Reasons to Maximize Trolleybus Usage in Edmonton: Reasons to Maximize Trolleybus Usage in Edmonton * Extensive existing infrastructure in good condition; many good, low mileage vehicles.
* Lowers per unit cost of trolley operations and achieves better investment return
* Positive contribution to environmental initiatives and the city’s image:
- reduces toxic pollutants from city-owned vehicles; lowering effect on health costs
- lower noise levels
- better long-term potential to reduce greenhouse gases than other bus modes
- high level of environmental advantages for cost of investment
* Public preference for trolleys over diesels
* Congruent with Transportation Master Plan and Plan Edmonton:
- makes effective and efficient use of the transportation system and infrastructure
- mitigates community and environmental impacts of transportation
- enhances image as ‘smart’ city (Overview) Slide2: (Chart 1) Capital Annual Equivalent Vehicle Costs vs. Kilometres Operated: Capital Annual Equivalent Vehicle Costs vs. Kilometres Operated Capital vehicle cost annual equivalent is based upon the purchase price of $21 million for 100 BBC trolleys (1982) spread over a 30 year expected life.
Note that the two figures are inversely related. The greater the annual decrease in km operated, the higher the capital vehicle cost annual equivalent per km will be. (Data Source: ETS) (Chart 2) Total Toxic Air Contaminant Emissions per Million Kilometres(in tonnes): Total Toxic Air Contaminant Emissions per Million Kilometres (in tonnes) Data Sources: ETS (1993), TransLink (1999), Edmonton Power (1993) (Chart 3) Toxic Air Contaminants include Hydrocarbons, Carbon Monoxide, Oxides of Nitrogen, Sulphur Oxides, Particulate Matter. Comparative Noise Levels by Mode(in decibels): Comparative Noise Levels by Mode (in decibels) Hearing loss occurs at levels of 90 db or higher
The electric trolley measures around 175 times quieter than the diesel bus
A Philadelphia study showed that the passing of a trolleybus could not be heard above the ambient street noise Adapted from Coast Mountain Bus Company (Vancouver); KC Metro (Seattle). (Chart 4) Greenhouse Gas Emission Trends(in g/km of CO2e*): Greenhouse Gas Emission Trends (in g/km of CO2e*) *CO2 Equivalent – includes greenhouse gas values for emissions of CO, NOx, N2O, CH4.
Data Sources: ETS (1993), TransLink (1999), NAAVC, TransAlta Utilities (Chart 5) Transit Vehicle Preferences in Edmonton: Transit Vehicle Preferences in Edmonton In 1993, Edmontonians were surveyed to find out what kinds of transit modes they would like to see the City invest in for the year 2000 and beyond. Significant among the 504 responses relating to mode were the following: - 4/5 of all respondents to the survey preferred electrically powered transit modes (LRT, trolleybuses) over other choices.
- 60% of comments on diesel buses mentioned fumes, noxious smoke and air pollution as the main feature they noticed. Only 15% of comments about diesel buses were positive.
- A majority of respondents (59%) disagreed with investing in diesel buses.
- Around 2/3 (65%) of all respondents said they would stick with their choices of preferred vehicle investment even if the costs associated with those vehicles were higher.
(Chart 6) Source: Edmonton Transit Vehicles Survey, Marktrend (1993) Edmonton – Environmentally First Class: Edmonton – Environmentally First Class And in the Future! Now . . . (Chart 7) Recent Developments on the Trolleybus Scene I: Recent Developments on the Trolleybus Scene I Recent Developments on the Trolleybus Scene II: Recent Developments on the Trolleybus Scene II
Trolleybus Route Length per 1,000 Inhabitants in selected Cities (in Kilometres): Trolleybus Route Length per 1,000 Inhabitants in selected Cities (in Kilometres) Source: Trolleybus Study for Hong Kong (Ecotraffic, 1999) Comparative Average Power Consumption for 40 ft. Trolleybuses(in kWh per km): Comparative Average Power Consumption for 40 ft. Trolleybuses (in kWh per km) An accepted standard value for trolley power consumption is 3 kWh per km.
