C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

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tmart
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby tmart » December 10th, 2018, 2:07 pm

Dedicated lanes also solve the problem of maneuvering around traffic :D

I do agree that it would be silly to build one trolleybus line. My point is simply that, if we're planning on buying lots of electric buses for strictly environmental reasons, we would be better served widely adopting a mode that provides power along the route, particularly for fixed arterial routes where doing so is relatively straightforward. Aside from trolleybuses, I also think this is something that people who rip streetcar plans in favor of aBRT need to answer for.

OTOH, if we're buying electric buses because we kinda-sorta want to help the environment, but we can't or won't spend any significant amount of money or build any permanent structures in support of that goal, then this is probably the best-case scenario.

xandrex
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby xandrex » December 11th, 2018, 11:38 am

There's another cost to trolleybuses: time. Even if the cost difference is "only" 25 percent, it makes getting these lines up and running on an even longer timeline (which also adds cost).

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby Silophant » December 11th, 2018, 9:48 pm

Before getting too fired up about the increased eco-friendliness of trolleybuses over BEV buses, I'd like to see the same kind of study done on their life-cycle emissions cost. I can't read the report linked upthread, but I've read similar ones for cars, and mostly what they say is that all the steel that goes into a vehicle has a significant environmental cost regardless of the vehicle's power source. Now, batteries aren't free, obviously, but I wouldn't be shocked to find out that, if a BEV has 35% of the life cycle carbon cost of a diesel bus, that a trolleybus might well have 25-30% of that life cycle cost as well. Not saying that trolleybuses aren't even better environmentally than BEV buses, but that it might not be a huge difference.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » December 11th, 2018, 11:15 pm

Wires are old fashioned. Desktop PC's had them. Cellphones are modern. They're wireless and you charge them. What part of "modern" don't you guys understand?

Seriously, I think the bottom line is that people just don't want to look at the wires. The cost of replacing those huge battery packs can't be much cheaper than the maintenance costs for the wires.

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby mattaudio » December 12th, 2018, 9:58 am

There's an environmental cost to batteries, especially heavy metal mining (lithium, cadmium, etc). Even the PolyMet mine was for nickel, right? That's an element used in lots of batteries. I don't know all the details, but I am also curious.

That said, I have to imagine this is one of those things where demand will hit a critical mass that will allow us to produce batteries cheaper and more environmentally friendly in the future.

tmart
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby tmart » December 12th, 2018, 10:22 am

mattaudio wrote:
December 12th, 2018, 9:58 am
That said, I have to imagine this is one of those things where demand will hit a critical mass that will allow us to produce batteries cheaper and more environmentally friendly in the future.
Certainly our current climate change plans, to the extent that we have them, are gambling quite a bit on this being true.

Tom H.
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby Tom H. » December 12th, 2018, 10:28 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asteroid_mining

If we get lucky and a rare-metal-rich asteroid passes near earth, then we're set for life!

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby Silophant » December 12th, 2018, 10:43 am

In the long term, lithium batteries are fully recyclable, though no one's doing it yet because basically no EV batteries have worn out yet. Even the batteries from the first-gen Priuses that aren't suited for vehicle use anymore can be reused in stationary storage applications where it's not too big of a deal that they only have 70% of their original capacity.

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby alexschief » December 12th, 2018, 10:50 am

Even if the climate change impacts are more complicated and less dramatic than might be imagined, the impacts for air quality and public health are still potentially significant. Lots of high density housing is planned along frequent transit routes. Running zero emission buses down these routes will have an impact on the health of people who live along that route.

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby MNdible » December 12th, 2018, 12:04 pm

Silophant wrote:
December 12th, 2018, 10:43 am
In the long term, lithium batteries are fully recyclable, though no one's doing it yet because basically no EV batteries have worn out yet. Even the batteries from the first-gen Priuses that aren't suited for vehicle use anymore can be reused in stationary storage applications where it's not too big of a deal that they only have 70% of their original capacity.
Yep, just read this article. Apparently they've already started doing this.

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby grrdanko » January 12th, 2019, 6:25 pm

I just saw the new C line bus running on Penn Ave.

NickP
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby NickP » January 12th, 2019, 10:39 pm

I saw one in downtown!

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby mulad » April 13th, 2019, 6:48 am

Hmm, this thread hasn't been updated in a while. The C Line will open on June 8th. Some of the buses have been running on the A Line for operators to get used to them, though I think it's only been the diesel ones so far. Since the A Line isn't set up for electrics, I think they could only make a few round-trips on the route.

I missed the earlier trolleybus discussion. I've been leaning in the direction that we should consider getting those over BEV buses on future route upgrades, since they'd presumably be lighter and cheaper than the battery electrics, and would do away with any range issues. Oddly, it appears that new trolleybuses are just as pricey as BEVs, though I suspect that has more to do with the rarity of them than an inherent cost difference, but it's hard to say. SF Muni bought the 60' trolleybus model of the New Flyer Xcelsiors for $1.1 million each a few years ago:

https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/munis-b ... ults-show/

I'm still pretty concerned about weight with BEV buses. That extra weight causes more damage to roadways and presumably makes it harder to stop (though at least EVs can use regenerative braking to assist the normal brakes). That's a reason I feel LRT or streetcars can be better -- their weight damage is limited to the rails they ride on.

