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  #14401  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 7:30 PM
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Nouvellecosse Nouvellecosse is offline
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There was an electric bus pilot project? Well I've sure never seen it and believe me I would notice. I spend lots of time on both sides of the bridge (up until March that is) and the closest I've ever seen is the hybrid bus. Maybe it spends all its time out in Bedford or they have it on a treadmill in the transit garage lol.
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  #14402  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 7:38 PM
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Oh well I guess this would explain it.

https://www.halifaxexaminer.ca/city-...iesel-instead/

The pilot program never happened. Apparently the city only updates the website once or twice a decade.
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  #14403  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 7:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
Oh well I guess this would explain it.

https://www.halifaxexaminer.ca/city-...iesel-instead/

The pilot program never happened. Apparently the city only updates the website once or twice a decade.
Yes, I read a bit more and it looks like it was funded, then delayed, then cancelled, then there was funding for diesel buses, and now the funding has apparently shifted to electric. The city goals have shifted 5 or 6 times over a 3 year period.

There was an electric bus study in 2017 commissioned by the city but it may not have involved any electric buses physically driving around.

Hopefully there won't be rounds of covid-related budgetary panic. The Examiner is an ultra-negative and depressing media outlet but it reveals a bit about the political culture in NS with the hand-wringing over whether or not the city, which has a budget of $1B or so, could afford to run a pilot project of 8 electric buses. But I think the fact that diesel buses wear out and that electrics seem to be cheaper is what will ensure a shift over the long term.
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  #14404  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 7:59 PM
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Yes, I read a bit more and it looks like it was funded, then delayed, then cancelled, then there was funding for diesel buses, and now the funding has apparently shifted to electric. The city goals have shifted 5 or 6 times over a 3 year period.

There was an electric bus study in 2017 commissioned by the city but it may not have involved any electric buses physically driving around.

Hopefully there won't be rounds of covid-related budgetary panic. The Examiner is an ultra-negative and depressing media outlet but it reveals a bit about the political culture in NS with the hand-wringing over whether or not the city, which has a budget of $1B or so, could afford to run a pilot project of 8 electric buses. But I think the fact that diesel buses wear out and that electrics seem to be cheaper is what will ensure a shift over the long term.
I've always wondered why hybrid or electric buses never got traction. Having seen a number of regular city buses that had sprayed the guts of their transmissions all over various municipal streets over the years, it seems like a vehicle that used an electric motor would be less prone to spectacular failure.

In addition, a vehicle that stops and starts frequently is far better for a hybrid or electric because it recovers much of that energy used in acceleration upon braking, saving fuel.
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  #14405  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 8:06 PM
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I've always wondered why hybrid or electric buses never got traction. Having seen a number of regular city buses that had sprayed the guts of their transmissions all over various municipal streets over the years, it seems like a vehicle that used an electric motor would be less prone to spectacular failure.

In addition, a vehicle that stops and starts frequently is far better for a hybrid or electric because it recovers much of that energy used in acceleration upon braking, saving fuel.
I think it all just came down to the batteries not being good enough. Too slow to charge, not enough energy density, short or uncertain lifetime over which to amortize the battery cost. They became marginal around 2015, they are a bit better than diesel now when factoring in the benefits of the electric engine, and in 10 years it won't make sense to buy diesel for most or any uses.

It is a bit messy because the energy density goes up by a single digit percent per year. There was no special event that happened that suddenly made electrics the clear solution.

In principle you could have a battery-powered bus that is faster to refuel than a diesel bus and has a greater range. I think they will eventually be strictly better than diesel. No environmental argument will be needed but that will be yet another benefit.

I think we will see the same thing happen for air travel but it will come later. As of today, electric planes are just starting to be used in some niche applications.
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  #14406  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 8:27 PM
milomilo milomilo is offline
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I think we will see the same thing happen for air travel but it will come later. As of today, electric planes are just starting to be used in some niche applications.
It'll need a huge improvement - the battery aircraft would have to compete on weight with a defueled kerosene aircraft, so the energy density improvement has to be much larger than when it comes to terrestrial EVs. Unless they instead just engineer it differently to be able to land at full weight.

