C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

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LakeCharles
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby LakeCharles » December 6th, 2018, 1:20 pm

The stations seem pretty darn close to being complete along Penn. The boards aren't in, but otherwise they look very close to complete.

COLSLAW5
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby COLSLAW5 » December 7th, 2018, 7:18 am

The information boards require a lot of work as well as installing and testing of all the signal priority systems. On top of that the electric buses and their charging stations have yet to start being delivered and installed.

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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 7th, 2018, 8:54 am

COLSLAW5 wrote:
December 7th, 2018, 7:18 am
The information boards require a lot of work as well as installing and testing of all the signal priority systems. On top of that the electric buses and their charging stations have yet to start being delivered and installed.
I didn't know they would be using electric buses. Will these be the same Chinese made BYD units which are having problems in California?

Tcmetro
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby Tcmetro » December 7th, 2018, 9:33 am

The electric buses are New Flyers. Supposedly Seattle, Boston, and Los Angeles are also due to receive electric articulated buses from New Flyer as well.

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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 7th, 2018, 9:46 am

Tcmetro wrote:
December 7th, 2018, 9:33 am
The electric buses are New Flyers. Supposedly Seattle, Boston, and Los Angeles are also due to receive electric articulated buses from New Flyer as well.
Is there a product page I can look at? I'm wondering if these are ultracapacitor based units.

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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 7th, 2018, 9:54 am

Okay, I did some googling and read about the rollover accident back in April. Apparently they are attempting to reuse their ICE design and putting a heavy battery pack on the roof. They blamed the operator for the accident.

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby SurlyLHT » December 7th, 2018, 1:38 pm

I'm moving a few blocks from this line. I'll probably rarely take it Downtown given that it's too easy to take my bike down the Plymouth Ave protected bike lanes. Maybe I'll take it during really bad snowstorms or when going Downtown with my wife. I haven't tried any of our BRT lines yet so I might just ride it for fun!..Or maybe to Aldis on Lowry

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby Tcmetro » December 7th, 2018, 6:52 pm

Bob Stinson's Ghost wrote:
December 7th, 2018, 9:46 am
Tcmetro wrote:
December 7th, 2018, 9:33 am
The electric buses are New Flyers. Supposedly Seattle, Boston, and Los Angeles are also due to receive electric articulated buses from New Flyer as well.
Is there a product page I can look at? I'm wondering if these are ultracapacitor based units.
https://www.newflyer.com/site-content/u ... ressed.pdf

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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 8th, 2018, 11:05 am

Tcmetro wrote:
December 7th, 2018, 6:52 pm
Bob Stinson's Ghost wrote:
December 7th, 2018, 9:46 am
Tcmetro wrote:
December 7th, 2018, 9:33 am
The electric buses are New Flyers. Supposedly Seattle, Boston, and Los Angeles are also due to receive electric articulated buses from New Flyer as well.
Is there a product page I can look at? I'm wondering if these are ultracapacitor based units.
https://www.newflyer.com/site-content/u ... ressed.pdf
Thanks! Here's a link to an article on the accident involving a battery powered New Flyer Xcelsior in Alabama in April:

https://electrek.co/2018/04/06/electric ... new-flyer/

It was a tipover, not a rollover, and the four people on board escaped with minor injuries. But why didn't they have software to prevent that?

Apparently the battery powered Xcelsior is a pretty new product, having been unveiled in October of 2017:

https://electrek.co/2017/10/11/los-ange ... -xcelsior/

I can't wait to permanently leave those sooty plumes of diesel exhaust exhaust in the past. Seriously, who wants to breathe in big lungfulls of those particulates while working hard pedaling a bike? However, it does seem that the battery electric buses available now aren't quite ready. The BYD ones in China must be very heavily subsidized. Over there keeping people busy fixing them is probably a feature, not a drawback.

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby Tcmetro » December 8th, 2018, 11:11 am

They also have significantly worse air pollution, and the government has been pushing investments in "green" vehicles. Their is much less political resistance to cutting emissions there then in the US.

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby tmart » December 8th, 2018, 11:54 am

Battery vehicles are a huge step up over diesel, but they don't seem quite ready for fleetwide deployment in lots of ways--both because of the operational issues mentioned above, and because of range and usage limitations. It's great that we're giving them a preliminary try now, though.

They also aren't environmentally great--while they're certainly better than regular buses, let alone cars, those massive batteries do have a pretty significant cost, including emissions, thanks to mining and production. I recently saw that Hydro-Quebec published a report finding that even on their fully-renewable grid, EVs can still be in the ballpark of 20-35% of the lifetime emissions of gas cars. EV cars also deplete more rare-earth minerals than conventional cars. If anyone has seen bus-specific research on this I'd love to see it.

IMO this is one of the underappreciated arguments for trolleybuses, streetcars, and other forms of electric rail. Electric propulsion is great, but not all electric propulsion is created equal. The ideal case for the environment is to transmit the energy to the vehicle while it's in motion, rather than to store it. The fixed, predictable routes of our arterial routes make them well-suited to building out that infrastructure, if we choose to.

I also totally get that electric buses might be the best we can do for the environment given the funding and political climate.

