The end of the Ecolobus

The end of the Ecolobus

Quebec City (Quebec) 18 December 2014 – Turns out, those little electric buses that are running around downtown are not as ecologically adept as they were made out to be.

The city has decided to pull the little mini-vehicles off the market sometime in January and temporarily replace them with normally aspirated diesel buses.

According to the RTC president, Rémy Normand, the Ecolobuses are costing a way more than expected to upkeep and repair.

The climatic conditions that we experience in Quebec City are also causing a problem for the batteries and the wiring that is more complicated to maintain than an ordinary gas powered vehicle.

The mini-buses require a special garage and special technicians which is an extra cost for the RTC. The public transport society claims that just stopping the buses from running will save the RTC $1 million right from the start.

The city paid $400,000 each for the tiny jewels in 2008 but, had to stop using them in 2011 because of an overheating battery problem. The problem was fixed and the vehicles returned to the roads but the cost of repairing that malfunction was enormous.

The president of the RTC also claims that by retiring the little buses, consequently saving a million bucks, the city will not have to increase the user fees for this year.

The Ecolos will be replaced in 2016 by some new hybrid vehicles, called midi-buses that work with a diesel engine and an electric motor and will hopefully be less expensive to run.

In all, the city is buying 128 new buses, 32 of which will be midi-buses and the rest will be longer articulated buses for the no. 7 line and the new express 804 Route which will serve the Neuchatel, Loretteville areas.

All aboard!

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