Air travel could be the area where hydrogen makes the most sense. It's actually 3x denser by weight, but less dense by volume so the shape of the aircraft will need to be much different, so a different problem to solve but one that seems eminently doable at first glance.
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  #14407  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 8:52 PM
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It'll need a huge improvement - the battery aircraft would have to compete on weight with a defueled kerosene aircraft, so the energy density improvement has to be much larger than when it comes to terrestrial EVs. Unless they instead just engineer it differently to be able to land at full weight.
My reasoning behind this is pretty simple. We have a commercial passenger airline around here that's already using electric planes for some flights. Hence they must be at least roughly in the ballpark where they are acceptable for some uses.

Lithium battery energy density has gone up by something like 3x over the past 10 years and prices have dropped to around 1/8.

Perhaps there is some reason why those gains can't be repeated (researchers claim the future gains will be more dramatic) but if you take a marginal application and add a 3x improvement to the batteries you get a good application.
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  #14408  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 9:27 PM
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St Albert was the first municipality to put EV buses into regular service. Ours have been running now for about 2 years. It sounds like we will be ordering more. Edmonton should have the largest fleet in the country though.
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  #14409  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 9:38 PM
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St Albert was the first municipality to put EV buses into regular service. Ours have been running now for about 2 years. It sounds like we will be ordering more. Edmonton should have the largest fleet in the country though.
? We put ours in May 2017, STM.
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  #14410  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2020, 2:45 PM
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For the first time, possibly ever, we're running 15 trains on the Confederation Line (3 minute 20 second frequency)!
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  #14411  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2020, 5:02 AM
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https://www.sudbury.com/local-news/n...edium=facebook

"Fifty-three new transit buses are coming to Greater Sudbury as part of an almost $100-million investment from three levels of government.The bus fleet replacement program will see 53 new low-floor 40-foot buses purchased over eight years, effectively reducing maintenance costs while providing modern, safe and reliable transit.

Another project will see the implementation of various technological improvements, including an electronic fare payment system and on-demand services for transit users in low ridership areas.

The third project will see the installation of new transportation management and communication technology, as well as the replacement of traffic signal controllers at all intersections.

The fourth project will see a detailed design and construction of three major mobility hubs located in the centre, downtown and the South End of the city, and will serve as the primary transfer points for a restructured transit system that will include rapid bus lines to support increased ridership and service needs.

The final project is the planning, design and construction of bus rapid transit along three corridors to reduce bus travel times, increase transit ridership and improve operational efficiency. The new corridors will include intersection improvements with dedicated turn lanes for buses, passenger waiting areas and shelters, fare vending machines, passenger information, signage and lighting."

1) New buses
2) Electronic fare system
3) Transportation management system
4) 3 Mobility hubs
5) BRT?

This is great for the city. I am trying to figure out the corridors. I figure Lasalle and Paris/Notre Dame, but I don't know the 3rd one.
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  #14412  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2020, 10:56 AM
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Good moves by Sudbury. Many of Canada's smaller mid-sized cities are well positioned to invest in transit now while they aren't too sprawly or rammed with vehicular traffic. They'll reap the benefits as they grow into big cities as actual cities. And they won't have to dig out from under a pile of low-density, hard-to-service sprawl. A couple of tram/light rail lines in Halifax and Victoria would set both cities up for good, long-term growth. Halifax looks well positioned to one day have a regional rail line running around the Bedford Basin too. A regional line connecting the cities of the Okanagan would knit them into a decent-sized metro with the capacity to get big. But even smaller cities like Kingston and, evidently, Sudbury can do it. And they should, before they end up like Winnipeg--sprawly with little appetite for transit investment, being eclipsed by a city a fifth its size that hasn't grown since the 70s.
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  #14413  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2020, 3:33 PM
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I don’t know if Sudbury is ahead of Winnipeg. Winnipeg has a grade-separated busway with stations - pretty much the same as what much-larger Ottawa relied on until last year; the Sudbury news release sounds like that city is just replacing its bus fleet and adding some queue jump lanes and signals.

