatively minor detours or public events. 

 

Trolleys are great. They're very likely not the future. We do ourselves a disservice as a community to be so inflexible in our views of evolution.

 

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45 minutes ago, Dane said:

Trolley infrastructure is invasive, expensive, and limits development flexibility along the bus routes.

Big plumes of diesel exhaust is invasive, gets right into the lungs and eyes.

Trolley routes are not meant to offer route flexibility. They are essentially rail vehicles and are considered a backbone of transit service. They offer route permanence, just like skytrain and LRT. It's something you can count on that you know is going to be there, not suddenly reconfigured to go down some obscure street.

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10 minutes ago, captaintrolley said:

Big plumes of diesel exhaust is invasive, gets right into the lungs and eyes.

Trolley routes are not meant to offer route flexibility. They are essentially rail vehicles and are considered a backbone of transit service. They offer route permanence, just like skytrain and LRT. It's something you can count on that you know is going to be there, not suddenly reconfigured to go down some obscure street.

This of course isn't Edmonton a decade ago. The current discussion is not diesel vs trolley. 

 

Trolleys are like rail vehicles in their lack of flexibility, but of course, aren't actually rail vehicles and don't bring the type of high volume ridership that rail infrastructure brings. Communities develop around rail - we've seen this on all the SkyTrain/Canada Line routes. Trolleys conversely support neighborhoods, but don't build them. Flexibility is far more important for a bus. 

 

I'm not anti-trolley. But every passing year this argument that they're future proof become more and more asinine.  

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I think its clear that battery busses will one day out compete the trolleybus as it is now, especially in terms of maintenance and new route cost. Eventually.

Depot charging isn't good enough yet for our core vtc routes, afaik, so for now trolleys are the better bet there (because as TL says, the amount of quick charging infrastructure is infeasible - where as the wires already exist).

But I bet the future will be depot charging. Battery busses are getting better and more popular. While there are a bunch of small benefits trolleys will always have forever, and I do love them, I think BEBs will just become too good one day. I know we all love them, but the wires and related is a lot to maintain - and the vehicles are pretty niche in North America. Unless something crazy happens and batteries become really hard to make, I guess.

That is, unless we commit to keeping trolleys just for the uniqueness and historical value a la cable car. Maybe, I could see this on a route or two. But, I think trolleys will last for another generation of bus, personally.

Especially if we commit to like 100% renewable energy or something, then we would want to keep trolleys as long as we need while replacing Diesel CNG and theoretically hybrids first. Then they might last a while yet.

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On 2/21/2021 at 1:18 PM, jmward said:

I think its clear that battery busses will one day out compete the trolleybus as it is now, especially in terms of maintenance and new route cost. Eventually.

[...]

But I bet the future will be depot charging. Battery busses are getting better and more popular. While there are a bunch of small benefits trolleys will always have forever, and I do love them, I think BEBs will just become too good one day. I know we all love them, but the wires and related is a lot to maintain - and the vehicles are pretty niche in North America. Unless something crazy happens and batteries become really hard to make, I guess.

[...]

Especially if we commit to like 100% renewable energy or something, then we would want to keep trolleys as long as we need while replacing Diesel CNG and theoretically hybrids first. Then they might last a while yet.

Agreed. My point about the weight, efficiency and safety of trolleybuses was in relation to how battery electric buses are today. Not about how they will be in ten years... or even five years. Battery technology is advancing at a breakneck pace, and I wouldn't be surprised if, within this decade, battery electric buses not only become more desirable because of their "green"ness, but because they are simply better. Way better acceleration. Way quieter. No idle noise, pollution, or fuel consumption. Focused, localized expensive infrastructure but the total elimination of the widespread trolley infrastructure that causes endless problems.

I'm not going to bet on depot-exclusive charging anytime soon, I would bet on widespread bus-loop-based hyper-chargers that would fry an elephant if it got within a few centimeters of it when active. 

