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Bergen [NO] - Trolleybus Operation Secure to 2018

J. Lehmann - 10.12.12

The transport committee of Hordaland county met on 14.11.2012 and unanimously decided to extend support for the trolleybus until 2018. The city had previously rejected further financial support of the trolleybus system beyond 2015. The City of Bergen had originally reached an agreement on 22.03.02 with the former Gaia Transport AS (later acquired by Tide Buss AS), to pay for the higher capital and operating costs of trolleybuses for a period of thirteen years from 01:01:02 to 01:01:15. These arrangements were made in advance of the purchase of six new trolley buses from Neoplan / Kiepe that entered service from June to the end of 2003.

This decision keeps open the option to extend trolleybus operation, as part of the re-tendering of the city network from 12.01.2018. The trolleybus (along with light rail) is seen by the Committee as the best means of transport, if environmental protection is a priority. The Committee is hoping for a jump in the development of battery buses or other technologies, so that in combination with the existing trolleybus overhead an extension of the network can be electrically powered by 2018. According to the deputy head of the Transport Committee, Alf Helge Greaker, extensions of the trolley bus routes to Fyllingsdalen, Sædalen or Laksevåg Ness would be conceivable. Planning for this is to begin in 2016.

The Bergen trolleybus system, which has existed since 1950, now has only six trolleybuses, which are used on route 2, which is 6.5 km long. Trolleybuses therefore now account for only about 1% of all buses that operate in the district (6 of about 600 buses). In addition, the trolleybus route has not been extended since 1982, despite a strong population increase in the areas to the south and east of the terminus at Birkelund. Disadvantages can now be cast aside by merging with the organization of the light rail system (Bybanen Bergen Light Rail AS). There are technological and operational synergies between the light rail system and the similar system performance of trolleybuses.

Trolleybus route 2 runs on Monday to Friday from 7:00 to 19:00 and Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00 every 10 minutes using eight vehicles. Although trolleybus 8198 is back in action after being heavily damaged in a fire on 03.01.2011, at least two articulated buses have to help out

Translation: Martin Wright

Photo: The six trolleybuses with fleet numbers 6334-39 were renumbered 8194-8199 from the end of 2011 as part of the new operating agreement with Tide Bus AS. Meanwhile advertising has disappeared from the yellow trolley buses, as can be seen here on 6339 leaving the depot on 17/05/2011.
Photographer: J. Lehmann

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