Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Go Electric Young Man!

RTD has done the right thing in going with electric over diesel for two of their commuter lines. From the Rocky Mountain News:

But faced with staff research that showed the upfront savings would be overwhelmed by the higher operating costs of a diesel system, the few board members left who supported going diesel joined their colleagues in voting 13-0 to stick with the current arrangement. The DIA line is expected to be completed in 2014; the Arvada line in 2015.

If that wasn’t enough, 26 speakers led of by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper unanimously urged the board to back the communities’ choices. No one spoke up for using diesel cars; many of the speakers demanded RTD abandon current plans to use diesel power on two other FasTracks lines, Northwest Rail to Boulder and Longmont, and North Metro to Commerce City and Thornton.

The other two lines should be electric as well. With rising fuel prices causing many of the nation's transit agencies to raise fares, there is no reason to think that this won't continue to happen when they choose diesel. Hopefully what they have learned from these two lines shows up in the other two. They are also going to be saving money on the Union Station by digging a trench for the lines instead of having a subway tunnel.

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