Considering that we still have D40LFs in Victoria from the mid-90s, I'd guess that trolleys will be around in Vancouver for a while yet, especially since they already automatically fit into the "acceptably green" bracket of tech. Heck, there are trolleybuses in other parts of the world that are older than my parents and still run on public routes. 

I'd take battery buses any day. I just think it would be rather premature to replace an trolley network with existing battery technology right now, it's just not ready.

Anyone browsing this thread: See this comment.

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48 minutes ago, InfiNorth said:

I'd take battery buses any day. I just think it would be rather premature to replace an trolley network with existing battery technology right now, it's just not ready.

Plus trolley technology is also evolving and improving.

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1 hour ago, InfiNorth said:

Considering that we still have D40LFs in Victoria from the mid-90s, I'd guess that trolleys will be around in Vancouver for a while yet, especially since they already automatically fit into the "acceptably green" bracket of tech. Heck, there are trolleybuses in other parts of the world that are older than my parents and still run on public routes. 

I'd take battery buses any day. I just think it would be rather premature to replace an trolley network with existing battery technology right now, it's just not ready.

Hypothetically Vancouver should start the trolley replacement program next year, as in the bureaucratic part of the process with a Request for Proposals in 2023ish. I haven't been following too closely, but am making a semi-educated guess that the process will be delayed because the fleet now is generally underutilized and consequently "low mileage" (all things being equal, of course). 

 

That's going to be a hard choice about what to procure next. I think literally everyday the trolley is less likely, but definitely not out of the running. I think the biggest danger to the trolley pragmatically when compared to full electric is the lack of manufactures. Even with the really low cost of energy and relatively low cost of infrastructure, the loss taken on really high purchase price drives the per km cost of a trolley up a lot. Three high purchase price coming from funding manufacturers design costs. That said, as of a couple years (that is the last time I saw credible Vancouver specific data) ago even with that the trolley fleet still was the cheapest to own & operate over a lifetime which is impressive. 

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20210222_000829.thumb.jpg.0fa791402cee4e63f90a9acdad94438e.jpg

Speaking of RapidBus, there is an RFP for an R7 RapidBus route to link Richmond and... (?)

It says between Richmond and unknown, meaning there could be discourse between whether 22nd or Metrotown should be considered. Another wild possibility is Richmond -> Downtown Vancouver but who knows really

The RFP is on page 2 on TransLink's RFP page.
https://service.ariba.com/Discovery.aw/125042022/aw?awh=r&awssk=p93dFEwJ

Another source (with interesting transit priority projects at the end/throughout the document)
https://www.richmond.ca/__shared/assets/10_Translink_Cost_Share_CNCL_01252157618.pdf

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6 hours ago, Express691 said:

20210222_000829.thumb.jpg.0fa791402cee4e63f90a9acdad94438e.jpg

Speaking of RapidBus, there is an RFP for an R7 RapidBus route to link Richmond and... (?)

It says between Richmond and unknown, meaning there could be discourse between whether 22nd or Metrotown should be considered. Another wild possibility is Richmond -> Downtown Vancouver but who knows really

The RFP is on page 2 on TransLink's RFP page.
https://service.ariba.com/Discovery.aw/125042022/aw?awh=r&awssk=p93dFEwJ

Another source (with interesting transit priority projects at the end/throughout the document)
https://www.richmond.ca/__shared/assets/10_Translink_Cost_Share_CNCL_01252157618.pdf

How do they still have no route planned? If they want a route to Downtown Vancouver they could extend the Victoria Drive RapidBus to Bridgeport Stn via Victoria, Marine, Knight St Bridge, and Bridgeport Rd. I don’t think the 430 is the best route for RapidBus, but a route travelling from Brighouse Stn along Garden City and Cambie Rd to 22nd St Stn would probably gain the most ridership IMO.

