Photo by Trolley Fan on Flickr

Today's Winner: King County Metro's Electric Trolley Fleet.

A preliminary report from King County Metro (which we mentioned was coming last week) shows that electric trolley buses have the least environmental impact, and are the most cost-effective, of any Metro bus alternative.

This is a win for electric trolleys, which were about to get passed over for the supposedly cheapest option, electric-diesel hybrid buses. Last year, a county audit concluded that Metro could save $8.7 million a year by replacing its trolley fleet with electric-diesel hybrids. However, that analysis didn’t consider the environmental impacts of diesel buses, which produce far more emissions than all-electric trolleys.

In a press release, King County Executive Dow Constantine said, "The initial findings of an evaluation of options for replacing Metro Transit's aging trolley bus fleet suggest that when all factors are considered---including available funding---new electric trolley buses would be the most cost-effective replacement with the least environmental impacts."

Metro has about 160 electric trolleys that have reached the end of their useful life and need to be replaced.

Metro is holding an open house on the trolley study results on Tuesday, April 19 from 5-7 pm at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1217 6th Ave.
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