Friday, December 05, 2014

Here's To The State Of The Golden Era's.....Buses.


Remember Arnie and Gordon's excellent adventure.


Road trip kool-aidish photo-op test without the acid (allegedly) actually.


It turns out that the wheels, and the millions upon millions spent, have come off the bus.

Norm Farrell, with an assist by the NaPo's Brian Hutchinson, has the story:

...BC is soon to finalize another 9-figure financial disaster involving a transportation fleet and it also was a pet project of an overenthusiastic Premier....

{snippety doo-dah}

...Today, the 20 hydrogen fuelled buses are in storage while BC Transit searches for buyers. These units reportedly cost four times as much as diesel buses but capital costs accounted for less than half the program budget. Operating expenses were unusually high, partly because hydrogen had to be trucked in from Quebec. 

Repair costs were substantial compared to standard buses because vehicles were not suited to the conditions. Hutchinson quoted Ben Williams, president of Unifor Local 333. 

“The hydrogen buses don’t run properly in the cold Whistler environment,” he said Tuesday. “You’d think someone would have considered that, before any cash was spent.”...


Maybe they could have salvaged this thing if Neal Cassady had been doing the driving.

In the meantime, NINE figures.

Think about that when you pay for your next ferry trip on a German built behemoth.

And here you thought the Golden Era was over...



Anonymous said...

How are the LNG ferries going to fare?

Anonymous said...

Here's a bit of maths

* 20 vehicles
* each has roughly 200,000 kilometres
* hydrogen buses cost $1.34 per kilometre to maintain, versus 65 cents per kilometre for diesel-powered buses

Total fleet km (20 buses x 200,000 km each) = 4,000,000 km

total extra maintenance cost [4,000,000 km x $0.69 per km] = $2,760,000

...or about 1/4 the cost of a Bollywood blunder

Anonymous said...

January 08, 2010

"The federal government contributed $45 million and the B.C. government provided $44.5 million for the manufacture of 20 hydrogen buses and to cover the capital and operating expenses of BC Transit until 2014.

Based on those figures, Ian Bruce said, each hydrogen bus costs an average of $2.1 million, or four times that of a diesel-powered bus.

Since the hydrogen will be transported from Quebec because B.C. can't produce enough, the greenhouse gas emission savings would be reduced to 62 per cent from 100 per cent, according to the Suzuki Foundation."

"The hydrogen buses will keep rolling after the Olympics, but their fate after 2014 is uncertain." -

Anonymous said...

Bus Sales

Thank you for your continuing interest in BC Transit's Bus Sales page. There are no buses or parts for sale at this time.

Anonymous said...

Fast Facts Regional Transit System Year End March 31, 2014

Whistler Transit System (conventional)

Ridership: 2,368,692

Costs & Funding: The total cost to run the service last fiscal was $10.90M.
Funding for the system came from transit fares ($2.60M or 23.9 percent), provincial funding ($5.09M or 46.7 percent), property taxes ($3.13M or 28.7 percent), and federal gas tax funding ($0.08 or 0.7 percent).

[note the word "conventional"]

Anonymous said...

Minister Stone’s [November 26, 2013] letter to Ballard Power Systems on the
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus Demonstration Project

Anonymous said...

BC Transit will implement a CNG bus fleet and fuelling
infrastructure in the Regional District of Nanaimo Transit System
and will plan the introduction of a 25 bus [compressed natural gas] CNG fleet in Kamloops
in 2015.

page 9

Anonymous said...

stick 2 poles on top and ya got hydrogen on demand hybrid trolley bus

RossK said...


Thanks for all the reading material everyone.


Anonymous said...

VP: "The [BC] Liberal delusion continues. Whereas at least the New Democrats did eventually admit that the fast-ferry project was a fiasco." -

I would add: 'At least the fast-ferries were built in BC.'

RossK said...


As would I.


motorcycleguy said...

I started to calculate all of the federal and provincial subsidies that Ballard has been awarded....and the amount of the political donations they made...but my calculator ran out of batteries

RossK said...


And my solar powered calc ran out of sunlight.


North Van's Grumps said...

Google Search Criteria: BC Transit has purchased 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses and the hydrogen and infrastructure to fuel them.

Table 1. Overview of Worldwide Fuel Cell Transit Bus Demonstrations Page 7 of 38, BC Transit (Gordon Campbell, Shirley Bond) were last to order in 2007, but the largest number of buses, for a stated time frame of 2010 to 2014. Imagine that, a four year contract for $90 million.

RossK said...

Thanks NVG--

As always.