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby MattW » December 8th, 2018, 3:15 pm

tmart wrote:
December 8th, 2018, 11:54 am
IMO this is one of the underappreciated arguments for trolleybuses, streetcars, and other forms of electric rail. Electric propulsion is great, but not all electric propulsion is created equal. The ideal case for the environment is to transmit the energy to the vehicle while it's in motion, rather than to store it. The fixed, predictable routes of our arterial routes make them well-suited to building out that infrastructure, if we choose to.
Totally agreed. If we're going to have a completely separate bus fleet for the A,B,C, etc. lines, why AREN'T we using trolley busses? Is installing electrified lines that much more expensive? Someone more knowledgeable, please inform me because I honestly don't know.

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby DanPatchToget » December 8th, 2018, 4:47 pm

MattW wrote:
December 8th, 2018, 3:15 pm
tmart wrote:
December 8th, 2018, 11:54 am
IMO this is one of the underappreciated arguments for trolleybuses, streetcars, and other forms of electric rail. Electric propulsion is great, but not all electric propulsion is created equal. The ideal case for the environment is to transmit the energy to the vehicle while it's in motion, rather than to store it. The fixed, predictable routes of our arterial routes make them well-suited to building out that infrastructure, if we choose to.
Totally agreed. If we're going to have a completely separate bus fleet for the A,B,C, etc. lines, why AREN'T we using trolley busses? Is installing electrified lines that much more expensive? Someone more knowledgeable, please inform me because I honestly don't know.
I don't know the cost of installing overhead wires, but I'm sure many people would be against it for aesthetic reasons. Also if a car is blocking the path then it's not as simple as going around it.

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Silophant
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby Silophant » December 8th, 2018, 4:57 pm

It is significantly more expensive to build overhead lines than to not build them, yes. I don't know exact costs for traction lines vs the normal power lines I work with, but I would expect a little more than a million dollars a mile, once the additional traction substations and power grid upgrades are factored in. So, for the just less than ten mile C Line, we'd be looking at $50 million instead of $40 million, before even getting into the NIMBYism.

tmart
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby tmart » December 8th, 2018, 5:44 pm

Silophant wrote:
December 8th, 2018, 4:57 pm
It is significantly more expensive to build overhead lines than to not build them, yes. I don't know exact costs for traction lines vs the normal power lines I work with, but I would expect a little more than a million dollars a mile, once the additional traction substations and power grid upgrades are factored in. So, for the just less than ten mile C Line, we'd be looking at $50 million instead of $40 million, before even getting into the NIMBYism.
If the cost difference was only 25% more I would find it almost hard to justify not doing it given the environmental benefits. Of course, there's the NIMBYism plus I'm sure all kinds of extra process and legal wrangling that would come into play once you want to put structures along the whole right-of-way.

mamundsen
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby mamundsen » December 8th, 2018, 7:26 pm

I’m following down the line... sure it’s NIMBY but would it also have some YIMBY? With the overhead lines it REALLY solidified that the line isn’t moving. (One of the knocks against buses vs rail)

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby DanPatchToget » December 8th, 2018, 9:58 pm

mamundsen wrote:
December 8th, 2018, 7:26 pm
I’m following down the line... sure it’s NIMBY but would it also have some YIMBY? With the overhead lines it REALLY solidified that the line isn’t moving. (One of the knocks against buses vs rail)
That's one reason why I like trolleybuses; permanence. Also having traveled to Budapest they have numerous trolleybus lines and they're easy to find because you just look for the overhead wires. You would think there's a modern trolleybus with a small battery that can be utilized for short distances if there's a detour or the bus needs to get around a vehicle (stalled car, some idiot parked in a no-parking zone, etc.).

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby BoredAgain » December 9th, 2018, 11:47 am

DanPatchToget wrote:
December 8th, 2018, 9:58 pm
You would think there's a modern trolleybus with a small battery that can be utilized for short distances if there's a detour or the bus needs to get around a vehicle (stalled car, some idiot parked in a no-parking zone, etc.).
It should be possible to design the connection so that there is enough flexibility to change lanes and go around stopped vehicles. That would be less expensive than designing batteries and necessary power switching equipment into the bus. I'd be surprised if this isn't already a feature on standard designs.

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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby MattW » December 9th, 2018, 1:26 pm

I've been on trolley busses in Shanghai, the connections had enough swing room so that the busses were not fixed to a single lane of traffic. They were able to easily move around the width of the street.

Tcmetro
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Re: C Line - Penn Avenue North Rapid Bus

Postby Tcmetro » December 9th, 2018, 4:35 pm

Trolleybuses are generally able to move a few feet from the wire position and maintain connection. Connection can be lost at wire junctions sometimes and requires the operator to get out and raise the poles.

There are six trolley systems in US/Canada - in Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, and Dayton OH. I am under the impression that Boston is looking at scraping the system as it is only needed for buses to enter short tunnels. The Boston Silver Line uses both diesel and electric systems (they have to switch at the tunnel exit) and so electric buses are better for that application.

Wiring the C Line wouldn't be the only cost - there would also be the need to have a maintenance and repair infrastructure in place, and a separate fleet subset. With the investment cost for facilities, it wouldn't make sense to trolley-ify one route, multiple would have to be done.


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