Anyway that doesn’t take away from the fact that some of Canada’s smaller cities are doing pretty impressive things for transit, given their size. That Sudbury initiative is pretty advanced and probably all the city needs to do for the foreseeable future.
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  #14414  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2020, 7:00 PM
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I don’t know if Sudbury is ahead of Winnipeg. Winnipeg has a grade-separated busway with stations - pretty much the same as what much-larger Ottawa relied on until last year; the Sudbury news release sounds like that city is just replacing its bus fleet and adding some queue jump lanes and signals.
There's such a range of service levels for buses, while LRT or subways around Canada tend to be much closer together. At the low end you've got milk run bus routes that do 1 or 2 trips a day and at the high end you've got buses coming every couple of minutes that may be in a dedicated ROW.

Rail transit might become less attractive in the future as self-driving technology improves a bit and as batteries become cheaper and cheaper.
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  #14415  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2020, 7:07 PM
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A couple of tram/light rail lines in Halifax and Victoria would set both cities up for good, long-term growth.
The problem in Halifax is finding one or two good routes for light rail that justify unusually high investment. The city has a somewhat older setup where there's a relatively large urban core that doesn't have a single standout focal point or corridor. There are 7 or 8 randomly scattered destinations to serve and that's hard to do with a small scale LRT system. The city's BRT plan calls for serving the urban core with an "8" pattern plus 2 dead ends.

In Canada we tend to think of cities as going along a normal progression from small to large and getting certain kinds of infrastructure at certain milestones, but every city is different. Dartmouth NS has a 10-lane highway for example because it's full of lakes and hills it's hard to build arterial roads with a reasonable grade that connect up well over long distances (almost all of metro Halifax is like this). Halifax also has much less transit than it used to. In 1921 it was a metro of about 100,000 where almost nobody had a car, and in 1971 it was a metro of 265,000 where almost everybody had a car. The 1921 city had much better transit. In the 1940's, the streetcar frequency on Barrington St in Halifax was every 90 seconds and those connected up to suburban commuter rail as well as 4 regional rail lines.
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  #14416  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2020, 7:28 PM
Truenorth00 Truenorth00 is offline
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Originally Posted by wave46 View Post
I've always wondered why hybrid or electric buses never got traction.
Depends on which jurisdiction you're talking about. Electric buses have taken off in China, for example. More and more European operators are committing to 100% electric bus buys for their fleet renewals. Canada has been iffy because of our climate. And the data from Toronto and Montreal's line term trials are probably going to inform a lot of strategy.

Beyond bus purchase prices, the other big barrier has always been infrastructure. Wiring up bus garages with several hundred high power charging stations isn't cheap. Nor is having to build overhead charge gantries at layover stops. One of the best infrastructure projects the feds could possibly support is funding this work for transit authorities across the country.

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I think it all just came down to the batteries not being good enough. Too slow to charge, not enough energy density, short or uncertain lifetime over which to amortize the battery cost. They became marginal around 2015, they are a bit better than diesel now when factoring in the benefits of the electric engine, and in 10 years it won't make sense to buy diesel for most or any uses.

It is a bit messy because the energy density goes up by a single digit percent per year. There was no special event that happened that suddenly made electrics the clear solution.

In principle you could have a battery-powered bus that is faster to refuel than a diesel bus and has a greater range. I think they will eventually be strictly better than diesel. No environmental argument will be needed but that will be yet another benefit.
The way battery capacities are improving and costs are coming down, there's just no reason for transit authorities to keep buying diesel buses any more, for most of the country.
The winter range limitations can be overcome with en route and layover charging stations.

