An expected development

Guest post

If you thought that Greater Wellington Regional Council’s public transport committee was charged with getting people efficiently and reliably from ‘a’ to ‘b’ in as high a number as possible and at as low a cost as economically viable; you would be right. But throw a couple of socialists and greenies in the mix and you have a proverbial spanner in the gearbox.

Just 20% of Wellie’s bus fleet are electric trolley buses. They are slow, congesting, unreliable and require very expensive additional infrastructure. That infrastructure is worn out and will cost around $60 million to rejuvenate. Sixty million you say? To provide power to just sixty buses? (That figure doesn’t include the cost of the power). Forget it! It’s bleeding obvious that a lot more than sixty brand new buses can be bought for that amount of cash, buses that have no need of rotten trolley-wires. Does sorting this sound too simple?

This easy alternative solution is a no-brainer for mere mortals, anyone capable of putting together a weekly shopping list could sort this ‘problem’ out in a jiffy,  but it is a deeply troubling moral dilemma for the green-flecked species, ‘cos; global warming!

NZ’s sea-level has been rising at the rate of 1.4mm per year for over a century; that’s nearly eight inches since the Treaty of Waitangi, folks, and Wellie’s diesel-powered buses are to blame. Apparently.

From stage-left they came; the socialist watermelons, moral preeners and virtue signalers, entering with greenie credentials flapping, waving goodbye to hard-pressed ratepayer funds. Common sense must not prevail.

The greenies decided retro-fitting the existing buses with unproven technology from a start-up company whose successful commercial application of their “Wrightspeed” drive system is limited to small fleets of very large and heavy Californian rubbish trucks which generate much of the power required to charge the on-board batteries through frequent and heavy braking (just perfect for bus passengers). This will cost a mere $43-$50 million (estimated, not actual).

What a bargain; what could go wrong? The plan called for the prototype retro-fit to be ready by October 2016 (it wasn’t), trials and tweaks would be finished and sorted by April 2017 (they’re not; the prototype has only recently arrived), and the rest of the sixty trolleys will be ‘successfully converted’ and in service by November 2017 (Cough). So confident are the greenies of their own amazing plan they informed the infrastructure people the sagging trolley-wire systems will be obsolete after October 2017, so they may as well remove it all.

Oops: “Wellington’s trolley buses have been given a stay of execution and will remain until at least October, with the regional council still in the dark over when, or if, new Wrightspeed hybrid buses will arrive”. “Greater Wellington chairman Chris Laidlaw described the delay as an expected development“. While Chris’s sister-in-law; greenie Sue Kedgley said “The council had been given no assurance on when, or if, the technology would be rolled out, and that created a worrying sense of uncertainty”.

“Diesel buses were a likely solution in the interim”. No kidding.

Hallelujah Chris Laidlaw, the only honest socialist on earth: Failure is “an expected development”. Yes, it is an expected development; Chris, football-kicker of some repute and Rhodes Scholar to boot, of every single green-power scheme ever devised, anywhere, ever.

 

– idbkiwi


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