I'm not sure how accurate it is, (and it could easily vary depending on pack size) but this site says the electric version of the New Flyer bus being used is 6,500 lbs heavier than the diesel (45,500 vs. 39,000, although the hybrid splits the difference at 42,000. No info on the trolleybus version):

https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/New_Fly ... tries_XD60
https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/New_Fly ... tries_XE60
https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/New_Fly ... ries_XDE60
https://cptdb.ca/wiki/index.php/New_Fly ... tries_XT60

I think Metro Transit wants to eventually have buses that will have 2-3x the driving range of the ones they're getting for the C Line. They might be able to upgrade the battery pack during mid-life overhauls of the buses, but it's hard to say. From a presentation I watched several weeks ago, it sounds like they're expecting to get from around 120 miles in the current version to over 200 miles around 2022, though we'll see if that actually pans out. I'm fairly dubious of that large of an increase in that time frame (but hey, if you track the range of the Nissan Leaf over the last decade, they've had an impressive increase)..

Even if range increases that fast, I wonder if the weight will continue to climb. I hope the weight is able to peak soon and it begins on a downward trend, but my gut tells me we'll probably have to wait at least a decade for that to happen.

Anyway, apologies if this has been brought up elsewhere...

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby Silophant » April 17th, 2019, 5:42 pm

Glad to see they're leaving their options open for future double-deckers.

On that note, whatever happened to the double-deckers SWT was piloting a few years ago?

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby Qhaberl » April 17th, 2019, 7:07 pm

Can someone explain what is happening in the video


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Bakken2016
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby Bakken2016 » April 17th, 2019, 7:17 pm

Qhaberl wrote:Can someone explain what is happening in the video


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Charging the Electric bus


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Qhaberl
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby Qhaberl » April 17th, 2019, 7:18 pm

Thanks :-)

How long does it take for the bus to complete one full charge?


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mulad
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby mulad » April 18th, 2019, 8:47 pm

Does anyone know the specific configuration of the buses Metro Transit got for this line? Here's a 2017 .pdf from New Flyer that lists a fast-charging version of the 60' bus with a 250 kWh battery pack, and long-range versions of the bus with 689 kWh and 885 kWh packs (6th page). The file (on the 5th page) notes that a 492 kWh pack (only available in the 35' and 40' versions of the bus) takes 3.9 hours to charge, though it isn't clear what sort of charger is being used in that case. The same page says that the on-route chargers can add an hour's worth of driving distance in 6 minutes.

So, in theory the question is moot since the on-route/end-of-route charging should sufficiently recharge the bus. Even if it doesn't totally make up for the amount of energy used on a single trip, I hope a full initial charge would only diminish slowly over the day and mean that the bus would still have a good amount of charge left at the end of the day.

https://vic.newflyer.com/wp-content/upl ... ARGE-2.pdf

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby mulad » June 8th, 2019, 8:13 pm

The C Line opened this morning. Apparently the chargers weren't working at Brooklyn Center Transit Center, so the rumor through the local NUMTOT Facebook group is that the buses were going to be pulled off the route around 6 pm. Metro Transit has added some wrap decals to a few regular 60' buses to emulate the livery of the 8 electric and 6 diesel buses that are supposed to be on the route. Does anyone have precise figures on how many buses are needed in normal service? Eyeballing the schedule, it looked to me like they'd need about 10 to 12.

I got on the second bus that showed up after the first one took off with the dignitaries, though that one took quite a while to appear. Another bus also showed up and ended up running slightly ahead of us northbound to Brooklyn Center Transit Center. It wasn't totally obvious upon first getting onto the bus that it was electric (from the environment, I mean -- there is a huge "It's Electric!" logo on the side). The A/C was running, which was fairly loud in the back, though there wasn't the typical rumble of an engine. The difference was much more noticeable as we pulled out and drove along. Diesels always seem to struggle as they get started, and this bus felt ready to get going rather than the normal hesitation.

The quieter motors (which power all 3 axles) made the rattles from the bumps in the road a lot more apparent, though, and the blow-off valve for the air brakes seemed to make noise at unusual times versus what I'm used to.

I wandered around the old Brookdale Center area a bit -- I'd forgotten that the old mall got demolished and kind of spewed suburb all over the place, so it was a disorienting area to walk around for the first time. (Somehow I'd gotten it in my head that the line went to Northtown Mall, but that's on the other side of the river.) After getting lunch, I took the bus all the way back to downtown, though southbound buses are currently detoured onto 6th Street rather than 8th Street, so they're just using normal bus stops rather than the nicer C Line shelters.

Henry Pan wrote up a list of events on the main streets.mn site: https://streets.mn/2019/06/06/your-guid ... ay-events/

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby DanPatchToget » June 8th, 2019, 10:36 pm

When I rode midday Peter Wagenius ended up sitting in front of me and I was listening to his conversation with a Star Tribune reporter. The reporter asked why we don't just invent in these (ABRT) and forget about light rail. I'm sure ABRT would get just as much riders as Southwest LRT on the same route (sarcasm very much intended). This is why people who aren't transit planners shouldn't be calling the shots, there is no perfect mode of transit for all routes.

Anyways, so far I like the C Line. Hopefully the electric buses and chargers will do well in the winter. Now if they could just get local service between BCTC and Arbor Lakes, or at the very least bring Maple Grove Transit's MyRide dial-a-ride service to BCTC, I would be more likely to use the C Line on occasion.


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