It's unfortunate that the feds have been so lazy with their infrastructure plans. Funding bus depot electrification would be huge. Would let the transit authorities switch to buying electric buses on a normal replacement cycle.

To top it off, Canada has Novabus which is a player in electric transit buses and Lion Electric which is a player in electric school buses. Transit electrification is an area where we have an industry that we could support.
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  #14417  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2020, 7:35 PM
MalcolmTucker MalcolmTucker is offline
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Originally Posted by Truenorth00 View Post
Depends on which jurisdiction you're talking about. Electric buses have taken off in China, for example. More and more European operators are committing to 100% electric bus buys for their fleet renewals. Canada has been iffy because of our climate. And the data from Toronto and Montreal's line term trials are probably going to inform a lot of strategy.

Beyond bus purchase prices, the other big barrier has always been infrastructure. Wiring up bus garages with several hundred high power charging stations isn't cheap. Nor is having to build overhead charge gantries at layover stops. One of the best infrastructure projects the feds could possibly support is funding this work for transit authorities across the country.



The way battery capacities are improving and costs are coming down, there's just no reason for transit authorities to keep buying diesel buses any more, for most of the country.
The winter range limitations can be overcome with en route and layover charging stations.

It's unfortunate that the feds have been so lazy with their infrastructure plans. Funding bus depot electrification would be huge. Would let the transit authorities switch to buying electric buses on a normal replacement cycle.

To top it off, Canada has Novabus which is a player in electric transit buses and Lion Electric which is a player in electric school buses. Transit electrification is an area where we have an industry that we could support.
The funds the government provides can be used for this purpose. The municipalities decide how to use it.
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  #14418  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2020, 7:36 PM
Truenorth00 Truenorth00 is offline
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Originally Posted by hipster duck View Post
I don’t know if Sudbury is ahead of Winnipeg. Winnipeg has a grade-separated busway with stations - pretty much the same as what much-larger Ottawa relied on until last year; the Sudbury news release sounds like that city is just replacing its bus fleet and adding some queue jump lanes and signals.

Anyway that doesn’t take away from the fact that some of Canada’s smaller cities are doing pretty impressive things for transit, given their size. That Sudbury initiative is pretty advanced and probably all the city needs to do for the foreseeable future.
I wish the smaller cities like Sudbury could be given the support to electrify their transit during projects like this. $10 million more from the Feds would have been enough here. They benefit far more and have an easier time going electric.
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  #14419  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2020, 7:38 PM
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The funds the government provides can be used for this purpose. The municipalities decide how to use it.
Unfortunately municipalities tend to be timid when it comes to trying new things or taking on risks, and they are inherently less able to assume larger risks than the federal government. A risky $1B pilot project is unthinkable for most provinces but should be standard for the federal government.

I'd like to see more municipal projects with 100% federal funding that are truly novel. Maybe if some of those projects paid off Canada would develop more of a culture of public risk-taking. Right now Canada seems to have a "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" mindset (did people get fired for Phoenix?).

It is okay if private companies bid on or build these projects but they shouldn't all be privately funded or all need to generate a profit for a private company.
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  #14420  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2020, 7:43 PM
Truenorth00 Truenorth00 is offline
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The funds the government provides can be used for this purpose. The municipalities decide how to use it.
Which is part of the problem if you want to effect change at the national level. I think the feds needs a $4-5B (distributed over 6-8 years) bus transit electrification program that makes funding specifically available for infrastructure associated with Electric or Hydrogen buses. This is low hanging fruit for a Climate Change Strategy.

I don't even think the feds need to provide subsidies for the price differential between diesel and electric buses. Just help the transit authorities with the infrastructure piece and they'll start buying electric buses because the business case will get them there. There's even bus OEMs that provide leasing and financing to enable transition because the operating cost differential is enough to make that possible.
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