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@8010: There’s no specific route planned because, unlike the other services, there’s no natural corridor to serve. The Hastings/Forty-First/King George/Marine Drive Rapidbuses serve major corridors; while Lougheed is more about connecting Maple Ridge to the SkyTrain, the obvious natural corridors for that are either Lougheed Hwy. or the nearby Dewdney Trunk Rd (already well-served by the #701). The #430 OTOH exists to connect Richmond and Burnaby rather than to serve a specific corridor, and so it’s worth examining where makes the most sense to run it.

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5 hours ago, 8010 said:

How do they still have no route planned? If they want a route to Downtown Vancouver they could extend the Victoria Drive RapidBus to Bridgeport Stn via Victoria, Marine, Knight St Bridge, and Bridgeport Rd. I don’t think the 430 is the best route for RapidBus, but a route travelling from Brighouse Stn along Garden City and Cambie Rd to 22nd St Stn would probably gain the most ridership IMO.

Because the Mayors Council's original plan highlighting the 430 as a B-Line candidate route was dumb and TL has long acknowledged it?? 😉

The 430, at this time, is commanding neither high frequencies nor late running times (last bus from Richmond at 9:13 PM weekdays, and before 9PM on weekends). Over the last 5 years, service increases have decidedly focused on the 410 and even the 301 instead of the 430.

This, in my opinion, is a reflection of its unpopularity, which is a combination of both running times, poor reliability (Knight St Bridge), and historically low frequencies. I lived in Metrotown for awhile and commuted to Richmond daily to get to Kwantlen University, and never took the 430 because every other option I had (including those w/multiple bus transfers) was actually tangibly faster.

We know from Surrey's eventual rejection of SNG LRT that the original Mayors' 10-year vision would not be perfectly followed, and that new mindsets would shift the course of our expansion. It's not like we do the same for any other plan touted in this region anyway (the 2008 Provincial Plan, SOF ATP, etc etc).

12 hours ago, Express691 said:

It says between Richmond and unknown, meaning there could be discourse between whether 22nd or Metrotown should be considered. Another wild possibility is Richmond -> Downtown Vancouver but who knows really

Yeah this ambiguity has been a thing for a long time. I recall seeing some TL presentation maps (it might've been the one that conceptualized 24-hour RapidBus routes, when they were looking at extending SkyTrain running times) that outright highlighted the 410's route as the future RapidBus candidate.

In more recent official documentation, they've settled on simply labelling it as the "Richmond Centre to Expo Line" RapidBus, so it's been long clear that the terminus station and route are now undetermined. There have been no objections from Richmond council or staff, so my assumption at this point is that it will change and R7 will not be on the 430 routing.

The 410 is also still slated to get a major downgrade per the SWATP (410 will be taken off of Highway 91 and put onto the slower, single lane, 50km/h Westminster Highway incl. a railway crossing) so I imagine that the consultant is expected to take this into consideration.

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In response to all the Trolley Cheerleaders in the posts above.

In 30 years time, batteries will be smaller, lighter, more efficient.  One charge and a bus will be out on the road all day and then some.  No need for overhead wires and chargers all over town.

We all have our passions that we have to eventually say goodbye to.  For me, it was tri- and quad-jets and now its the manual transmission.

Wireless is the future, get used to it 👍

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9 hours ago, 9924 said:

and now its the manual transmission.

My Honda Civic is manual transmission and I decided this will be my last because my next vehicle will be electric. 

My Civic ONLY has 238,000 km and a new clutch last winter, still has lots of life given how reliable they are 😃

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26 minutes ago, Phillip said:

My Honda Civic is manual transmission and I decided this will be my last because my next vehicle will be electric

Will an electric vehicle make the trip to Edmonton?  Are there places along the way to charge it?

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53 minutes ago, captaintrolley said:

Will an electric vehicle make the trip to Edmonton?  Are there places along the way to charge it?

Yes, more and more charging stations are being installed. I passed several along hwy 1 at rest stops and at gas stations and parking lots, almost every town I pass has one. Driving between Vancouver and Edmonton is doable with an electric car nowadays.

But that's still a ways away for me, I'm going to run my Civic as long as it will live. I will only replace it when it dies or I'm involved in a major collision and the car is a write off... 

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