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Ottawa Evaluating Green Bus Choices

The Ottawa Express reports that the Ottawa, Canada, city council has approved the testing of new technology this winter in hopes of getting a greener solution on Ottawa streets by 2007.

The National Research Council will analyze different types of alternative bus technology and decide what works best in Ottawa conditions; the City Council will then decide whether or not to fund the project.

Diesel hybrid buses top the list. However, Transport 2000—a lobby group for improving transportation in Canada—is questioning whether this is the right technology for Ottawa, based on the city’s having highspeed roadways for buses.

“...when you look at the Ottawa Transitway, no other city really has a system set up like that where buses are running at 80 kilometres per hour. At that speed, diesel runs quite well. With hybrid technology at high speeds, the diesel engine is running anyway.&rdquo

—David Jeanes, president of Transport 2000

Last March the Toronto Transit Commission opted for a mixed fleet (diesel hybrids and CNG) after evaluating hybrids. The TTC had a number to comply with a new mandate that starting in 2006 at least 66% of its bus purchases would have to be hybrid or alternatively powered.

(The TTC currently has launched a nine-month trial of biodiesel on 180 buses in its approximately 1,500-bus fleet at a cost of some $569,000.)

Jeanes did stress that as long as these buses are run on selected inner city routes, this technology [diesel hybrids] is a step in the right direction and other Canadian cities are jumping on the bandwagon. British Columbia has bought hybrids from New Flyer, a Winnipeg company owned by General Motors and plans to have them in operation next spring. [earlier post] Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Hamilton have also expressed interest in hybrid buses for their public transportation fleets.


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