The chart at the left compares average power consumption for trolleybuses in four North American cities.
The highest power consumption recorded during San Francisco tests was on the 41 Union line which climbs the steep Union Street Hill. Tests showed a power consumption of 3.6 kWh/km on this line. Vehicles were not “chopper” control equipped. Data Sources: LACTC and RTD Trolleybus Study (1991), BCTransit (1994) Comparative Energy Consumption (in MJ per vehicle km): Comparative Energy Consumption (in MJ per vehicle km) Source: BC Transit (1994) Edmonton – A “Green” City?: Edmonton – A “Green” City? Description of Transportation Emissions: Description of Transportation Emissions Toxic Air Contaminants by Mode – Current Diesel Fleet Average vs. Edmonton Power Total for Three Plants(in g/km): Toxic Air Contaminants by Mode – Current Diesel Fleet Average vs. Edmonton Power Total for Three Plants (in g/km) Data Sources: ETS (1993), TransLink (1999), Edmonton Power (1993) Toxic Air Contaminant Emissions by Mode/Power Source(in g/km): Toxic Air Contaminant Emissions by Mode/Power Source (in g/km) Data Sources: ETS (1993), TransLink (1999), Edmonton Power (1993) Total Toxic Air Contaminant Emissions per Million Kilometres(in tonnes): Total Toxic Air Contaminant Emissions per Million Kilometres (in tonnes) Data Sources: ETS (1993), TransLink (1999), Edmonton Power (1993)
Toxic Air Contaminants include Hydrocarbons, Carbon Monoxide, Oxides of Nitrogen, Sulphur Oxides, Particulate Matter. Diesel Bus Fleet Toxic Air Contaminant Emissions per Kilometre(in grams): Diesel Bus Fleet Toxic Air Contaminant Emissions per Kilometre (in grams) Data Sources: ETS (1993), TransLink (1999), NAAVC (1999) Toxins identified in Diesel Exhaust by the EPA: Toxins identified in Diesel Exhaust by the EPA Diesel Exhaust is a complex mixture of hazardous particles and vapors, some of which are known carcinogens and other probable carcinogens.
The US Environmental Protection Association (California) has identified 41 substances in diesel exhaust listed by the State of California as” toxic air contaminants”.
A “toxic air contaminant”is defined as an “air pollutant which may cause or contribute to an increase in mortality or in serious illness, or which may pose a present or potential hazard to human health”.
In addition to, or as part of the commonly referred to emissions of NOx, CO and particulate matter produced by diesel engines, the substances listed at the left have been identified.
The immediate health threat posed by the use of diesel engines in transit buses arises from the fact that the toxic emissions are released directly into the streets--right into the airways of pedestrians and transit patrons waiting at bus stops.
Studies of emissions from co-called ‘clean’ diesel engines reveal that, while NOx and CO levels may be lower, the levels of toxins such as dioxins, benzene, toluene, 1,3-butadiene and PAH’s is essentially unchanged. While the weight of the particulate matter is reduced substantially, the total number of particles emitted by ‘clean’ diesel engines is 15 to 35 times greater than by conventional diesels. The particles are simply finer, not fewer. Finer particles are more likely to penetrate deeper into the lungs, where they would be trapped and retained.
