Ottawa’s transit commission has said that this winter they will keep their articulated bus fleet off the road when more than 30 centimetres of snow is forecast. Buses not on the road don’t get in stuck the snow

Problem is, 30 centimetres isn’t a magic number. As I headed downtown this morning there was a bus stuck at the first corner. The forecast had been 10-15 centimetres, but at that point I think the accumulation was about 25.

The good news for commuters was that the light rail system, which is known for its snow-related failures, seemed to be functioning. And media reports indicated only 20–25 buses were stuck in the snow during the morning commute – not a hundred as on some past occasions.

And, in a remarkably sane move, Ottawa’s newly elected city council has told the transit authorities they need to re-examine the idea to convert the bus fleet to all electric models. Electric buses might be a great idea in warmer locations, but there are winter issues that must be resolved before spending hundred of millions of dollars.


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