Wellington: Don’t ditch the trolley buses!

Green Party MP Gareth Hughes made a final plea this morning to Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) to not replace Wellington’s iconic, pollution free trolley bus system with dirty diesel buses.

Gareth Hughes spoke with GWRC councillors ahead of their vote today on Wellington’s public transport strategy. The strategy includes a decision about whether to replace Wellington’s 60 electric trolley buses with diesels. Last year GWRC decided to remove 60 trolley buses from the fleet by 2017.

“Last year councillors said they’d replace the trolleys with modern hybrids, or fully electric battery-powered buses. Now they’re saying they want to take Wellington back to a fully diesel bus fleet,” said Green Party Wellington issues spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“Replacing clean trolleys with dirty diesel buses echoes the Government’s retrograde plan to replace electric trains on the main trunk line with diesels.

“The Green Party is calling on councillors to keep the trolleys in service until they can be replaced by cleaner battery-powered electric buses.

“Anyone who walks Lambton Quay at rush hour knows that having more loud diesel buses pumping out fumes is not the right decision.

“Only three days after the world signed the historic Paris climate agreement, it seems ridiculous to commit Wellington to more fossil fuel powered transport. The trolleys are zero emission, clean buses. Let’s not go backwards.

“Cities around the world are moving towards fully electric buses and light rail because they know it means a cleaner, healthier, and more attractive city.

“The price of wireless electric buses has dropped massively in the last few years. The council risks missing out on a clean electric future by going back to diesel,” said Mr Hughes.

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