[UPDATE 8:20pm: Mike Lindblom of the Seattle Times comments below that Metro is looking into bringing a Vancouver trolleybus into town to see how low-floors perform on our hilly streets:]
Among various facts left on our virtual cutting-room floor… Metro staffers mention they will likely bring a Vancouver trolleybus down here to see how it maneuvers on Seattle streets. One task would be to measure how well a low-floor trolleybus can clear certain hill intersections without bottoming out.
[UPDATE: Human Transit has a thoughtful reflection on trolleybuses.]
Now the day of reckoning has arrived. By 2014, the agency expects its fleet of 159 trolleybuses to wear out… County elected officials must decide by next year whether to retire the old trolleybuses, buy new-generation models or switch to some other technology.
I like to think I approach the trolleybus issue with an open mind. After a couple of rounds of discussion in September, I came up with this. While I’m officially agnostic on what would cost more (smart doubts about the audit here), quite aside from aesthetic and sentimental issues I think having some electric transit is a useful hedge against the possibility of much higher fuel prices.
One very unfortunate side-effect of the audit finding is that this issue now acquires a Seattle/suburb valence and therefore gets sucked into the endless and pointless fight over who “subsidizes” whom. That bodes ill given the math on the County Council.