Sources: Natural Resources Defense Council (1998), US Environmental Protection Association. Toxic Air Contaminant Emissions in Health Dollars in Millions of Dollars per Million Kilometres (calculated @ $75,000 per tonne): Toxic Air Contaminant Emissions in Health Dollars in Millions of Dollars per Million Kilometres (calculated @ $75,000 per tonne) The health impacts in dollars of vehicular emissions are difficult to quantify. Many dollar estimates exist. The above estimate of $75,000 per tonne originates from a California study and was quoted in a recent TransLink report. Here the figure has been applied to the contaminant emissions HC, CO, NOx, SO and Particulate Matter in the quantities emitted directly from the tailpipe or power plant. The resulting totals are doubtless high in performing the analysis in this way. However, whether the actual cost is $75,000 per tonne or $10,000 per tonne, the relationship between the columns will be the same: The health costs associated with diesel engines are much higher than for electric trolleys, even if the trolleys use electricity from a coal-fired generating station. Trolley Coach Economics: Trolley Coach Economics Kilometres Operated vs. Cost per Kilometre: Kilometres Operated vs. Cost per Kilometre Source: Edmonton Transit System Operating and Overhead Costs vs. Kilometres Operated: Operating and Overhead Costs vs. Kilometres Operated Source: Edmonton Transit System Average Operating Costs by Modein $ per Km (1989 – 1997): Average Operating Costs by Mode in $ per Km (1989 – 1997) Trolley Diesel Cost figures: Edmonton Transit System Cost per Kilometre is a commonly employed measurement of vehicle operating expenses. It is important to recognize that cost per kilometre is not
without bias when employed for purposes of comparing different modes, and therefore comparisons such as the above must be interpreted with
the following in mind:
Any measurement of cost per kilometre will tend to favor the vehicle that operates the most kilometres. The fact that diesel buses operate over 25 million more km annually than trolleys in Edmonton will be reflected in a lower diesel figure. Maximizing trolley usage will tend to lower the cost per kilometre, primarily because the cost of maintaining the overhead will be spread over a larger base.
Cost per kilometre comparisons are based on fleet averages that ignore differing operating conditions. In Edmonton, trolley routes operate mostly through the downtown core where loads are heavier and stops are more frequent. By contrast, the highest percentage of diesel kilometres are logged in areas away from downtown where loads are lighter and stops less frequent. The latter conditions will tend to lower the cost per kilometre for the diesel bus more than if conditions were equal.
The cost per kilometre does not take into consideration the revenue generated by the vehicle. Consider that one could operate near empty diesel buses with few stops and fully loaded trolleys with frequent stops, and the fact that the trolley is working harder, earning more revenue and providing more service will not be reflected in cost per kilometre comparisons. The ideal operating conditions for the trolley are found on heavily travelled routes with high patronage and frequent stops, where its operating costs are offset by higher revenues.
Not all costs are included here. An important hidden cost is that associated with the health impacts of diesel bus emissions. Although these costs are not paid for from City coffers, they do represent an added financial burden to citizens and taxpayers, not to mention their negative effects on the quality of life for Edmontonians. Based on a figure of $75,000 per tonne of contaminant emissions (which some may view as high) the diesel bus would have an added health care cost of $2.46/km compared to 0.69/km for the trolley. In other words, the health costs associated with diesel bus operation, according to this formula, would be currently on the order of 3.5 times greater than those for the trolley. If added to the operating cost per kilometre, the trolley becomes more economical to operate inspite of the bias against it inherent in the cost per kilometre comparison.
If we examine operating costs on a cost per km basis for the above items, we find that the trolley operates at a slightly higher cost per km than the diesel bus. This is largely due to the expenditures associated with maintaining the overhead infrastructure. Comparative Maximum Levels of Toxic Air Contaminants by Mode (in g/km): Comparative Maximum Levels of Toxic Air Contaminants by Mode (in g/km) Sources: NAAVC (1999), Edmonton Power (1993). NAAVC figures based on tests using CBD cycle Energy Requirements and Carbon Dioxide Emissions for a Subcompact Car: Energy Requirements and Carbon Dioxide Emissions for a Subcompact Car Fuel cell emissions based on hydrogen generated from natural gas or methanol. Note that fuel cell technology still results in 77% of the CO2 emissions produced by a diesel engine.
Sources: Daimler-Benz (1994); Ian Fisher, Electric Trolleybuses in Vancouver, 1997 Fuel Cells and GHG’s: Fuel Cells and GHG’s Hydrogen needed to power fuel-celled vehicles is most readily obtained by stripping it from hydrocarbon molecules found in fossil fuels. The process results in the release of Carbon Dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas and the key target of the Kyoto Accord.
The chart below quantifies the greenhouse gas emissions produced in operating a Mercedes A-class automobile with different power sources:
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions per 1,000 km (in kg of CO2e) Source: The Economist (April 2000); Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development