The Greens are launching a petition today calling on Land Transport New Zealand (LTNZ) to save and upgrade Wellington's trolley bus system.
LTNZ will consider the Greater Wellington Regional Council's application for continued funding of trolley buses later this month, and there are concerns LTNZ will not support it.
"Trolley buses are a Wellington icon and are the envy of other cities," said Sue Kedgley, the Greens' Wellington Transport Spokesperson. "We want them upgraded, not discarded."
"With the end of cheap oil fast approaching, public transport powered by renewable energy is essential. The Greens want to see the trolley bus fleet powered by wind energy."
"Trolleys are clearly superior to diesels when their environmental impacts are considered. While trolleys use a renewable resource, diesels emit climate change-causing pollutants. While trolleys are smooth and quiet, diesels are noisy and dirty."
Ms Kedgley urged LTNZ to support the Regional Council's application for funding.
"Approving this application will ensure the lines and fleet can be upgraded, making the trolley bus network even more reliable, comfortable, accessible and efficient."
Ms Kedgley said that, when environmental and financial costs were combined, trolley buses were clearly the best option.
"Trolley buses themselves cost about the same as diesels, though the cost of the overhead lines mean trolleys are a slightly more expensive option. However, the Regional Council believes the environmental advantages of trolleys outweigh the added cost."
The petition is available here on this subject.